Matt Gruhn joined the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas as President in October 2011, bringing with him a life-long devotion to boating and nearly 15 years of experience working in the trade.
He joined MRAA after working for nearly 15 years at Affinity Media's Ehlert Publishing Group division. He joined Ehlert Publishing as Associate Editor of Watercraft World, PWC Magazine and
Watercraft Business before being promoted to Managing Editor and then Editor of Watercraft World and PWC Magazine within 4 years.
Gruhn worked on the
staff that launched Ehlert's Powersports Business, a trade publication serving the motorcycle and other powersports products market, in 1998, and began working on Boating Industry magazine when
Ehlert/Affinity acquired it in 2002. Named Editor of Boating Industry in 2003, Associate Publisher in 2009
and Publisher and Editorial Director overseeing Affinity’s trade group in 2010, Gruhn helped to launch Boating Industry's Top 100 Dealers Program.
While with Boating Industry, Gruhn led the team that produced the MRAA's annual convention, the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo. He led the renaming and reinvention of the MDCE and helped to lead the event to significant growth. Over the course of just three years, attendance doubled from 2007 to 2008 and then more than doubled again from 2008 to 2009 and then grew by another 30-plus percent from 2009 to 2010. Today, the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo attracts more than 1,100 industry members, more than 600 of which are dealers.
Prior to his full-time professional life, Gruhn graduated from the University of Northern Iowa, completed an internship in Norfolk, Va., and then worked part time writing sports and news articles for a chain of suburban newspapers in the Milwaukee, Wis., area.
Gruhn and his wife Allison live in Minneapolis with their two children, Madison and Gabrielle. They spend their summers in, on or near the water in a variety of fishing, 'boarding, tubing, swimming, and skiing activities.
Contact Matt by email or at 763.333.2421