Ben Sherwood, founder of Sherwood Marine Marketing, was born and raised in the Midwest and grew up in the small town of Knoxville, Illinois. He graduated from Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois with a degree in Marketing and a minor in Retailing. Upon graduation from Bradley University, Ben was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force where he went through the USAF flight school. Ben spent three years on active duty, including one year overseas, followed by several more years in the reserves before being honorably discharged in 1972 at the rank of Captain.
Following his tour of active duty in the USAF, Ben joined Outboard Marine Corporation as a District Sales Manager selling outboard motors to dealers. In this position he covered two different Midwestern territories calling on and working with marine dealers. He then became involved in the creation of a new Division of Outboard Marine Corporation called OMC Parts & Accessories, (later named OMC Genuine Parts) where he served for fifteen years as Director of Sales, Marketing and New Product Development. Ben was then promoted to the position of Product Group Manager of Johnson Outboards and later of Evinrude, a position he held until his retirement.
After retiring from OMC, Ben purchased and operated a Chevrolet dealership in central Illinois where he received a “Top Dealer” award his first year in business. As a dealer principal, he was involved in all aspects of the business including arranging for floor plan loans, handling all advertising, and supervising the service, parts, sales and business managers. In addition, he frequently went out to the showroom and sold new and used cars and trucks. He later sold the dealership and became a retail sales and marketing consultant and writer.
Sherwood Marine Marketing
Sherwood Marketing was founded in 1992 to provide sales and marketing consulting services to the golf, automotive aftermarket and marine industries. Later, the company name was changed to Sherwood Marine Marketing to reflect the decision to focus only on the marine industry. Ben Sherwood has written a monthly column for marine industry trade publications for over fifteen years, writing for Soundings Trade Only, Boating Industry, and Boat & Motor Dealer. In 1998 he received a “Journalism Award” from the MRAA, (Marine Retailers Association of America). Sherwood Marine Marketing also provides sales and marketing consulting services to manufacturers. In addition, Ben Sherwood conducts seminars for dealer groups on a variety of subjects.