2024 Detailed Agenda

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Monday, January 30, 2023
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Note All Times Listed are EST
Schedule and Speakers Subject to Change

Monday, JANUARY 29, 2024

8:00 am- 5:00 pm Clean Marina Course (Day 1)

Tuesday, JANUARY 30, 2024

8:00 am- 4:00 pm Exhibitor move-in to Exhibit Hall 
8:00 am- 11:00 am Clean Marina Course (Day 2)
8:00 am- 11:00 am Marina 101
8:00 am- 1:00 pm ABBRA Annual Conference 
8:00 am- 5:30 pm Docks and Marinas© Course (Day 1)
9:00 am- 4:00 pm Leadership, Team-Building and Coaching Skills, Brian Wade
11:30 am- 4:30 pm Marina and Boatyard and Ponce de Leon Lighthouse and Museum Tour
2:00 pm Registration Opens
4:30 pm- 5:45 pm AMI Annual Meeting and 1st Time Attendee Reception
6:00 pm- 8:00 pm Opening Reception

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

7:30 am Registration Opens
8:00 am Conference Welcome & 
Keynote, Front Row Leadership : How Top Performers Never Settle For Balcony SeatsMarilyn Sherman
9:30 am CMM and CMO Awards
10:00 am Exhibit Hall Opens
10:00 am- 4:00 pm Breaks, Breakout Sessions, Lunch and Product Demos


10:30 am– 11:30 am Communicating for Results—From Conflict to Cooperation
Marilyn Sherman, Keynote
Sponsored by:

No one likes conflict, and it’s not fun having to confront employees on their behavior. How do you let someone know they need to improve without having a constructive conversation escalate into workplace drama?
You need to know what to say, when to say it, and how to say it to resolve potential conflict situations before people get upset. Plus, teams are so much more effective when people are straightforward in their communication, without harboring resentments from past unresolved conflicts.
This presentation will have you walking out knowing that you have the tools to keep your cool when confronting others, or even when you’re being confronted by someone else. Oh, and by the way, you will now know what to say to the bully, so they won’t bother you again. You will be able to tell it like it is but in a way that brings people together and does not alienate or divide.
Desired Outcomes: Clearer communication, less conflict, higher-performing teams.
  Conducting Workplace Investigations
Robert Smith and Travis Vance, Fisher Phillips LLP
Sponsored by:

