We are! And we can’t wait to welcome you all to the 25th Anniversary IBEX Show next week in Louisville, KY. This is the first event of the Fall/Winter marine industry show season – let’s get the momentum going!

I’d like to take a moment to share with you some thoughts on what we will see and learn next week at IBEX.  The 548 current exhibitors have highlighted nearly 300 new or special products, processes, and services that they plan to show.  Have you downloaded the IBEX app?   Now is the time to map out your time at IBEX to make the most of it.   Be sure to take the time to stop by the Exhibitor Workshop Theater and learn from company experts who are eager to answer your questions.   Check out the Future Materials Showcase and 3D Digital Workshop located in the Composites Pavilion.   Did you know we enhanced the Connected Boat Display located in the Electronics Pavilion to include some live presentation time? Be sure to stop by and hear about what’s new.

And don’t forget the special events: Composites Challenge and Cocktail Competition on Tuesday from 5 – 6 PM in the Composites Pavilion, Bourbon and Brew Happy Hour on Wednesday from 5-6 PM. And be sure to gather after hours on opening night at 4th Street LIVE, mingle with industry friends, and enjoy reduced price drinks and dinner specials to those wearing their IBEX badge. How about the pre-concert party after IBEX on Wednesday starting at  6 PM followed by great 80’s music at the Rock the Yacht concert.   IBEX delivers you three days packed full of networking and learning.

Safe travels to all the marine industry professionals heading to the 25th Anniversary IBEX show in Louisville next week.   I look forward to seeing you all.

Tina Sanderson, Sales Director

And don’t forget – CLICK HERE to download the IBEX 2015 mobile app.

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IBEX Opens in 19 Days – See You There.

IBEX 2015 opens in 19 days – WOW! If you have not registered, now is the time. Click here to get started registering.  If you prefer to talk with a live person, you can do your registration over the phone by calling 484-751-5135.

Now should you need a little incentive, let me provide you with that. IBEX 2015 will host 550 exhibitors from 14 countries. We will welcome 110  NEW-to-IBEX-exhibitors this year. The show floor sold out back in May, we added more booths – and we are sold out again. We have a record number of Innovation Award entries this year, which means there are more new products to see at IBEX than ever. For a sneak peek at these new products please see today’s press release, click here.

Here are some of the highlights you can expect on-site this year:

Industry Breakfast, Innovation Awards Presentation, & 2015 keynote speaker Johnny Bench,  Tuesday, September 15 , 7:30 AM–9:30 AM at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Tickets are $30 per person. All the Innovation Awards entries will be available along Innovation Way in the exhibit hall – you should not miss this new product display on-site.

Composites Challenge & Cocktail Competition, Tuesday, September 15th at 5 PM in the Composites Pavilion. The IBEX Composite Pavilion hosts all of the leading composite companies servicing the marine industry today. Their annual pavilion party is unique and challenging. Test your composites knowledge while you judge who concocted the best cocktail in the Composites Pavilion.

Opening Night Party on Fourth Street LIVE! will be held Tuesday, September 15th, after the exhibit hall closes at 6 PM. You can enjoy entertainment, live music, and great food with other marine industry professionals in downtown Louisville’s premier entertainment district. IBEX badge holders will receive drink and dinner discounts in many of the restaurants on Fourth Street.

Coffee and Compliance , Wednesday, September 16th, in the Compliance, Standards, and Education Pavilion. Plan to stop by for coffee, pastries, and networking with industry leaders. “Coffee and Compliance” is a free session where exhibitors and attendees can meet with experts in marine certification and standards and can discuss current trends and compliance issues affecting the industry. Exhibitors are invited from 9 AM – 10 AM, and all are invited from 10 AM – 11 AM.

Bourbon & Brew Happy Hour , Wednesday, September 15, 5 PM – 6 PM, throughout the exhibit halls. Some of Kentucky’s best local distilleries and breweries will be spread throughout the IBEX exhibit floor to create a trail of the tastiest bourbons and beers while you network with the entire industry.

