Three days into his first International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference, newly minted NMMA president Frank Hugelmeyer looked tired but happy to be at the show. “I couldn’t be more excited to be part of the community,” Hugelmeyer told Trade Only Today on the final morning of IBEX. “I’m hearing good things on the hall. Everyone seems to be happy.”
Hugelmeyer is coming into the boating industry after four years as president of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. He spent several months last summer on a “listening tour” around the country, meeting with NMMA members and visiting production facilities. “Both industries share the same concerns about international trade and tariffs, how the economy is going, and dealer networks keeping pace with changes in the consumer,” he said. “They are also concerned about market growth and advocacy.”
Hugelmeyer said living in Washington, D.C., will give the NMMA a “much stronger presence at the higher levels” in government circles. “Now that I’m based there, I’ll have the opportunity to work with Nicole Vasilaros and the advocacy team. One of our primary goals is to be more proactive with our advocacy efforts.”
Hugelmeyer also plans outreach efforts around the country. “I really want to understand the burning issues that are facing members,” he says. “For the next six months, I plan to spend a lot of time on the road, going to dealer meetings, boat shows and discussing how NMMA can create more value for the industry. I think we can learn a lot about what the RV industry has done well to grow its market.”
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