The Virginia Association of Marine Industries and the Tidewater Marine Trades Association have formed a new statewide non-profit corporation called the Virginia Marine Trades Association.
"With more than 253,500 watercraft registered in the commonwealth, boating and other activities related to Virginia's waterways are a significant part of our state's heritage - and our economy," said association president Mike Hanna, of Dare Marina & Yacht Sales in Yorktown, in a statement. "VMTA seeks to promote, as well as protect, all of the different businesses involved in recreational boating."
The association's inaugural meeting was held Dec. 9 at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester, where attendees developed a membership dues schedule and elected a board of directors
"By having one voice, our industry can be extremely effective in initiating a positive framework in all aspects of marine trades and the boating public," VMTA secretary/treasurer Carolyn Norton Schmalenberger of Norton Yachts in Deltaville said in a statement.
The association plans to meet monthly in 2011 to ensure that the new association gets off to a strong start. It expects to hold an annual meeting next fall.
A membership application is posted at the group's website and members joining now will be considered paid in full for the next 18 months through June 30, 2012.