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Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast names new executive director

Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast announces new executive director

STUART—As one of the largest voices in the region advocating for the rights and interests of the boating public and marine profession, the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast (MIATC) has decided its efforts require a full-time executive director.

The association is proud to announce that Justin Beard will be taking the helm during this “dynamic time.”

“There’s a lot of opportunity and challenge across the marine industry and our entire region so we’re elevating our game to meet the needs of our growing membership,” says Tom Whittington, president of the MIATC board of directors. “Justin Beard is precisely the caliber of professional we need to help us better demonstrate our value, raise our level of service and anticipate and respond to the priorities of the industry and the boating community as a whole.”

Beard brings diverse industry experience and deep local knowledge to the organization. The time is right, says Beard, to expand the organization’s prominence and effectiveness in the realms of advocacy and policy, strategic partnerships and inspiring and shaping the next generation of industry professionals.

“MIATC is the perfect position right now,” says Beard. “We can continue building on our unique role as a powerful ally for marine-related businesses, demonstrate our value to the general public—which is widely unified in its love, enjoyment and sense of protection for our waterways—and prepare for the opportunities that are coming our way with the overwhelming amount of interest going on right now about the Treasure Coast.”

A not-for-profit trade association with members based in Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River counties, MIATC represents commercial and residential marinas, boatyards, boat manufacturers, boat dealers and a variety of marine-related businesses as well as the interests of recreation boaters.

A consistent voice for clean water policies, MIATC also advocates for timely and consistent management of local inlets to ensure safe ocean access, boating safety, anchoring and mooring rights, derelict vessels and water quality.

Mindful of how extended closures of the St. Lucie rail bridge in Stuart during Brightline’s expansion project could negatively impact boaters and the marine industry, MIATC is monitoring the situation and in regular communication with the U.S. Coast Guard in hopes of providing clarity and minimizing negative impacts on the marine industry and boating public.

Beard has a strong grasp of the issues impacting some of the largest marine companies in the world. He spent more than three years at Derecktor Shipyards introducing the City of Fort Pierce and the surrounding communities to the global yachting industry as manager of marketing and sales development.

His previous extended experience with the United Way sharpened his skills organizing and executing large-scale information, influence and fund-raising campaigns. He also once worked as a reporter for, even authoring a column on his beloved pastime of surfing.

Founded in 1974, MIATC also puts on the Stuart Boat Show, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2024. In addition to capitalizing on the commemoration of this milestone, Beard plans to explore possible creation of a fundraiser dedicated to addressing the growing need for marine-related job training programs.

“I’m particularly excited about working with strategic partners in the community to develop career pathways for students to get into the marine industry,” he says. “A strong MIATC working with local businesses and community leaders can lead to rewarding jobs for our talented youth. It will be fun to watch all of this begin to come together over the next couple of years.”
About the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast
Chartered in 1974, the Marine Industries Association of the Treasure Coast (MIATC) is a not-for-profit trade association dedicated to promoting, protecting, and growing local marine businesses. Often operating in affiliation with its state partner, Marine Industries Association of Florida, MIATC advocates for clean waterways, navigable passageways and ocean access, and policies that support marine businesses and the boating public.

MIATC organizes the Stuart Boat Show, holiday boat parades and waterway clean-up events and promotes boating safety, career opportunities in the marine industry and keeps the public informed about the industry’s multibillion-dollar economic impacts across the Treasure Coast and around the state.

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