This session will review techniques marina managers can use to conduct a workplace investigation. The session will feature three case studies: a fuel dock fire, suspected employee drug use, and a sexual harassment claim. Attendees will learn about different methodologies for conducting investigations as well as the applicable legal requirements.
  Anchorage and “Which Waves Are Worse?”
Tyler Hackett and Rafal Wojcik, Dewberry and Tim Mason, ATM, Geosyntec Company
Many marina owners and operators mimic the anchorage type of their neighbors or region. Even further, many marina owners don’t properly understand their options when it comes to anchorage type. This decision could put the marina at significant risk of damage or could be an excessive financial burden. Through site evaluation, geotechnical investigation and marina-specific criteria, engineers can determine the best type of anchorage for your site.
This session is focused on the range of wave conditions that may impact a waterfront facility. This range not only includes different return period level events (e.g., the 50-year or 100-year storm) but a spectrum of potential wave conditions that may occur at a given return period. This wave spectrum includes varying wave heights and periods that can impact a facility during a single storm event. Many facility owners, operators, and even contractors and designers are unaware of the importance this wave spectrum plays in planning, designing, and operating a waterfront facility. For example, shorter-period, larger height waves may impart the highest forces on floating docks, while longer-period, lower height waves within the same wave spectrum may govern forces on a fixed structure at the same facility, under the same design storm. This is in direct conflict with the typical approach that many take in defining a single “design wave” for a facility. This talk will provide an overview of the issues, example scenarios illustrating their importance, and the key ‘takeaways’ for owners, operators, and designers to consider.
  Fishing for New Hires—How to Lure Them In
Sarah Devlin, ABYC
The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) Foundation has done extensive research into identifying solutions for marine industry companies looking for new hires, and it goes well beyond simply posting a listing on a job-search website. Join ABYC’s Accreditation Director to hear the top 10 tips for locating and grooming the right talent for your yard, shop, or marina. You will leave this session with specific action items you can implement to address your hiring needs.
  Navigating the Changing Trends of Boat Ownership
Steve Arnold, Freedom Boat Club of Maine and Marina Holdings, LLC; and Mark Jaraczewski, Circle of Boating, Suntex Marinas
Hear firsthand how boat clubs are changing the landscape of the boating community and the future boater. These clubs offer a new way to enjoy boating. Members appreciate the cost savings, convenience, and flexibility of the boat club model. And for marina owners, they offer additional sources of income and a broader community of boating enthusiasts. 
This session will cover how one marina owner, Steve Arnold, changed his business model to stay in step with today’s changing boating market—what he did, why he did it, and what he has learned in the process. Attendees will also learn why and how a corporate marina chain, Suntex Marinas, started its own boat club, Circle of Boating. Hear about their vision for the future of boat clubs and the changes they see on the horizon. This session covers two very different journeys related to boat clubs, but they share one common success, getting more people on the water. Is this a trend that is here to stay? Join this session to learn more.
1:30 pm– 2:30 pm
Overcoming Disaster: Hurricane Ian Preparedness and Response
Peter Clark, Safe Harbor Marinas and Sam Chavers, Suntex Marinas
Sometimes in the wake of disaster come opportunities and growth. Join Peter Clark and Sam Chavers as they share stories on preparedness, response and rebuild, and on the lessons learned from a Hurricane Ian hit. Sam will cover Snook Bight Marina’s hurricane plan and the plan modifications they are exploring as a result of their experience; their interactions with governmental agencies; insurance coverages for clean-up and rebuild; customer communications during a disaster; and planning, designing and permitting for a rebuild. Peter will share a specific area of the Safe Harbor Port Phoenix response: the removal, relocation and storage of distressed vessels. Port Phoenix was able to quickly identify a piece of land that would act as a storage area not only for the 100+ vessels in their own facility but for the other several thousand vessels in the region requiring relocation and repair. Quick removal of the vessels was necessary to assess in-water damage and to begin the vessel maintenance and repair that was going to be necessary to restore normalcy in recreational boating in the region. Through this process, it became very clear the important role that boatyards would play in that road to normalcy.  
  Importance of Regular Property Inspections
Tom Delotto, Suntex Marinas
In this session you will learn how to conduct a thorough property inspection and see how conducting internal inspections can provide teachings, improving operations safety for the team and reducing costs. 
  The Ins and Outs of Power Washing
The cleaning of boat hulls is a normal and necessary activity for most marinas and similar recreational boating facilities, and power washing is most often the means for carrying it out. Years ago, most of us didn’t give too much thought as to where the water from this kind of boat washing was going, but that has changed in response to regulation, education, and customer expectations.
What approaches make sense and are practical for complying with the various and—at times— conflicting regulations, protecting the environment, and providing customers with meaningful and efficient service?
  Want to Lead! Be Self-Aware
Jim Frye, CMM, Suntex Marinas
Every business problem is a people problem! The best leaders are those on a journey to self-awareness, and an understanding of emotional intelligence is a well-placed step in that journey. It’s important as well to understand the strengths and weaknesses within your team by better understanding them as individuals. As a seasoned leader in the marina industry, Jim Frye, CMM will share his success in nurturing individuals and developing teams to bridge the chasm between your business strategy and the targeted results you’re seeking. In addition to a discussion of leadership styles, the levels of leadership and team-building strategies, Frye will discuss resources for better hiring, team design, and inspiring performance through talent optimization.
  The Hidden Revolution: A History of the Quiet Technological Advancements That Will Shake the Future of the Marina Industry
Mike Melillo, Dockwa
Through the lens of three very different marinas, this session will walk through how data and technology will change outcomes for your business and boaters today and in the years to come. 
3:00 pm– 4:00 pm Developing a Financial Management Strategy for Marinas
Jim Frye, CMM, Suntex Marinas
Sponsored by:

