Following a concept to form the Alberta Marine Dealers Association (AMDA) for the province's marine industry last winter, an executive committee has since been elected, a membership base developed, and a series of initiatives are currently being addressed.
The initial stages of forming the AMDA began last year during the Edmonton Boat and Sportsmen's Show with strong, positive interest from marine dealers and industry members.
“A year ago, I began working with people in the industry who have been backing the concept of the association,” explained Rob Dawson, AMDA president. “We have been working hard to get members onboard and we have been. When this happens we have to get an executive board up and running.”
Dawson, who is the chair, auto body, marine service and OPET of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology based in Edmonton, AB, explained the association currently has 24 members from Northern and Southern Alberta with membership numbers increasing. The last time Alberta had a marine association was between 1987 to 1992.
With a mandate to address several key initiatives for its members, Dawson told Boating Business that one of the key concerns right now is to reduce operating costs for its membership. The first step is to establish a discounted percentage rate concerning VISA and MasterCard charges from customers.
Dawson also mentioned the association is looking to establish group insurance and developing stronger relations with Discover Boating and the National Marine Manufacturers Association – Canada (NMMA Canada). The AMDA also wants to establish additional insight concerning consumer relations between dealers and customers.
The first executive committee currently consists of vice-president, Tim Martin of Sherwood Marine and Trail Ltd.; treasurer, Thane Tupper of Free Spirit Marine; and secretary Derwyn Repchuk of Western Marine/Godfrey Marine. Directors-at-large include Keith Warren of Calgary Powerboat Services Inc.; Bob McMillan of B&L Marine; Tim Pansiuk of Gibbons Motortoys; Craig Robertson of Cycle Works; and Brian Ingram-Johnson of Mercury Marine.