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New York trade group honored at dealer conference

The Boating Industries Association of Upstate New York was recently honored with the 2014 Bill Ferguson Award, which recognizes outstanding service by a marine trades association to its members and the boating business as a whole.

The award was presented to BIA executive director Barb Caster Nov. 19 during the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo awards breakfast at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Fla.

"This year’s award recipient is an association that’s near and dear to my heart,” Marine Retailers Association of the Americas director of education Liz Walz said in a statement. "BIA may be small in terms of the region it encompasses, but it’s tremendous in terms of the service it provides to its 80-plus members. The group is active in state-level politics, puts on an impressive boat show each year, works tirelessly to promote and advocate for safe boating and goes above and beyond to support member education.”

The trade group puts on one of the largest boat shows in the state of New York, encompassing more than 250,000 square feet of exhibit space and distributing profits from the event among the exhibitors.

The association is active at the state level, with several members serving on the state association’s board and participating in lobbying efforts in the state capital. In terms of education, the group sponsors members to attend the MDCE, hosting a Marine Retail University, and partnering with Sea Grant to offer member training.

The trade association also developed the Discover Clean & Safe Boating campaign in 2008 through yet another partnership with the state’s Sea Grant program.

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