From the Captain's Chair: Reflecting on Our Past Accomplishments
With our annual meeting just a few weeks away, the Marine Industries Association of South Florida team has been reflecting on all that has transpired in the past 12 months. Of course, the pandemic and its impact on our region’s citizens and economy is front of mind. Yet once you get past the unsettling nature of shelter in place orders, masking mandates, and the “should I or shouldn’t I” vaccination questions now being asked, there is a lot to celebrate.
MIASF worked tirelessly to find solutions to overcome the hurdles brought by COVID-19. From partnering with Informa to create a safe and secure in-person Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show to redesigning annual events like the 44th Broward County Waterway Cleanup and the Plywood (now Cardboard) Regatta, we ensured none of MIASF’s important events were cancelled. While the events looked different from past years, the essence remained unchanged – to support and promote the marine industry.
Our approach to this year’s annual meeting is no different. Although ongoing health and safety concerns required us to rethink the usual format of a dinner meeting and awards ceremony, the show will go on. This year’s MIASF Annual Meeting will be a luncheon at the newly refurbished Lauderdale Yacht Club on May 20th. Attendance will be limited to maintain comfortable social distancing standards.
What won’t change is that we will use this opportunity to announce the results of our association elections. Likewise, local, state, and federal lobbyists will be on hand to give legislative updates. The luncheon will also be our opportunity to share important milestones and shine a light on upcoming events in our vibrant South Florida marine industry.
One such event is the Lauderdale Yacht Club Sailing Foundation’s Gold Star event. This private sailing camp provides an opportunity for 12 children who lost a parent in military combat to learn to sail. These children will learn the basics of sailing during the week-long camp to be held in June.
And, of course, our annual meeting would not be complete without the presentation of our Golden Anchor award. As is tradition, this year’s recipient is someone who has demonstrated service to the community and lifetime dedication, excellence, and advocacy to the marine industry.
This year’s annual meeting will be hosted by Reggie Rivers, retired Denver Broncos running back, professional broadcaster, and motivational speaker. Distinguished invited guests include several elected officials. These government officials have been steadfast supporters of the marine industry. They were also instrumental in getting the industry designated an essential business at the start of the pandemic, thus keeping our workers employed.
On behalf of the entire MIASF team, I want to thank you for your ongoing membership and support of the marine industry. We look back on the past year with appreciation for what we accomplished and look forward to the coming 12 months with anticipation and excitement about what we will achieve together.