Marine Certification Inc. holds first board meeting

CHICAGO – Marine Certification Inc. (MCI), the governing body for the Marine Industry Dealership Certification program, held its first Board of Directors meeting on Thursday, July 13 at the Sheraton Gateway Suites in Rosemont, Ill., NMMA reported in a recent statement.

During the meeting, board members convened for the first time to discuss overall goals and progress of the Dealership Certification program and elect its Board officers.

Marine Certification Inc. is a not-for-profit organization composed of existing members of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and the Marine Retailers Association of America (MRAA). Four individuals from each were elected to serve on the Board.

NMMA directors elected include: Marty Clement, Regal Marine Industries Inc.; Doug Gomes, Grady-White Boats; Steve Potts, Scout Boats; and Chuck Rowe, Indmar Products Inc. The MRAA directors elected include: Carmine Galati, Galati Yacht Sales; Chris Hodges, Brothers Boats; Tom Johnson, Reed’s Marine; and Larry Russo, Russo Marine.

As the initial Board of Directors for Marine Certification Inc., half of the directors will serve a two-year term, and half will serve a three-year term. Staggering the elected terms ensures not every member of the inaugural Marine Certification Board of Directors will depart simultaneously.

Johnson and Russo will serve the three-year terms on the MRAA directors’ side; Galati and Hodges will hold their positions on the board for two years. NMMA-member directors serving three-year terms include Clement and Gomes; Potts and Rowe will serve two years. In the future, new board members elected will serve standard two-year terms.

Officers for the Board of Directors were also elected during the July 13 meeting. Russo, who headed up the first industry task force responsible for creating and implementing the Marine Industry Dealership Certification program, will serve as the first chairman of the board. Gomes was elected vice chair, and Clement will serve as the board’s secretary-treasurer.

The Board’s function is to oversee direction of the Marine Industry Dealership Certification program and ensure it remains beneficial for all boat dealers and the boating industry as a whole. Newly-elected directors discussed several initiatives during the first meeting, including: the re-certification process; promoting and marketing dealership certification to consumers; and encouraging more marine manufacturers and their respective dealer networks to engage in the program.

To date, a total of 71 dealerships have completed the certification process and earned the “Marine Industry Certified Dealership” designation. An additional 23 dealerships have certification visits scheduled for the fall, with a total of more than 300 dealerships currently in the process of certification. The first fall Launch Workshop dates are now posted on

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