Josh Linkner named MDCE 2016 Opening Keynote speaker

Organizers of the 2016 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo have announced New York Times best-selling author and serial entrepreneur Josh Linkner will deliver the Opening Keynote, titled “The Gravity-Defying Leader: Innovative Approaches to Hyper-Growth Leadership.”

Linkner, who has invested in and mentored over 100 startups, will speak to more than 1,000 marine dealers, manufacturers and service providers from throughout North America and beyond at 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6, during the 2016 MDCE in Orlando.

“We’re packing more education and networking into this year’s event than ever before, and that will kick off with this Opening Keynote presentation,” said MRAA Vice President Liz Walz. “Not only are we moving it to earlier in the day so that we can fit all our new offerings into the schedule, but we’ve also chosen a speaker who is uniquely qualified to give marine retailers the tools to innovate and grow in today’s market. This keynote, with its focus on retail innovation, will be like none we offered before at MDCE.”

Linkner has founded four different tech companes, which sold for a combined $200 million, and has twice been named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Linkner also received the Barack Obama Champion of Change Award, which honors entrepreneurs winning the future by starting U.S. businesses that create jobs, wealth and opportunities.

“Having a chance to speak to the marine retail community will be a real treat for me,” Linkner said. “The boating sector plays an important role in driving economic success, and I’m looking forward to sharing strategies for innovation that these business owners can use to adapt to the fast changing market and lead their team to hyper-growth.”

MDCE, hosted jointly by Boating Industry magazine and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, attracted a total of 1,147 marine industry professionals in 2015 – one of its largest audiences to date. Building on that momentum, early retail registrations for the 2016 conference have already set a new record. This, coupled with its December 5-8 date range, which is three weeks later than the event’s traditional time frame, puts MDCE 2016 on track to see the highest attendance to date.

“MDCE sponsorships and exhibitor space are also moving at a record pace,” said Jonathan Sweet, editor-in-chief of Boating Industry. “In today’s business environment, manufacturers and suppliers who develop a genuine connection with the marine retail community have a real advantage over the competition, and MDCE is an ideal environment for building those relationships.”

Dealers who register for MDCE 2016 before the September Early Bird Deadline save $25 off standard rates; MRAA members save an additional $75. Learn more and register at

About the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo
The marine industry’s only dealer-specific educational conference, MDCE offers an in-depth lineup of educational topics, a full-featured expo hall and a series of fixed networking opportunities, all of which are designed to help marine dealers connect with and learn from others who can foster their success. MDCE is co-produced by MRAA and Boating Industry, and it features Educational Tracks, Pre-Conference Workshops, three Keynote Presentations, Dealer-to-Dealer Roundtable Discussions, and a Learning Lab. The 2016 event will take place Dec. 5-8 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, with the Rosen Centre as the Host Hotel. For more information, visit

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