MRAA names next president

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The Marine Retailers Association of America named Matt Gruhn the next president of the organization. He will succeed Phil Keeter, who is retiring at the end of 2011.

“We went through a very extensive process,” MRAA chairman Dave Foulkrod told Soundings Trade Only this morning. The association received more than 90 résumés.

“[Gruhn] was very professional in his presentations and he had follow-through from the process, some pretty impressive follow-through,” Foulkrod added. “He does have marine industry experience, knowledge and background. He has experience in working with large groups of people, working with committees, developing processes and getting things done. He has public speaking experience. He has a lot of technical competency in terms of new technology.”

As group publisher overseeing Affinity Media’s trade group – Boating Industry and Powersports Business magazines and their ancillary products – Gruhn was instrumental in implementing and executing Boating Industry’s Top 100 Dealers Program and the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo.

A 14-year veteran of the marine industry, Gruhn has spent the last eight years at the helm of Boating Industry.

“I’m extremely honored to be selected as the next MRAA president,” Gruhn said in a statement. “Having worked with boat dealers so closely over the years I really believe this position is a natural fit for my passion, and I’m excited to begin ramping up all that the MRAA has to offer today’s dealers.”

Gruhn will retain his role at Boating Industry for the next several months and will begin phasing into the president’s position at about the start of the fourth quarter of 2011, working alongside Keeter.

Keeter was one of 12 founding dealer members of the MRAA in 1972. He served on the group’s board from 1972 through 1982 and was named president of the association in February 1988.


10 comments on “MRAA names next president

  1. Don MacKenzie

    Congratulations Matt! What a wonderful choice by MRAA! Your only flaw, you are a Yankee fan (knew you wouldn’t expose that in your resume’). Regardless, this should still prove to be a Homerun for all involved. Welcome Aboard!

  2. sw

    What is his background in the marine industry? Publishing a trade magazine seems more like a back ground in publishing.

  3. Sherry Jackson

    Just a quick Congratulations to Matt! From my past dealings with Matt, I think he will be a great President for the MRAA.

  4. Jerry Brouwer

    Congratulations to Matt! Matt is certainly a person with vision, a passion for excellence and a desire to move our industry forward. He has displayed leadership ability’s and the attributes needed to be the next leader the MRAA needs.

  5. Charles Plueddeman

    Congrats, Matt. He’s a good man who has really applied himself to become an expert at the retail side of the business. Hope he still has time for musky fishing!

  6. Mike Garner

    Congratulations Matt, we all welcome your passion you’ve shown for the marine industry in the past years, looking forward for what you’ll bring for the future.

  7. Julie Crowe

    I cannot think of a more qualified person for this job. What a blessing
    for the marine industry.

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