Fishing & Boating News

NMMA To Honor Rep. Keller With Admirals Circle Award

by: Dan Green, NMMA Staff,

(Apr. 02, 2004 - CHICAGO, IL) National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) announced today that Representative Ric Keller (R-FL) is this year's recipient of the Admirals Circle for Recreational Boating Industry Award. Keller will be honored at a special ceremony during the industry's annual legislative conference, the American Boating Congress, being held May 2-4 at the Loews L'Enfant Plaza in Washington, D.C. The Admirals Circle Award recognizes extraordinary legislative leadership and commitment on behalf of the recreational marine industry by members of Congress. Rep. Keller is being recognized for his longtime support of the marine industry, and specifically for introducing the Recreational Marine Employment Act (RMEA) into Congress. "Without Representative Keller's support, the Recreational Marine Employment Act would not have been introduced into the House," says NMMA Vice president of Government Relations Monita Fontaine. "The industry is indebted to Representative Keller for the support he has given recreational boating, and the Admirals Circle Award symbolizes our appreciation for his efforts." If enacted, the Act will have a wide-ranging impact, saving the industry millions of dollars by removing the recreational boating industry from requirements to purchase expensive longshore and harbor workers' compensation insurance for their employees. Rep. Keller originally introduced the Act in 2002, but there was not enough congressional support for the bill to become law. Not dissuaded, he again introduced the bill in to the latest session of Congress. "Through enactment of this legislation, the recreational marine industry will be able to create thousands of new jobs by ensuring that marinas, boat builders and recreational boaters will not have to pay the unnecessary and exorbitant insurance premiums under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act," said Keller when introducing the bill in March 2003. The award ceremony to honor Keller will be held Monday, May 3. For information on attending the American Boating Congress and the awards dinner, contact Brenda Jones at (202) 737-9750; bjones@nmma.org.