Rock the Yacht Pre-Party and Concert at 6 PM. Marine professionals can attend a concert featuring Little River Band, Ambrosia, Player, Stephen Bishop, and Robbie Dupree, who will be playing their 80s hits. The Pre-Party begins at 6 PM, just as the show closes at the Kentucky Exposition Center with live music, food, and drinks and is followed by the concert. Tickets for the concert can be purchased in Hall B Lobby or by clicking here.

And if that is not enough – I’ve got more for you:

FUTURE MATERIALS EXHIBIT  – A new hands-on exhibit at the center of the Composites Pavilion. Curated by editors from Professional BoatBuilder and CompositesWorld magazines, this collection of new materials, processes, and technologies has been gathered from a wide variety of sources including marine, aerospace, and automotive industries, plus some applied academic research and development. The goal is to present a mix of innovative near-term practical applications for boatbuilders as well as ideas to inspire novel solutions to present and future challenges in composites design, fabrication, end-use marketing, recycling, and repair. 

IBEX 3D DIGITAL WORKSHOP IBEX is pleased to partner with Cincinnati Incorporated, a company that was founded in 1898, and whose product lines include CO2 and fiber lasers, automation, press brakes, shears, powdered metal presses, and BAAM (Big Area Additive Manufacturing). Stop by and see samples of large 3D parts including a kayak, and consult with their expert staff to learn more about the many new manufacturing processes now applicable to the marine industry.

MAKERMOBILE TRAILERThe MakerMobile is a collaboration between Velocity Indiana and San Francisco-based TechShop. Onboard the modified 32-foot trailer is a staff of experts and a variety of maker tools including 3D printers, laser cutters, a vinyl cutter, a CNC machine, laptop workstations and electronics kits.

THE CONNECTED BOAT INTERACTIVE DISPLAY – It’s hard to keep up with all the changes taking place in overall system connectivity, and that’s why this year IBEX offers an expanded display to showcase the latest and greatest with even more products on display providing real-world solutions to challenging connectivity issues.

And finally, IBEX’s Education Conference offers more than 80 sessions packed with opportunities to examine best practices, innovative processes, and new techniques designed to improve operations at every level. It is comprised of three formats, making it easy for attendees to gain knowledge they can bring back to their businesses.

The Super Sessions are specialty workshops, produced by exhibitors, which review in-depth topics and provide hands-on interaction with materials and processes. These Sessions are held the day before the exhibit floor opens on Monday, September 14, and allow participants to focus solely on training. Seats are limited for the IBEX Super Sessions, and those wanting to participate should not delay in registering.

The Seminar Series runs all three days of IBEX and allows attendees to earn continuing education credits (CEUs) in eight separate tracks, making it easy to choose the most appropriate seminars. Tracks include boatyard and marina operations, composite methods and materials, design and engineering, manufacturing management and policy, marine electrical systems, onboard systems, survey and repair, and ProBoat Editor’ Picks.

The Exhibitor Workshop Theater is located on the exhibit floor and has a packed schedule of presentations this year. Attendees can participate in any of these workshops without leaving the exhibit floor. A workshop runs every hour, and are FREE to IBEX attendees.

So there you have it – IBEX 2015 in a nutshell. You will of course have many more experiences, conversation, and “ah-ha moments” as you spend 3-days walking the show floor, learning from industry experts, and taking in all the new products, innovation, and technology.

For full IBEX details, please visit our website

I look forward to welcoming you to IBEX 2015.

-Kate Holden, IBEX Marketing Director


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Fresh IBEX Technical Seminars, Get ‘Em While They’re Hot



In Rockland, Maine, Kevin Boughton of Midcoast Marine Electronics helps skipper Carol Vernon sort out an electronics miscommunication issue between the radar and the chart plotting system aboard Sonny, the meticulously restored 1935 Sparkman-Stephens designed cruiser/racer. Kevin is an NMEA certified instructor; the NMEA presents seminar 606: NMEA 2000 And OneNet: Advances in Systems Integration at IBEX 2015.

In Rockland, Maine, Kevin Boughton of Midcoast Marine Electronics helps skipper Carol Vernon sort out an electronics miscommunication issue between the radar and the chart plotting system aboard Sonny, the meticulously restored 1935 Sparkman-Stephens designed cruiser/racer. Kevin is an NMEA certified instructor; the NMEA presents seminar 606: NMEA 2000 And OneNet: Advances in Systems Integration at IBEX 2015.

