MRAA names next president

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The Marine Retailers Association of America named Matt Gruhn the next president of the organization. He will succeed Phil Keeter, who is retiring at the end of 2011.

"We went through a very extensive process," MRAA chairman Dave Foulkrod told Soundings Trade Only this morning. The association received more than 90 résumés.

"[Gruhn] was very professional in his presentations and he had follow-through from the process, some pretty impressive follow-through," Foulkrod added. "He does have marine industry experience, knowledge and background. He has experience in working with large groups of people, working with committees, developing processes and getting things done. He has public speaking experience. He has a lot of technical competency in terms of new technology."

As group publisher overseeing Affinity Media's trade group - Boating Industry and Powersports Business magazines and their ancillary products - Gruhn was instrumental in implementing and executing Boating Industry's Top 100 Dealers Program and the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo.

A 14-year veteran of the marine industry, Gruhn has spent the last eight years at the helm of Boating Industry.

"I'm extremely honored to be selected as the next MRAA president," Gruhn said in a statement. "Having worked with boat dealers so closely over the years I really believe this position is a natural fit for my passion, and I'm excited to begin ramping up all that the MRAA has to offer today's dealers."

Gruhn will retain his role at Boating Industry for the next several months and will begin phasing into the president's position at about the start of the fourth quarter of 2011, working alongside Keeter.

Keeter was one of 12 founding dealer members of the MRAA in 1972. He served on the group's board from 1972 through 1982 and was named president of the association in February 1988.

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