MOAA names National Marine Day co-chairs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Dwight Jones, general manager of Elliott Bay Marina in Seattle, Wash., and Dale Thomas, owner and general manager of Laurel Marina & Yacht Club of Bristol, Tenn., have been named co-chairs of the 2005 National Marina Day celebration, announced Marina Operators Association of America (MOAA) Executive Director James L. Frye, CMM in a statement Friday.

National Marina Day (NMD) is produced by MOAA and is an annual nationwide celebration of America’s marinas. The Fourth Annual National Marina Day, the joint media sponsors of which are Boating Industry magazine and Marina Dock Age, will be observed on Saturday, August 13, 2005.

According to Frye, the decision to use co-chairs in 2005 instead of a single chairman was driven by the growth of the program and a desire on the part of the association to be more representative of the marina industry.

In 2004, over 265 marinas in 33 states registered to participate in NMD, a 65-percent increase over the previous year’s total number of participants. Likewise, the political aspects of the program have grown, as in 2004, 25 states, as well as the US House of Representatives and Senate, recognized the day by passing or signing resolutions or proclamations recognizing National Marina Day in their state. In 2003, officials in 18 states officially proclaimed National Marina Day.

To continue the growth of this program, said Frye, “it was important to add more hands to our political efforts to recognize the important roles marinas play across America as gateways to boating and stewards of the environment.”

In addition to serving as leaders of NMD’s political efforts, one of the main roles of the NMD co-chairs is to serve as NMD spokespeople. According to Frye, by having co-chairs from such different facilities, the public will have the opportunity to hear perspectives on the marina industry from different, yet complimentary, angles.

Elliott Bay Marina is a 1,200-slip facility located just north of downtown Seattle. An employee of Elliott Bay Marina since 1991, Jones was promoted in December of 2000 to his current position. In addition to overseeing all aspects of the facility’s operation, Jones has also served as a past member of the National Marina Day Planning Committee and as a member of MOAA’s Board of Directors. Currently, Jones is serving as the secretary/treasurer of the Northwest Marine Trade Association.

Thomas purchased the Laurel Marina & Yacht Club in 1976. He currently manages the over 500-slip marina and boat dealership, which is located on South Holston Lake near Bristol, Tenn. In addition to being the first marina in the Upper Tennessee Watershed to win the Clean Marina designation, the facility was recognized by the MOAA with an award for the Best Media Coverage for its 2002 National Marina Day event. Thomas has served as the chairman of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s and Convention Center. He has also served on the National Marina Day Planning Committee, and is a past president and board member of the Tennessee Marina Association.

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