The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Boating Writers International (BWI) announced the panel of judges who will evaluate 66 product entries across 26 boating categories for the 2019 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show Innovation Awards, being presented during the show’s Innovation Breakfast on Friday, February 15. Innovation Awards recognize exceptionally innovative new consumer marine products, and will be on display throughout the Miami Boat Show February 14-18 at Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin.
The Innovation Awards judges’ committee is comprised of eight BWI members who perform product testing throughout the year and have specific expertise in marine products and equipment. The judges’ committee is Co-Chaired by Zuzana Prochazka and Alan Wendt, and comprised for the first time of 50 percent male judges, 50 percent female judges.
Here’s the full panel of judges for the 2019 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show Innovation Awards:
Alan Jones: Alan Jones is currently the president of BWI and has served as an Innovations Awards judge seven times. Jones is the executive editor for Boating World Magazine and in his 22 years there has tested more than 1,000 boats.
Kim Koditek: Based in Virginia Beach, VA, Kim Koditek currently serves as the Digital Editor for Boats Group, managing the editorial and video content for their three online marketplaces: boats.com, Boat Trader and YachtWorld. A lifelong boater, in her free time she can be found wakeboarding behind her beloved Sea Ray on Lake Anna or fishing along Virginia's coastal waters.
Frank Lanier: Frank Lanier is a SAMS® Accredited Marine Surveyor who has captained and maintained vessels ranging from dive boats to passenger ferries in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and South Pacific. He's also an avid writer, public speaker and multiple, award-winning author whose articles on seamanship, marine electronics, vessel maintenance and consumer reports appear regularly in numerous marine publications (Boating World Magazine, Practical Sailor Magazine, Southern Boating Magazine, Lakeland Boating Magazine, SEA Magazine and BoatUS Magazine).
Zuzana Prochazka (Co-Chair): Past president of Boating Writers International, writer and photographer who freelances for over two dozen boating and travel magazines. A USCG 100 Ton Master, Prochaska is the founder of Zescapes.com, a charter and flotilla organizer. She has served on the board of Boating Writers International for the past 12 years and heads up judging panels evaluating new boats and gear in the U.S. and abroad.
Pat Rains: Growing up with Wisconsin lake boats, Pat Rains cruised sailboats around the Sea of Cortez and worked aboard a Navy research vessel to earn her USCG 100-Ton Masters License. For 18 years she and husband John delivered larger power boats between Florida and California via the Panama Canal, but these days when not cruising for pleasure, Pat writes magazine articles and publishes nautical guidebooks to Mexico and Central America.
Greta Schanen: Greta Schanen is Executive Editor SAILING Magazine and is a 30-year veteran in the marine industry. With thousands of offshore racing miles, she enjoys racing and cruising with her family and friends on Lake Michigan and in the Caribbean.
Ben Stein: Contributing editor for Panbo.com and an avid cruiser. He, his wife and two daughters completed the great loop in 2017 having covered about 7,500 miles over 14 months. Ben continues to cruise the waters of the United States.
Alan Wendt (Co-Chair): Alan Wendt is a former president of BWI, writes for Lakeland Boating, and avid boater. Alan has been involved in the judging process since 2001 and presently co-chairs of the Innovation Awards in Miami and Chairs the Innovation Awards for IBEX and the Minneapolis Boat Show.
Celebrating the thousands of innovative products, ideas and services showcased during the Miami Boat Show each year, the Innovation Breakfast will feature a host of presentations focused on propelling the recreational boating industry forward. The Innovation Breakfast is presented by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and takes place within the show’s Center Courtyard at the Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin. Doors open at 7:30 a.m., and the breakfast runs from 8 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.
For media interested in attending the Breakfast, please contact Sarah Salvatori at firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about NMMA Awards, please contact Rachel Harmon at email@example.com. For questions about the breakfast, contact Erik Rancatore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because doors to the breakfast open at 7:30 a.m. prior to show opening, exhibitors planning to attend the breakfast must park in Lot A, take a taxi/Uber to Lot C, or valet park, as all other parking lots and transportation will not be running until 9 a.m.