The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas announced today that, after 36 years of devoted service to the association and industry at large, Marge Eckenroad is retiring, effective April 30, 2012.
Eckenroad began working on a part-‐time basis for the MRAA in 1976 and accepted an offer to join the association full time in 1989. She worked side-‐by-‐side with the leadership of the association over her career, working directly with all four of the association’s executive directors/presidents. She worked alongside immediate past president Phil Keeter, as Executive Assistant, for his entire 23-‐year tenure with the association.
“MRAA is truly losing the most dedicated employee it has ever had,” says Keeter, who retired at the end of 2011. “I could always count on Marge to ‘go the extra mile’ for MRAA. No task was too big or small for her to undertake and complete. As I said at my retirement party, she has truly been the brains behind the association. Marge stored a huge amount of industry knowledge and insight in her position and helped MRAA prosper. She has more than earned her retirement and will surely be missed.”
When Keeter announced his retirement, it was Eckenroad’s dedication to the long-‐term success of the association that inspired her to want to stay on to assist the new president of the association with the transition into the role. And new MRAA president Matt Gruhn echoes Keeter’s praise.
“Marge has been a tremendous resource for the association and for me as I have moved into this new role,” Gruhn says. “Her unending commitment and dedication to serving the MRAA and its members is something we will work hard to emulate as she moves into retirement. We are indebted to her for dedicating her career to the MRAA.”
“Little did I realize, when I was first hired to manage the MRAA Dealer Congress in 1976, how interesting and long the journey would be,” says Eckenroad. “As I became more involved in MRAA, I did not consider it a job but it was something that I wanted to do. What I will miss most is the contact with all the great people in the marine industry that I have gotten to know over the years.”