Sessions

Keynote Sessions: 
The Tail!
Sam Dantzler

With the supply chain issues and limited staffing, many customer simply “gave up” on their boat purchases in 2021/2022. As such there’s still a “Tail” of excited customer who simply need to to be re-engaged as inventory now starts to trickle in. It requires proactive follow-up with existing customers, and capitalizing on the increase in digital leads over the past 18 months.  First time buyers went through the roof in 2021, and most of them have been abandoned.  "Relationship selling" took a back seat to "processing transactions" at the highest price, then moving on.  If we don’t expect them to leave the sport, we owe it to them to invite them into the culture of boating…

No Bad Days
JT Jester

JT’s session will showcase three helpful ways in which we all can overcome adversity. By walking the attendees through his own unique set of challenges and the ways in which he championed them, JT encourages all listeners to remember that there are no bad days, only hard ones.

Entrepreneurship, Business, and Love of the Great Lakes

Doug DeVos

With Devos’ impressive background and experience he will bring  an engaging session with reflection on business, entrepreneurship and as an avid lover of the Great Lakes. 

Breakout Sessions:

ENVIRONMENTAL
 

Sustainable Operations and Ordering for Business
Matthew Naud, Senior Consultant with adapt.city and Resource Recycling Systems

States and local governments are adopting sustainable purchasing policies to eliminate toxics and increase purchases of recycled materials.  Many of these policies and tools can be readily adopted by Michigan Marinas.  This presentation will highlight some of this work with communities across the county and share free tools and trainings that could be of interest to marinas and the broader recreational boating industry.  Attendees will learn about opportunities to use their purchasing power to help eliminate toxic chemicals from their purchases and increase the demand for recycled materials.  Attendees will also learn about free training for staff to assist with sustainable purchasing implementation.

Improving Environmental Performance at Marinas

Greg Weykamp, Edgewater Resources

This session will explore a wide range of strategies for improving the environmental performance of marinas.  We will cover shoreline strategies and habitat creation on both inland and coastal shorelines; sustainable materials for docks, breakwaters, and structures; renewable energy generation and the electrification of boating, and sustainable architecture and building.

 

MI Clean Marina Program and Aquatic Invasive Species Management 

MI Clean Marina Program Panel

 

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
 

Work Boots On the Boat 

Nikki Storey & Tom Coates, Great Lakes Boat Building School
Work boots don’t belong in a boat…or do they? Many marine industry employers are plagued with the national struggle of recruiting and retaining skilled labor. Many employers think “It’s so hard to recruit, I can’t relate to this generation. What do they care about and how can I connect to them?” Nikki Storey, President of Great Lakes Boat Building school has some answers! She will provide an energizing and enlightening session sharing the viewpoint of students, anecdotal student stories, and what they are looking for out of their future employers. You will also learn more about their fears and challenges in the workforce and how you could help. Hold onto your boater hat – you might be surprised by what you learn during this breakout session!

 

Running a Successful Marine Apprenticeship Program
Irish Boat Shop Panel

Hear how Irish Boat Shop took the plunge into developing an apprenticeship program to produce bench strength and get people into the marine industry. Learning from trial and error, see the evolution of the program and how you might try it at your shop. Hear all sides from a panel of those intimately involved. 

Provide Competitive Benefits without Breaking Your Budget
Mark Andrizzi, America’s Back Office
Many of our MBIA members already know the secret of outsourcing their HR services. Many don’t. We can help you become an employer of choice by enhancing your job offer with excellent medical, dental, vision, and disability benefits. The secret comes from pooling employees from many companies into one large group, to give benefits only large businesses normally offer. Attend this session to understand how it works, how affordable it is, and how your company benefits can work to help you gain and retain quality employees.

BUSINESS & ECONOMICS

Building a Sustainable Business Through Technology
Greg Coyne, Sandler Training

Is there any greater challenge for an organization than adapting new and existing technology? There are so many critical items to take care of – from building strong culture through Remote work, to adapting CRM’s, to communicating both in-person and virtually with clients and collegues, it can seem like a tidal wave of endless acronyms and changes.  Know this—you’re not alone. In this session, we’ll take a closer look at the changes in technology in the last couple of years and how you can apply some of these tools and techniques into your business.  Technology isn’t as scary or difficult as it seems, if you know what you’re looking to accomplish…and have a plan.  Whether you are a business owner or an employee within an organization, we’ll examine these and many other items, to help you not just sustain, but thrive!

 

How to Use Social Media to Build Your Brand
Eric Hultgren, MLive

In this session Eric Hultgren, director of brand strategy and social media will talk about how the digital landscape has changed in the past 3 years and how that has changed consumer behavior forever. You’ll learn about the current state of the internet and how TikTok has changed social, and you’ll learn about the importance of storytelling and how to create content at scale – even with a small team.

Valuation of Business and Succession Planning for your future

Jeff Allen, Maner Costerisan

During the course we will be exploring the business valuation process and its importance during a potential sale (either internally or externally). We will answer the top 10 most often asked questions regarding business valuations and will explore ways to make the business more valuable in the months and years leading up to a potential sale.

Award Presentation - Announcement Coming Soon!

Each year the MBIA awards their highest honors during RBEC to deserving leaders in the industry. Stay tuned as recipients are announced for:

2023 MBIA Hall of Fame Inductees:

  • Jim Coburn, The Coburn Consulting Company

Ray L. Underwood Lifetime Achievement Awards:

  • Herb Eldean, Eldean Shipyard

  • Mark & Jean Munger, Bee's Sports