ABBRA sets speakers for January conference


The American Boat Builders & Repairers Association announced the lineup of topics and speakers for its Boatyard Business Conference.

Scheduled for Jan. 16-18 at the B Ocean Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, the conference will focus on issues important to boatyards, boatbuilders and marine service/repair businesses.

Participants will hear updates about opportunities and challenges facing the boatyard/boatbuilding sector of the industry. Speakers will offer national and global perspectives on changes in the marine business environment and what may be expected in the future.

The conference is titled "Sustainability & Growth in the New Global Marketplace," and speakers will offer presentations on the following:

• Ed Sherman, curriculum development director, ABYC, "Get On the FastTrac — ABYC Rolls Out Their New FastTrac Program"

• J.B. Turner, managing partner, Front Street Shipyard; Taylor Allen, owner, Rockport Marine; Steve White, owner, Brooklin Boat Yard; and Kenneth Priest, president, Kenway Corp., "A Model for Success: The Connection Between the Traditional Boatyard of the Past and the Boatyard in the new Global Marketplace — What has Changed and What has Stayed the Same"

• Jim Bronstein, owner, Marine Business Advisors; and Ron Helbig, general manager, Noank Village Boatyard, "Professionalism Has Nothing to do with the Size of the Boat? What Large Megayacht Refit and Repair Yards Have in Common with Smaller Yards

• Mole Telfer, business development manager, Rob Price Services; Michael Keyworth, general manager, Brewer Cove Haven Marina; and Scott Miser, yacht services representative, Rybovich, "How to Ensure Subcontractors are an Asset not a Liability"

• Kevin Hutchinson, president, My; and Joy McPeters, publisher, MarinaLife, "Information, Communication, and Relationship Building in a New Global Marketplace"

• Susan Swanton, executive director, Maine Marine Trades Association, "Interactive Discussion: The Boatyard Business, Problems and Solutions"

• Kevin McLaughlin, Fairhaven Shipyard; Mario Garneau, vice president, research, development and innovation at New Nautical Coatings; Kelly Crete, safety and loss control manager, Gowrie Group; and Mike Keyworth, general manager, Brewer Cove Marina, "VOC's and the Regulatory Challenge Facing the Boatyard Industry"

• Bill Yeargin, Correct Craft president/CEO, "Teambuilding & Leadership for Productivity & Success"

• Kristina Hebert, chief operating officer, Wards Marine Electric/president, MIASF, "The Latest on Longshore Insurance Reform and Why You Still Need to Stay Engaged"

• Gerry Nessenson, ValvTect Petroleum Products president, "The Latest on E15"

• Susan Swanton; and Rich Difede, president, Gold Coast Yachts (St. Croix, Virgin Islands), "Workforce Development ... Now More Important than Ever"

• Larry Keefe, executive vice president, Starkweather Shepley, "The Latest Updates on Boatyard Insurance"


‘We’ve been working our butts off’

With his boatbuilding pedigree, 28-year-old Philip Faulkner launched Avid Boats in just six months. The startup has a facility, financial backing, boats on the line and big plans going forward.