From the Captain’s Chair: Summer’s Here June 27, 2016
June has been a busy month with a number of events and interesting developments related to our industry. Inside this edition are stories that showcase the benefits of volunteerism, the value of internships and training, and the spirit of entrepreneurship.
Though we are disappointed Bahia Mar announced its plans to abandon the redevelopment of the resort and marina, we remain prepared to begin formal negotiations and believe there will still be an opportunity to have a successful outcome for all. The public focus has been on Bahia Mar recently, but we should not lose sight of the importance of Las Olas Marina, Pier 66, The Swimming Hall of Fame, Fort Lauderdale Hilton, Sails Marina, and the Convention Center, as these sites are also assets to the industry, accommodating vessels during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS). The 2016 Thomas J. Murray & Associates, Inc. and University of Florida study of the economic benefit associated with FLIBS is nearing completion and is expected to be released early next month. Results from the study are anticipated to conclude, among other significant economic impacts, that the show’s public and private partnerships are vital to the show’s continued success.
The MIASF Annual Dinner meeting, which was held June 4th at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, featured keynote speaker, Howard Saltz, the Publisher and Editor of the Sun Sentinel. Howard emphasized the importance of adapting in a changing world. His message of transformation and agility has implications for all industries, including ours, as we learn to adjust and acclimate to shifting methods of message delivery like print-to-digital, technology advances, and preferences of those in the millennial age – or get left behind. The annual meeting also gave us the opportunity to recognize and honor the many volunteers who believe in and serve the marine industry throughout the year, and we distributed several awards to some of our most dedicated individuals.
Speaking of volunteers, more than 40 came out to Esplanade Park on June 18th to support our 3rd Annual Marine Industry Day. The day was a huge success with more than 70 participating companies and over 2,500 visitors. We welcomed back many of our previous participants and invited some new ones to join us as we celebrated our community and our industry. On hand were elected officials, industry leaders, and three live bands that kept the excitement going from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Luckily, the weather was ideal (for a South Florida June!) and the games, displays, and food were in abundance. In support of this year’s event theme, A Bright Future for Jobs, Career Source, Maritime Professional Training (MPT) and three local universities, FAU, FIU, and NSU, connected with hundreds of kids and the next generation of the marine industry workforce to share information about training for the exciting, rewarding, and lucrative career opportunities available.
Safe Boating Day was held the week before Memorial Day and coincided with National Safe Boating Week (May 21-27). It featured live safety demonstrations, speakers, raffle prizes, food trucks, and music. There was also information about utilizing a new boating safety bill that passed this year that offers boaters a state vessel registration discount if they buy Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBS). Exhibitors gave a variety of demonstrations, including on boat inspections, proper life jacket use, life raft deployment, emergency signaling devices, knot-tying, and trailer safety. Speakers covered topics such as safety on the water, what to do when you’re stuck at sea, fighting fires, drowning prevention, designated “driver” alternatives, and electrical safety. We are grateful to the U.S. Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Fort Lauderdale Fire-Rescue Marine Team, Fort Lauderdale Police Department, Broward Sheriff’s Office, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Pompano Beach Sail & Power Squadron, and Maritime Professional Training, among several others who participated and shared valuable safety information.
As we prepare to observe the birth of our nation this Fourth of July, let’s all take a moment to celebrate our unparalleled patriotism, honor our history, and take pride in our country. Please be safe on or off the water and enjoy this important national holiday.