The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and Canadian counterpart Boating Ontario have launched a collaborative effort to expand the delivery of resources and tools across borders.
In 2011, the MRAA Board of Directors voted to change the MRAA bylaws in efforts to provide more opportunities to Canadian members. First, by changing the name of the association from Marine Retailers of America to the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas. In addition to the name change, an 11th member region — Canada — was recognized and represented on the MRAA Board in order to represent member needs there.
“We’ve desired for this formal, board-level evolution to take on more of a real world application,” explains Matt Gruhn, MRAA President, “and while we’ve taken some initial steps in the right direction, we believe this partnership will help us do an even better job of delivering tools, resources and educational programming to Canadian dealers and their employees.”
To begin with, MRAA is extending a $100 discount off any level of MRAA membership for dealers who are members of Boating Ontario. The groups are focused on extending the benefits of MRAA educational programs, be it MRAA’s annual conference, its online course catalog that features more than 100 educational programs, or the Dealership Certification Program.
“Two of the pillars from our strategic plan are Business Development and Workforce Development,” says Rick Layzell, CEO of Boating Ontario. “Boating Ontario committed to becoming a conduit to the best education programs in the industry. The MRAA relationship is a great step forward in delivering on that commitment to our members. Boating Ontario is also excited to announce that our MarineWorx Development Fund will provide $100(CDN) to the first 25 Boating Ontario Association members who begin their education journey with MRAA programs.”
Boating Ontario plans to extend MRAA’s Dealership Certification Pilot Course, an in-depth course on how buyer motivation is they key to building value in a sale, as an introduction to MRAATraining.com education for Boating Ontario members. MRAA’s Silver Membership offers all-inclusive access to MRAATraining.com, where MRAA’s educational programming is housed. Future plans for collaboration are already underway, as well.
“We, as associations, are working to provide opportunities for improvement to our dealer networks and through partnering with one another, we can combine efforts to share the best resources available,” says Nikki Duffney, MRAA Member Development Manager. “Working together like this will allow for the pooling of resources and the elevating of not just the individual businesses we support, but the industry at large.”