OMC long gone…but industry icon Charlie Strang motors on!

Charlie Strang
Charlie Strang

If you get Soundings Trade Only, and most people in the industry do, please make sure you read my article on page 38 of the March 2013 issue. It is about industry icon Charlie Strang, who was Chairman of the Board of OMC when Johnson and Evinrude’s combined market share was in the 60% range. He is an amazing guy who is still going strong at age 91.

Charlie recently emailed me that he and his wife had just returned from a trip to Paris and Monaco where he received a special award from the UIM, Union of International Motorboating.

He wrote, “Barb and I are just back from a couple of weeks in Paris and Monaco and are slowly readjusting to the time change! We went to Monaco to accept a trophy from the Union of International Motorboating (UIM) for my fifty-plus years of work in the international boating field. It is called the Casiraghi Award in memory of Stefano Casiraghi, the late husband of Princess Caroline of Monaco. Stefano was a top-notch Offshore racer until he was killed in a race a few years ago.”

Raffaele Chiulli, President UIM, Charles D. Strang, Marco Casiraghi
Raffaele Chiulli, President UIM, Charles D. Strang, Marco Casiraghi

Can you imagine flying to Paris and Monaco at age 91? The UIM press release read, “This year the Stefano Casiraghi Memorial Trophy, Class1 Offshore World Champion in 1989, has been given to Charles D. Strang from USA. Mr. Strang is worldwide known as one of the main personalities in the Powerboating world which served the UIM for over fifty years.”

In the March 2013 Trade Only article, Strang said, “After I retired from OMC, I was National Commissioner for NASCAR for ten years. I just retired from that two years ago, but I still go to NASCAR main events. Now I am mainly involved in boat racing. I am National Commissioner of the American Powerboat Association. And I have been involved in the Union for International Motor Boating for many years. I became Senior Vice President of UIM. Then I was President for a year although I didn’t run for it. After that I went back to Senior Vice President, a position I held until about a week ago when I finally decided it was time to stop traveling to Europe because I had been doing that four or five times a year.” He added, “I think I have flown the ocean approximately 150 times now, which gets to be a real pain. I decided I have had enough of this so I resigned recently from the UIM Senior VP position. Then the President just called me and asked me to stay on for another year with the understanding that I could function by email and Skype instead of repeat flights to Europe and elsewhere. I agreed.”

Charlie is 91 and still going strong. A real industry icon!

NOTE: If you didn’t get the March 2013 issue of Soundings Trade Only, or haven’t read it yet, go to this link to read the article: http://www.tradeonlytoday.com/component/content/article/4-features/523954-omc-long-gone-old-boss-motors-on.

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About Ben H. Sherwood

Ben H. Sherwood is a marine industry veteran and a marketing consultant who operates Sherwood Marine Marketing in Pleasant Prairie, Wis. For more info, click About on the main menu.

2 thoughts on “OMC long gone…but industry icon Charlie Strang motors on!

  1. Ben,
    A well written and very interesting article about Charlie and his numerous contributions to the marine industry. You’re so right, Charlie has not changed a bit. He looks as he did when I last saw him around 1996 or 1997. Please give him my regards. He is a visionary and truly an icon of the worlds marine industry.

  2. Simply put, Charlie is strongly representative of those people who have made our industry a fun place to LIVE and work.
    May he enjoy good health as he continues to contribute and may he be remembered for those contributions.
    Best, Ed Lofgren
    3A Marine Service
    Hingham, Ma.

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