Captain's Chair: 2020 Vision
At this time of year, I would like to wish everyone a joyous holiday season with friends and family! It is very important to take some time away from the significant work we do all year to rest, reflect, and celebrate.
Advocacy is a big part of the MIASF mission all year, and while we successfully foster strong relationships with local, county, state, and federal elected officials, agency heads, staff, and community leaders, advocacy really starts within our industry. That’s why we think it’s essential that in 2019 we continued to support other boat shows, we promoted standard operating procedures within all yards, and we developed a workforce development pipeline, including the first yacht service technician apprenticeship program in the State, that benefits everyone.
We worked continuously to maintain our relationships with the U.S. Coast Guard, which is responsible for maintaining reasonable navigation on our waterways and regulates the FEC railroad bridge openings schedule on the New River, and the Florida Department of Transportation, which will release the results of its FEC railroad bridge study to identify viable solutions to safeguarding the $9 billion marine industry in Broward County while allowing for the potential of regional transportation opportunities.
We continued to broaden our community engagement and impact through events, like the annual Broward County Waterway Cleanup and Plywood Regatta, and opportunities like building homes with Habitat for Humanity and the Junior Achievement “Sea the World” exhibit. Additionally, the Marine Research Hub partnered with Ocean Exchange and transitioned its three-day global-impact conference from Savannah to Fort Lauderdale. We upgraded both the MIASF and Salty Jobs websites, created a sophisticated job board with JOBarto, and updated our Salty Jobs video series with a new co-host, as well as Salty Scenes and Walk the Dock video off-shoots.
And of course, FLIBS continued to grow and expand as the world-class event it has become, with investments from Informa in infrastructure, technology, and the development of the Superyacht Village at Pier Sixty-Six South, the new Windward VIP Club, and entertainment options. Now in its second year, the NBC Sports Network one-hour special has been increased to three broadcasts and enlarged its viewership by 30% since last year.
As we look forward into 2020, we are planning for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention Center renovation, receiving the results of Thomas Murray & Associates new FLIBS economic impact study, and celebrating MIASF’s 60th anniversary at our annual dinner and awards ceremony. Starting this new decade, MIASF is positioned to take advantage of new opportunities for advocacy, leadership, and growth.
On behalf of the MIASF staff, Board of Directors, and myself, may you have a very Happy New Year!