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MRAA celebrates 40th Anniversary in 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Matt Gruhn
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BOCA GRANDE, Fla. – The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2012.

Launched by a small group of just 12 dealers in 1972, the MRAA has long stood as the voice of marine retailers throughout North America. The association has been headed up by just four executive directors/presidents over the years, and it has grown to encompass a number of benefits for its members, a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., and an annual convention — the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo.

"The foundation of the MRAA has always been to represent a united voice of the industry’s retailers as well as to make their roles as retailers as efficient and cost-effective as possible,” says Matt Gruhn, who is just the fourth paid executive to head the MRAA. "Together with our board, we are seeking to strengthen that 40-year foundation through the implementation of a new strategic plan, a new membership structure and benefits program, and the creation of several new and valuable member benefits.”

In preparation for its 40th anniversary, the MRAA rolled out a series of new benefits in late 2011 — a new credit card processing partner, a new marketing solutions provider, two new financial planning programs and a market analysis tool — that doubled the number of benefits the association provides its members. Housed under the MRAA Rewards Program, this list of benefits is already being upgraded in 2012, as well. The MRAA announced a revamped partnership with CSI, Inc., just last week, and in the coming weeks will announce two more premium benefits in addition to a brand-new, all-encompassing website that will reinvent the way the MRAA does business.

The MRAA also announced in late 2011 a partnership with Dominion Marine Media, through which the two companies will produce a series of dealer educational events around the country. The Norman-Spencer Marine Retail University events will feature a full day or more of educational opportunities customized to the needs of local and state marine trades associations and their members.

"Rather than focusing on the hoopla that often surrounds such a milestone anniversary,” Gruhn explains, "we’re focused on reinventing who we are and what we deliver our members. The more opportunities like these benefits and the MRU events that we can offer, the more value our members will receive from their membership. We believe that it’s critical that we continue to focus our efforts in that direction, and we’re thrilled that our 40th anniversary year is shaping up to be one of our best years yet.”

About Marine Retailers Association of the Americas

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2012, the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas is the only North American association dedicated to furthering the interests of boat and engine dealers and other marine-related retailers throughout North America. Under the umbrella of MRAA Rewards, the MRAA offers a host of cost-saving, revenue-generating, business-improvement, and professional-development benefits exclusively for its members. For more information, visit

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