Plenty of topics on the agenda for ACMA meeting

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State and regional marine trade association executives from around the country will gather in Orlando for the annual meeting of the Advisory Council of Marine Associations on Dec. 11.

ACMA provides vital federal and state legislative and regulatory policy direction to the board of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas. The meeting is traditionally held during the Marine Dealer Conference and Expo, which runs from Dec. 10-13 this year.

“The agenda will be loaded with wide-ranging issues this time around,” says ACMA chairman George Harris, president of the Northwest Marine Trade Association. “On one hand we’ll be looking over some early successes, like the impact of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable and efforts to expand recreational boating and fishing access on public lands.

“On the other hand, we expect we’ll be analyzing the current tax reform battles in the House and Senate that will likely still be on the front burner,” Harris adds. “Issues like the estate tax, something we’ve fought to see ended for years now, as well as corporate tax reductions, the future of allowable deductions and a lot more will be up for discussion.”

The congressional lobbyist for the National Marine Manufacturers Association, Michael Pasko, will also be on hand to brief attendees on the latest budget negotiations, as well as exciting new collaborative efforts with the federal Department of the Interior.

Among other issues, Will Higgins, the MRAA’s public policy manager, will lead a discussion on what may be the industry’s single biggest one, workforce development programs and initiatives, such as an education partnership/workforce development program being undertaken by NMTA. Indeed, workforce issues will also be a prime subject at the MDCE, which this year boasts more than 30 educational sessions, keynoter presentations, dealer networking opportunities and a record number of exhibits.

Lastly, state and regional MTAs will report on legislative and regulatory issues. ACMA provides two ways to participate. A call-in to the meeting will be available for those not in Orlando. Either way, MTA executives planning to attend or call in are requested to RSVP to

Moreover, if you have any questions about ACMA, or any agenda items, you’re invited to contact Will Higgins,


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