Back in 2011, when Phil Keeter retired as Executive Director of the MRAA, I felt it was a big loss to the industry. Phil had served in that position for 22 years—from 1989 until 2011. As MRAA’s Executive Director, Phil brought so much to the industry, especially for dealers. Prior to 1989, Phil owned a successful boat and motor dealership called Romer Marine. Having been a successful dealer himself, he fully understood the pressures and problems constantly facing marine retailers. Over the years he did much to significantly grow the association into the major factor that it is in the industry today, and its standing in the industry has improved the overall status of dealers and how they are now treated by manufacturers.
I recently wrote an article on Phil Keeter and his career in the marine industry that was published in Soundings Trade Only. It was fun to do a couple of interviews with Phil in preparation for the article. Our friendship goes back to the 1980’s when I was head of outboard sales for OMC and Phil Keeter, Romer Marine, was on our dealer council. He kept us on our toes at dealer council meetings.
Phil has been held in high regard in the industry as exemplified by the following comment by Larry Russo, Russo’s Marine, Danvers, MA:
“When I reflect on the marine industry side of my life, I have been blessed to have known Phil. Early on, he was my role model, and then he became a trusted co-worker, colleague and mentor. Now he’s just a dear friend. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
Larry’s respect for Phil is shared by dealers all over the country. Click to read the full story that I wrote about Phil, “A serendipitous
marine landing,” in case you didn’t see it in the October 2015 issue of Soundings Trade Only. (Reprinted with permission from Soundings Trade Only.)