Member updates: Luke Brown, Yacht Management, Lauderdale Marine Center, FYBA, Orion Maritime, Westport, Pacer Marine Group, Luxury Law, USSA and Merritt Marine Supply December 22, 2015

Andrew Cilla, president of Luke Brown Yachts, has announced that the firm has opened a satellite office at Lauderdale Marine Center.  Luke Brown now has an improved ability to oversee both dockside and dry dock technical services of our new boat owners as well as brokerage clientele.

Yacht Management South Florida has purchased the New River Marina at 3001 West State Road 84 for $9.4 million. The company financed its purchase with a $5 million loan for Regent Bank. The New River Marina, a deep-water marina located on Fort Lauderdale’s eponymous Marina Mile, had been owned for the last seven years by Alex Nichols. Yacht Management South Florida also has hired Justin S. Fiorilli as its corporate counsel. Justin, who specializes in maritime litigation, will advise the company on matters including risk management and compliance. He is a member of the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute and received his juris doctorate from Pennsylvania State University.

Lauderdale Marine Center has hired Doug West as president, Kurt Winselmann as controller and Jennifer Lang as operations director. West, who will oversee day-to-day operations and planning, previously was president for nine years at Rybovich. Winselmann, a certified public accountant and U.S. Coast Guard-certified captain, spent 25 years with Seaboard Marine and Norwegian Cruise Line. Lang previously was a regional manager and trainer for Bloomin Brands’ Carrabbas Italian Grill. The new team will oversee improvements that will enable the boatyard to handle six additional 150-foot yachts and add parking, among other features. The team also will supervise renovations at the adjacent River Bend Marine Center that feature new drainage, paving of a boat storage area and new landscaping.

The Florida Yacht Brokers Association welcomes Dianed Garcia as its new graphics and communications manager. Dianed is responsible for design and coordination of FYBA’s newsletter/magazine, correspondence with membership, development of print ads and collateral materials, continued refining of the FYBA brand, and social media. Dianed, who was born in Havana, Cuba, graduated from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and has worked at organizations including Silversea Cruises Ltd., Perry Ellis International and the Museum of Discovery and Science. She can be reached at

Melanie Bergero of Orion Maritime has been accepted into The Founder Institute, the world’s premier startup launch program for talented entrepreneurs. She is developing business plans for businesses dealing with an electric-hybrid luxury shuttle boat and clean water.

Westport Yacht Sales welcomes 38-year industry veteran Jim Ramsey to its sales team. Ramsey has worked as a captain and has extensive experience in sales and marketing management and has been active in several marine-related associations. He will reside in Charleston, S.C.

After 35 years in the same location, Pacer Marine Group has moved to a larger building at 3633 SW 30th Avenue, Hollywood, FL, just 10 minutes away on the other side of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Luxury Law Group partner and MIASF President Danielle Butler spoke to members of Young Professionals in Yachting at their December meeting about her background, personal challenges she faced and how she overcame them and how she became part of the marine industry.

Governor Rick Scott has appointed Louis Sola, chief executive officer of Evermarine, to the state’s Board of Pilot Commissioners. Sola, 47, of Miami, succeeds Thomas Burke and is appointed for a term beginning December 4, 2015, and ending October 31, 2019. The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

Merritt Marine Supply recently recognized West Palm Beach warehouse manager Keith Calhoun for 15 years of service.

U.S. Superyacht Association representative went to Washington, D.C., on Dec. 9 and participated in a high-level meeting of business leaders where they provided feedback about how significant storm events have impacted USSA member businesses.

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© 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