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MAY 2023

April was exciting because I got to experience my first trip to the State Capitol! I traveled to Tallahassee with Board President Austin Burkett and Director Michael Kennedy. While there, we met with several legislators and key state employees. We did much of this in conjunction with other MIA’s around the state who are collectively part of the Marine Industries Association of Florida. We also met with our two lobbyists in Tallahassee—Timmins Consulting and Corcoran Partners. Our main talking points were the Boating Safety Bill, the need for more law enforcement on the water, and the need for up-to-date mapping of Florida’s waterways to include speed zones, anchoring limitation zones, etc. The legislative session is not over yet, but once it is we will share a more conclusive report with the members and host a legislative update dinner after summer.

We have a new website and member database! Hopefully, you have had a couple of minutes to login and check everything out. If there are any issues with your member information, please let us know and we can assist you. Otherwise, members should be able to easily edit any of their information at any time and access many other features they have not been able to do on their own before such as create their own job posts.

I want to thank the Youth Sailing Foundation of the Palm Beaches for putting on a great event at Safe Harbor Rybovich and including the MIAPBC. The YSFPB has several different programs for local youth, and we are very excited to support those efforts.

I also want to thank the North Palm Beach Rowing Club and Jock Merriam for giving Paola and I a private lesson early one Monday morning last month. Rowing is NOT as easy as it looks, and it is certainly nothing like using an indoor rowing machine. This is another great on-the-water activity for our local youth to get involved in and we are also happy to support those efforts.

Don’t forget to register for the Country Jamboree Member Picnic coming up on Sunday, May 21 at Sailfish Marina Resort! You will find all the details below, but it promises to be a really fun time. We have had a great time planning it for you all. Please do bring the whole family and make sure all your employees know about it, too. A couple weeks after that we will host a Marine Mingle on World Oceans Day (June 8) at Topside in Jupiter—we rented the whole space out!

Lastly, I am excited to announce that MIAPBC is a finalist for Nonprofit of the Year with the Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce! The Leadership Awards Ceremony will be held on May 11, so we are hoping to bring back a win. Either way, it is an incredible honor to have this recognition.

Side note: this month marks my 15-year anniversary with MIAPBC, so for those whom I have known this long thank you for all the support and friendship over the years. Many of you have become like family to me, regardless of how many years we have known each other. It has been such an honor serving you, your business, the industry, and the Association. I came to South Florida as a young woman fresh out of college not knowing anyone or anything about the marine industry here. Many of you have watched me grow professionally, but also saw me become a wife and mother. I look forward to what the future holds and am so happy I made the leap all those years ago because it turned out to be the best decision.


Safe Harbor New Port Cove, 15

2GHO Inc., 12


The Billfish Foundation, 7

Intracoastal Marine Construction, 7

Anton Greaton, 7

Jason Phillips, 7

UBS - The Smith Wealth Management Group, 6

Derek Scherz, 6

International Marine Association, 5

James Mottle, 5

Interior Technology Services, 4

Fire Water Marine Services, 4

Michael Meltzer,4

Greg Newman, 2

Intracoastal Marine Fuel, 2

Ken Peters, 2

Shelly Davis, 2

Stephanie Schmidt, 2

Valhalla Boat Sales 2

Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County, Inc.

announces new board officers and directors

The Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County, Inc. (MIAPBC) welcomes new board officers for 2023, which will continue to be led by President Austin Burkett (E.J. Schrader Mattress Company). Raymond Graziotto (Seven Kings Holdings) will serve as secretary, while Janet Zimmerman (Florida Inland Navigation District) continues to serve as treasurer. Tamra FitzGerald (Venue Marketing Group), a six-year Director, will now serve as the Board’s vice president.

New directors include Doug West (Willis Custom Yachts) and Martin Murphy, Jr. (JAMCO, Inc.).  

Board members continuing to serve include Mallory Doremus (Palmdale Oil Company), Tino Garcia (Ferreira Construction Company), George Gentile (2GHO), Bill Gould (Intracoastal Marine Construction), Michael Kennedy (Attorney), and Dan Mueller (Viking Yachts Service Center).

“I am excited to be staying on the board as Vice President and among other things, helping the Association carry out it’s largest events of the year: the Palm Beach International Boat Show and Palm Beach Holiday Boat Parade,” says Tamra FitzGerald.


Want to exhibit your business at the picnic?

Limited 10x10 spots are available.

Click below to learn more!


MIAPBC is a finalist for Non-Profit of the Year

Gillen Yacht Services is hiring

Gillen Yacht Services is Hiring!

Please email your resume to:

Marine Painter - Palm Beach

Marine Fiberglass Tech – Palm Beach

Lead Marine HVAC Tech – Palm Beach

Lead HVAC Tech – Ft Lauderdale

Lead Marine Diesel Mechanic / Job Foreman – Palm Beach

Marine Electrician – Palm Beach


Michael Rybovich & Sons is hiring


  • Boat Builder/Carpenters
  • Marine Electricians
  • Mechanics
  • Painters/Varnishers

Competitive salary and recently updated comprehensive benefits package.

Come join our family-owned and operated custom sportfishing operation in Palm Beach Gardens. Work with some of the best craftsmen in the business!

Call Monday-Friday for additional information:

(561) 627-9168, and/or send your resume to:

Loggerhead Marinelife Center has been nominated in the 2023 10 Best Readers' Choice travel awards!

An expert panel selected them as a contender for Best Free Attraction!

