Congratulations to our Award Winners!
Recognizing professionalism and the best in the superyacht industry has been an important part of the USSA’s Annual Meeting. We are once again excited to honor more of our hardworking USSA members in the industry who have gone above and beyond.
Golden Compass Award
The Kelly Family | Bradford Marine
What inspires a father and son to move from Pittsburgh and take over one of Fort Lauderdale’s oldest marinas? In the case of the Kellys, it’s part the love of history and part the excitement for what’s yet to be built. When John Kelly lived in Pittsburgh and owned a yacht, his trips would always end up in Fort Lauderdale because he knew that this is where you went to get things done. Kelly and his family, including son Michael, began their love of boating when they lived in Rhode Island with a small runabout going lobstering, tubing or skiing off Chatham in Cape Cod. That love didn’t end when they moved to Pittsburgh…a city known for its three rivers and lots of boating.
“We have been a lifelong boating family,” Kelly says. Family trips to Fort Lauderdale for repair and winter boating introduced them to the excellence that the marinas and shipyards in the Venice of America provided. Their love of Fort Lauderdale, combined with a diverse background in business, real estate and passion for boating, steered John and Michael to eventually invest in Bradford Marine, a family-owned business since 1966. That commitment to the community led to the further acquisition of neighboring Billfish Marina and most recently, the purchase of Roscicoli Yachting Center—another family-built legacy shipyard.
There are many infrastructure updates, services and amenities already completed, or in final stages, that will make Bradford Marine and their new expanded facilities, a “home away from home” for captains and crew. These improvements include a resort-styled pool, fitness center, captain/crew lounges and more. It is the Kelly family’s steadfast engagement, long-view commitment to injecting new energy and investment, as well as their respect for the pioneer-history that has defined Bradford Marine and the yachting industry in Fort Lauderdale, this year’s Golden Compass recipients.
The Golden Compass Award
The Golden Compass Award was created to honor the company or individual whose contributions, impacts and contributions to the superyacht industry have provided a “true-North” model that inspires us all.
2014: MY Freedom
2015: Julie Balzano, NMMA
2016: Michael Reardon, Reardon Yacht Consulting
2017: Phil Purcell, MIASF
2018: Christian Von Der Hyde
2019: Charlie Dana, Newport Shipyard
2020: Bob Roscioli, Roscioli Yachting Center
2021: Denison Family
2022: Paul Derektor, Derecktor Shipyards
Engineered Yacht Solutions
With a rich legacy dating back to 2015, Engineered Yacht Solutions (EYS) has consistently demonstrated an unwavering commitment to delivering large-scale marine projects with exceptional efficiency and uncompromising quality.
At EYS, their dedication to making a positive impact on the community is at the core of who they are. This commitment led them to establish the EYS Cares program, through which they have forged partnerships with numerous organizations over the years. These collaborations have taken various forms, from heartwarming toy drives to providing vital assistance in the wake of devastating events such as the West Coast of Florida hurricane last year. Their ongoing support of Covenant House is a testament to their dedication to addressing the issue of youth homelessness.
EYS regularly contributes to their cause and actively participates in their sleepout events, playing a crucial role in raising awareness about this pressing concern. Moreover, when their local community faced a dire flooding crisis near Safe Harbor – LMC earlier this year, EYS took a proactive stance. They rallied the community to collect essential items for those who had lost everything. The outpouring of support from other companies was heartwarming, allowing them to gather a significant quantity of children’s toys, basic necessities, food, and more to aid those affected by the flooding. EYS’s mission is steadfast: to always prioritize the well-being of those in need.
The Beacon Award
The Beacon Award was created to honor the company or individual that is shining a light and making a difference in our community (i.e. humanitarian, environmental, socially, etc.)
2014: Marc Drewelow, C2C
2015: Jennifer Saia, B&B Yacht Charters
2016: David Reed, The Triton
2017: Lisa Morely, MPT
2018: Aaron Leatherwood, RMK Merrill-Stevens
2019: Julie Berry, Marina Investment Group/Stiles Realty
2020: Jonathan Rothberg, M/Y Gene Machine
2021: Dan Wood, Crow’s Nest Yachting
2022: Michael T. Moore, Moore & Co.
Gertrude Denison “Woman of the Year in Yachting” Award
Alexandra Anagnostis-Irons, Total Marine Solutions
Alexandra Anagnostis-Irons is the founder and CEO of Total Marine Solutions (TMS), an environmental solutions company headquartered in Fort Lauderdale. TMS supplies innovative and forward-thinking MARPOL compliant solutions for the marine and logistics industries, along with the highest level of technical support and customer service. Alex is actively involved in several industry organizations; she serves as a Director for the Coast Guard Foundation, Chair of Broward Navy Days, Treasurer and Executive Board Member for Seafarers’ House Port Everglades, Board Member at SUNY Maritime College, as a member of InterManager’s Executive Committee, and as an Advisory Committee Member of the Advance Certificate in Maritime Business course through World Maritime Academy. Alex has previously served as an Executive Committee Member of WISTA International, and past president of WISTA USA. In 2023, Alex as honored as one of South Florida Business Journal’s Influential Business Women and was recognized in 2022 by History Fort Lauderdale as a Women Trailblazer.
“Woman of the Year in Yachting” Award
The USSA is proud to have such an iconic industry pioneer as the namesake of this award that honors and celebrates the incredible contributions and leadership of the women in the superyacht industry. Gertrude Denison bravely blazed a path for all women to become a powerful part of our industry and embodied an undeniable spirit of leadership, foresight and determination that continues to inspire us all.
2022: Rose Damen, Damen Yachts
Young Professionals in Yachting Leadership Award
William Smith, Lafitte Advisors
Born and raised in Pass Christian, MS, William is no stranger to hard work. While helping his hometown rebuild after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, he also watched as his father, William S. Smith III (Billy) and founding partner of Trinity Yachts in New Orleans, LA, build the company from the ground up. Billy’s strong work ethic was passed down to William as he went on to earn his BA in Management and his MBA from Ole Miss (Hotty Toddy!), during which he was hired by Kaizen Capital, an energy investment partnership in Houston, TX. As the Director of Marketing and Client Services for Kaizen, he handled client-related needs and initiated the fund’s first concerted marketing efforts. After experiencing success at Kaizen, William’s heritage in the yachting world guided him to Yachts International Magazine where he held key positions, starting as National Accounts Manager and working his way up to Associate Publisher. Falling in love once again with the luxurious experience yachting can bring to owners and enthusiasts, William decided to follow his father’s footsteps and take the leap into entrepreneurship. And thus, Lafitte Advisors was born.
Young Professionals in Yachting Leadership Award
In 2020 we added an award to celebrate the leadership and accomplishments of our up and coming yachting professionals. The Young Professionals in Yachting (YPY) has done a great job of uniting our next generation of industry professionals this award recognizes the best and brightest amongst their ranks.
2020: Katie Hagen, FHG Marine Engineering
2021: Chris Coleman, Oversea Yacht Insurance
2022: Sarrah Hearne, Bradford Marine