people need shade dana russikoff

Q&A feature story on SureShade, industry growth, manufacturing and more with business leader and co-founder Dana Russikoff

Sea Ray 40 SLX

The Sea Ray 400 SLX debuted at the 2017 Miami Boat Show with SureShade

If you have been to a boat show recently, you have no doubt seen our shades everywhere. In fact, if you went to the 2017 Miami Boat Show you had a chance to see 100 boat models equipped with our patented retractable sunshade systems. And we are pretty proud of the fact that SureShade has quickly grown from 1 to 100 since our first boat debut in Miami just 8 short years ago.

A testament to our growth in the boating industry, SureShade’s business leader and co-founder Dana Russikoff was selected as the feature story in Soundings Trade Only magazine (the marine industry’s trade journal) to share more on our company’s rapid growth.

The in-depth Q&A article (written by Trade Only‘s associate editor Reagan Haynes), highlights how Dana and her husband Ron launched SureShade, the challenges of manufacturing in the boating industry and how they continue to transform the way the marine industry thinks about boat shade.

Highlights from Q&A Article

Despite launching the SureShade business during an economic downturn in 2009, co-founders Dana and Ron Russikoff persevered knowing that there was a need for more shade in the boating industry.

“As long as there is water, there will be boats, and as long as there is sun people will need shade.”

On the rapid growth of SureShade, Dana shares details on their initial launch and market acceptance.

“The first few factory installations of our shade really got the industry’s attention. And then, of course, the fact that SureShade has been so well received by boaters really helped generate demand for more builders to carry our shade. The visibility of our shade on early boat models has fueled the market demand for more boat models with the shade.”

Beyond our large portfolio of OEM clients and factory-installs, Dana shares how aftermarket and retrofit installations are an important part of the SureShade business.

“Every one of our shade products can be retrofitted to an existing boat with the appropriate overhead structure. Our very first SureShade sale was an aftermarket sale. It’s been a strategic growth component of our business model from day one.”

sureshade shady lady

On being a woman in manufacturing – particularly boating industry manufacturing – Dana shares her views on what it takes to succeed.

“…honestly, for me it was never about being a woman in a male-dominated industry. It’s always been about getting the job done and moving the business forward, and anyone who meets me understands that right away.”

Finally, Dana expresses how Philadelphia-based SureShade is growing, expanding and has no intentions of slowing down.

“This year we are beginning the transition from an early-growth phase of the business life cycle to the expansion phase — in product, markets, capacity and human resources — to further capitalize on our growth potential.”

Trade Only QA Dana RussikoffRead Full Q&A Article

Read the entire Q&A with SureShade’s Dana Russikoff online on

Download a PDF copy of the article as it appeared in the April 2017 Trade Only magazine (opens PDF in new window).