Newsletter September 2019

From The Captain's Chair

From The Captain's Chair

September 2019

Captain's Chair: Making the Case for Infrastructure

Prior to 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) regulation that was in place required the FEC railroad bridge to remain up, otherwise known as the default position, when not in use by approximately 26 freight trains a day to allow for the USCG “reasonable needs to navigation” requirement on the river. With the advent of high speed passenger rail by Fortress Investment Group, parent company to FEC and All Aboard Florida, the USCG and MIASF negotiated a new regulation that required a bridge monitor, a shared 60 minutes out of every 120 minutes of use, a real-time mobile app that would alert users to bridge openings and closings, and informational signage, with penalties to be imposed on FEC for any violations. Aside from the lack of signage, technology problems with the app, and inconsistent communication, the new regulation still allowed for reasonable needs to navigation on the river.

In the early part of 2017, the FEC (freight) was sold to Grupo Mexico for $2.1 billion, however, Fortress Investment Group (passenger), then operating as “Brightline,” retained the development and easement rights all along the railroad corridor.

Due to a variety of technological difficulties, and a series of trespassers on the railroad, the train service, now operating as “Virgin Atlantic USA/Brightline”, has been routinely interrupted, causing east/west corridors of vehicular traffic congestion and gridlock. The FEC’s technology issues also resulted in an accumulation of scheduling violations, which have prompted the train operator to request a deviation of the regulation that was granted by the USCG for 180 days.

Throughout this process, MIASF has been diligent in meeting with the FEC, the USCG, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), and various government lobbyists. Additionally, MIASF successfully helped to secure $750,000 in the State budget for FDOT to update a study from 2005 to identify solutions that will safeguard navigation without limiting progress.

We understand the need for reliable and regional transportation solutions, however, unless the new USCG regulation for the FEC Railway bridge includes defined, scheduled, and predictable openings per hour - using technology (the app), appropriate communication, and signage, the $8.9 billion marine industry and its 111,000 workers in Broward County will be negatively impacted by the FEC Railway bridge inhibiting reasonable needs to navigation with more passenger trains.

As the 6th largest metropolitan statistical area in the U.S. and the largest in Florida, our region will continue to grow. Plans for a new federal courthouse, a joint campus for city and county governments, as well as 7,000 new residential units in downtown Fort Lauderdale, on top of an expanding and growing marine industry, demand additional infrastructure. That level of growth demands flyovers over the railroad tracks on the east/west corridors of Commercial Boulevard, Oakland Boulevard, Sunrise Boulevard, and S.R. 84. It demands a higher iconic bascule bridge for passenger rail over the New River that stretches all the way to the Virgin Atlantic USA/Brightline train station on the north side of Broward Boulevard, so, like any world-class city, passenger trains don’t impede vehicular or marine traffic. It requires the greater Broward County community, which sits in the middle of regionalism, to support enhanced infrastructure projects. In fact, residents of this community demanded improved transportation conditions when they overwhelmingly voted in favor of taxing themselves to pay for it.

Advocacy Report

Advocacy Report

James Maitland attended the Fort Lauderdale Marine Advisory Board meeting to introduce himself as MIASF’s new vice president and answer questions regarding the ongoing test deviation for the FEC railway bridge.

MIASF met with the District 7 director of the Florida Department of Transportation to discuss the status of the updated bridge study. The final report is due to legislative leaders by January 1, 2020.

MIASF’s federal lobbyist contacted the new Customs and Border Protection representative in Washington D.C. when crew members reported encountering visa issues in St. Thomas. A quick call to CBP counterparts in St. Thomas quickly rectified the situation.

The U.S.C.G. has reported that several vessels have not been compliant with the 96-hour notice of arrival regulation and it will begin stricter enforcement starting immediately.

Business Highlight: Nova Southeastern University

Business Highlight: Nova Southeastern University

Established in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1964 as a small college with some revolutionary ideas, NSU was originally named Nova University of Advanced Technology and chartered as a graduate institution in the physical and social sciences. In 1994, Nova University merged with Southeastern University of Health Sciences to form Nova Southeastern University.

Classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU is 1 of only 50 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification, and is also the largest private, not-for-profit institution in the United States that meets the U.S. Department of Education's criteria as a Hispanic-serving Institution. We have approximately 24,000 students, 172,000 alumni, a sprawling, 314-acre Fort Lauderdale-Davie campus and a presence throughout Florida, the U.S. and nine countries around the world. Through five decades of explosive growth, our reputation for academic excellence and innovation continues to flourish.

