MRAA honored for membership campaign

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The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas last week received the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Award of Excellence for its "Shifting From What to Why” campaign.

Shortly after coming on board as MRAA president in 2011, Matt Gruhn embraced the mantra of Simon Sinek’s bestselling book "Start With Why.”

Rather than focusing on what the association needed to do to function and be productive for its members, Gruhn directed his attention toward why the association exists.

Since that time, the MRAA has developed a "why statement” and uses it for all association business.

Through its "Shifting From What to Why” campaign, MRAA set out to increase association membership, gain recognition as a go-to industry resource, improve and enhance the value it offers members, and create relationships among marine retailers and within the marine industry in general.

The MRAA experienced significant growth in its annual dealer educational event — the Marine Dealer Conference and Expo — and increased membership by 203 percent over the past two years.

"Other associations can learn from this shift,” one judge said in a statement. "It shows great initiative and a very positive growth program.”