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Michigan trade group president announces retirement

Van W. Snider Jr. is retiring Tuesday as president of the Michigan Boating Industries Association after more than 20 years with the group. John Ropp was named the association's new president.

Snider joined the Michigan group in August 1990 after serving about eight years as executive director of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida. Prior to 28 years of management of two major marine trade associations, Snider managed a boat dealership and marina in Ohio.

After receiving a degree from Ohio University in 1968, Snider was commissioned in the Army and served as an armor officer on Okinawa, Japan. While in Florida, he received a master's in business administration from Novi Southeastern University at Fort Lauderdale-Davie and became a certified association executive.

During his tenure at the MBIA, the association expanded its member benefits and increased the number of boat shows produced by the statewide association from one to three - the Detroit Boat Show; the Spring Boating Expo in Novi, Mich.; and the Boating & Outdoor Festival in Harrison Township, Michigan.

Snider has been recognized for leadership and accomplishments by several organizations. He is an honorary alumnus of Michigan State University and he received the Michigan Society of Association Executives' Strategic Leader Award. He recently was inducted into that group's Hall of Fame and will be inducted Thursday into the MBIA Hall of Fame at the Recreational Boating Educational Conference in Midland, Mich.

In addition, Michigan Sea Grant created an award given to him to recognize his collaborative efforts with Sea Grant. It is now called the Van Snider Award.

Snider plans to stay in Michigan with his family and remain active in boating.

"Boating remains a passion for me and my family and this industry will always be in my blood," he said in a statement. "I've made so many good friends and contacts across the country. I'm hoping to stay involved at some level to offer my expertise where needed and time when available."

Ropp joins the MBIA from Albion-Homer United Way, where he served four years as the executive director. He has more than 10 years of professional experience in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors and is recognized as a leader, convener and collaborator.

"I look forward to John's leadership and wisdom for the future of MBIA and Michigan's recreational boating industry," Snider said. "His professionalism and skills will move MBIA strategically into the future and help to advance MBIA's outreach programs, including Boater's Association of Michigan, Recreational Boating Industries Educational Foundation and Michigan Clean Marina Foundation."

Ropp has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Olivet College in Olivet, Mich., and a master's degree in organizational management from Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor, Mich. He also holds a certificate in Fund Raising Management from the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Ropp will be introduced to the marine industry Thursday at the MBIA annual meeting and Recreational Boating Education Conference.

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