NMMA announces changes, cuts amidst COVID-19 crisis

On Wednesday a letter went out to all NMMA members from their president, Frank Hugelmeyer, detailing changes and cuts they have made in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“While unfortunate, these difficult decisions were made to ensure the association is weathered against this global crisis and comes out stronger and more effective on the other side,” said Hugelmeyer. “With these changes, I am confident that NMMA will continue to deliver for the industry on all fronts, including helping our members navigate the government response to this situation and serving our consumer base when so many are seeking an escape. And as life begins to return to normal and more Americans look to get outdoors, the recreational boating industry stands ready to answer the call and get boaters back out on the water.”

Here is the letter that was sent out.

Dear NMMA Member,
I hope you and your family are well and remaining healthy. Over the past month, the NMMA team has been working closely with many of you to understand the impact COVID-19 is having on your business. Like nearly every industry across the globe, we’ve been placed in one of the most uncertain and complex environments of our time.

Given this uncertainty, NMMA has deployed a comprehensive COVID-19 response strategy with a focus on the well-being of our team and the long-term financial health of your association. This approach is guiding our actions as we work together to navigate the crisis and continue serving your business, each and every one of our members, and the greater recreational boating community.

To date, we’ve deployed the following actions to support your association and the team you depend on:
• My compensation has been temporarily reduced by 40 percent. In addition, we have implemented a significant temporary reduction in compensation and benefits for the Executive Leadership Team.
• The NMMA team, excluding the President, Executive Leadership Team, and key operational employees, have temporarily been moved to a three-day work week with reduced pay. The team has been structured to ensure we continue providing essential member services spanning advocacy, business intelligence, certification, market development across our shows, and marketing and communications.
• We made the difficult decision to let go of 23 members of our team. Since joining NMMA I learned quickly that we have one of the best and brightest teams I’ve come across in my career. The decision to part with these employees was not made lightly as all of them contributed greatly to your association.
• NMMA’s export development program was discontinued to allow for a more streamlined focus on international advocacy and outreach led by our DC-based advocacy team with support from our team in Canada. As part of this transition, our show team will oversee NMMA’s presence at international boat shows and events such as METSTRADE.
• In accordance with local government guidelines, the NMMA team has been working remotely since the second week of March. This transition was completed seamlessly with remote access and technology, ensuring the team’s ongoing collaboration and service.
• We created a Task Force led by our advocacy and marketing communications teams. The Task Force provides essential daily news and information for members and stakeholders while helping to secure critical government funding and support for our industry. Ongoing webinars, consultations, and resources, can be accessed at NMMA.org/coronavirus or by emailing TaskForce@nmma.org
• Our COVID-19 response strategy streamlines our workflow for the foreseeable future around our industry’s most essential advocacy and market development efforts. This includes an aggressive advocacy offensive to protect recreational boating and the experiences beloved by millions of American boaters; robust business intelligence to help you make the most informed decisions possible; product certification to ensure safety compliance; communications that ensure a united industry voice; and boat shows, sales, and marketing opportunities that best position our industry once the global crisis is over.

Throughout NMMA’s history, we’ve successfully navigated some of the most trying times in our industry and have emerged a stronger, more nimble association to propel recreational boating into the future. The steps we’ve taken allow us to do this once again, ensuring we’re not only protecting and supporting your business through this crisis but that we come out together on the other side as an industry that’s positioned to thrive and better connect our consumers with their love of being on the water.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions. You can also contact a member of the Task Force for support as you navigate this trying time.

All my best,
Frank Hugelmeyer
National Marine Manufacturers Association


  1. Yes. We all are making plans for now and the future for a new and different business environment. I would ask today, will we be back to doing a large boat show in the Jacobs Center next January? What can we do that’s is different. Could NMMA orchestrate a digital boat show?

  2. great job Frank.. we are ALL in this togeather

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