Every year about this time the editorial team of Professional BoatBuilder magazine, as well as yours truly, are relieved and excited by the reality that the 50-plus technical seminars we organize as part of the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) are ready for your consumption. We’ve been pulling them together for nearly 8 months now, but this is the point where speakers have committed, topics are focused, and registration is open. Come and get ‘em! IBEX 2015 is only weeks away!

The full seminar program for IBEX 2015 (Sept. 15-17) includes a range of topics geared to naval architects, yard managers, purchasing agents, and shop-floor staff and marine technicians of any experience level. Of note this year are a couple of seminars (402 and 604) focused on recent advances in digital design and 3D printing of working components, not just patterns and prototypes. We’ll produce a new version of Richard Downs-Honey’s very popular 2-part Engineering Live! seminar (102 and 202). Watch boat design in action with all the setbacks and miracles that make it such a rewarding challenge as Richard coordinates the efforts of a phalanx of engineers, a naval architect, materials experts, and production shop managers.

We’ll have a practical look at the Risks and Rewards of Lithium-Ion Batteries (304) from ProBoat’s Nigel Calder. It’s a particularly timely topic in a year that’s seen the proliferation of the evolving energy-storage technology afloat as well as some concerns about its safety.

Also on the subject of electrical systems, the National Marine Electronics Association will offer an update of advances in integration of the association’s networked systems standards (606).

This year, boatyard core skills topics we all would do well to brush up on include Improving the Life Cycle of Tooling (705) with Karen Travis, Electrical Troubleshooting with a Multimeter (605) from Nigel Calder, and Best Practices in Aluminum Construction (504) with Howdy Bailey and Dylan Bailey.

-Aaron Porter, editor, Professional BoatBuilder

-Elaine Lembo, IBEX seminar manager

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Meet & Mingle at IBEX

We have so much going on this year at IBEX, it’s hard for me to keep up! I know my dance card is already full. We’ve really have made it easy for you to make new connections in the marine industry and see the friends you know will be there. There’s so much to do, so many conversations to have, and so much work to be done. Let me help to make your planning a bit easier with these exciting IBEX events:

Industry Breakfast, Keynote  Address, & Innovation Awards Presentation

Tuesday, September 15th from 7:30 AM – 9:30 AM. Sponsored by Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF)

Kick off IBEX with hundreds of other marine industry professionals at this important event which highlights the latest industry news and trends. The coveted Innovation Awards will also be presented to  the winning IBEX exhibitors.

Johnny Bench will be IBEX’s keynote speaker this year. Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in January 1989, Bench is undoubtedly the greatest catcher ever as stated by the Sporting News in late 1998, in which Johnny was named the 16th greatest player of all time – His successes include National League Rookie of the Year (1968), National League Most Valuable Players (1970 & 1972), World Series MVP (1976), 14-time All-Star, and 10 Gold Gloves. In 1980, Bench set an endurance record by catching 100 or more games for 13 consecutive seasons. Then, in 1999 Johnny received baseball’s esteemed honor of selection to the All-Century Team on October 24. Over the years, Johnny has maintained a sense of balance by using his celebrity status to aid such worthy causes as the Heart Association, the American Cancer Society (as past National Chairman of Athletes vs. Cancer), the Kidney Foundation, Franciscan Sisters of Poor Health System, the American Lung Association, and the ‘Catch the Cure’ program of the Children’s Hospital of Cincinnati.

Several other prestigious marine industry awards will also be presented during the Industry Breakfast including:

  • NMMA Hall of Fame Award
  • Boat US Life Jacket Design competition winner • Boating Industry Mover and Shaker of the Year
  • Mel Barr Award will be presented by National Marine Representatives Association (NMRA)
  • NMMA CSI Awards
  • There will be a special addition to the Industry Breakfast presentation this year as IBEX will recognize its Silver Exhibitors, companies who have exhibited at all 25 IBEX shows. 

Composites Challenge & Cocktail Competition is back for round two. 

Tuesday, September 15th at 5 PM in the Composites Pavilion. Sponsored by Composites One and MVP.