NSU offers a vast number of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees through our 16 colleges in the fields of Business, Dental Medicine, Education, Computing and Engineering, Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Optometry, Pharmacy, Psychology, and Natural Sciences and Oceanography.

Faces in the Industry: Derrick Hill

Faces in the Industry: Derrick Hill

Tell us where you are from, what brought you to Florida, and how long you’ve lived here.

I grew up in Dallas, Texas.  I received my scuba diving certification when I was 12 years old and had opportunities to go on dive trips with my family and continue to take additional certification courses as a teenager. 

After getting a business degree and working in the corporate world for a few years, I decided to sell everything and move to Ft. Lauderdale to attend the former ProDive diving school that use to be next to the Hall of Fame swimming pool.

That was the start of a diving and boat captain career that took me to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where I decided to start my own dive business.  Twelve years later, I sold the business and moved back to South Florida where I have resided for the last 6 years.

Where do you work, what is your job title, and what does your job entail?

Flagship Management, Maritime Recruiter and business development for the yachting and recreational sector.

My job entails using my experience with human resources and maritime to assist companies in finding strong candidates for specific job openings.  This includes the search, initial interviews, references, facilitating interviews, and consulting on offers.

How did you initially become interested in the marine industry?

Scuba diving did it for me early in life.

What is your favorite or most valuable benefit of membership in MIASF?

My favorite benefit of membership is the platform they provide for a variety of networking events.  In this day of age where we do so much from our computers, it is great to simply get out and talk to other people in the same industry.

Describe any other community organizations or events with which you are involved.

I sit on the Broward College Marine Engineering Advisory Board, and U.S. Superyacht Association

Tell us about your hobbies and what kinds of things you do for fun.

Other than scuba diving and boating, I play rugby and enjoy running road races. 



Hurricane Dorian Response

There has been a tremendous outpouring of local, state, and national support for our friends and neighbors in the Bahamas since Hurricane Dorian devastated its islands. MIASF joined Commissioner Ben Sorenson, Rio Vista Church, Informa U.S. Markets, USSA, IYBA, and Hope for Hopetown to communicate, coordinate, and leverage efforts, raising more than $200,000 in two days to deploy True North, Mission of Hope’s 110’ vessel designed for disaster response teams. 40 tons of supplies were loaded onto the ship and its staff worked closely with authorities to deliver the needed supplies to Marsh Harbour, Hopetown, and the surrounding islands. True North will serve as a home base for the distribution of supplies and volunteers for approximately 60 days.

FFEA Awards

The Florida Festivals & Events Association (FFEA) recently announced the winners of its annual SUNsational Awards during its 25th annual convention and tradeshow. The Program recognizes members' innovation, individuality, and creative collaboration. MIASF took home three first place awards for our Waterway Cleanup promotional poster, flyer, and t-shirt! Many thanks to artist, Steve Diossy, for once again creating this year’s award-winning artwork! Nominations were judged by a blue-ribbon panel representing media outlets, printing companies, website designers, photographers, promotional marketing professionals, and social media experts.

South Florida Business and Wealth CEO Connect

It was standing room only when MIASF hosted a panel discussion for South Florida Business and Wealth’s CEO Connect. Moderated by Phil Purcell, MIASF CEO/president, the panel included Dean DuToit/National Marine Suppliers, Jacqueline Baumgarten/Boatsetter, and John Kelly/Bradford Marine, who discussed their respective backgrounds, starting out in business, building a company culture, and embracing disruption in the industry.

Leadership Broward Class 38

Congratulations to James Maitland, MIASF VP, for being accepted into Leadership Broward’s Class 38! Leadership Broward is an educational program focused on enhancing leadership skills, providing practical community action experience, and facilitating interaction with established community leaders. We know James will learn a lot about Broward County’s unique community issues over the next eight months, but as a natural leader he also has a lot to offer. Best of luck, James!

