The Georgia Marine Business Association represents the collective efforts of recreational marine-related businesses by working to promote and protect the interests of those conducting business in and around the waters of Coastal Georgia. It is our goal to create harmony between businesses and within the industry through advocacy, networking, and communication.
The Georgia Marine Business Association (GAMBA) was organized in 1991, “to promote the general advancement of the marine industry in coastal Georgia” by a group of marine business owners working in conjunction with UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant. One of their first important tasks was negotiating bottom lease terms with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GADNR) and have advocated at local, state and federal levels on behalf of marine businesses ever since. Between advocacy projects, GAMBA board and members focus on sharing resources, networking and promoting the coastal marine industry.
The board of directors are elected by a vote of full members and each serve a minimum three-year term, with officer roles decided at the beginning of each calendar year. The organization elected to hire an executive director in 2017 to maintain records, conduct meetings, guide special projects, promote membership, organize events, and handle administrative duties.
The organization’s members comprise a wealth of knowledge, experience and history. Members meet monthly to work on ongoing projects and share news and information, often hosting guest speakers, from elected officials to key members of other organizations. GAMBA hosts two annual networking events: an oyster roast in the first quarter of the year, and a summer social in July, both open to any marine business or affiliated business, at no charge. We also host an annual Christmas dinner, open to members, their spouses, and invited guests.
GAMBA has three membership levels. Full membership, open to any marine business in coastal Georgia; associate membership, for smaller businesses; and networking membership, open to businesses that are affiliated with the marine industry or that are headquartered outside the coastal area.
GAMBA maintains memberships in the Savannah Maritime Association, the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association, and the American Boating and Yachting Council, and is a partner in the Georgia Clean Marina Program.
President – Dustin Hartley, Hinckley Yacht Services
Treasurer – Ernie D'Alto, TMI
Secretary – Lucy Bowie, Dunbar Yachts
Vice President – Jim Lynes, MarineMax Savannah
Vice President – Bubba Strickland, Hogans' Marina
ICW & CMP Tech Advisor – Rory Jose, Savannah Marina
Executive Director – Amy Thurman, Southern Tides Magazine
· Advocacy at local, state and federal levels on issues of importance to our members (strength in numbers)
· Local news, knowledge, resources and experience
· Networking events throughout the year
· Member referrals
· Information shared through GAMBA membership in other organizations, such as ABYC, AIWA, SMA, and more.
· Being part of an organization that makes our industry, and our Georgia coast, stronger!
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