Marine industry’s political action committees merge

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and the National Marine Manufacturers Association have merged their political action committees to form one voice for recreational boating on Capitol Hill.

BoatPAC, the recreational boating industry’s political action committee, is overseen by a joint board of MRAA and NMMA members. BoatPAC enables the marine industry to build and strengthen relationships with lobbyists, policy-makers, fundraisers and others who share our industry’s interests and goals. It works by bringing all of the industry’s segments together to support Congressional candidates who will represent and protect the interests of the recreational boating industry on Capitol Hill.

“For years, our two organizations have managed separate PAC funds in separate ways,” explains Matt Gruhn, president of MRAA. “The merger of the two committees serves to further unite our industry when it comes to our advocacy work, and will magnify the reach and the volume of the marine industry’s voice.”

Thom Dammrich, president of NMMA, says of the merger, “BoatPAC has taken an enormous step forward, showing decision makers on Capitol Hill that the recreational boating industry is a united front. I am pleased to see MRAA and NMMA working together to strengthen our collective voice through advocacy and look forward to celebrating many more victories together.”

Representing the MRAA and its members on the BoatPAC board of directors are: Carlton Phillips, Prince William Marine Sales (Virginia); Ray Fernandez, Bridge Marina (New Jersey); and Sam Lowrey, MarineMax, Inc. (Florida).

To learn more about the 2016 BoatPAC and the new Election Center website, attend the BoatPAC webinar on Jan. 29 at 11 a.m. This webinar will provide insight on the upcoming elections for both Congress and the White House. Attendees will learn about the issues impacting the recreational boating industry over the course of the year and how you can take part in advocacy efforts during these important campaigns.

For more information or questions about MRAA’s government relations activities, contact Will Higgins at 202-737-9779, x502 or

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