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MRAA assumes control of Wisconsin group

The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas is taking over management of the Wisconsin Marine Association.

The Wisconsin Marine Association, now based in Minneapolis, is a 4-year-old marine trades association that serves the state of Wisconsin, the MRAA said. It was managed primarily as a marina association for most of its existence, but it recently changed its focus to serve more of the broader marine industry, including dealers, manufacturers and suppliers. The association has maintained some part-time assistance over the years, but for the most part had been managed by volunteer members.

The MRAA took a similar step last year by taking on the management of the North Central Marine Association, which is based in Minneapolis and serves Minnesota and businesses from neighboring states. Since that time, activity within the association has been increasing. It has held a golf tournament and a member meeting, and most recently it hosted a Marine Retail University that drew more than 70 people.

"We are honored to be selected to manage the WMA,” MRAA president and newly named Wisconsin Marine Association director Matt Gruhn said in a statement. "We are proud to say that our management of the NCMA, which began in mid-2012, has been a success, and with the businesses of Wisconsin and Minnesota sharing so many traits, this is a logical step for MRAA. We’re just happy to be able to help the Wisconsin association strengthen its footprint in the market.”

The MRAA will manage the Wisconsin Marine Association’s administrative functions and bookkeeping responsibilities, in addition to taking on full responsibility for the WMA’s marketing and legislative efforts and membership growth. The MRAA will also organize and execute WMA events.

"This is a great opportunity for WMA to take the next step in its evolution,” Jon Kukuk, Wisconsin Marine Association chairman and board president of Nestegg Marine in Marinette, Wis., said in a statement. "We’ve watched closely as the MRAA and NCMA relationship developed, and we believe that this is a perfect partnership for us to strengthen the WMA.”

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