We Challenge You! Test your knowledge, sip a cocktail, and connect with the industry. IT’S ON US!

Hosted by the world’s leading marine composite suppliers, IBEX is bringing back this popular Composites Pavilion event to provide even more opportunity for you to meet potential new partners, suppliers, and connect with colleagues. While you taste the crazy creative composite cocktails concocted by our composite suppliers (say that four times fast!), exhibitors will pose challenge questions to test your knowledge about composite applications. The winner of the Challenge will receive a prize.

To attend the event, all you need to do is:

  1. Stop by the Composites Pavilion Tuesday, September 15
  2. Visit a composites exhibitor to receive an access wrist band
  3. Come back to the Composites Pavilion at 5 PM for the start of the challenge

Opening Night Party on Fourth Street LIVE!

Tuesday, September 15th, after the exhibit hall closes at 6 PM

Enjoy entertainment, live music, and great food with other marine industry professionals in downtown Louisville’s premier entertainment district. Click here to see the great deals your IBEX badge will get you!

Bourbon & Brew Happy Hour

September 16th, 5 PM – 6 PM in the Exhibit Hall

Some of Kentucky’s best local distilleries and breweries will be spread throughout the exhibit hall to create a trail of the best bourbons and beers for you to taste while you connect with colleagues.

Rock the Yacht Pre-Party & Concert

September 16th, Pre-Party begins at 6 PM in North Wing with the Concert to follow at Freedom Hall at the KEC. The Pre-Party will include music, food, and drinks and then the Rock the Yacht concert will include your favorites from Ambrosia, Little River Band, and many more. For more information, click here.

If you still need register, click here to get started.

I look forward to seeing you at all these great IBEX events. To learn more, please visit our website.

Kate Holden

Marketing Director/Sales

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The Future of Materials

One of our show goals is that everyone who attends IBEX leaves having experienced multiple WOW moments.

Wow. We could use that.

Wow. That is amazing.

Wow. Why didn’t I think of that?

Wow. That gives me an idea.

This year we are partnering with several outside groups to offer dynamic new exhibits to showcase a variety of innovations across the manufacturing spectrum that might impact boats of the future, and to help everyone reach their share of WOW moments.

One new display that is sure to WOW is the Future Materials display. This is a new hands-on exhibit located at the center of the Composites Pavilion and curated by editors from Professional BoatBuilder magazine and CompositesWorld magazine.  Expect to see a collection of new materials, processes, and technologies gathered from a wide variety of sources including marine, aerospace, and automotive industries, plus some applied academic research and development.

The Future Materials Display will offer exciting new developments including quasi-isotropic laminates via one reinforcement layer, epoxies which can transition to recyclable thermoplastics and thermoplastic resins which offer the processing and properties of epoxies, Nano Materials for improved performance, biomaterials offering greener composite options, rapid molding and other processing innovations, and new materials offering high temperature resistance, electrical conductivity and even self-healing capabilities. Ginger Gardiner, Senior Editor, CompositesWorld magazine describes this new display as ” An imagination zone where people in boatbuilding can envision what might be possible 10-20 years from now as well as learn about what is available today. Be sure to add seeing the Future Materials display to your Expo Plan, and be prepared to be WOWED.

Anne Dunbar

IBEX Show Director

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ABBRA: Pivotal IBEX Partner

Pam Lendzion and Meg Toppa are the new team at the helm of the American American Boat Builders and Repairers Association. The new ABBRA headquarters is located at the Newport Shipyard, Newport, Rhode Island.

Pam Lendzion and Meg Toppa are the new team at the helm of the American Boat Builders and Repairers Association. The new ABBRA headquarters is located at the Newport Shipyard, Newport, Rhode Island.

There’s a new team, new headquarters, and a new direction at the American Boat Builders and Repairers Association, a key partner of IBEX and its education seminar series.

Pamela Lendzion, past ABBRA president as well as a boatyard and marina operator and consultant, is serving as the interim executive director of ABBRA; Meg Toppa is the new administrative manager. A longtime marine industry professional, Meg has held numerous marketing and advocacy roles for various companies, including North Sails, Ferretti Group USA and ShowBoats International magazine.