In this session we will discuss how to use financial benchmarking in the marina Industry, budgeting for marina operations, and building a strong variance analysis. We will conclude with a brief discussion on marina valuation. Bring your questions about understanding marina financial statements and managing your marina by the numbers.
  Do I have Coverage for That?
Lori Sousa, Sea Land Insurance Corp and Eric J. Stockel, Esq., Schouest, Bamdas, Soshea, BenMaier & Eastham PLLC
This session will take you on a journey of real-life experiences of loss and share examples of where insufficient coverage and small gaps in coverage resulted in catastrophic losses. We will also discuss the contract implications of a hurricane club and the legal ramifications this may have on your facility. Given the recent weather events and expectations that storms will become increasingly more damaging, this session will focus on fire and hurricane. It will highlight instances where the proper coverage or contracts could result in significant savings in both time and money. Attorneys are expensive and so is new equipment. So, make sure you have the proper coverage. This session is interactive and will provide real life tools to take back to your facilities and use immediately.
  Stormwater Plans, Practices and Payoffs—Clean Water Supports Recreational Enjoyment and Profitable Business
Dan Williams, MSA Professional Services
When we talk about stormwater management, most conversations begin with flood control and how to plan for and mitigate damage from design-basis rain events and, in the case of coastal marinas, storm surges. Public and private entities alike, including marinas, require some degree of flood or high-water measures in place to protect property, people, and operational performance.
However, there is an equally important benefit to implementing stormwater best management practices: the protection of natural resources such as lakes, rivers, oceans, and the aquatic life within. As our natural resources become increasingly threatened and in higher demand, we can set an example of environmental stewardship for the next generation of boaters and water enthusiasts.
In this session, we’ll explore a major contamination culprit—upland pollution. We’ll also review options that place your marina in the driver’s seat of stormwater management to create win-win solutions.
  Emerging Issues in Human Resources
Shirley Adams, Adams & Associates, LLC
In today’s fast-changing environment related to worker expectations, regulations, and technology, we will look at several trends, directions and issues that are on the horizon and affecting employers and how we can prepare for the inevitable.
  Who is the Future Boater
Kevin Williams, NMMA
This session will cover the rollout of the industry’s Discover Boating campaign in April 2022. This campaign followed deep research to not only understand the basic demographics of future boaters, but also really get at the feelings, behaviors, and mindset of boaters—especially post-pandemic.
One thing was clear in the research: the next generation looks, acts, and thinks differently than current boat owners. And yet their mindset and interests, in many ways, remain similar. Participation in the outdoors, and outdoor recreation specifically, are uniting factors across the boater population. Join this session to see how you can start planning today for the next-generation boater.
4:00 pm Reception and Product Demos
5:45 pm CMM and CMO Dinner, Atlantic 1 &2, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina (invite only)
8:00 pm- 11:00 pm Social Night, Intracoastal Room, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina

Thursday, February 1, 2024

8:00 am Registration Opens
8:30 am  Daily Welcome and The Future is Here! Trends in Boat Design: Is Your Marina Prepared? Panel
Alex Cattelan, Chief Technology Officer, Brunswick Group;Sean Marrero, Chief Strategy Officer and President Watershed Innovation, Correct Craft; and Senior Dan Ryks, Category Manager, Electrification | Mercury Marine 
10:00 am Exhibit Hall Opens
10:00 am- 3:00 pm Breaks, Breakout Sessions, Lunch and Product Demos


11:00 am– 12:00 pm Navigating Transition Fog and Leading through Change
Brenda Reynolds, Leadership Consultant, Executive Coach, Best-Selling Author, TEDx Speaker and Change Expert
Got fog? Who doesn’t these days as we find our way through unprecedented times and all the uncertainty and change that comes with it. Even organizations experiencing high growth and business success during this time are experiencing their own type of fog. Let’s explore what transition fog is, where fog comes from, and the mindset and tips for navigating it. This keynote focuses on finding clarity and resilience while leading yourself and others through transition fog.
  2023 Marina Electrical Design and Code Compliance Updates—What You Need to Know
Chris Dolan, Marina Electrical Equipment
This presentation will review basic marina electrical design concepts and code requirements. Special emphasis is on changes made to the main standards for marina design—the 2023 NEC 555 and the 2021 NFPA 303.
  Marina Operations and Policies after Project Completion
Heath Hansell, ATM, A Geosyntec Company
Based on the selected design criteria, warranties, insurance requirements, etc. what are the operating procedures for marina managers? Are these procedures clear in contracts between the marina and slip holders? Which document is the governing design criteria and “survives” after the project is built so the marina manager will have access to it? What happens if/when operators push the limits? What happens when the worst happens? If an operator overloads the dock beyond the design criteria was that criteria the right one to begin with? These questions and more will be discussed, including example situations, lessons learned and recommendations.
  The 10-Minute Marketing Plan: Marine Marketers of America Panel
Rachael Lobeck Boats Group; Katy Fairman Boatyard; Colin Voreis, Boats Group; Amanda Ward, MarineMax; Moderated by Alisdair Martin, NMMA

