The Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF) hosted its 2023 Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon at the Broward Center for Performing Arts in the Riverview Ballroom on May 24 for its members, local elected officials, and community business leaders.
The event kicked off as Lori Wheeler, Vice President of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, announced the newly and re-elected members. “I am pleased to extend a warm welcome to our recently appointed board members, Rich Merhige from Advanced Mechanical Enterprises, Inc., and Justin Montes from DeAngelo Marine Exhaust, Inc., on behalf of MIASF. Furthermore, I extend my congratulations to Bob Denison of Denison Yachting and Chuck Cashman of MarineMax for their successful re-election to the board.”
MIASF also recognized outgoing board members Danny James of Compass Logistics & Marine, and Megan Washington of Pier 66 Hotel & Marina for their contributions to the association.
In a brief recap of the past year and highlighting the recently conducted economic impact study, Jimmie Harrison, Owner of Frank & Jimmie’s Propeller and chairman of the MIASF Board of Directors, remarked, “It has been a great year and we continue to see investments in our community with $7.4 billion invested in the tri-county region or 62% of the total invested in the state of Florida for 2022. The region’s economic impacts were an estimated $6.9 billion in wages and earnings, $9.8 billion in value-added, and an associated 141,860 jobs.”
The two Award of Excellence winners recognized at the event for their outstanding achievement and contributions, were Deborah Cleaver of Safe Harbor Lauderdale Marine Center and Kitty McGowan, President of U.S. Superyacht Association. In addition, this year’s Advocacy Award winners were announced as Broward County Mayor Lamar Fisher and Florida State Representative Adam Botana for their leadership and support of the Marine Industry. The 7th Annual Frank Herhold NSU Changing Lives Scholarship recipient was announced as John Alfirevich, who is a graduate student researching coral reef restoration.
Bob Swindell, President and CEO of The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, received the prestigious 2023 Golden Anchor Award, which recognizes an individual for their lifetime of work and achievement. Swindell has been a longtime supporter of the marine industry, serving as the President of the Marine Research Hub, and attending public meetings to advocate on behalf of the industry. In his leadership role at The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, Swindell has always recognized the importance of the Marine Industry to the local economy.
The event concluded as those in attendance received an educational and insightful conversation on the ways businesses can utilize AI to improve and grow their company. The back-and-forth conversation between Dave Nelsen, President of Dialog Consulting Group, and Bob Denison, President of Denison Yachting, provided insight into using Chat GPT to enhance company performance and providing a better experience for customers. The conversation revolved around adapting to technology as it continues to advance, and how you can use it to your company’s advantage.