The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) announced today the distinguished list of judges for the 2021 IBEX Innovation Awards Program. The program is managed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and judged by Boating Writers International (BWI). Awards will be presented during the annual Industry Breakfast, Keynote, and Innovation Awards presentation, held from 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. at the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street, fourth floor Tampa Bay Ballroom, a new location for this year. All products submitted to the IBEX Innovation Awards will be displayed along Innovation Way located on the 2nd floor of the Tampa Convention Center throughout the Show.
Honoring achievements in new product development in 15 areas of the marine industry, Innovation Awards categories include: Boat Care and Maintenance; Boatbuilding Methods and Materials; Boatyard and Marina Hardware and Software; Deck Equipment and Hardware; Electric Motor/Battery Powered Propulsion/Hybrids; Electrical Systems; Entertainment; Furnishings and Interior Parts; Inboard Engines; Mechanical Systems; OEM Electronics; Outboard Engines; Propulsion Parts, Propellers; Safety Equipment; and Trailers, Parts and Trailer Accessories.
“We are very excited to kick off IBEX 2021 with our Industry Breakfast, Keynote and Innovation Awards presentation,” said Anne Dunbar, IBEX Show Director. “This year we had an exceptional selection of entries in the Innovation Awards program judged by a distinguished set of expert judges. We look forward to rewarding this year’s innovation from our exhibitors and sharing all the new product entries at IBEX.”
Each of the eight BWI judges comes to IBEX with different technical backgrounds and boating experience. The panel of judges for the 2021 IBEX Innovation Awards are:
- Zuzana Prochazka (chair) is a freelance writer and photographer with regular contributions to more than a dozen publications. A USCG 100 Ton Master, Zuzana has cruised, chartered, and captained vessels in most parts of the world and founded a flotilla charter company called Zescapes. She serves as an international presenter on charter destinations, safety issues, and technical topics, and she is the executive director of BWI.
- Ben Stein (co-chair) is editor of Panbo.com covering the marine electronics industry. He also serves as electronics editor for Power & Motoryacht and PassageMaker magazines and is a regular contributor to Soundings. After 15 years in financial services technology, he left the corporate world to pursue his passion in boating. A USCG 100 Ton Master, Ben has completed the Great Loop and currently lives aboard his boat with his wife and two daughters.
- Bill Bishop is a writer, not starving, and finishing his first screenplay. He is a marine electronics specialist, an avid boater, and builder of robots for special needs children as his hobby.
- Nigel Calder got into motorcycles and sailing dinghies as a teenager and has never been far from mechanical things and boats ever since. In recent years this has morphed into extensive development and testing of experimental electrical and propulsion systems. Nigel has been an active participant in the American Boat and Yacht Council’s (ABYC) electrical Project Technical Committee (PTC), which writes the standards for recreational boat electrical systems, for 30 years.
- Steve Davis has been sailing since age seven, is a USCG licensed 100 Ton Master (sail and power), and served as a charter, delivery, shuttle, and tour boat captain for more than 20 years. He is the editor-in-chief of Southern Boating magazine and is currently a BWI board member and judge for the BWI writing contest.
- Bill Gius has been in the marine industry for over three decades. He owns Country Consulting, a marine industry consulting firm, and works with Great Lakes Marine Marketing, a long-standing, mid-west manufacturers representative company. Bill is a contributing writer to Pontoon & Deck Boat magazine and Great Lakes Boating magazine.
- Brady Kay is the executive editor of Pontoon & Deck Boat magazine and has been at the helm of the publication for over 20 years. During his tenure, Brady has tested and reviewed countless pontoon and deck boats, traveled to all 50 states for feature profiles, and has taken thousands of photos. He also currently oversees Great Lakes Boating magazine, a sister publication at Harris Publishing, and is serving as the second vice president of BWI.
- Adam Quandt is managing editor and the Top 100 program director for Boating Industry. Adam tackles everything from testing and reviewing new products, to tracking and reporting on industry trends, and serves on the board of numerous industry-focused award programs. Though not necessarily born into the boating world like many others, Adam has quickly developed a passion for the industry and strives to continue bringing boaters together.
All product entries submitted for the 2021 IBEX Innovation Awards are required to have met the rules and regulations of the program and be from a contracted 2021 exhibiting company. The Industry Breakfast is sponsored by AWLGRIP North America, Interlux Yacht Finishes, Protomet Corporation, the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF), Sea Hawk Paints, and Tides Marine Inc. Tickets can be purchased during IBEX registration.
The safety and security of the visitors and exhibitors who choose to attend IBEX 2021 is our highest priority. The situation is changing daily, and IBEX show management will continue to update the on-site safety protocols as the Show approaches. Please review the health and safety protocol page for full details: www.ibexshow.com/covid-faqs.
For visitor registration, click www.ibexshow.com/register.