Attendees check out the more than 400 boats on display at the Progressive Mid-America Boat Show in January. You can try a boat on the water at the Catawba Boat Show in April. (Dave Petkiewicz,

The Lake Erie Marine Trades Association — which puts on five boat shows in Ohio — has named Michelle Burke as its new president. 

Burke, the founder of lifestyle brand Lyman Life, will also serve as executive director of the Boating Associations of Ohio, voicing boaters’ views on issues such as harmful algal blooms and lobbying the state on proposals affecting boaters, like starting school after Labor Day.

“It’s going to be fun,” said Burke, who is dreaming all sorts of fun new ideas for the Cleveland Boat Show. 

Burke, of Rocky River, founded Lyman Life after her family bought their first Lyman wooden boat in 2016. She replaces former association president Bryan Ralston.

The association executive board put out this statement:

“She’s led a very successful marketing program at Case Western Reserve University for many years, but ready for change into an area where she has much passion.  Michelle brings a lot of energy, enthusiasm, and marketing talent to LEMTA. She is looking forward to meeting the members ASAP,  working closely with Karen & Patricia, and growing LEMTA.” 

The Lake Erie Marine Trades Association was formed in 1957 by a handful of boat dealers that sought to organize a large indoor boat show for the Cleveland market. It now includes approximately 100 members that are provided with legislative advocacy, educational support, and efforts to improve boating in Ohio.

The association in 2017 had the state legislature designate June as “Ohio Goes Boating Month” to highlight Ohio’s thriving boating industry and bring attention to the many boating opportunities the state’s lakes and beaches offer. For more information, visit

For more on Burke’s plans for the Mid-America Boat Show at the I-X Center Jan. 17-21, stay tuned!

See more on Burke’s collaboration with Lake Erie lifestyle brands on