Grow Boating Inc. transfers MICD program ownership to MRAA

MINNEAPOLIS — Grow Boating Inc. has transferred ownership of the Marine Industry Certified Dealership Program to the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas. As full owner of the MICD Program, MRAA is responsible for every aspect of managing, operating, marketing and promoting the program for dealers, including conducting dealer certification reviews and consultations.

The MICD Program was originally created as a pillar of the Grow Boating initiative to help ensure a seamless, positive experience for the boat buyer. Since Grow Boating’s inception, a need emerged for increased focus on creating future boat buyers with the industry’s Discover Boating marketing program. As a result, Grow Boating sought a partner to shepherd the MICD Program, allowing Grow Boating’s board and staff to dedicate more time to Discover Boating.

In 2013, MRAA became that partner and began managing the MICD Program, working directly with a committee of dealers and manufacturers and the Grow Boating Board of Directors, also made up of manufacturers and dealers, to identify ways of reinvigorating the program. What followed were a revamped, refocused strategy and the decision to transfer full ownership of the MICD program to MRAA.

“MRAA’s entire reason for being is focused on helping our industry grow and succeed by helping our dealers grow and succeed,” says MRAA president Matt Gruhn. “As we have built new services and programs over the last three years, we’ve always viewed the MICD Program as the ultimate tool to help dealers find greater success. It combines proven principles and best practices to guide dealers in building high-quality, sustainable organizations. We are honored that the industry, and particularly the Grow Boating board, entrusts us with the responsibility of building upon the foundation of this great certification program.”

“Transferring ownership of the MICD Program to MRAA improves synergies across the entire industry as we work to create the best experience for boaters,” says Grow Boating president Carl Blackwell. “The Grow Boating Board of Directors, which includes marine manufacturers and dealers, unanimously approved transferring the MICD Program to MRAA because we know they’ll have a laser focus on growing participation in the program to improve the customer experience.”

The MICD Program provides dealers with standards, business processes and best practices to help them improve retail operations, increase sales and continuously improve customer/employee satisfaction. To date, the MICD Committee’s manufacturers and dealers, alongside MRAA, responded to requests to streamline the certification process by creating a digital portal and home for program materials and standards completion on; lowering the overall cost of certification; moving recertification from every year to every-other year; instituting lower certification cost options for multi-location dealerships; and creating a tiered program, based on a series of escalating steps, allowing dealers to enter the program and navigate it at their own pace.

“There’s no more direct route or no better tool that we can offer our members than the MICD Program,” Gruhn says. “It provides a clear and precise roadmap for dealers that want to demonstrate they are among the very best in the industry, and that they want to continuously improve their operations.”

For more information about the MICD Program or to enroll, contact program director Sonja Moseley at 763-333-2424 or

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