I had the opportunity recently to meet Pam and Meg over lunch at the Newport Shipyard in Newport, Rhode Island, the site of the new ABBRA office. Also joining us for a friendly chat about maximizing the growth of marine industry partnerships and developing practical learning opportunities for marine trades staff was Wendy Mackie, chief executive officer of the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association.

ABBRA, a national member organization, was founded in 1943 and represents more than 250 boatyards, repairers and associated industries in the United States and abroad. The group’s mission is to assist boatyard managers and workers in handling business challenges and to help advance technical trade skills, including workforce development.

“Meg’s going to be the voice on the phone listening to the members’ needs and keeping them informed,” Pam added. “Our members need to know there’s someone listening.”

Equally important to ABBRA is promoting nationwide apprenticeship programs and other appropriate on-the-job-training opportunities.

“Workers need a career path with guidelines for improvement if we expect to retain them,” said Pam. “When employers help their employees increase their skill level, they also open the pipeline for entry-level workers to come into the marine trades industry.”

For those already in the marine trades, at IBEX 2015 don’t miss these three seminars presented by ABBRA:

407: Pitfalls and Opportunities of Mixing and Matching Service Work with New Builds

507: Walking the Fine Line Between Customer Service & Profitable Work for the Yard

607: Navigating the Design-Build Process

For more information, contact ABBRA.

Newport Shipyard

1 Washington Street

Newport, RI 02840

Phone: 401-236-2466


-Elaine Lembo

IBEX Education Seminar Manager




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Helpful things I’ve learned over the last 25 years at IBEX

I’m thrilled to have been with IBEX since it’s inception.  It gives me a perspective on this event that only a few of us have.  One thing that has always remained constant is that people come to IBEX to connect.  If you’re here to exhibit then you are interested in one of two things: selling your product, or connecting with people who would be interested in purchasing from you.

Today I thought it would be helpful to go over a few of the biggest – and most common flubs – exhibitors tend to make. Have a read through and make sure you aren’t making these mistakes yourself.
1. Standing behind a table
You don’t know how many times I have passed a booth with staff standing behind a table.  If you plan on connecting with prospective buyers step out from behind that table and welcome them into your booth.  That table is a barrier between you, the attendee and future business.
2. Exhibiting without a plan
It’s hard to gauge the success of an event if you don’t have a plan for what you’d like to accomplish prior to setting foot on the floor. Without a plan you are going to be disorganized, unfocused and lose potential leads.
3. Failing to make a good impression
I’ve seen a variety of booth staff over the years.  Those that come to work, those that come to socialize, and even those that are too shy (or brash) with customers.  Choose confident, friendly, knowledgeable, and – most importantly – professional staff to run your booth.
4. Not taking advantage of pre-show promotion
I hear this time and time again.  Why should I market the event for you?  That’s your job.  Yes, we market the event to get attendees in the door but getting them to visit your booth is up to you. Over the years I have heard many success stories from exhibitors about prospects they’ve been unable to connect with prior to sending them a personal invitation to visit them at IBEX.  Some even thank them for sending them the invite. Trust me this one works.
5. Ignoring the exhibitor manual
Every event is different – for that matter, every facility is different.  It’s vital that you familiarize yourself with the specifics of each event you exhibit in. You don’t want to assume something will be provided to you only to discover at the last minute that you were expected to take
care of things yourself. Read through the materials you’re given, and ensure that you understand how everything works.
Exhibiting doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s simply a matter of making the most of every opportunity available to you before, during or after the event. It’s also an important partnership between exhibitors and show management. We are here to help you have a successful event.  And look forward to welcoming you to IBEX 2015 our 25th Anniversary event.
Tina Sanderson, Sales Director


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Top 10 Tips for a Successful Innovation Award Product Nomination

Summer vacation schedules tend to obscure important deadlines in preparation for IBEX 2015. Between exhibitor registrations, seminar selection, hotel reservations, the list goes on. Not to be overlooked is the prestigious Innovation Awards. This highly visible showcase helps level the field between new and established exhibitors who are the drivers behind innovation that attracts consumers and translates into what we all want – sales. Entry is currently open and will close August 12, 2015. Whether you are seasoned or first time exhibitor we want to help you create a product entry that will put your product in the spotlight.  To help with the process we have collaborated with the judging chairs to provide inside tips on how to successfully submit a product that will capture the judges’ attention.

