The Marine Trades Association of New Jersey Elects its 2024-2025 Officers and Directors and Presents Sponsor and Hall of Fame Awards

Brielle, NJ – On April 18th 2024, the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ) held its Annual Dinner & Elections at The Lobster Shanty in Point Pleasant Beach and elected its 2024-2025 Officers & Directors. The Association also presented three Top Sponsor Awards and inducted two honorees into the MTA/NJ Hall of Fame.

Colleen Blake of All Points Marina in Point Pleasant Beach will continue as President of the Association. Brian Houf of MESCO in Thorofare resumes the position of First Vice President, and Jerry Bench of Win-Tron Electronics in Manasquan will continue as Second Vice President. Ed Harrison, III of Baywood Marina in Brick remains the Treasurer and Raymond Bogan of Sinn, Cantoli, Bogan, & Steuerman in Point Pleasant Beach continues as Secretary. Greg Wright of John B. Wright Insurance Agency in Manasquan will continue to serve on the board as Immediate Past President.

The following directors were re-elected to serve another two-year term: Lou Cecchini of Off Shore Marine in Branchville, Aaron Held of Octopus Yachts: Marine Electrical Systems in Wall, Eric Traber of Pier 47 Marina in Wildwood, Eliot Walters of Dillon’s Creek Marina in Island Heights. Mark Cassidy of Cassidy’s Breton Woods Marina in Brick, Karen Gruppuso of Coastal Environmental Consulting in Toms River, Tom Micai of Margarita Yacht Sales in Waretown, Debbie Mooers of Grassy Sound Marina in North Wildwood, and Pat Salinas of Morgan Marina in Parlin will continue their terms as directors.

The active Past Presidents that will continue to serve on the Board include Fred Brueggemann, Jim Cerruti, Don Ditzel of Comstock Yacht Sales & Marina in Brick, Ed Harrison, Jr. of Baywood Marina in Brick, Tom Leaming of Leamings Marina in Waretown, Paul Terzian of Causeway Marine Sales in Manahawkin, and Rick Traber of Pier 47 Marina in Wildwood.

"As I reflect on my time serving as President of the MTA/NJ over the past year, I am filled with a sense of pride and gratitude for the progress we made together,” stated Colleen Blake, MTA/NJ President as she addressed the crowd. “Our board meetings have been a hub of activity, with agendas brimming with a multitude of topics and pressing issues at hand. From discussing industry trends to addressing regulatory challenges, we have worked hard to ensure that the interests of our members are well represented and protected."

MTA/NJ Members also heard from the association’s lobbyist, Rob Nixon of State House Strategies. Rob provided a legislative update featuring insights into the latest developments within our government. “Rob’s strategic counsel and tireless advocacy has not only protected our interests but has also paved the way for new opportunities and advancements,” stated Executive Director Melissa Danko. “But beyond his impressive track record of legislative victories and policy achievements, Rob is a true advocate for our industry in every sense of the word.”

The MTA/NJ also held its Sponsor of the Year Awards at the Annual Dinner. The MTA/NJ established this award twenty years ago to show its appreciation and to recognize the leading sponsors and supporters of the Association. This year, the MTA/NJ was pleased to be able to award three very deserving and supportive companies. The Top Sponsor of the Year awards went to Dillon’s Creek Marina in Island Heights, John B. Wright Insurance Agency of Manasquan, and Travelers Ocean Marine Insurance of Edison. 

“The generosity of our sponsors, year after year, has not only enabled us to strengthen our mission but has also empowered us to make a tangible difference in our industry,” Danko stated. “Their commitment to our cause, incredible generosity and continued support has made a tremendous mark on our organization and the businesses we serve.”

The evening also included the presentation of the MTA/NJ Hall of Fame award to two recipients: William “Bill” Healey of Viking Yachts, and David P. Martin, Naval Architect. The MTA/NJ Hall of Fame was established to honor an individual, group or organization who, over the years, has proven to be outstanding in furthering MTA/NJ's objectives of promoting and protecting the marine industry. A separate Hall of Fame press release has been issued.

About the MTA/NJ

The Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ), established in 1972, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting, advancing, and protecting the recreational marine industry and waterways in the State of New Jersey. The MTA/NJ is dedicated to the interests of the industry for the benefit of its individual members and the consumers whom they serve. In addition to many accomplishments, the MTA/NJ produces two boat shows, the Jersey Shore Boat Sale & Expo held in September at ShoreTown Ballpark in Lakewood and the New Jersey Boat Sale & Expo held in February at the New Jersey Convention & Expo Center in Edison. The MTA/NJ proudly endorses the Discover Boating Atlantic City Boat Show produced by the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

For more photos from the Annual Dinner & Elections, visit the MTA/NJ on Facebook.

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