From the Captain’s Chair: A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss April 28, 2017

Understanding that change is inevitable, MIASF is ready to embrace transformative innovation with Show Management’s new owner, Informa Global Exhibitions, as its partner. Informa is a $7 billion company that produces more than 200 trade shows that focus on both B2B and B2C connectivity throughout the world, including Toronto, Singapore, London, Sao Paulo, Dubai, and of course, Monaco. Informa’s leadership team is committed to capitalizing on the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show’s successes and investing in its future through upgrades and enhancements that will provide value to exhibitors and attendees. That future also includes ensuring that FLIBS has a permanent home at Bahia Mar, with assurances that sufficient square footage for the continued success of the #1 boat show in the world is a part of any proposed redevelopment plan submitted to the City of Fort Lauderdale.

The Bahia Mar property has been an important site in the sustainability and growth of FLIBS for decades, and the leadership and insight of Fort Lauderdale’s previous governing fathers to protect and support FLIBS encouraged the establishment of an entire marine industry to mature around it. MIASF is supportive of redevelopment plans aimed at reviving and revitalizing Bahia Mar into a first-class site, but not at the expense of harming the boat show, or risking an entire industry that boasts 136,000 jobs and an $11.5 billion economic impact in South Florida. MIASF continues to work diligently toward executing a long-term lease with the developers of Bahia Mar.

This month we announced that FLIBS days have been strategically realigned to take place Wednesday through Sunday, changing the 2017 dates to November 1st through 5th.  Permanently shifting the days signals the boat show’s continual evolution and recognizes the technology advances that eliminate the need for exhibitors and consumers to use Monday to finalize financial transactions. This change signifies a forward-thinking commitment by MIASF and Show Management to make tactical adjustments that reinforce and protect the show’s $857 million impact to the State.

Few things characterize change more than moving, and MIASF is moving! An extraordinary opportunity presented itself to move our headquarters to an impressive 10,000 square foot, two-story building adjacent to the New River, FEC Bridge, and the Fort Lauderdale Historic District in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The Leiser Opera House became available for sale in February and the MIASF Board of Directors negotiated an offer that was accepted in April. The location is ideal for activating the industry and community, as we anticipate hosting more events and engaging with everyone from local students to economic development agencies and elected officials. We expect to close on the property in June and move shortly thereafter. Inquiries regarding the sale of the current MIASF building can be directed to Patience Cohn at

The search for a new CEO/President continues, with the Executive Search Committee conducting interviews and narrowing the field of candidates. Hundreds of applications have been submitted from around the world, and some unique backgrounds and levels of experience have piqued the interest of the Committee. Also, marine industry members will have the opportunity to elect new leadership to the Board of Directors for the 2017-2019 term. Voting takes place exclusively online from May 5th through noon on May 16th. Biographical information for the eight candidates will be available on MIASF’s website as the dates for voting approach.

As the saying goes, a rolling stone gathers no moss. At MIASF we are dedicated to evolving, innovating, and moving the association forward toward a bigger and brighter future.

Change in life or business is certain. I have full faith and confidence that the process in place and the dedication of the executive search committee will result in the seamless transition of the industry’s next leader.

© MIASF 2019 | All rights reserved | Photo credit: J. Christopher Photography

Marine Industries Association of South Florida. 221 SW 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. Phone: 954.524.2733