Top 10 Tips for a Successful Product Entry

  1. Research. If you feel you have a new innovation you are looking at the right program to enter, but first make sure your product is bringing something that is truly new to the table.  Often, the judges find that a product is an innovation for a particular company, but other companies have had similar products on the market for years.  Complete the research beforehand by reviewing other manufacturers’ products.  If the product is brought over from another market as a market extension into the marine industry, it will need to show substantial adaptation or modification to make it a “new” product that will qualify under the program’s definition of “innovation.”  Take note that changes to packaging or promotion do not qualify as innovations and the product will be viewed only as a market extension of an existing product.
  2. Play by the rules. Before designating your time and efforts of self-nomination review the program’s Rules & Regulations to ensure the product qualifies for entry.  Here are a few questions to consider when entering your product:  Has your product been submitted to the Innovation Awards before?  When will the product be on the market?  Will the product be on display in its finished state at IBEX 2015?
  3. Understand the entry process. Become aware of what you need to submit and when.  Here is a breakdown of the three step process.  Step One:  Complete the online entry form.  Basic company, contact and product information will be required, along with a product description and upload of product photo and company logo.  Step Two:  Accept the unique Dropbox folder invitation which will be provided after the entry form is submitted.  Once accepted, you will need to upload the product video and supporting material (additional photos, brochures, news articles).  Step Three:  Submit payment.  IBEX will invoice you per entry.  Cost per entry is $400.  NMMA members receive a 15% discount.
  4. Get creative. One particularly important requirement for entry is creating a 250 word or less description of the product.  This is read by the judges prior to show site.  Therefore, the product description should clearly illustrate the innovation.  What is the “wow factor” you are bringing to the table in order to capture the judges’ attention?  Do not include promotional language rendered from your marketing team or information about the company.  Focus on describing the unique features of the product.  You want this information to provoke more questions from the judges when you meet them onsite.
  5. Lights. Camera. Action. Have you ever wanted a chance to direct behind or perform in front of the camera?  We thought we’d give you this opportunity.  This is a new requirement for entry and please don’t let it overwhelm you as production quality is not judged.  The video, lasting 2-3 minutes, should showcase the innovative features of the product in a succinct matter.  It is also the perfect opportunity to depict how the product works with focus on the products innovative features.  The video will be uploaded in the unique Dropbox folder provided by IBEX staff after the online entry form is complete.  Check out a sample video HERE.
  6. Mark your calendar. We don’t want you to miss the opportunity for you to put your product in the spotlight.  Be aware that the deadline for entry (all three steps noted above) must be fulfilled by August 12, 2015.
  7. Get to the post office. If your product is shippable please send it using the following shipping label to arrive in Louisville by September 9, 2015.  If your product is not shippable, you will mark as so on the entry form.  Products that are shipped will be present for the judges to review onsite.  These products will then be moved to Innovation Way for the duration of the show.  Side note:  Innovation Way is a dedicated area that provides extra exposure to your new product.  At the conclusion of the Show you will be responsible for claiming your product.
  8. Know the answers. Two days prior to the Show’s opening the judges will perform a product inspection.  A representative of the product will meet with the judges to provide a brief description of the product and answer outstanding questions.  Successful entrants won’t provide the judges with an elevator speech about the product.  Instead, they are prepared to demonstrate the product and effectively answer all questions.
  9. Update your exhibitor information. There are many ways that entry in the Innovation Awards program will provide your company extra exposure before, during and after the Show.  When you submit a product you will notice the new image icon on the Exhibitor list.  This denotes to the public that you have entered the program.  Make sure you take the extra step and provide the new product description and photo (if applicable) within the exhibitor portal.  This is a free opportunity to market the product you have entered.  Once complete, you will receive the ia imageicon.
  10. Ask questions. If you are unsure if your product qualifies, what product category to enter, how to upload to Dropbox or what to expect on show site, please contact Rachel Timko, Innovation Awards Manager.  Email:   PH: 312.946.6247

Thank you for your time.  We hope you have found these tips beneficial.  Best of luck with your application!

