The International Boat Builders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) has announced the panel of technical marine experts from Boating Writers International who will preside over The Innovation Awards which will be presented during the Annual Industry Breakfast on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 – 7:30 to 9:30 am at Tampa Waterside Marriott Hotel. IBEX will be held October 4-6, 2016 at the Tampa Convention Center directly across the street from the Marriott.

The Innovation Awards honor achievement in product development in 13 areas of the marine industry: Boatbuilding Methods & Materials; Deck Equipment & Hardware; Furnishings & Interior Parts; Mechanical Systems; Electrical Systems; Inboard Engines; Outboard Engines; Boatyard and Dealer Hardware and Software; Propulsion Parts, Propellers; Boat Care and Maintenance; OEM Electronics; Trailers, Parts and Trainer Accessories; and Safety Equipment.

“The IBEX Innovation Awards is one of the marine industry’s most prestigious honors, recognizing manufacturers and suppliers who bring new, innovative products to market, and we look forward to honoring the winners at the Industry Breakfast and seeing these products come to market,” said Anne Dunbar, IBEX Show Director. “IBEX is the platform for announcing new technologies in the marine industry and with 85 new products to consider, the panel of judges will certainly have their work cut out for them. Attendees will have the chance to see all of the entrees on the show floor along Innovation Way.”

The panel of judges for the 2016 IBEX Innovation Awards includes:

Alan Wendt (Chair): Past President of Boating Writers International and contributing writer for Lakeland Boating & Southern Boating, Yacht Rendezvous Event Planner for Manufacturer based customer cruises.
Zuzana Prochaska (Co-Chair): 100 Ton USCG master, SAIL Magazine charter editor, freelance writer and photographer for 15 marine and travel titles, international speaker.
Gary Reich: Editor-at-Large, Chesapeake Bay Magazine; Contributing Writer, Anglers Journal, PassageMaker Magazine, Soundings, and Lakeland Boating Magazine.
Frank Lanier: Marine surveyor and contributor to Practical Sailor and Southern Boating.
Craig Ritchie: Contributing Writer to Boatguide and Boating Business magazines, which serve the Canadian market – along with trade titles Boating Industry, Boating Industry Canada, Marine Business (Australia) International Boat Industry (global) and The Naval Architect, the official journal of the Royal Institute of Maine Architects.
Peter Robson: Former editor and current contributor to Pacific Yachting, contributor to Canadian Boating Guidebooks.
John Wooldridge: Writer, editor, and photographer in recreational marine journalism since 1977. He has had the opportunity to fish, cruise, and dive global waters, in small boats and large yachts, and reported on those experiences to readers of regional, national, and international magazines.
Capt. Lou Gainor: Nautical Talk – Northeast Radio Host, Experienced Coastal Cruiser.
“We are thrilled to once again work with IBEX and the NMMA on judging the Innovation Awards. We have put together an exceptional panel of technical marine experts, and the judges are excited to review the new products and unique solutions that always rise to the surface at IBEX, paving the way for the future of recreational boating,” said Alan Wendt, Chair of the Judging Panel and Past President of Boating Writers International.

BWI is a professional organization consisting of writers, editors, publishers, photographers, broadcasters, public relations specialists and others in the communications profession associated with the boating industry. Members are active marine journalists across the United States, Canada, Europe and beyond. Visit www.bwi.org for details.

Attendees to IBEX can join hundreds of marine industry colleagues at the popular IBEX Industry Breakfast held on the opening morning of the show. The program includes the State of the Industry delivered by Thom Dammrich, NMMA President, followed by several short presentations of important industry awards including the prestigious IBEX Innovation Awards. Kevin Harrington, inventor of the infomercial, original shark on ABC’s shark tank, and co-founder of Entrepreneur’s Organization will deliver this year’s Keynote address. Tickets are $35/per person.

Register for IBEX and the Industry Breakfast