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IBEX announces judging panel for 2020 Innovation Awards

by Kate Holden 6 Aug 08:08 PDT

The International BoatBuilders' Exhibition and Conference (IBEX), announced today the judges for the 2020 Innovation Awards Program.

Due to IBEX transitioning to a virtual format, the program, managed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and judged by Boating Writers International (BWI), will also follow a newly designed, virtual format. The five BWI judges have different technical backgrounds and boating experience. Entries are currently being accepted through Friday, August 14.

The 2020 Innovation Awards will be announced at IBEX Online: A Virtual Experience's Opening Session, September 29, 2020. The Opening Session will kick-off the virtual event and will include a welcome from Anne Dunbar, IBEX Show Director and the State of the Industry from Frank Hugelmeyer, NMMA President. This event will be free to attend online for all who pre-register for the free IBEX Online: A Virtual Experience. The timing and details of the Opening Session will be announced shortly.

"The Innovation Awards Program recognizes and rewards new product development and they're an integral part of IBEX; so we will deliver these prestigious awards on the opening day as we normally do, in an online presentation within the virtual event," said Anne Dunbar, IBEX Show Director. "We look forward to sharing the industry's innovation with the entire IBEX community and are hoping for record-setting submissions. We are eager to see what our exhibitors have to offer this year."

Honoring achievement in product development in 16 areas of the marine industry, Innovation Awards categories include: Boat Care and Maintenance; Boatbuilding Methods and Materials; Boatyard and Marina Hardware and Software; Coverings; Deck Equipment and Hardware; Electrical Systems; Entertainment; Furnishings and Interior Parts; Inboard Engines; Lighting; Mechanical Systems; OEM Electronics; Outboard Engines; Propulsion Parts, Propellers; Safety Equipment; and Trailers, Parts and Trailer Accessories.

The panel of judges for the 2020 IBEX Innovation Awards are:

Zuzana Prochazka (Chair): Zuzana is a freelance writer and photographer with regular contributions to more than a dozen publications. A USCG 100 Ton Master, Zuzana has cruised, chartered and captained vessels in most parts of the world and founded a flotilla charter company called Zescapes. She serves as an international presenter on charter destinations, safety issues and technical topics, and she's the Executive Director of BWI.

Ben Stein (Co-Chair): Ben Stein is editor of covering the marine electronics industry. He also serves as electronics editor for Power & Motoryacht and PassageMaker magazines and is a regular contributor to Soundings. After 15 years in financial services technology, he left the corporate world to pursue his passion in boating. A USCG 100 Ton Master, Ben has completed the Great Loop and currently lives aboard his boat with his wife and two daughters.

Brady Kay: Brady is the executive editor of Pontoon & Deck Boat magazine and has been at the helm of this publication for over 20 years. During his tenure, Brady has tested and reviewed countless pontoon and deck boats, traveled to all 50 states for feature profiles and has taken thousands of photos. He also currently oversees Great Lakes Boating magazine, a sister publication at Harris Publishing, and is serving as the second vice president of BWI.

Ed Sherman: Ed is a 40+ year industry veteran who semi-retired as vice president of the American Boat and Yacht Council last year. He continues to write technical training material for the council and is a contributor to Cruising World, Marine Electronics Journal, and Boat US magazines. He is the author of five marine technical books covering outboard engines and marine electrical/electronic systems.

Capt. Greg Thornton: Greg hails from Rhode Island, is an ABYC certified technician, holds a USCG 100 Ton Master's license and has over 15 years of experience commanding both sail and motor yachts throughout North America and abroad. He works for full-time as client services director and test captain. Greg is a member of BWI, his local USCG Auxiliary flotilla, American Red Cross Disaster Response Team, and a part-time harbormaster.

For more information about the IBEX Innovation Awards, visit For more on IBEX, please visit

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