19 Nov RIMTA Welcomes New Board at Annual Meeting

RIMTA held its Annual Meeting at the Inner Space Center at URI’s Ocean Science and Exploration Center on November 8. At the event, members welcomed the organization’s new Board, and incoming president John Tregenza of Watch Hill Boat Yard addressed the audience and looked at the evolution of RIMTA—from a fledgling organization funded chiefly by member dues, to the professional and savvy organization it is today.

Past RIMTA President Brandon Kidd will now serve as Chairman of the Board while John assumes the role of President. We all owe a debt of gratitude to the individuals who volunteer their time to guide RIMTA forward. You can see the entire slate of officers, directors, and committee chairs here.

In his remarks, John put all that is happening at RIMTA today into context.

RIMTA has become a recognized national leader in workforce development, evidenced by the staff being tapped by the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas to create an industry-wide guide on Growing the Marine Trades Workforce.

This year also marks the founding of the RIMTA Foundation. RIMTA has been successful in securing funding from state and federal sources, but the 501c3 Foundation opens up new possibilities to forge partnerships with private foundations to make RIMTA more financially resilient.

John also touched on RIMTA’s Environmental Initiatives that have made great strides just within the past 12 months and talked about his own environmental awakening after reading his daughter’s school paper on the North Pacific Gyre (aka, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch). Being an inventive veteran of the marine industry, he has come up with a fix for paper straws. (You have to ask him, but it involves Interlux 1026 sanding sealer.)

In closing, John told attendees, “This is exciting time to be part of RIMTA. I am proud to play a part and look forward to working with our new board … We have a lot of talent and a lot of motivation and we look forward to working with, and for, our members.  Please reach out to any of us at any time.”

This year the Annual Meeting was preceded by a workshop where members of the industry had an opportunity to learn and be part of a focus group on crucial issues such as the upcoming Bay SAMP (Special Area Management Plan) and the proposed wind farm off Rhode Island. Attendees heard from leading environmental figures, including Grover Fugate, director of the Coastal Resources Management Council, and Dennis Nixon, director of Rhode Island Sea Grant.