On April 21, 2016, the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ) held its Annual Dinner and Elections at The Mill in Spring Lake. Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno attended the event and addressed the members, discussing the challenges of running a marine business, the impacts of Hurricane Sandy and the reduced sales tax on boats. Assemblyman David Rible was also in attendance and spoke before the membership.
"It was an honor to have the Lt. Governor and Assemblyman Rible attend our event and speak with our members," stated Executive Director Melissa Danko. "They have both been incredibly supportive of our industry, and it was a great opportunity to speak with them and thank them for all that they have done."
The annual dinner also included the election of the 2016-2017 officers and directors. Don Ditzel of Comstock Yacht Sales and Marina in Brick will continue his term as president of the association. Walter Johnson, III of Johnson and Towers, Inc. in Mt. Laurel will continue to serve as first vice president, and Jim Cerruti of Fair Haven Yacht Works in Fair Haven will continue his term as second vice president. Ed Harrison, III of Baywood Marina in Brick remains the treasurer and Raymond Bogan of Sinn, Fitzsimmons, Cantoli, Bogan, West and Steuerman in Point Pleasant Beach continues as secretary.
The following directors were re-elected to serve another two year term: Rick Castellini of Island Marine Center, LLC in Ocean View, Ed McCarthy of McCarthy's Marine Sales in Brick, Brian Fischer of MESCO in Thorofare, and Greg Wright of John B. Wright Insurance in Manasquan.
The following directors have been elected to serve a one-year term: Mark Cassidy of Cassidy's Breton Woods Marina in Brick, Karen Davidson of Green Cove Marina in Brick, George Fuller of George Fuller's Marine & Machine in Bayville, Karen Gruppuso of Coastal Environmental Consulting, LLC in Toms River, and Pat Salinas of Morgan Marina in Parlin. Ray Fernandez of Bridge Marina in Lake Hopatcong was elected to serve a two-year term.
The active past presidents that will continue to serve on the board include: Fred Brueggemann of Key Harbor Marina and Yacht Sales in Waretown, Ed Harrison, Jr. of Baywood Marina in Brick, Tom Leaming of Leamings Marina in Waretown, Paul Terzian of Causeway Marine Sales in Manahawkin, and Rick Traber of Pier 47 Marina in Wildwood.
The Regional Board of Governors includes Pat Salinas representing the Northern Region, Tom Leaming representing the Central Region, Rick Traber representing the Southern Region, and Ray Fernandez representing the Lake Hopatcong Region.
"It is truly an honor to serve and represent the NJ marine industry again this year, as President of the MTA/NJ," stated Don Ditzel of Comstock Yacht Sales & Marina, Brick. "With the dedicated staff and volunteer Board of Directors by my side, I am confident we can tackle any and all challenges or issues our industry may face."
The MTA/NJ also held its Sponsor of the Year awards at the annual dinner. The MTA/NJ established this award 11 years ago to show its appreciation and to recognize the leading sponsors and supporters of the association. This year, the MTA/NJ was pleased to be able to award three very deserving companies sponsorship recognition. The Top Sponsor of the Year awards went to: Interlux Yacht Finishes of Union, John B. Wright Insurance with offices in Waretown and Manasquan, and Travelers Ocean Marine of Edison.