Keynote speaker named for IBEX industry breakfast

Kevin Harrington, inventor of the infomercial, will deliver the keynote presentation on Oct. 4 at IBEX.

Kevin Harrington, inventor of the infomercial and original "Shark" on ABC's "Shark Tank," will deliver the keynote speech at the International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition & Conference Industry Breakfast on Oct. 4.


During the breakfast, at the Tampa Waterside Marriott Hotel across from the Tampa Convention Center, where IBEX will be held, attendees will also hear about the State of the Industry in a presentation delivered by NMMA president Thom Dammrich as well as presentations of important industry awards, including the IBEX Innovation Awards.

"The IBEX Industry Breakfast is a 'can't miss' event every year and we are pleased to welcome Kevin Harrington to this year's program. We look forward to learning more from his experiences as a successful entrepreneur and how his insights can inspire our work in the marine industry," Dammrich said in a statement.

In the early 1980s, Kevin Harrington was busy launching companies and working as both a real estate and business broker. While watching television one night in 1984, he noticed that sometimes the only thing on the screen were the color test bars that stations ran when they had nothing else to air, thus giving him the idea to produce the industry's first 30-minute infomercial to fill that dead air space. In 2009, Harrington was selected as one of the original 'Shark Tank' Sharks on the ABC's Emmy-Award winning show. His episodes can currently be seen nightly on CNBC. He also founded two global associations - ERA (Electronic Retailers Association), which is now in 45 countries and EO (Entrepreneurs Organization) which boasts more than 10,000 members. He is on the board of University of South Florida (USF) entrepreneur programs, and teaches regularly.

“We know our attendees and exhibitors will be inspired and motivated by Kevin Harrington, and we thank our industry breakfast sponsors Lippert Components/Furrion and Southco Inc. for partnering with us to offer an exciting way to begin IBEX 2016," Anne Dunbar, IBEX Show Director, said in a statement. "The IBEX Industry Breakfast is always a highlight of the show and we encourage people to register early, as this event will surely sell out."

In addition to the State of the Industry Address, Dammrich will present the NMMA Hall of Fame Award to honor a marine industry leader who has made, or continues to make, substantial contributions toward the advancement of recreational boating. To submit a candidate, complete the formal Hall of Fame nomination form and send to Rachel Timko at

Several other awards will be presented including the IBEX Innovation Awards which acknowledges the importance of technological advancements in the marine industry. Exhibitors interested in submitting their products please note the deadline to enter is Aug. 26. For more information, visit the show website. The National Marine Representatives Association (NMRA) will present Mel Barr Award named after one of the founding members of NMRA, given to an individual who has made significant contributions to the marine industry. Boating Industry will present its Mover & Shaker award that recognizes innovative leaders, people unafraid to take chances to improve the industry.

The IBEX Industry Breakfast will be held on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 from 7:30 - 9:30 am at the Tampa Waterside Marriott Hotel in the Grand Ballroom. To register as an attendee for IBEX and purchase tickets for the industry breakfast, which are $35, click here. Exhibitors and booth staff interested in registering or adding Industry Breakfast tickets should click here. For questions, please contact Joanne Miller, 312-946-6245 or IBEX Registration, 484-751-5135.


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