MATES returning to volunteer structure

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Beginning Jan. 1, the Marine Association for Technology Exchange Standards will return to a volunteer management structure, as the National Marine Manufacturers Association withdraws its staffing support due to its own financial constraints.

John Warnik, an NMMA staffer who served as executive director for MATES, among other duties, was part of the layoffs announced by NMMA last month. MATES board member Eric Johnson said Warnik and other NMMA staff were invaluable in helping MATES accomplish the data standards implemented so far.

“The MATES board of directors thanks the National Marine Manufacturers Association for its support and assistance over the last two years,” Johnson said in a statement.

Although the association has withdrawn its support, NMMA president Thom Dammrich says his group remains committed to the long-term success of MATES.

“The work MATES is doing to streamline communication in the marine industry supply chain is critical to driving efficiencies and cost reduction and so important to keeping boating affordable and marine businesses profitable in the 21st century,” he said in a statement.

MATES chairman George Rogic, senior e-business specialist for Volvo Penta of the Americas, and vice chairman Dan Schuette, Genmar Holdings’ vice president of information systems, will continue their current leadership positions within the organization.

In an effort to increase membership and participation in MATES, the board has voted to suspend its dues and membership structure. During the upcoming year, MATES will define additional changes and begin launching future initiatives as MATES 2.0.

The next MATES general session meeting is scheduled for Dec. 8, at 4 p.m. EST. To join the conference call, call (866) 206-0240 and enter pass code 104900#. For more information on MATES, visit firstmates.org or contact Rogic at (757) 436-2800.

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