Boating Industry

July 2016

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INDUSTRY NEWS 10 | Boating Industry | July 2016 company's former bowling operations, before joining Harris/Cypress Cay. Valdes has been managing director–Bra- zil since 2011. He joined Brunswick in 2003, initially directing sourcing activities in Latin America. In 2009, Valdes became director of business development for Latin America. Canadian marine industry advocates to new parliament Stakeholders from across the Canadian recre- ational boating industry joined forces in May to meet with parliamentarians in the fourth annual Canadian Recreational Boating Indus- try Day on the Hill. Led by NMMA Canada, the delegation included representatives from regional ma- rine trade associations such as the Atlantic Marine Trade Association, the Association Maritime du Quebec, Boating Ontario, the Mid-Canada Marine and Powersports Deal- ers Association and Boating BC. Represent- ing more than 4,400 companies and 67,000 jobs, the delegation engaged policy makers on wide variety of issues important to Can- ada's recreational boating sector, including access to water, reducing trade barriers, in- vestment in infrastructure and support for tourism marketing efforts. "The Canadian Recreational Boating Industry Day on the Hill provides a unique opportunity to directly educate policy mak- ers on the signifi cant socio-economic impact of recreational boating," said Sara Anghel, NMMA Canada executive director/vice president government relations. "The GDP impact of recreational boating is $5 billion and represents more than $8.9 billion in total revenues. Its economic impact is signifi cant." April MDCE registrations break record Organizers of marine retailers' premier an- nual educational event report they have once again seen strong demand for the year's best registration prices, announcing a record num- ber of dealer sign-ups at April rates. A total of 169 retailers registered for the 2016 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo dur- ing the month of April, two more than the high water mark set last year. "While this record was broken by a rela- tively slim margin," MRAA Vice President Liz Walz said, "it is particularly noteworthy because the industry is experiencing one of the busiest spring seasons in recent years — and because the event takes place in De- cember, three weeks later than its traditional November time frame." The 2016 Marine Dealer Conference & Expo, produced jointly by the MRAA and Boating Industry magazine, will take place Dec. 5-8 in Orlando. MarineMax acquires Russo Marine MarineMax has made a signifi cant expansion into the Northeast with the acquisition of one of the region's largest dealers, Russo Marine. Russo has been a member of the Boating Industry Top 100 since the program's incep- tion, ranking No. 14 on the 2015 list. Marine- Max is a two-time Top 100 Dealer of the Year and member of the Top 100 Hall of Fame. Now in its third generation, Russo Marine operates from four sales and service facilities serving Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The Russo family will continue to run the day-to-day operations of the business. "This is an opportunity for the Russo fam- ily to grow our business in a dynamic and dramatic way, with greater market territory, access to more brands and the tremendous array of services and resources that Marine- Max brings to the marketplace," Russo Marine President & CEO Larry Russo Sr. said. "This is all good news for the Russo family. We're energized, we're excited. This is a step forward in the evolution of a marine dealership." Industry mourns Richard Strickler Richard M. Strickler, a strong marine indus- try advocate largely credited with driving the Grow Boating Campaign, died on Apr. 14, in Franklin, Tenn. He was 71. Strickler retired as executive vice president of the marine division of GE Commercial Finance's Distribution Finance Unit in 2005. Strickler was a 32-year company veteran and a recognized industry fi nancing leader, spending most of his career in the Chicago area. Bruce Van Wagoner, president of the Wells Fargo CDF Marine Group (formerly GE Capital's Commercial Distribution Fi- nance), mourned the passing of a longtime colleague and friend. "Richard and I competed in business for many years before a merger brought us to- gether under the GE Capital banner. He was a giant of a man in both stature and integrity," Van Wagoner said to Boating Industry. "I am proud to have called him a friend." Jeff Ellis named manager for MarineMax Georgia stores MarineMax announced that Jeff Ellis has joined the MarineMax team as store manager for both MarineMax Cumming and MarineMax Buford. Ellis spent 28 years with Sea Ray, becom- ing vice president for Sport Yacht and Yacht Sales, followed by nine years with Chris Craft as vice president of sales and marketing. "I am excited and pleased to be leading both teams in the beautiful Lake Lanier area," said Ellis. "In addition to offering the fabu- lous Sea Rays and Boston Whalers we also offer top-brands such as Nautique, Scarab Jet Boats, Crest Pontoons, Supreme Towboats and Azimut Yachts." Continued from page 9 Boating Industry .com For more Industry News, visit

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