After successful meetings at recent international shows in Europe as well as the United States, the Australian International Marine Export Group (AIMEX) and Superyacht Australia have announced the confirmation of a number of significant key speakers for the 2014 Australian Superyacht and Marine Export industry Conference (ASMEX). These include Ron Japinga from West Marine, John Lu from Horizon Yachts, Farouk Nefzi from Feadship, Erwin Bamps from Gulf Craft and Carlos Vidueira from Rybovich Superyacht Marina & Refit.
The ASMEX Conference is the only platform providing opportunities for industry to gain up to date information on the state of the industry and where current opportunities lie to drive business. The conference held at the 5 star Intercontinental Hotel at Sanctuary Cove, Queensland runs over 2 days, 20-21 May and includes a welcome function and the prestigious 2014 Australian Marine Export and Superyacht Awards Gala Dinner.
The conference is conveniently organised to be held immediately prior to the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show ensuring maximum opportunity for all key industry exhibitors and stakeholders to attend.
AIMEX CEO MaryAnne Edwards encouraged industry to put the dates of the conference in their diaries commenting that “we have secured a number of really excellent national and international speakers which will ensure delegates get an up to date overview of what is happening global, provide excellent networking opportunities and assist businesses in formulating their 2014/15 strategy to drive sales.”
Edwards said “we are excited that all sponsors have come back on board allowing us to develop an amazing programme of both social and business events and most of all allowing us to keep the conference registration fee to a minimum”
The full conference programme will be launched shortly.
EVP Merchandising/Planning and Supply Chain at West Marine
West Marine is the largest specialty retailer of boating supplies and accessories, with over 300 stores located in 38 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. The company now carries more than 75,000 products, ranging from the rope that started it all, to the latest in marine electronics, technical apparel, footwear and accessories. In addition to its retail stores and Port Supply wholesale divisions, the company serves water lovers in more than 150 countries worldwide through its mail order and Internet divisions.
Chief Executive, Horizon Yachts
Horizon Yacht, the parent company of Horizon Group, was founded in 1987 by CEO John Lu, who has a deep-rooted passion for boats and a love of the ocean that stems from childhood. After graduating from the National Taiwan Ocean University with a degree in naval architecture, Lu returned to his hometown of Kaohsiung to gain experience in yacht industry. His success as a naval architect led to the decision to establish Horizon Yacht, with the goal to build clients their ultimate dream yacht – a goal that remains unchanged to this day.
The Taiwan yacht industry was prospering when Lu created Horizon; however, from 1987 to 1997, Taiwan’s yachting industry encountered an unexpected recession. During this time, Horizon, unlike many other companies, adjusted its business strategy and in 1989 shifted target markets to Europe, Australia and Asia. Horizon then redeveloped its yacht manufacturing processes, adhering to stringent yacht quality and safety requirements in Europe and Japan, and earned a distinct reputation for building yachts of exceptional quality and value. Horizon’s continual progress and advancements not only established a solid yacht building foundation but also resulted in the company’s ability to prevail over Taiwan’s economic recession.
Marketing & Brand Director, Feadship
Farouk Nefzi, formerly export director for the Holland Yachting Group, has been unveiled as the new marketing and brand director of Feadship. Based in the Netherlands and with roots dating back to 1849, Feadship is recognised as the world leader in the field of custom superyachts. Each Feadship is defined by its superb craftsmanship and sets the standard in every aspect of design, engineering and construction. These bespoke motoryachts are created in partnership with owners who are prepared to invest in a wonderful building experience and reap the rewards for many years to come in terms of both pleasure and re-sale value. Feadship also operates dedicated charter and refit services exclusively for Feadships.
Vice President, Rybovich Superyacht Marina & Refit
Carlos Vidueira is Vice President of the Rybovich Superyacht Marina & Refit in West Palm Beach, Florida. Rybovich is committed to improving the world’s yachting experience through exceptional customer service, state of the art facilities, extensive employee training and international industry cooperation.
Carlos Vidueira received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southern California in 1987 as well as his Masters in Business Administration from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1991. Carlos Vidueira has been working with the Rybovich project since 1995 and was instrumental in establishing its original concept plan. He was then responsible for the day to day management of the business as well as its $60 million construction budget. Today, Carlos is primarily responsible for the expansion of the Rybovich facilities into Riviera Beach as well as elevating the brand’s international recognition. In these capacities, Carlos has made extensive governmental contacts at the local, state, and federal levels while lobbying successfully for industry issues. Internationally, Carlos is a recognized figure in marine industry circles and has worked cooperatively with ICOMIA, SYBAss, USSA, FYBA and other industry organizations to the benefit of the South Florida marine industry.
Carlos Vidueira has also served as the Executive Director of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida since June 2010. This trade association is the owner of the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show and under Carlos’ leadership, the MIASF has been focused on improving the quality of the experience at the Show as well as its total economic impact. He also aligned the MIASF’s purpose with other international associations by committing its efforts to the Promotion, Professionalism, and Advocacy of the marine industry.
Chief Operating Officer for Gulf Craft – UAE
Erwin has been managing the daily operations at Gulf Craft for the last 10 years. Gulf Craft ranks as one of the world leading manufacturers and exporters of fiberglass leisure craft, one of a handful of boat-builders in the world with the capability to produce yachts of more than 100 feet in overall length. Gulf Craft builds multi-decked motor-cruisers that rank with the best in the world in terms of design, quality and materials. While Gulf Craft is a local UAE company staunchly proud of its regional heritage, it is nonetheless armed with a global view and ambitious plans to expand its portfolio worldwide. Gulf Craft is the Middle East’s and Africa’s largest and leading producer of fiberglass boats and yachts, exporting over 70% of its production to 40 countries through the Majesty Yachts, Oryx and Silvercraft brands. Founded in The United Arab Emirates in 1982, Gulf Craft today produces an annual production capacity of more than 400 boats.