Massachusetts trade group honors lawmakers

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The Massachusetts Marine Trades Association honored two lawmakers with the 2012 Legislator of the Year Award.

State Reps. Dan Winslow and Susan Williams Gifford, both Republicans, were honored at a recent Business of Boating in Massachusetts and Marine Retail University professional development conference in Brockton, Mass.

“It’s nice to have friends in the right places and, I’ve got to say, it’s not without working at it,” MMTA past president Ed Lofgren said at last week’s event as he announced the awards.

Cape Cod-based Bay Sails Marine owner Lyle Butts accepted the award for Winslow. Butts recounted telling Winslow about the hassles he had encountered with boat trailer license plates.

“I have had to spend literally hours on the phone over the last 25 years with state police, the Department of Transportation and everyone else,” Butts told the audience of more than 100.

Thinking he’d never hear back from the lawmaker, Butts forgot about the conversation.

“But four months later, I got a phone call: ‘Hey Lyle, I just got this through the House. Get your people out,’ ” Butts said.

“Dan is very appreciative of this,” Butts added.

Gifford’s award was presented by MMTA President Tim Moll of Brewer Plymouth Marine and accepted by legislative aide Heather Leosz on Gifford’s behalf.

“I am honored to receive this recognition, particularly since the recreational boating industry is very important to my district and is largely comprised of small family-run businesses struggling to stay the course despite being sandwiched between the two boat tax-free states of Rhode Island and New Hampshire,” Gifford said in a statement.

Click here for the full release on Winslow.

Click here for the full release on Gifford.

— Reagan Haynes

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