MRAA announces partnership renewals

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Soundings Trade Only and Merrick Bank renewed their partner memberships with the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas and Skipper Bud’s renewed its partnership at the retail platinum level — the highest level of membership for marine retailers.

A family-owned and operated business for more than 40 years, Skipper Bud’s is based in Winthrop Harbor, Ill., and has locations in eight states.

“We’re happy to continue our support of the MRAA,” Skipper Bud’s president Mike Pretasky Jr. said in a statement. “It’s a great benefit to be affiliated with so many dealerships throughout the country and to have one entity representing our needs and providing us with benefits and resources that make our businesses stronger.”

Soundings Trade Only is part of the Active Interest Media Marine Group, which also includes titles such as Yachts International, PassageMaker and Soundings.

“Soundings Trade Only is a leading source for up-to-date news and information about the marine industry, and we’re thrilled to partner with them to advance the opportunities we provide the industry,” MRAA president Matt Gruhn said in a statement. “In addition to their support of the association and the work we do on a daily basis, Trade Only stepped up its support of our annual conference, the Marine Dealer Conference and Expo, helping to expand the potential of this event and attracting new attendees.”

Founded in 1997, Merrick Bank is a top-25 issuer of Visa and an authorized issuer of MasterCard credit cards. It provides finance options to marine and RV dealers throughout the United States and specializes in credit programs that assist consumers looking to establish or rebuild their credit rating.

“At Merrick Bank we strive to provide financing for customers who have experienced past credit problems,” Merrick vice president Scott Anderson said in a statement. “We work with thousands of marine dealers who carry a new product line, as well as approved financial service providers. Merrick Bank brings unsurpassed experience and stability to the non-prime recreational lending market, and we believe we can help drive marine industry success by providing greater access to financing.”