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President's Report
November 2019


We’re approaching the winter holidays, and there’s good news to report. I’m pleased to report members enrolled in the NMTA Heath Trust received an early holiday gift in the form of their 2020 health insurance renewal rates coming in well below the regional average increase of 8-12%. This is great news for our members and their employees and evidence the Health Trust board and our third-party administrator, Capital Benefit Services, are acting as good fiduciaries for the Health Trust and our enrolled members.

For members planning to renew their health insurance for 2020 please remember to renew on or before November 22. If your business would like to take a look at the NMTA Health Trust for 2020 this is a great time to compare NMTA rates to your current provider. If you would like a quote or more information you can contact Capital Benefit Services in Bellevue, WA at 425-641-8092 or visit www.nmta.net/member-services/health-insurance.asp for more information.

NMTA Annual Meeting

We’re going to change the timing of the NMTA Annual Meeting this year and move it from our traditional late November or early December date to a spring date. The NMTA Annual Meeting is scheduled for April 15 at the Seattle Yacht Club and our keynote speaker is Frank Hugelmeyer, who is the new President/CEO of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. See page 2 for more details. This is a change up from our traditional, winter dates and an experiment to see if we can increase member participation.

NMTA Audit

The NMTA bylaws state the annual meeting shall include “a report to the membership about the financial condition” of the association. Since the annual meeting will occur in April this year, I think it’s important to share NMTA’s financial condition with our members. Now, I’m pleased to report NMTA received another “unqualified” or clean audit from our CPA, Clark-Nuber, for the 2018-2019 fiscal year that ended on June 30. Members that would like a copy of NMTA’s Statement of Financial Position and Activities can receive one by contacting NMTA’s Director of Finance, Jennifer Higgins at jennifer@nmta.net or go to the Members Only section of www.NMTA.net .

NMTA Staff Gratitude

It’s the holiday season and a time to think about what we are grateful for. I’m grateful for the opportunity to go to work every day with a group of extraordinary professionals that are the NMTA staff and a few others I call “almost staff.” This time of year, it’s all hands-on deck for the Seattle Boat Show and regardless of title everyone on staff rolls up their sleeves to produce a very big show that is vitally important to our members.

Following is our staff roster, in order of length of time at NMTA, with each staff member’s title and a brief description of their work this time of year.

Katie Groseclose, Seattle Boat Show Office Manager & Membership Coordinator, katieg@nmta.net , 13-years Katie and her team greet all 380 exhibitors and their nearly 3,000 employees in the Seattle Boat Show office. Year-round Katie works closely with the NMTA board, plans board meetings, and is an expert user of our member database.

Peter Schrappen, Vice-President & Director of Government Affairs, peter@nmta.net , 10-years Peter staffs the Government Affairs, Boatyard, Marina, Superyacht and Political Action committees. Peter also serves as the Executive Director of the Clean Boating Foundation. Peter leads our advocacy work and coordinates the work of our two lobbyists Cliff Webster and Carl Burke. During the Seattle Boat Show if Peter isn’t in Olympia for the legislative session, he’s at the Seattle Boat Show running the Career Fair, staffing the Clean Boating Foundation display, or hosting the Washington Boating Alliance annual meeting.

Katie McPhail, Boat Show Director, katiemc@nmta.net , 8-years Katie staffs our Anacortes and Seattle Boat Show committees and is likely the best-known staff member since she is the center point of our two shows. November is when Katie really earns her stripes by laying out the Seattle Boat Show to make sure all 380 exhibitors receive the best possible location, the Boat Show guidelines are followed, and there is a plan to move 1,000 boats easily in and out of CenturyLink Field and Event Center.

Jennifer Higgins, Director of Finance, jennifer@nmta.net , 7-years Jen staffs the Finance Committee and for seven years she has continued NMTA’s tradition of clean audits with meticulous bookkeeping. During the Seattle Boat Show, Jen and her team staff the Will Call windows at the west entrance – no small task to organize and cheerfully distribute nearly 10,000 tickets.

Karsten McIntosh, Director of Communications, karsten@nmta.net , 6-years Karsten manages the Seattle Boat Show’s $300,000 traditional and digital advertising budget, manages on-line ticket sales, social media, and websites. Year-round Karsten manages all the advertising, communications, websites and ticketing for the Anacortes Boat & Yacht Show and the Northwest Paddling Festival.

Joan Collins, Boat Show Assistant, joan@nmta.net , 5-years Joan staffs our Paddling Committee and is cross trained in all areas of our shows and events. At the Seattle Boat Show she assists Katie M on the show floor and Katie G in the show office. Joan’s attention to detail is high and is especially helpful proofing exhibitor lists, programs and newsletters, as well as being an expert user of our member and show databases.

Mark Yuasa, Director of Grow Boating Programs, mark@nmta.net , 3-years Mark staffs the Grow Boating Committee which directs the use of $140,000 annually to increase boating and fishing participation through events, grants and event sponsorships. The Northwest Salmon Derby Series has been the cornerstone of NMTA’s Grow Boating program since 2004. During the Seattle Boat Show Mark coordinates all the fishing seminars, staff’s seminars and manages the east hall move-in.

Alashia Wartelle, Membership Director, alashia@nmta.net , 1-year Alashia was a fulltime staff member from 2007-2009 responsible for sponsorship sales. From 2010 to 2019 Alashia has done special projects for NMTA which have included coordinating 200+ free boating seminars at the Seattle Boat Show and reading and tabulating our annual attendee and exhibitor surveys. This spring Alashia rejoined our staff as Membership Director. 

Myranda Dang, Office Assistant, myranda@nmta.net , 6-months Myranda is a recent University of Washington graduate with a degree in Oceanography. Myranda is responsible for entering and recording all boat show applications and payments, and office reception. Myranda is especially skilled in data analysis and has been helpful analyzing our e-tickets sales data over the past 20-years.

NMTA is fortunate to have access to the services of a group of professionals I refer to as “almost staff”, because when we call them it seems like we are their only client and they are focused on achieving NMTA’s mission to grow boating just as much as our full-time staff. They are: Lisa Samuelson - Seattle Boat Show and Grow Boating Public Relations, Cliff Webster - Business Lobbyist, Carl Burke - Sportfishing Lobbyist, Molli Moss - Sponsorship Sales, Patti Segulja-Lau - Showboat Handlers, LLC Ted Kutscher - Legal Counsel, Peter & James Klauser, Bullseye Creative, and Carol Ann DeCoster, Media Buyer.

This time of year, I like to say “Big Show – Small Staff” as the NMTA crew gets focused on the seventy-third Seattle Boat Show. This time of year, it’s also important to say “Happy Holidays” and be grateful for so many things.

Happy Holidays!


George Harris

NMTA President/CEO



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