The National Marine Manufacturers Association hosted its convention event Tuesday during the Democratic National Convention, where nearly 125 delegates, members of Congress and attendees participated in educational demonstrations and discussions focused on the importance of recreational boating to the U.S. economy.
“Right now it’s such an important story for our lawmakers to hear and understand,” NMMA public and government relations manager Lauren Dunn told Soundings Trade Only. “We are really trying to drive that message a little bit better and, for us, the conventions were a fantastic place to do that.”
The event, which took place from noon to 3 p.m. at the Peninsula Yacht Club on Lake Norman, N.C., came on the heels of the group’s Republican National Convention event in Tampa last week. Both events were successful, according to the NMMA.
Attendees at the DNC event Tuesday included delegates from Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee, as well as Reps. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., Dunn said.
McIntyre and his staff of five attendees enjoyed boat rides and PWC rides during the event, and several reporters from local and trade media outlets covered the event, noting the economic impact of the recreational boating industry on the U.S. economy.
“We’re one of the few industries that remain that are still American-made and manufactured and that have a positive export impact,” Nicole Vasilaros, the NMMA’s head of state government affairs and organizer of the events, told Soundings Trade Only.
“It was really sort of amazing, for some people, it was really the first time hearing about the boating industry’s impact and for some it was really their first time out on a PWC or jet boat,” Vasilaros added. “Our industry is a bipartisan industry and that’s why we wanted to get to both [conventions]. Despite some of the other issues out there, we have an important story to get out. The boating industry has a $72 billion economic impact. That’s real money that both Republicans and Democrats need to hear about.”
Read more about the NMMA’s outreach to members of Congress in the October issue of Soundings Trade Only.
— Reagan Haynes