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HomeEvent CoverageMTI Celebrates 25th Anniversary In First-Class Fashion

MTI Celebrates 25th Anniversary In First-Class Fashion

Starting with an enjoyable check-in at the docks owned by company founders Randy and Cherell Scism on Thursday afternoon, followed by two days of fun runs and dinners at Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri, Marine Technology Inc. hosted an incredible 25th anniversary celebration last week that culminated with an enjoyable, first-class gathering at Camden on the Lake Resort on Saturday night, which included several speeches, individualized participant pictures on each table and a video presentation highlighting the Wentzville, Mo., manufacturer’s history.

The fleet of boats from MTI docked at The Fish and Co., on Friday was rather impressive. Photos by Jeff Helmkamp/Helmkamp Photos

Speedonthewater.com photographer Jeff Helmkamp was on hand for the fun and captured a variety of images from the event as you can see in the slideshow below. Helmkamp said the turnout of boats, which Randy Scism added topped 60 center consoles and catamarans, was pretty remarkable and ranged from newly delivered outboard-powered models to classic inboard cats built two decades ago.

Helmkamp added that he was impressed by the effort put forth by Mark Waddington, the co-owner of MTI dealer Performance Boat Center in Osage Beach, Mo., as Waddington picked up the tabs on Friday for both lunch at The Cave Bar and Grill and dinner at Redhead Lakeside Grill—two properties he owns at the lake.

“It was a really good event; Debbie and I enjoyed being there to celebrate with Randy and Cherell and everyone else at MTI,” said Bob Bull, a longtime customer, supporter and family friend who won a handful of offshore racing world championships with Scism next to him in the cockpit of his Superboat Unlimited MTIs. “It’s cool to see how much they’ve grown and how well they’ve done. You know when we first started doing events with MTI there’d be maybe 20 boats. Now there are so many boats that it’s kind of hard to find places for everybody to go.

“Randy has worked hard—he’s busted his ass to get to this point,” he added. “And, unlike most boat builders, he gets in his boats and runs them. He also welcomes customer feedback to continue to improve the product. MTI builds such a nice pleasure boat, and one that handles so well. That’s a big plus in this business, and a big reason why MTI is an industry leader.”

Randy and Cherell Scism enjoyed their company’s 25th anniversary celebration in a new MTI-V 50 luxury performance center console.

Repeat MTI customer Shelby Smith, who owns Elite Autos in Jonesboro, Ark., and has a second home at Lake of the Ozarks, said he and his wife, Jennifer, had a great time at the anniversary event visiting with friends and getting out on the lake in their boats.

“Randy and the team always do a really good job putting on all these MTI owner events and bringing all the owners closer together,” said Smith, who currently has a 39-foot cat and 50-foot center console from the builder. “I’ve been looking forward to the introduction of the new 480 catamaran and I’m already talking to Randy about a new build. I can’t wait to start working on that.”

Smith was referring to the announcement Scism made during Saturday evening’s dinner party that MTI is working on a new sterndrive-powered 48-footer that is expected to be in production later this year.

“We’ve already received several calls about the new 480 since we announced it on Saturday,” said Scism, who called the weekend celebration a homerun. “We had such a great turnout and a lot of customers who had never been to the lake before so that was fun introducing them to Lake of the Ozarks. I had so many people come up to me and tell me how fun they had. Taylor (Scism’s daughter and client relations manager) did such a good job setting this event up. It was her idea and she knocked it out of the park, especially with all of the pictures she had printed and the videos she had edited together.”

“All I know is our first 25 years went by so fast,” he added. “I’m just the luckiest guy. I do what I love and I love what I do.”

Although he was not able to make it to the dinner gathering on Saturday night, Daniel Pharris, a dragcar racer who owns 74 Auto in Sikeston, Mo., ran his MTI-V 50 luxury performance center console powered by five Mercury Racing 450R engines on Friday and Saturday.

“Being a part of that whole deal was nothing short of a family reunion in my opinion,” said Pharris, who owned two 42-foot center consoles from MTI before purchasing the 50-footer. “It was awesome to be a part of really.”

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Check out the slideshow above for more of Helmkamp’s images from the anniversary event.

A fellow Missouri native and Pharris’ friend, Danner McCauley said he enjoyed seeing so many MTI customers in one place. McCauley, who is new to the MTI family after purchasing a 390X in October from repeat MTI customer Charlie Roll of Nebraska, has some real family ties with MTI since his uncle, Greg McCauley, is Scism’s brother-in-law—they’re married to sisters, Brenda and Cherell, respectively.

“We had a blast at the anniversary event—it’s a lot of fun seeing a group of boats like that get together,” McCauley said after spending a few days at the lake with his wife, Ashley, and their friends and family. “I’ve been on a couple of MTI events in the Florida Keys and we always have a good time. I’m not sure you can find a better group of boats in one place or a nicer group of people than MTI had in town for the celebration.

“The dinner was nice, too,” he continued. “I really enjoyed meeting friends I’ve made on Facebook that I’d never actually met in person. That was cool to talk to people face to face like that.”

Louisiana performance boaters Johnny and Lori Schillace, who have a new 390X catamaran on order, did ran their 390X on both days with a bunch of their friends, including Burton Kirsten and Adam Seraphine, the owners of the two unmistakable canopied 390XR pleasure boats, the bright green one and the all-red one.

“It’s always a good time at Lake of the Ozarks, but last weekend was extra special,” Johnny Schillace said. “The team at MTI always goes above and beyond in my opinion. Even the check-in on Thursday was enjoyable.”

The MTI fleet headed to Coconuts At The Lake for Saturday’s lunch stop.

Schillace said that being a part of “the MTI family” isn’t just a slogan—it’s a fact.

“I mean it—Randy, Cherell, Taylor, Tom, John, I can name them all—do a great job and sure do know how to connect with their customers,” he said. “Being amongst the MTI family is awesome, especially when you get a chance to come together at event like this with so many people from all over the country and from all walks of life. MTI sure doesn’t make it easy if you want to look at another boat brand, which many performance boaters like to do, because the folks at MTI just take such good care of their owners.”

Schillace added that he and Lori enjoyed seeing so many cool MTIs in one place.

“You know, all of these boats look so good, so fun and so fast,” he continued. “I feel like I was always saying, ‘Hey Lori, look at this one,’ and then ‘Hey Lori, check out this one.’ That’s all we did—I swear we were like boating tourists looking at all the MTIs.”

Schillace laughed, then added that he’s excited for the 39-footer he expects to take delivery of in March and then bring to MTI’s 26th anniversary celebration next summer.

That said, there is a rumor going around that MTI is working on next year’s anniversary event already. Just kidding Taylor—that was a lot of work and something the MTI team should be extremely proud of putting together for its 200-plus guests.

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