VERO BEACH – Exemplifying the innovation, drive and persistence of a successful entrepreneur, Scott Deal of Vero Beach, founder of Maverick Boat Group, will be recognized with the Dan K. Richardson Entrepreneurship Program’s 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Announcement of the award will be the highlight of the Entrepreneur of the Year Award dinner held on Thursday, March 24, at 5:45 p.m. at the Indian River State College Richardson Center at the Mueller Campus in Vero Beach. The award, which recognizes the entrepreneurial spirit and business and community achievement, is a central element of the Dan K. Richardson Entrepreneurship Program established by the IRSC Foundation and 13 other founding members to promote awareness and appreciation of the free enterprise system.

“It is vitally important to recognize entrepreneurship because of its essential role in developing communities and fostering economic prosperity. Scott Deal exemplifies the characteristics of the successful entrepreneur and we are honored to present him with the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year Award,” said Dr. Edwin R. Massey, IRSC President. “Throughout his career, Scott Deal has demonstrated exceptional vision, setting trends with manufacture of four innovative lines of boats. In addition, he has played a national role in marine conservation and legislation guiding the management of our country’s saltwater recreational fisheries.”

Over 30 years ago, Deal established the Maverick Boat Company, in conjunction with the annual Maverick Owner’s Tournament. In 1988, the firm purchased Hewes Boats, solidifying a top spot in the flats boat business, still held today, and in 1991 developed the Maverick Mirage, the first boat designed for noiseless poling. A creative visionary, Deal designed the Pathfinder boat in 1998, launching the “Bay Boat Revolution,” forever changing inshore fishing. Maverick Boats continued to expand with the purchase of Cobia Boats in 2005 and recently changed its name to Maverick Boat Group.

Deal is very active on national boards focused on conservation and the marine industry and was the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Coastal Conservation Association of Florida and also honored with the Eddie Smith Conservation Award.

Committed to elevating the importance of recreational fishing, boating and marine fisheries management for American culture and the economy, he co-authored “A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries,” released by the Morris-Deal Commission for the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, identifying six key policy changes with benefits to the nation.

For more information about the Dan K. Richardson Entrepreneurship Program, call the IRSC Foundation at 772.462.4786 or visit