Dec 18, 2016
Susan Bonivich, OEM/dealer sales manager for Volvo Penta of the Americas, was named the 2016 Darlene Briggs Woman of the Year at the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo today in Orlando, Fla. She is the second woman in the company to earn the distinction within the past 10 years.
Presented by the MRAA Educational Foundation and Boating Industry magazine, the award is named for industry leader Darlene Briggs and is given annually to an outstanding woman who demonstrates leadership, commitment and the advancement of women in the boating business.
“Susan Bonivich represents the spirit of what is great about this industry,” said Ron Huibers, president, Volvo Penta of the Americas. “She develops and nurtures relationships that are time and event tested. Whether it is with the top builder OEMs or dealers, she is respected for her tenacity and courage to be the best business partner in the industry and an exemplary role model inside and outside of Volvo Penta.”
Bonivich began her career with Volvo Penta working in the Purchasing Department in 1998. Over the past 18 years, she has served in a variety of capacities, moving from purchasing to dealer development and to her present role in dealer and OEM sales. In this position, she is the OEM account manager for seven boat builders and Volvo Penta’s top 60 boat dealers, including the recent Top 100 number one dealer, Gordy’s in Lake Geneva, Wis.
In addition to being leaders in their careers, award recipients must also demonstrate their involvement in business trade organizations and a willingness to volunteer in their communities. Volvo Penta’s Bonivich has held membership in the National Association of Purchasing Managers and served as president of the Hampton Roads Purchasing Managers. Over the years, she helped to raise nearly $100,000 for the American Cancer Society and served as chairperson of the Mill Point Community Association’s Social Committee. At Volvo Penta, she led the group’s Social Committee, initiating a program for travel staff to collect hotel toiletries to donate to local homeless shelters.
“Susan has the unique distinction of being the third woman from Volvo Penta of the Americas to receive the Darlene Briggs Award. The most recent previous winner from the company was Marcia Kull, vice president of marine sales, who received the honor in 2007,” said Huibers.
The Darlene Briggs Award, established in 1987, is named for Darlene Briggs of Wayzata Marine in Wayzata, Minn. She was the first retail marine saleswoman in Minnesota and the first female member of her state marine trades association.
About Volvo Penta
Volvo Penta, with 3,500 dealers in more than 130 countries, is a global manufacturer of engines for leisure boats and commercial vessels, as well as industrial applications. The propulsion program includes diesel and gasoline engines with power outputs between 10 and 900 horsepower. Volvo Penta is part of the Volvo Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of heavy trucks, buses and construction equipment.