2021 IBWSS Program

Join us at #IBWSS21 to explore “Partnerships for Progress.” We’ll take a look at how collaboration through volunteer organizations, state-led agencies, nonprofits, boaters, and the maritime community around the world have shaped recreational boating and water safety communities.

From May 17-19, 2021, participate in daily sessions from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. EDT, or enjoy recorded sessions at your own pace.

Watch amazing speakers, live Q&As, trainings, and more. All from the comfort of your home! Registration is free.


Updated monthly (as of 11/15/2020)

General Sessions

Partnerships for Progress

Speakers | Various

Join us for the #IBWSS21 Opening Ceremony, including remarks from the U.S. Coast Guard, and representatives from Australia, England, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Kingdom of Tonga, and more!

Dare to Thrive

Speaker | Dima Ghawi | Executive Coach and Author, Ghawi Consulting

Inspired by her TEDx Talk, Dima uses her personal story of transformation as a powerful teaching tool to encourage women to face and conquer their internal limitations. This keynote recounts the struggles and triumphs of her personal journey with vulnerability and insight that will resonate with each audience member and spark a guiding light for their individual journey of self-discovery and leadership growth. By addressing internal limitations, such as the fear of failure, worries about being judged, and the pursuit of perfection, Dima dares each individual to look deeper into their own internal limitations and equips them with the tools and inspiration it takes to shatter those limitations and emerge as empowered individuals and leaders.

Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971

Speakers | Coming soon

Coming soon.

Twiggy the Water Skiing Squirrel

Speakers | Chuck Best Jr., Lou Ann Best, and Twiggy | Twiggy the Water-Skiing Squirrel

In 1978, a baby squirrel was rescued after being blown from her nest during a hurricane. Chuck and Lou Ann Best chose to take her in and make her a part of their family. Shortly thereafter, Chuck bought his daughter a remote-controlled boat for her birthday. Their friends started teasing him saying that he bought it for himself, since he played with it all the time. Defending himself, he quipped, “I have to learn to drive the boat so I can teach my squirrel to water-ski!” Twiggy has been performing since September of 1979, traveling all across the US, Canada, Bermuda, Europe and Germany. She has appeared in numerous books, magazines, newspapers, and television shows all over the world. Then, in November 1997, Chuck Best had a heart attack and drowned while saving the life of his stepfather when boating. Due to her husband’s passing, Lou Ann decided to make water safety an important part of Twiggy’s act. Learn more at twiggysinc.com

Yes, and: How Collaboration Increases Performance

Speaker | Glenn Anderson | Professional Speaker, Glenn Anderson Speaks

Yes, And. Two words that form the foundation for the rules of performing good improvisational comedy. These same rules used in the business world can improve collaboration. Who knew? Along with his former career at IBM, conference speaker Glenn Anderson enjoyed a second life as an improvisational actor. Trained at Chicago’s famous Players Workshop of Second City, Glenn spent many years performing improvisational comedy every week at a club in Chicago. Laugh and learn from Glenn, and let’s apply “Yes And” thinking to your world.

Breakout Sessions

406 Survivor Club

Speaker | Mikele D’Arcangelo | Vice President of Global Marketing and Product Management, ACR Electronics

Coming soon.

Boat Club vs Boat Ownership

Speaker | Kevin Bonnema | Founding Partner, Carefree Boat Club

Join Kevin Bonnema, owner of Carefree Boat Club, as he breaks down the reasons to join a boat club versus owning a boat. The club, with over 95 different locations, aims to break down any barriers to entry that could prevent someone from getting on the water. Thanks to the ease of access, members represent a diverse crowd – from summer camps and families to retirees.  As COVID-19 has brought changes to the entire world, Carefree has provided an outlet for members to get on the water. Listen in to learn more about club requirements, benefits, and more. 

Chiropractic Wellness for Boaters

Speaker | Dr. Lincoln German | Chiropractor, Spine Care of Manassas Chiropractic Center

Chiropractic care is centered around prevention so boaters and outdoor enthusiasts can continue to enjoy their outdoor sports. Dr. Lincoln German reviews ways to prevent injuries and have long lasting success when outside. Do you question what to do after an injury? Or, what will help you to be pain free when going boating? Dr. German reviews helpful tips that will help you stay on the water for another 15 years.  

Cultural Challenges with Boating and Water Safety

Speakers | TBD

Boats are boats worldwide with different waterways and navigational challenges. However, terminology and standards are not consistent. Language and interpretation of these best practices is a cultural exchange that goes back centuries to our ancestors.

