The Marine Dealer Conference & Expo is the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas’ annual conference and member meeting. The MDCE is the marine industry’s only dealer-specific educational conference; the fall event offers educational topics, an expo hall and networking opportunities.

Canadian dealer honored for customer outreach

Bob Pappajohn of M&P Mercury Sales won an award for Best Idea of the Year at the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, which took place this week in Orlando, Fla. Pappajohn’s dealership in Burnaby, British Columbia, won for its efforts to sell to non-traditional boater populations. They included an outreach to the Chinese community through…more

MDCE 2012: Award winners honored at ceremony

Debbie Meigs received the Darlene Briggs Marine Woman of the Year Award at the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas lunch and awards ceremony Wednesday sponsored by Regal Marine at the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo. Meigs, who has worked in Cobalt Boats’ customer service department for 26 years, said she teared up when she…more

MDCE 2012: Panel urges ‘backbone’ to fight regulations

The marine industry needs to come together to lobby Congress and fight regulations that are adding costs to the price of boats without adding value for the consumer, and builders might even consider lawsuits to counter some of the regulations that already have been enacted. That was the message from four industry giants who sat…more

MDCE 2012: Demographic trend could boost industry

Four industry giants think the changing demographics in the United States are creating a huge opportunity for the marine industry. “The demographic trends in the United States don’t really concern us. We see that as an upside for us,” Yamaha Marine Group president Ben Speciale said during a leaders panel at the Marine Dealer Conference…more

MDCE 2012: Certification program honors dealers

Marine Five Star Dealer Certification, one of the core elements of the Grow Boating initiative, announced on Wednesday the recipients of two new awards to honor certified marine dealerships for best practices and for being the best places to work. Dealers received their awards at the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla. They…more

MDCE 2012: Builders sign dealers while at conference

Several boatbuilders attending the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla., this week said they were successful finding and signing new dealers to fill gaps in distribution. John Dorton of Bryant Boats told Soundings Trade Only that by day’s end Tuesday it had seven new prospects. “We’ve had a lot of interest,” Ron Bibee,…more

MDCE 2012: Discover Boating joins with marina initiative

Welcome to the Water is coming to National Marina Day. Discover Boating is joining the initiative, launched years ago by the Association of Marina Industries, that had primarily been a celebration of marinas, Discover Boating vice president of marketing Carl Blackwell said at the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, which wraps up today in Orlando,…more

MDCE 2012: Demographics will determine industry’s future

Socioeconomic strides must be made if the growing minority populations will get into boating. That was the message Steve Murdock, former director of the U.S. Census Bureau and a sociology professor at Rice University, delivered during a seminar at the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, which wraps up today in Orlando, Fla. “There’s no coming…more

MDCE 2012: MRAA president addresses young industry leaders

By 2015, Generation Y will outnumber the baby boomers — a population that sees 10,000 people retire each day. That’s according to Marine Retailers Association of the Americas president Matt Gruhn, who spoke to a crowd of about 100 Tuesday night at the opening event of the Young Professionals Community at the Marine Dealer Conference…more

MDCE 2012 VIDEO: Interview with keynote speaker

Trade Only senior reporter Chris Landry caught up with the keynote speaker of the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo — motivational speaker, trainer and author Robert Stevenson — moments before he took the stage and delivered his message to an audience of 650. Click play for the interview with Stevenson. Stevenson, 60, of Clearwater, Fla.,…more

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