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Michigan marine conference draws large crowd

More than 120 marine professionals gathered Dec. 4-5 in Lansing, Mich., for the annual Recreational Boating Educational Conference, giving attendance a 20 percent boost from the previous year.

“We attribute the success and growth to our rebounding industry in Michigan and the great lineup of speakers and sponsors contributing to the event,” Michigan Boating Industries Association executive director Nicki Polan said in a statement.

“MBIA had several legislative victories to celebrate with our members this year and it was great to see such a big turnout of industry colleagues. The conference was educational and attendees left with useful information and new skills to take back to their businesses,” said MBIA chairman Jim Coburn, of Coburn & Associates LLC.

The meeting is the only conference dedicated to Michigan’s marine industry, which has a $7.4 billion economic impact on the state of Michigan. Boat dealers, marina operators, harbor masters, retailers and service providers attend each year for the educational and networking value conference offers.

“It was the best RBEC we have attended in the last 10 years,” said Chuck Shults, vice president of association member Alliance Sales for Veracity Payment Solutions. “The venue was great, the organization was top-notch and the MBIA really did a great job of driving members to the exhibit tables. Nearly every attendee had genuine interest in learning about our services.”

The 2014 conference is set for Dec. 3-4 at a location to be determined.

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