by Bob Wonders
George Buckley, former President of the Brunswick Corporation and the man behind the development of the Mercury Verado outboard engine, is now Sir George following his receipt of a Knighthood in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Now CEO of Minnesota-based 3M, Sir George came aboard the boating industry in 1997 as President of Mercury Marine.
He later became President Mercury Marine’s parent company, the Brunswick Corporation.
It was George Buckley who approved the spending of US$105 million towards the development of the Mercury Verado outboard engine range, which has gone on to become one of the company’s outstanding success stories.
Although resident of the United States for many years, Sir George has maintained close ties to his homeland.
British Consul General in the US, Robert C. Chatterton, said Sir George had been a leader in the American and Midwestern business community for decades.
'Throughout his career he has maintained close links to the United Kingdom and a commitment to educating future generations, as exemplified by his involvement with the University of Huddersfield,' Mr Chatterton said.
'Sir George represents excellence in business and learning and I congratulate him on receiving this high honour,' he added.
It was perhaps typical of the man who said he felt 'humbled' on learning of his knighthood.
'I never imagined such a thing could happen to me,' he said. 'I am immensely grateful to all the wonderful teachers, colleagues and friends who helped me so much in my life and made it what it ultimately became,' he added.
Sir George left the Brunswick Corporation in 2006 after what could only be termed a 'glittering career' with the company. Local industry identity and a former director of Mercury Marine in Australia, Ken Evans, spend a good deal of time in Sir George’s company.
'Without any doubt, he was the smartest man I have ever met,' Evans declared.
'He knew things a CEO was no expected to know, right down to the factory floor.
'Everything he did or oversaw during his time at Mercury Marine and later as Brunswick chief, proved an unqualified success,' he added.