Marine Industry Elevator Pitch Competition April 30, 2019
For the past few months MIASF’S Education and Workforce Committee has been working with Broward Schools to organize the second Marine Industry Elevator Pitch Competition for students from South Broward High School’s Marine Magnet Program. 80 junior and senior students entered the competition and were tasked with creating a one minute “elevator pitch” in which they attempt to sell themselves for a career in the marine industry.
The competition kicked off in January with a special presentation by Bluewater Training and Toastmasters. The students gave their first presentations in the classroom, where their teachers and peers identified the top 40 students to advance to the next round of the competition. These 40 students then presented their pitch to a panel of MIASF Education and Workforce Committee judges and the top 20 students were chosen to compete in the semifinal round at the Refit International Exhibition and Conference at the Broward County/Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention Center on April 11th.
During the semifinal round, students again presented their pitch to a panel of marine industry judges, most of whom are looking for qualified employees for their businesses. The judges helped narrow the field to five finalists and stayed afterward to give the students feedback about career opportunities. Students were then given an hour to walk the show and speak to exhibitors before meeting at the demo stage on the show floor for the final round, where MIASF members and Refit Show exhibitors were invited to watch as each of the five finalists gave their last pitch, this time to a panel of guest judges, including Matt Rocco, president of South Florida Manufacturers Association, Lisa Morley, executive vice president of Maritime Professional Training, Vicki Abernathy, chief operations officer of AERÉ Marine Group, Bill Walker, owner/CEO of Water Taxi Fort Lauderdale, and Phil Purcell, CEO/president of MIASF.
Once again, the judges asked questions and scored the contestants, and after two months of competition, SBHS junior, Elizabeth Delgado, was declared the winner! She received a $500 scholarship for post high school education and the four runners-up received Amazon gift cards. MIASF’s Education and Workforce Committee members considered this project an overwhelming success, and everyone involved expressed appreciation for the professionalism and dedication of the South Broward students!
Thank you to everyone involved!
Vicki Abernathy, AERE Fenders; Todd Barnes, RPM Diesel; Christine Battles, Advanced Mechanical Enterprises; Jennifer Cognet, Pier 66 Hotel and Marina; Chris Coleman, Oversea Insurance; John Flanagan, Maritime Professional Training; Debra Hixon, South Broward High School; Lisa Morley, Maritime Professional Training; Jim Payne, Broward Schools/CTASE; Phil Purcell, MIASF; Matt Rocco, South Florida Manufacturers Association; David Rose, Bennett Marine; Lisa Samuels, T. Spencer Samuels; Serge Treyger, Broward Schools/CTASE; Bill Walker, Water Taxi; Shalom Weiss, Bluewater Training; Lori Wheeler, MIASF; Paul Wohlrab, Jerry’s Marine; and Andrew Zullo, Leadership Broward