Rachel Timko, Innovation Awards Manager

Alan Wendt, Innovation Awards Judging Chair

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Want to Network? Me either.

I’ve been uncomfortable with it for awhile, but unable to articulate my feelings. It’s a buzz word, and it is everywhere – so I kept using it. But no more. I’ve made a decision to work “networking” out of my life and vocabulary.

Here’s why. It’s over-used and meaningless. What does it mean? “Network: a group of people or organizations that are closely connected and that work with each other.” Nothing in that definition seems very fun to me, but I am pretty sure most people expect their networking events to be fun.

Networking is loaded with expectations. If I am invited to networking event, I’m unlikely to attend. But if you invite me to have a glass of wine, or go to a book signing, or have dinner – I’m in! I think there are negative connotations around networking that make it unpleasing; the word evokes professional, work, business talk, and more work.

I’ve had friends in our industry tell me they would not attend a networking event. They’ve said to me, “I don’t network.” Which of course is not true, we all network – we just don’t always call it that. Hence my reason for wanting to refer to it differently so I’m being more inclusive.

We all love to spend time together, especially in the marine industry. And we enjoy doing business together. I’m not suggesting we stop doing what we refer to as networking, I’m suggesting we rethink it. Instead of using the word networking, tell me what to expect at your event. Will I get to connect with old friends? Will there be live music and a chance to meet the band? Invite me to come meet the new president of your company. Make it meaningful and give it meaning. Don’t tell people to come network – they may decide to do something fun instead.

As I work to rid my vocabulary and IBEX’s marketing material of networking, I’m interested in learning how the word affects you. When you read about a “networking event” do you get excited or do you roll eyes and groan? What are you expectations?

I’m relieved to have identified my thoughts about networking. Now I’d like to understand if I stand alone on this issue. Please share your thoughts with me. And please keep me on your invites lists.

-Kate Holden

IBEX Marketing Director/Sales

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The Many Paths to Learning

In an ongoing effort to promote careers in the marine trades and beyond, the International Yacht Restoration School in Rhode Island has long had a presence at IBEX. This year will be no different, and a chance to observe students at work in the composites technology program at IYRS shines a light on the value of hands-on training.
The IYRS campus setting is inspiring and energetic, and the stories of why the students in the current six-month session had chosen this IYRS course, which has attained acclaim for its practical, hands-on approach and job placement rate, are compelling.
Vladimir Kevreshan, a 29-year-old from Israel with a master’s degree in industrial design, sought a departure from building furniture. His goal is to take what he learns at IYRS back home to establish a boatbuilding operation.
U.S. military veteran Asa Leighton, at 39, has experience in several fields, among them computer programming, financial services, manufacturing, electronics, even as road crew for bands. He applied to IYRS via the Post-9/11 GI Bill. He hopes to use this training to gain a job in aerospace. “I love building things with my hands,” the high-energy Leighton said. “Who was I kidding working at a desk job?”
Yet one more student, 24-year-old Luke Matelski, attracted attention. At IYRS, Luke’s completed the advanced composites and marine systems programs and had planned to enroll in the third, boatbuilding and restoration. Of the two he finished, he couldn’t get enough of composites; he came to the school 24/7 and never spent fewer than a dozen hours on campus daily. “In composites you can be creative,” he told me. “You can go into aerospace, or construction. It’s not just boats. I can do almost anything with it.”
Not everyone has the time or the money to attend school. That’s why in-house apprenticeship programs and custom-tailored programs by employers to boost in-house performance are so valuable. For more about those paths to learning, consider attending IBEX seminar 104: Developing In-house Apprenticeship Programs and seminar 608: Using Existing Certification Training Programs to Boost In House Performance.

Elaine Lembo
IBEX seminar manager


IYRS students Vlad Vladimir Kevreshan and Asa Leighton watch as Jeff Reber of Composites One prepares a mold for infusion.

IYRS students Vladimir Kevreshan and Asa Leighton watch as Jeff Reber of Composites One prepares a mold for infusion.

Luke Matelski credits the IYRS program for helping him sort through career choices.

Luke Matelski credits the IYRS program for helping him sort through career choices.


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