Inspire Initiative Header with logo and dragonfly

From Barbie to Taylor Swift’s takeover of the NFL…this past year embodied the “Year of the Woman.” The U.S. Superyacht Association was not left on the sidelines of this movement as a sold-out crowd of almost 200 women ascended upon the Canopy by Hilton West Palm Beach on Friday, March 22, 2024 for the 2024 Inspire Initiative. This year’s event emphasized that even though it is hard to be a woman…we are all amazing and have such unique and fantastic things to offer our industry, business associates, families, friends and most importantly ourselves.

The Inspire Initiative…a movement USSA President, Kitty McGowan, created in 2022 to celebrate, empower, showcase and support the women of the yachting industry. Each year has brought new ways in an effort to exceed the expectations from previous years. This year’s did not disappoint. With a unique blend of educational moments and panelists, attendees walked away with a reminder to be strong, dynamic, powerful, intelligent, fun and most importantly…themselves!

In an effort to change the format from previous years, instead of several keynote speakers, the event provided a brief Networking Nugget from Dakota Frazier of Dale Carnegie Training. This dynamic coach and trainer provided each attendee with a quick and useful networking skill that they could walk out of the room using to grow your business and meet people for the rest of your time at the Show and throughout life.
With everyone feeling confident in their next networking experience the talented panel from across the country and the Bahamas was introduced to showcase their diverse and enlightened perspectives.

This year’s powerful panel of women featured Loretta Butler-Turner, Distinguished Political & Business Leader | 1st Female Leader of the Opposition in The Bahamian Government; Lisa Maddox – Former Intelligence Officer, Owner of Family History Intelligence, and National Security Expert; Wendy Meade – Co-Founder/Broker at; Angeli Millan, TV Producer, Writer, Actress; Lisa Scott-Founds, President/CEO of Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade; Stephanie Toothaker, Esq., P.A., Chairwoman & Chief Strategist at and Ashley Vertuno – CEO of HCA Florida JFK North Hospital.
Three-time Inspire Moderator Bob Denison, Denison Yachts once again masterfully moderated with the ease and comfort of a man who understands that women can be a huge asset and has learned to embrace our differences and chooses to lift up his female counterparts and value what they offer.

Each of these powerhouses come from different industries and stages in their careers showcasing the importance of work/life balance, confidence, tenacity, breaking through their own barriers, battling health issues, demanding respect when required and facing every day with a level of strength and knowledge to rely on others when necessary. The Inspire Initiative was created to provide a place where women can gain confidence, work together and Inspire each other to be our best each day. Everyone who attended this event walked away with a better understanding of not being afraid to reach out for help, but also to find the strength inside themselves to take them to the next level in their work and life experiences.

The Inspire Initiative delivered a day of inspiration, motivation, and energy through the support of amazing sponsors Engineered Yacht Solutions, Robert Allen Law, Safe Harbor Marinas, Burger Boat Company, Marine Group Boat Works, Suntex Marinas, Total Marine Solutions, American Yacht Agents, Amico & Co, Datum RMS, Informa, IRI/The Marshall Islands Registry, Maritime Professional Training (MPT), Oasis Marinas, Professional Yacht Training USA, Superyacht Northwest, Côtes de Femme and YATCO.

Camaraderie and networking continued with as attendees enjoyed a Côtes de Femme rose reception which included a silent auction with a portion of the proceeds benefitting PACE Center for Girls – Palm Beach.
The high-energy event concluded with ladies of all ages, levels of business and types of industries walking away with new friends and renewed appreciation for each other.