MRAA joins marina and boatyard event as affiliate

WASHINGTON D.C. – The Marine Retailers Association of America (MRAA) has joined the National Marina and Boatyard Conference and Exposition as a program affiliate, organizers of the conference reported in a statement today.

MRAA joins the American Boat Builders and Repairers Association (ABBRA), the International Marina Institute (IMI) and the Marina Operators Association of America (MOAA) in support of the second annual marina and boatyard conference to be held at the Broward County/Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention Center on February 4-7, according to organizers.

As an affiliate, MRAA will provide input on the program agenda, contribute marketing assistance and will encourage their membership to attend and participate in the conference and exposition, stated organizers.

"MRAA is delighted to join IMI, MOAA and ABBRA as an affiliate for the 2004 conference," said Phil Keeter, MRAA president. "We’re hopeful that this program will serve as a compliment to our own annual meeting, which is occurring this week in Las Vegas, Nev., and that dealers from the East Coast especially will see this as an opportunity to expand upon their education and exposure to the products and services featured in the exposition."

The National Marina and Boatyard Conference kicks off the evening of February 4 with a reception to be held on the exhibit floor. The two days of professional development seminars will be hosted adjacent to the show floor allowing participants to return to the exhibit area during breaks. The luncheon will also be held in the exhibit area each day, conference organizers stated.

The program wraps on Saturday morning, February 7, with an all-marine industry breakfast followed by an optional field trip to Fort Lauderdale area marinas.

"We’re very enthusiastic about the addition of the dealers and MRAA to the conference," said Mark Amaral, ABBRA executive director. "Dealers are facing many of the same issues and challenges in their businesses as those faced by marina and boatyard operators. We believe that the conference content will be appropriate to dealers and we are looking forward to the synergy that their participation will create."

This comes only a few weeks after news that IMI and MOAA plan to merge their memberships. During that announcement, industry leaders expressed hope that the merger would set an example for other associations.

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