GULF SHORES, Ala. — A group of recreational marine industry leaders from Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle have established a new trade association: the Central Gulf Marine Trades Association (CGMTA).
The group will represent businesses involved in the sales, storage, service and utilization of recreational vessels. Goals of the association include promoting the Gulf region as a place to enjoy boating, fishing, and water sports; advocating on issues that affect the recreational marine community; and increasing awareness about the economic impact of the boat owner and supporting industry.
“Marine recreation is a very important economic engine for the Gulf Coast,” said John Fitzgerald of Saunders Yachtworks in Gulf Shores, Ala. “Our 200 miles of coastline is home to 2000 businesses and 15,000 employees involved in recreational marine trades. At our organizational meetings, everyone agreed that we needed a unified voice on major issues affecting our businesses and our customers.”
“It was important to focus on the regional perspective,” said Brian Dekkinga of Galati Yacht Sales, Destin, Fla.. “Our companies are united by the support of our customers and the way they enjoy their time on the water. Boaters are not limited by state lines.”
The Founding Board of the CGMTA:
John Fitzgerald, Saunders Yachtworks, president
Brian Dekkinga, Galati Yacht Sales, vice president
Bob Schwarz, Middleton Marine, secretary
Tim Jones, Gulf Coast Hatteras, treasurer
Bennett Long, Orange Beach Marina
Brett Hinely, Marina at Bluewater Bay
Jack Bingert, Cummins MidSouth
John Burns, Legendary Marine
Mike Lewis, The Marine Group—Emerald Coast
Randy Boggs, Reel Surprise Charters
Richard Tremayne, Thompson Caterpillar
Scott Burt, Coastal Marina Management
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