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MRAA reports member benefits and hires education specialist

The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas released its annual report this week and has added an education specialist to its staff.

The association reported nearly half a million dollars in member benefits in 2017, which is an increase of $75,000 in member benefits over last year.

“MRAA is dedicated to providing dealers with the resources needed to compete in an ever-changing, more complex and demanding marketplace,” said Joe Lewis, MRAA board of directors chairman, in a statement. “The continued growth of our program benefits and the new products and services our staff has introduced demonstrate that we are delivering on that promise.”

The MRAA offers more than 20 benefits that members have access to. AquaPac paid out $52,813 to MRAA members in 2017. They also received $49,435 in discounts to the association’s annual Marine Dealer Conference & Expo. Other benefits provided significant savings and dividends for MRAA’s membership.

With the addition of a new nationwide medical insurance program, MRAA Health, the association expects the value of MRAA membership to increase. MRAA says members are saving $1,600 per employee per year.

In other news, the MRAA has named Liz Keener education specialist.

Keener has been involved in the boating industry for more than seven years, attending her first Marine Dealer Conference & Expo in 2010. Most recently she served as the communications and digital services specialist at Frederikson & Byron, P.A. and she previously was the senior editor at Boating Industry magazine and sister publication Powersports Business.

“Liz has hit the ground running here and already proven a valuable asset to the MRAA team,” said Matt Gruhn, MRAA president, in a statement. “Her background in the marine industry has prepared her for this new position. She understands the pain points that boat retailers face and has the passion necessary to craft educational programming that will help lead our members to greater success.”

Building education for the MRAA member base and industry will be a big part of Keener’s position. She will work with MRAA vice president and director of education Liz Walz to develop in-person education for MRAA’s annual conference and online courses for the Marine Industry Certified Dealer Continuous Certification Program. Keener will also be instrumental in the implementation of future educational opportunities MRAA is exploring.

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