MRAA launches lifetime achievement award

The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas announced that it is launching a lifetime achievement award to recognize and promote marine retail professionals who have made fundamental, significant and sustained contributions to the marine industry.

To be presented on Dec. 10, on the opening night of the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, the inaugural MRAA Lifetime Achievement Award was created to pay tribute to marine retail leaders who have worked most of their career in the marine industry; made a positive impact on the marine industry and community; obtained recognition from other industry or business groups; exhibited business, community and industry leadership; and earned the respect of their peers.

“We expect the MRAA Lifetime Achievement Award to quickly become the most sought-after recognition that MRAA offers,” said Matt Gruhn, president of MRAA. “With a nod to our association’s 45-year history, and particularly at a time when we will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of MRAA’s first annual conference, now is the perfect time for us to shine a spotlight on those individuals who have emerged as marine retail leaders.”

Nominations for the MRAA Lifetime Achievement Award may be submitted by anyone, including self-nominations. Nominations may not be made anonymously, as the burden of offering evidence of merit falls on the nominator. Those nominations should include the nominee’s resume and/or career summary; a comprehensive description of the nominee’s major contributions to marine retailing, with supporting documentation; and at least three letters of endorsement, providing further evidence of the significance and magnitude of the nominee’s professional achievements.

Anyone who lives up to these criteria is eligible for consideration, although individuals selected for this award should normally be in or near their retirement. The award may be received posthumously.

“This honor will recognize historic contributions to our great industry,” Gruhn said. “We’re seeking to identify the individuals who have helped to shape marine retailing as we know it today and to hold them up as inspirational examples to be emulated.”

Selection of the recipient will be made on the basis of the nominee’s contributions to the industry; the lasting impact of those contributions; and the demonstration of a lifetime commitment to the business of selling and/or servicing boats, and the delivery of an outstanding boating lifestyle to consumers.

More information can be found on the MRAA site. Nominations can be sent to Matt Gruhn, 8401 73rd Ave. N, Ste. 71; Minneapolis, MN 55428; or via email at

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