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MDCE names closing keynote speaker

The Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, set for Dec. 5-8 in Orlando, Fla., has named Sam Dantzler of Sam’s Watersports Dock and Garage Composites as its closing keynote speaker.

Dantzler says marine retailers need to adapt to a radical transformation taking place in their employees, customers and retailing itself.

“When you look at the recent sales growth, it’s easy to be fooled into thinking you can keep doing things the same way,” Dantzler said in a statement. “But it’s simply not true. I’m honored to be able to issue a call for change and share strategies for grabbing more than their fair share of today’s rebounding boat market with attendees as this year’s closing keynote speaker.”

A veteran MDCE presenter who has received some of the conference’s highest ratings, Dantzler is a dealership consultant who moderates several 20 Groups and is the founder of Sam’s Watersports Dock — a virtual training portal for marine retailers.

His keynote address is titled “Change: It’s the Only Option” and is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 8.

“One of the dangers of growth is a tendency for leaders to work more in the business and less on the business,” said Liz Walz, vice president of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas.

“That makes it harder to stay on top of and adapt to changes in our market, which is critical to long-term success. MDCE will provide the strategies retailers need to get back on track, and Sam’s closing keynote presentation will be the perfect way to tie it all together, providing a final set of tools attendees can use to lead their teams and dealerships to outstanding results.”

MDCE, hosted jointly by Boating Industry magazine and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, attracted 1,147 marine industry professionals in 2015 — one of its largest audiences to date.

Building on that momentum, early retail registrations for the 2016 conference have set a new record.

“Decisions like this one are a direct result of listening to our audience,” Jonathan Sweet, editor-in-chief of Boating Industry, said of Dantzler’s closing keynote. “Dealers have told us time and time again that Sam’s presentations are the highlight of their MDCE education, so we’re thrilled to be able to share his insight with our entire audience during this closing keynote presentation.”

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