Join leaders in the marine marketing space to learn tips and strategies for creating a simple and effective marketing plan. Whether you have 10 minutes or 2 hours a week to dedicate to marketing, this session will offer strategies for building your customer base, social media presence and brand.
Caring For Our People and the Natural World
Caitlin Ajax, Safe Harbor Marinas
Join Caitlin Ajax, vice president of environment, social and governance (ESG) at Safe Harbor Marinas, as she shares the organization’s approach to sustainability and opportunities for collaboration as we move together toward a more sustainable future.
2:00 pm– 3:00 pm Strategies for Leading Through Change and Uncertainty
Brenda Reynolds, Leadership Consultant, Executive Coach, Best-Selling Author, TEDx Speaker and Change Expert
Sponsored By:

This breakout session takes a deeper dive into transition fog and strategies for navigating change and uncertainty. As a leader, you know that complexity, responsibility, change, and uncertainty come with the job. How you manage uncertainty sends a big ripple through your organization. Learning what to do with transition fog may be the most important leadership muscle you need to build. This session will get you jump started with tactics to employ and apply to your situation.
  Waterfront Fires and How to Mitigate Them
Tony Caliri, Fire Boat Academy and John Venneman, CHUBB Insurance
Join Tony Carli and John Venneman discuss the fire exposures present along the modern recreational waterfront, and how proactive marina management can mitigate those exposures
  Grant Funding and Financing Strategies for your Marina Project
Greg Weycamp, Edgewater Resources
Sponsored by:

Perhaps the biggest challenge in seeing your dream marina become a reality is finding the money to build it. Fortunately, there are many funding sources out there that can help. This seminar will explore a wide range of grant programs such as the US Fish and Wildlife Boating Infrastructure Grant Program, the Clean Vessel Act program, Federal Emergency Management Agency pre-disaster mitigation and coastal resiliency programs, renewable energy grants, and a wide range of state grant programs. This session will also cover development strategies for partnering with local communities to utilize Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and similar programs to help fund infrastructure through public-private partnerships. Lastly, you will hear about key strategies that have helped many obtain dozens of grants and tens of millions of dollars in grant funding over the last ten years.
  Practical Marketing Instructions for Marina Owners & Managers: Advice from a 3rd Generation Marina Marina Manager Turned Marketer
Sam Claitor, Hammer & Nail Marketing

Learn from a marketer who comes from a family run marina. We'll walk you through how to be effective with marketing and determine what's going to work for your marina. Regardless of your budget size, you'll be able to immediately implement these techniques yourself.  
  Know the Numbers- An Examination of Industry Statistics Using AMI Surveying Data
Eric Kretsch, Association of Marina Industries

In this session, AMI’s Legislative and Outreach Coordinator, will examine industry statistics gathered using AMI’s portfolio of marina industry surveying. AMI operates four surveys, the Marina Industry Economic Outlook, Wage Rate, Financial Benchmark, and Rates and Infrastructure survey. AMI surveying confirmed what many business leaders have seen over the last few years – the industry is booming, but we also face specific challenges, like increasing costs and rising wages.

Eric, using the most recent surveys, will provide an overview of the trends facing the industry and dive into some details of the data AMI collects on behalf of the industry. 
2:00 pm Exhibit Hall Closes
2:00 pm- 5:00 pm Exhibitor move-out
3:00 pm AMI Conference & Expo Concludes