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Jonathan Sweet

Introducing the Top 100 Leadership Alliance

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Now in it's 12th year, the Boating Industry Top 100 program recognizes the best boat dealers in North America for their customer service, marketing, overall business acumen and the way they further the boating industry. While it is certainly the great dealers in this industry that make it go, the Top 100 wouldn't be possible without the generous support of ...

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Hispanic population is a young one

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There's been a lot of talk the last few years about trying to grow boating in the Hispanic community. It's a fast-growing, increasingly well-educated and, as a recent Pew Center study reinforces, young population. This relative youth is important for a number of reasons, pointing not only to the families-with-children that should find boating attractive, but also to their future ...

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Mobility trends a mixed bag for boating

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Stateline is out with an interesting look at where and why people are moving these days. Their conclusion? The cost of housing is one of the biggest drivers, along with the availability of jobs. Mobility has plunged to near-record lows during the recession, but has been ticking up in recent years as the job market improved. Those two factors, of ...

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Remembering Jim Lane

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Jim Lane, the president of Chaparral & Robalo, lost his battle with leukemia last weekend. I had intended to write this post earlier in the week, but got caught up working on our news article about Jim. Still, I wanted to share my own thoughts as well. I knew he had been ill, but the news still hit me hard ...

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The driveway sales event

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For our April issue, I wrote an article on customer service and creating raving fans. One of the people I talked to for that article was Johnny Padgett at Modern Marine, which has won Chaparral's No. 1 CSI award for the last nine years. During that interview, something we talked about that didn't make into the article was his "Driveway ...

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Showing up on ethanol’s radar

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I've had some fun this month watching and reading the reaction to a column I wrote last month after the Iowa caucuses. In it I wrote that maybe Ted Cruz's victory showed that ethanol wasn't going to be the deciding factor it had been in the past for the nation's first caucuses. It was one of literally dozens of articles ...

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Facebook posts that get the most engagement

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Every industry is different. Every business is different. Every company's Facebook followers are different. But with those caveats out of the way, you can learn a heck of a lot from looking at 1 billion Facebook posts from more than 30 million brand pages. That's what Buzzsumo did in January to fins out what types of posts are most effective. You ...

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Miami show succeeds, warts and all

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So as the dust clears from the 2016 Miami show, the industry should be pretty happy with the way things turned out. Lots of positives about this year's show: The weather was good, more than 100,000 people turned out and the location was great. Frankly, the fact that the show happened has to go in that category. I remember talking ...

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Another crack in the RFS armor

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I'll admit it. I'm a political junkie. I was tracking the results of the Iowa caucuses all night Monday. I'm sure I'll be checking my phone constantly Tuesday night while I'm down at the Miami show to see the New Hampshire results. But even if you're not that interested in the race, one of the results out of Iowa should ...

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BoatPAC offering new election resource

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There's plenty of coverage out there about the upcoming 2016 presidential and Congressional elections, but how do the candidates' stands affect the marine industry? BoatPAC, the marine industry's political action committee, will be offering advice throughout the year through its new 2016 Election Center. Later this month, the PAC will be previewing the center through a webinar to help industry ...

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