Today’s boating industry could teach politicians a thing or two about coming together for the greater good.
And who knows? Perhaps we’ll get the chance. This week, the industry is gathering in Washington, D.C., at the American Boating Congress, which attracts people from just about every corner of the recreational marine business.
While the No. 1 purpose of ABC is to lobby together on The Hill in support of the boating industry, there are a lot of other meetings here as well. For example, yesterday, local, state, regional and national trade associations representing dealers, marinas, manufacturers, distributors and representatives sat down together to share best practices during a National Marine Trades Council meeting.
That group joined the Recreational Boating Leadership Council at lunchtime for a joint panel discussion on solutions to the most painful challenge we’re facing right now: workforce issues. After lunch, the RBLC went on to discuss what else the industry is doing and can do to overcome some of our biggest barriers to growth.
Today, history will be made when the Marine Retailers Association and the National Marine Manufacturers Association sit down at the same table for their first ever joint board meeting. Afterwards, BoatPAC
– the joint political action committee of the NMMA and MRAA – will bring the industry together for a fundraising event.
We work in what has been often called a fragmented industry. And there have been times in our history when we’ve struggled to come together to sit at the same table. But there are few things that give me more faith in our future than the collaboration that’s taking place in our industry today. During a time when the United States is more divided along political lines than ever before, the recreational marine community is going in the opposite direction. We are working across the aisles that have historically divided our industry. And there’s no better city to be doing it in. Those that aren’t here to witness this and join in, I wish you could be.