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MRAA undergoes name change

The Marine Retailers Association of America changed its name to the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, signifying an expanding focus on the North American dealer body.

The name change is accompanied by an expansion of the group’s board of directors, which now represents 11 regions, including Canada. Paul Nickel, president of Pride Marine Group in Bracebridge, Ontario, was appointed to represent the newly created region.

“These two seemingly small moves signify a big change for the association,” MRAA president Matt Gruhn said in a statement. “As we look to create a greater, more unified voice for marine dealers, we are focused on inviting more marine retailers from Canada into the association. This will provide them access to many of the outstanding benefits that the MRAA offers, and it will provide all of our membership better connectivity with other leading dealers.”

The association has a handful of Canadian members and saw some additional Canadian registrations at the recent Marine Dealer Conference & Expo.

“As we explore greater exposure for MRAA, I believe Canadian dealers will quickly realize the opportunities available to them through MRAA membership,” Nickel said in a statement.

The MRAA also announced a new membership pricng policy and MRAA Rewards, a completely revamped membership structure and a new benefits package.

Effective with November renewals, MRAA membership is now $300 for any dealer.

“Our research and conversations with members suggested that our tiered pricing structure was confusing and likely prevented dealers from becoming members,” Gruhn said. “We believe this new approach will simplify membership and will make it easier to identify the value that dealers receive through MRAA membership.”

The new MRAA Rewards program doubles the number of benefits members receive. New benefits include discounted, customizable marketing opportunities; boat and yacht consumer insurance programs; market penetration reports; an MRAA-certified program for used and serviced engines; and a new credit card processing program.

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