From Summer Intern to Employee

Mackenzie Malloy has been involved in the marine industry since middle school and started with Plywood Regatta in 8th grade. Her focus was originally marine biology, however, once she was exposed to the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) program as part of South Broward’s Marine Magnet Program, she was inspired to pursue a STEM career. With further exposure to the marine industry through South Broward’s ROV Club, MIASF, and engaging programs such as the Marine Industry Elevator Pitch Competition, she was able to narrow down her career choice to the field of Marine Engineering.

As an intern at Advanced Mechanical Engineering, Mackenzie oversaw facilities maintenance and began to implement the 5S system within AME’s machine shops. Now, Mackenzie still handles facilities maintenance but also oversees consumable inventory control, as well. Mackenzie is working toward her Associates Degree at Broward College, where she is studying engineering with a focus in marine engineering and hopes to become an onboard engineer for vessels.

Member News

Member News

RMK Merrill-Stevens received South Florida’s largest yacht ship lift this summer. The new 2700 metric ton ship lift was delivered in August and gives RMKMS the capacity to haul yachts up to 235 feet long out of the water and perform in water service for vessels greater than 72 meters.

Advanced Mechanical Enterprises is proud to announce it recently hired Michael Hallman as Technical Manager. Michael brings two decades of naval engineering experience in the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as plant operations in the private sector.

The Aventura Police Department recently took delivery of a 29-foot custom built Fluid Watercraft rigid inflatable boat (RIB) to serve as a patrol boat for its active waterways. Located in Miami-Dade County along the Intracoastal, the City of Aventura has many miles of shoreline and canals. Residents will benefit from the additional patrol and rescue capability of the vessel. Built by Fort Lauderdale-based Sirocco Marine, the patrol boat was designed and customized to the specifics of the Aventura Police Department. Powered by twin Honda 225 horsepower outboard engines, the boat is capable of speeds up to 55 knots. The vacuum infused GRP hull construction is lightweight and strong, capable of the toughest jobs. Multi-compartment military grade Hypalon removable tubes make the vessel virtually unsinkable and resistant to UV light, extreme temperatures and abrasion. The console is equipped with Simrad electronics. 

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events


Don’t forget that the International Boat Builders’ Exhibition and Conference will be taking place October 1st through 3rd at the Tampa Convention Center. If you go, be on the look-out for Sean Smith, MIASF director of development and host of Salty Jobs videos, who will be presenting at a Super Session about marine industry workforce challenges and solutions on Monday before the show. For more information visit

Maritime Monday

Mark your calendar for October 7th and be sure to join MIASF members and staff for the last Maritime Monday of 2019. We will be hosting this month’s networking event at Pelican’s Landing at Pier Sixty-Six from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., with one free drink for members and their guests, as well as a sampling of tasty treats from the kitchen. After a two-month hiatus, we will be back in January 2020 with more great networking opportunities.

South Florida Business Journal Marine Special Section Release

Now in its fifth year, the Marine Special Section of the South Florida Business Journal will be officially released at a continental breakfast held in the Flagship Room at MIASF headquarters on Friday, October 11th from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Once again, we will have pull-outs of the section on hand for attendees to preview, with in-depth interviews, industry trends, and the annual “Book of Lists” participants. A limited number of free tickets are available to MIASF members. RSVP by clicking here and entering promo code: miasf.

FLIBS Kick-off Party at The W

Fort Lauderdale Magazine will host the Official 2019 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show Kickoff Party at the W Fort Lauderdale (401 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard) on October 24th from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. An invitation will be distributed soon.

The 60th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

ICYMI, the 60th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show will take place from Wednesday, October 30th through Sunday, November 3rd. In early October, members will be mailed two free tickets for lunch onboard the MIASF Hospitality Lounge and two free tickets to FLIBS. Additional lunch tickets are available for purchase in advance at MIASF’s office or during the show onboard the MIASF Hospitality Lounge. For more information, email or call 954-524-2733.

October 30th

Prime Time Preview

12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.


October 31st through November 2nd Daily Hours

10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.


November 3rd   

Daily Hours

10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

MIASF’s ever-popular Exhibitor Party, for FLIBS exhibitors and MIASF members only, will be held on Thursday, October 31st from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. onboard the MIASF Hospitality Lounge at the Bahia Mar Face Dock Purple Zone 13. You won’t want to miss this “groovy” event! Attendees will receive two free drinks and passed hors d’oeuvres, with live entertainment. Free tickets will be distributed at the show, however, donations to support marine industry summer camps are encouraged.

