Dealer certification moves forward

OAK PARK, Ill. - Larry Russo, chairman of the Dealers Standards and Quality Task Force for the Grow Boating Initiative recently issued an update on that group's activities, saying a letter of intent between the Marine Retailers Association of America, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and Five Star Solutions has been signed.

Five Star Solutions is the vendor chosen to administer and manage the dealer certification program, a formal contract covering the program should be completed within 30 days.

A total of $200,000 has been approved to begin moving the dealer initiative forward and will take the program thru the start-up phase. Once program materials have been completed and approved, further funding will be requested to implement and support the program.

A broad timeline has been established for developing the industry dealer certification materials and having a completed program available in the fourth quarter of 2005.

Five Star Solutions is currently undertaking the process of comparing its “footprint” to the retail marine industry. Various reviews of draft materials will be conducted and process development will include a dealer “Pilot” to validate and adapt the developed materials.

The next involvement for the Task Force members will be centered on supporting the program development by Five Star Solutions. At various stages they will be asked as a group to review materials.

Those interested in participating in the pilot program should contact Phil Keeter, MRAA at of Terry Leitz, NMMA at

“The process has begun,” Russo said. “I would encourage all in the industry to visit to view the short video on dealer certification and to receive updates from the other task forces. I look forward to the continued support and participation of all segments of the industry to make this endeavor a success.”

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