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 Tongo, and more!

Connecting Communities To Keep Team USA at the Top

Speaker | Chris Snyder

Chris Snyder, Director of Coaching Education at the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee will share pillars of performance and a leadership philosophy that has allowed Team USA to connect athletes, coaches, leaders and the community to achieve success on and off the field of play. The areas of emphasis will explore how everyone in the water sport industry can come together to provide the best experience for the boating community!

Life Jackets: Partnerships, Innovation & Grit

Speaker | Scott Swanby

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.

Media Role in Boating & Water Safety

Speaker |  John Trierweiler

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.

Twiggy the Water Skiing Squirrel

Speakers | Chuck Best Jr., Lou Ann Best, and Twiggy

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

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

Coming soon.

Cultural Challenges with Boating & 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

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.

From Tragedy to Action: Making a Difference at the Grassroots Level

Speaker | John Johnson

After a tragic fatality on Lake Norman, officers and members of the Peninsula Yacht Club worked with Legislators to improve boating safety and pass “Sheyenne’s Law.” The bill is named for 17-year-old Sheyenne Marshall, who was killed by a drunk boater on Lake Norman. The law was unanimously approved by the North Carolina General Assembly. Gov. Pat McCrory signed Sheyenne’s Law during a ceremony at her High School in Concord, North Carolina. “This bill cannot bring Sheyenne back to us, but it can help save others by sending a strong message that drunk driving in a boat is just as dangerous as in a car,” McCrory said in a press release. This presentation will share how grassroots support and efforts can make a difference.

Gender Gap in Boating

Speakers | Debbie Huntsman, Captain Kathy Weydig, Deanna Pfleger, and Kelsey Bracewell

The future of the boating is at risk without recognizing the needs for gender equality. From experience to expectations and from access to pay, there is a wide gender gap in boating. Panelists will share their experiences and why we need to change the perception of what a female boater means.

How to Deliver Impactful Communications

Speaker | Kate Neubauer

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.

Impact of the Federal Boating Safety Act

Speaker | Coming soon.

Coming soon.

Improv Exercises That Can Change the Way Your Team Works

Speaker | Glenn Anderson

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, Robert Newsome, 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.

Marketing: Safety is Not a Destination

Speaker | Dana Gage

coming soon.

Media Training

Speaker | Jennifer Moore

Coming soon.

Monsoon Preparedness, A Community-Wide Initiative

Speakers | Courtney Slanaker and Doc Morgan

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.

Olympic Mindset

Speaker | Bill Schuffenhauer

In today’s comparison culture, many people may feel like their goals are unachievable, and stop before reaching their full potential. While others will overcome this faulty thinking and continually seek growth and exceed their goals. How is this done? An “Olympic mindset” – or others may call it pure grit – is an approach that can be applied to individuals and organizations to help educate, inspire and transform. Bill Schuffenhauer, 3-time Olympian and Olympic Silver medalist who helped the U.S. end a 46-year medal drought in the sport of bobsled, will share how he overcame extreme adversity to achieve his dreams. He’ll also share insights into how an “Olympic mindset” can be applied to individuals and organizations, as well as advance the shared safety goal of the recreational boating and water community.

Weather Hazards on the Water

Speaker | Jaret Rogers

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.

Youth Set Sail for a Better Future

Speakers | Mike Long and others.

Coming soon.

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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