Vote for Loggerhead Marinelife Center the poll ends Monday, May 8th! The winners will be announced on 10Best on Friday, May 19th at 12:00pm EDT.

Feel free to share on social media!


Full Closure of the St. Lucie River Railroad Bridge begins Monday, May 1

 The 21-day bridge closure, with the drawbridge in the down position, will continue work to improve the bridge’s operating reliability.


Mariners are encouraged to sign up for text alerts for navigation channel schedule updates:

text “STL” to 888-384-0037.

The United States Coast Guard approved Brightline’s request for a temporary modification to drawbridge operations so the company can complete scheduled rehabilitation work.

A 21-day bridge closure, with the drawbridge in the down position, begins May 1 to improve the bridge’s operating reliability. During the 21-day bridge closure, Brightline crews will work around the clock, 24/7, to complete the work.

The rehabilitation of the bridge includes replacement of the mechanical components, electrical and control components and machining of the four trunnions in place. (Trunnions are the axles on which the drawbridge rotates.) Due to the type of construction work and necessary safety precautions, rehabilitation of the drawbridge requires that the bridge be rendered inoperable and remain in the down position, impacting the drawbridge operations and boats requiring an opening to pass.

(See full schedule below.)


Once the work is complete, boaters will see several benefits including dependability of bridge openings and closings, reducing the risk of unplanned closures. Brightline is also implementing several mitigation measures prior to beginning train service to Orlando, including a real-time bridge opening and closure app, countdown clock at the bridge and a bridge monitor. Construction of the bridge monitor house is also currently underway and will not impact the navigation channel.


Brightline’s bridge work is being coordinated with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast, federal and state agencies, the Florida East Coast Railway as well as local counties and municipalities and law enforcement organizations. Brightline’s current schedule for the work came about after receiving feedback from the U.S. Coast Guard, the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast and local law enforcement agencies.  Notice of the work will be included in the USCG Local Notice to Mariners. The bridge rehabilitation project, led by contractor Scott Bridge Company, is expected to be complete by summer of 2023.


Brightline will communicate information to the public through a variety of channels including fixed and variable message signs along the channel, updates through Twitter, the Brightline website and via Brightline’s text alert message system.

Sign up for text alerts for navigation channel schedule updates: text “STL” to 888-384-0037.


St. Lucie River Railroad Bridge Work Schedule


Full bridge closure – 6 a.m., Monday, May 1 to 6 a.m., Monday, May 22

Drawbridge to remain in the down position; no boat passage for vessels requiring an opening of the drawbridge. Vessels able to pass without an opening may do so at any time. Exercise caution. Brightline crews will work 24/7.

Overnight bridge closures: 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., Monday, May 22 to Monday, May 29

  1. Drawbridge to remain in the down position overnight; no boat passage for vessels requiring an opening of the drawbridge. Vessels able to pass without an opening may do so at any time. Exercise caution.
  2. Bridge will remain in the up (open) position from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
  3. Normal operations from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  4. Drawbridge returns to full normal operations 6 a.m., Monday, May 29. 

Apprenticeship Program

The City of Boca Raton has established a paid Vocational Apprenticeship Program (Apprenticeship Program). The Apprenticeship Program provides practical on-the-job work experience to individuals who have an interest in learning a trade that will prepare them with skills needed to build a career. The Apprenticeship Program also provides the City of Boca Raton a potential pool of applicants for future permanent employment recruitment.


Auto Insurance Reminders

Recently I have had many conversation with different local businesses about their auto insurance and have found that business attorneys are really keen on “separating” assets into other companies. While this is fine, you need to review you auto insurance policy and make sure that the business that is actually doing the work and using the autos is the named insured.

If you lease vehicles from one company to another you need to make sure that the operating entity is the actual named insured. Because if you are operating the vehicle and have a claim and there is a lawsuit the policy will not respond if the operating company is not on the policy.

The time to find this out is BEFORE the claim happens, not after the lawsuit shows up.

The other item to keep in mind when it comes to auto insurance is owned trailers. While most policies will cover the liabitliy for trailers once they are “hooked on” it is in the best interest of your company to schedule all your owned trailers, for under $400 a year you are guaranteed to have the coverage you need if the trailer comes loose from your truck or van.

Make sure that all units have a current ID card inside the unit at all times along with the registraiton.

It is a good practice to run a motor vehicle report on all drivers at least once a year

By Lori J Sousa, CMIP


CrossCurrents Newsletter is published by the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County, Inc. in an effort to provide its members with information that will educate, while enabling members to increase networking with other marine industry businesses.

Board of Directors

Austin Burkett, President

E.J. Schrader Mattress Company, Inc.

Tamra Fitzgerald, Vice President 

Venue Marketing Group

Raymond Graziotto, Secretary

Seven Kings Holding 

Janet Zimmerman, Treasurer

Florida Inland Navigation District  

Mallory Doremus

Palmdale Oil Company

Doug West

Willis Custom Yachts

Tino Garcia

Ferreira Construction Company, Inc.

George Gentile

2GHO, Inc.

William Gould

Intracoastal Marine Construction

Michael Kennedy

Michael Kennedy, Attorney

Dan Mueller

Viking Yachts Service Center

Martin Murphy, Jr.



Alyssa Freeman 

Executive Director

Paola Pineros

Marketing & Membership Manager

Stephanie Button

Administrative Manager

Rena Blades

PBIBS Director of Community Relations and Government Affairs

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