NBC Sports Network will be back for a second year of filming for a one-hour special that will be aired on Sunday, December 15th at 5:00 p.m. Expect to see camera crews and NBC commentators Townsend Bell, Will Christien, and Leigh Diffey as they capture exciting moments of the show, including the ‘Best in Show” award for vessels being debuted and the 2nd Annual Sunset Soiree and Yacht Chef Competition with celebrity judges at the new Super Yacht Village at Pier Sixty-Six.

Past Events

Past Events

Maritime Monday was held at Truluck’s on September 9th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with dozens of members gathered for networking and camaraderie, as well as great food and drinks.

Frank & Jimmie’s Propeller hosted its MIASF Member Mingle Fall Kick-off Party on Thursday, September 19th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event was well attended by MIASF members, who toured the facility and were treated to a bountiful spread of delicious food and plenty of beverages to enjoy.

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Did you know MIASF members can purchase discounted bulk tickets and credentials for the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show? Click here to access the discounted ticket page. In order to receive the discount, the company name used to purchase discounted tickets must EXACTLY match the company name listed with MIASF. Visit to verify the name. Tickets and credentials can be mailed via FedEx account or picked up at the show.

Did you know MIASF members are invited to the FLIBS Exhibitor Appreciation Party on October 31st? 

Did you know MIASF members have the opportunity to purchase discounted tickets to the daily lunch at FLIBS on board the MIASF Hospitality Lounge (Purple Zone Face Dock 13)?

Did you know MIASF members can purchase a discounted five-day FLIBS Water Taxi pass? Available for a limited time only, writsbands can be purchased online from Friday, September 27th through Monday, October 21st by clicking here. After purchase, they can be picked up at the Water Taxi office at 413 SW 3rd Ave Ft. Lauderdale, FL. 33315, seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. or mailed (shipping & handling fees apply). For more information call: 954-467-6677.


Welcome Aboard New Members!

Welcome Aboard New Members!



Atlantic Pacific Marine 

Kurt Gibson



2901 SW 3rd Ave., Suite 1B

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315

Phone: 954-713-0200

Company Description: Atlantic Pacific Marine specializes in refurbishment, repair and regeneration projects, offering a comprehensive range of engineering services, from initial surveys to refurbishments, refits and maintenance. Mechanical, Electrical, Pipework, Steel work, HVAC. We provide surveys, repairs, manufacture and installation for all materials and systems. Atlantic Pacific Marine is renowned for its extensive project management and fabrication capabilities. We provide credible solutions to difficult projects, from design and build through to installation. Reliable quality work delivered on time and within budget. Contact us today, at Atlantic Pacific Marine we work for you!


Lauderdale Marine Underwriters

Richard Gibbs



408 S Andrews Ave., Suite #205

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Phone: 954-678-2668

Company Description: Insurance agency specializing in all marine related risks. We write all types and sizes of watercraft from PWC on up to large yachts, as well as boat dealers, boat repair facilities, and any type of contractors, charter fishing boats, fleets, etc. As an independent insurance agent/broker, our office shops the market using a large number of various carriers to get the best coverage secured at the most affordable premium. The agency owner, Rick Gibbs has been serving clients in the South Florida area since 1987.


City of Hollywood

Herb Conde-Parlato



2600 Hollywood Blvd., Room 203

Hollywood, FL 33020

Phone: 954-921-3620

Company Description: Hollywood is the 3rd largest city in Broward County and is strategically located between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. The City has over $1.45 billion in real estate development planned or under construction and offer additional redevelopment opportunities on key commercial corridors. The City's economic development team is committed to implementing sustainable growth strategies that results in a robust economy. The Marine Industry is one of the City's targeted industries for expansion and growth.


Cayman Registry

Peter Southgate



PO Box 2256 GT

George Town, Cayman Islands

Phone: 345-949-8831

Company Description: Leading maritime administration.




Alison South Marketing Group

Nicole Golemi



401 E Las Olas Blvd., Suite 1400

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Phone: 803-226-0284

Company Description: We’re ink slingers, idea bringers, scribblers, and strategists. We take vision and bring it to life. If you’re not awake at night thinking about the next big idea for your company, you can rest assured we are.

Our offices are located in the South, but we were raised, travel, and work all over the country. Diversity is reflected not only in our team, but also in the concepts and ideas we bring to the table to market your business.