Judges named for 2020 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show Innovation Awards


January 16, 2020 -- The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Boating Writers International (BWI) announced today the panel of judges who will evaluate 72 product entries across 21 boating categories for the 2020 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show Innovation Awards, being presented during the show’s Innovation Breakfast on Friday, February 14, at a new location, The Rusty Pelican, adjacent to the boat show campus. Innovation Awards recognize exceptionally innovative new consumer marine products, and will be on display throughout the Miami Boat Show February 13-17 at Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin. 

The Innovation Awards judges’ committee is comprised of eight BWI members who perform product testing throughout the year and have specific expertise in marine products and equipment. The judges’ committee is Co-Chaired by Zuzana Prochazka and Ben Stein. 

Here’s the full panel of judges for the 2020 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show Innovation Awards:

Stefan Gerhard: A long-time boating journalist, editor in chief, magazine developer, based in Berlin, Germany. He is founder and chairman of maritime events such as the Best of Boats Award, Europe’s largest motorboat award in currently present in 16 countries.

Kaylie Jasinski: Serves as one of the senior editors for SpinSheet and FishTalk, and the editor for PropTalk powerboat magazine. She's a photographer and videographer, and manages PropTalk's website and social media channels.

Alan Jones: With a24-year career as an editor for Boating World Magazine, he's tested more than a thousand boats and has done more than 500 boat reviews and video walkthroughs. He is currently the president of BWI.

Zuzana Prochazka (Co-Chair): Past president of BWI, writer and photographer who freelances for over two dozen boating and travel magazines. A USCG 100 Ton Master, Prochazka is the founder of Zescapes.com, a charter and flotilla organizer. She has served on the board of BWI for the past 12 years and heads up judging panels evaluating new boats and gear in the U.S. and abroad.

Lenny Rudow: Angler in Chief at Rudow's FishTalk Magazine, is a Contributing Editor to BoatU.S. Magazine, and contributes many other publications. His writing has resulted in multiple BWI writing contest and OWAA Excellence in Craft awards, and he is a past president of BWI.

Ed Sherman: Has authored or co-authored five technical trade books during his 23-year tenure as a marine technical writer. During this time, he has authored countless technical articles for publications such as Cruising World, Boating, Professional Boat Builder, Boat US Magazine, Yachting, Practical Sailor and Marine Electronics Journal.

Ben Stein (Co-Chair): A lifelong passion for boating and all things electronic lead Ben to his current position as the editor of Panbo.com covering the marine electronics industry. He also serves as electronics editor for Power & Motoryacht and Passamaker 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.    

Alan Wendt: Tests new boats and writes marine product reviews for Lakeland Boating and covers industry news for Soundings Trade Only.  He’s a past president of BWI, and co-chairs the judging in Miami and is the lead judge for the Innovation Awards at IBEX.

Celebrating the thousands of innovative products, ideas and services showcased during the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show each year, the Innovation Breakfast will feature a host of presentations focused on propelling the recreational boating industry forward. The Innovation Breakfast is presented by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and new for 2020, will take place at the Rusty Pelican, adjacent to the show campus along the Rickenbacker Causeway. Doors open at 7:30 a.m., and the breakfast runs from 8 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.


  • Exhibitors planning to attend the breakfast must park in Lot A, take a taxi/Uber to Lot C, or valet park. From these areas, free transportation will be available directly to the Rusty Pelican, which will be running from 7 AM–8 AM.
  • Free transportation will be provided from the Rusty Pelican following the breakfast.

For media interested in attending the Breakfast, please contact Sarah Salvatori at ssalvatori@nmma.org. For questions about NMMA Awards, please contact Melissa Taylor at mtaylor@nmma.org. For questions about the breakfast, contact Erik Rancatore at erancatore@nmma.org.

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About NMMA: The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the leading trade organization for the North American recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, marine accessories and gear used by millions of boaters in North America. The association serves its members and their sales and service networks by improving the business environment for recreational boating including providing domestic and international sales and marketing opportunities, reducing unnecessary government regulation, decreasing the cost of doing business, and helping grow boating participation. As the largest producer of boat and sport shows in the U.S., NMMA connects the recreational boating industry with the boating consumer year-round. Learn more at www.nmma.org and get engaged with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
About BWI: BWI is a professional organization consisting of writers, editors, publishers, photographers, broadcasters, public relations specialists and others in the communications profession associated with the boating industry. Members include active marine journalists across the United States, Canada and beyond; associate members in public relations roles; and supporting members, such as marine manufacturers and service companies. Learn more at www.bwi.org.