Drowning: The Silent Killer of 1-4 Year Olds

Speaker | Dr. Diana Bowman | Professor, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

Drowning is a devastating and complex global issue impacted by both physical and social determinants of health. In the United States, as well as in the state of Arizona, drownings are the leading cause of death in children ages one to four years old. The national average for child drowning rates from 2001- 2017, ages one to four years of age per 100,000, is 2.87. Arizona’s rate for the same group during the same period is nearly double that, at 5.39 per 100,000. Among children this age private swimming pools and spas are the primary place for drownings to occur. This presentation will showcase a unique public health partnership between Arizona State University, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the Phoenix Children’s Care Network that is focused on providing expert-driven educational interventions to providers and caregivers, tailored to patient age and current developmental level.

Mentoring the Next Generation

Speakers | Coming soon

It’s important to mentor the next generation to ensure gender equality in the outdoor recreation industry. Panelists will share their experiences and why we need to change the perception of what a female in the outdoor recreation industry means.

How to Deliver Impactful Communications

Speaker | Kate Neubauer | President, Neubauer Consulting Group

Learn how to create impactful messaging and discover what channels are best for different audiences through a case study approach. Participants will leave with a step-by-step template for their own use.

Improv Exercises That Can Change the Way Your Team Works

Speaker | Glenn Anderson | Professional Speaker, Glenn Anderson Speaks

Discover and explore the characteristics of teamwork and collaboration that can be experienced by playing some group improvisational theater games. Led by Glenn Anderson, a speaker, coach and improv actor, step outside your cubicle in this fun and energetic team-building  session.

Industry Perspectives: Gear, Tech, and More Hot Topics in Boating and Water Safety

Speakers | Adam Fortier-Brown, Government Relations Manager, MRAA; Nicole Vasilaros, Senior VP Government Relations and Legal Affairs, NMMA; and others

Recreational boating industry representatives will discuss boating and water safety hot topics such as gear, tech, and more. They’ll identify areas where technology, people, and initiatives are influencing safety to drive social change. Attendees will have the opportunity to write down questions and submit them to the panel moderator.

Life Jackets: Partnerships, Innovation, and Grit

Speaker | Scott Swanby | Boating Safety Activist

Scott Swanby, boating safety activist and developer of the first S.O.S. inflatable life jacket (SOSPENDERS®), has made boating safety his life’s work. Learn about the why behind his passion for boating safety, and the critical partnerships along the way to make an inflatable life jacket a reality.

How to Build Great Connections with the Media

Speaker | Jennifer Moore | YouTube Certified TV, Media Veteran

Coming soon.

Fishing for Media

Speaker |  John Trierweiler | Public Information Officer, Arizona Game and Fish Department

The media plays a critical role in communicating about boating and water safety. Whether local weather updates, investigation of an accident, boating and water safety tips, or promotion of a local event, the media is a partner in communicating with the public. Join media expert turned public information officer, John Trierweiler, for a frank conversation on the role of the media.

Monsoon Preparedness, A Community-Wide Initiative

Speakers | Courtney Young, Executive Director, American Red Cross; and others

The local American Red Cross of Southern Arizona highlights the unique relationships and partnerships in rural areas to enhance community preparedness regarding monsoon safety, mitigation, response and recovery.

U.S. National Water Safety Plan

Speakers | Coming soon.

Coming soon.

Sun Safety for Boaters

Speaker | Dr. Reena Vaid | Board Certified Dermatologist, Renewal Dermatology

One in five Americans develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Dr. Vaid grew up boating with her family and is now a dermatologist who treats many boaters for skin cancer. Skin cancer can easily be preventable, but it takes dedication to using the correct sun protection. Dr. Vaid shares what to look out for when monitoring your skin and how to stay safest when recreating outside. 

Weather Hazards on the Water

Speaker | Jaret Rogers | Acting Warning Coordination Meteorologist, National Weather Service

The weather can affect safety on and near the water in countless ways. Some of these are obvious, such as the threat of lightning on the open water, and the potential for rip currents. However, there are numerous other risks which are less evident. Cold water drownings, for example, remain a significant hazard in the spring in the Rockies as recreational swimmers explore frigid stream waters. Strong wind gusts can lead to high waves and capsized boats. This presentation will explore many of the types of weather-related hazards posed to water enthusiasts. More importantly, ways to stay informed and prepared for impactful weather will be discussed to improve weather safety.

Daily Team Building

Afternoon Coffee Chats

Join us each afternoon for a virtual coffee chat in a breakout group of your choice. Choose from VIRTUAL COFFEE CHAT ROOMS coming soon.

Networking Hours

Join us at the end of daily program for a virtual networking hour in a breakout group of your choice. Choose from VIRTUAL NETWORKING ROOMS coming soon.

Virtual Exhibit Hall

Exhibitors Coming Soon

Browse the IBWSS Virtual Exhibit Hall to learn about the latest in recreational boating and water safety, including opportunities to win prizes!

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