ASMEX Conference confirms keynote speakers

ASMEX 2023 © Salty Dingo ASMEX 2023 © Salty Dingo

The Australian International Marine Export Group (AIMEX), together with Superyacht Australia and the Australian Commercial Marine Group, have confirmed three keynote speakers for the 2024 ASMEX Conference in Queensland.

The annual event runs from 20-22 May 2024 at the InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort on the Gold Coast.

Kitty McGowan, president of the US Superyacht Association (USSA); Theo Hooning, secretary general of the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss); and Petros Michelidarkis, director of Messe Düsseldorf, will each present on updates and latest developments from their regions and the international impact these initiatives have for other markets.

In her role as president of USSA, McGowan successfully created a national advocacy platform that created the first US large-yacht flag registry. She has testified before congressional committees on industry issues and worked with international partners on developing regulations.

She has also worked to educate the US Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection agencies about the economic impact of the superyacht industry, helping to create relationships to ease US entry for yacht crew.

McGowan has also been responsible for expanding the presence of the US superyacht market internationally through the development of successful boat show events in the United States and beyond.

Theo Hooning, secretary general of the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss), joins ASMEX 2024 from Amsterdam. After graduating as an economist, Hooning worked for several years in the automotive industry before joining the Dutch Association of Car and Truck Importers and Manufacturers.

In 2007, he founded the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss). Sixteen years later, the association has 25 members across nine countries who are responsible for 60 per cent of yachts over 40 metres. The association has gained permanent consultative status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Hooning is also the secretary general of the Superyacht Life Foundation, an advocacy group for the superyacht sector, in addition to his role as secretary general at SYBAss. Plus he is an advisor to the board of the Water Revolution Foundation, a non-profit seeking to accelerate sustainability within the superyacht industry and has held the role of treasurer of the Superyacht Alliance, since it was formed in 2023.

ASMEX 2023 © Salty Dingo
ASMEX 2023. Image courtesy of Salty Dingo.

Petros Michelidakis has been director of Messe Düsseldorf since 2016. He is responsible for the boating and water sports sector and boot Düsseldorf.

“We are excited to have three industry leaders join us this year at ASMEX 2024,” says David Good, CEO of the Australian International Marine Export Group.

“Attracting top experienced marine industry members to Australia not only reaffirms the importance of global conversations at the annual ASMEX Conference, it also reflects the significance of Australia’s place in the global marine industry.”

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