b"LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENTAT THE HELM Heading for Clearer Skies BOB BIJUR // PRESIDENTIand suggested paths forward in dealing with new regulatory chal-would like to start out by saying thank you for the opportunity to serve as your president for 2022. I hope, as all of you do, that thislenges, and helped assure financial security by adapting to a changing pandemic is trending down and that we will see more stability ineconomic environment. They tackled the huge task of bringing FOG-the coming year.HORN in house and provided oversight of a new digital marketing program. All the while, they provided member support services such I clearly remember the first Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) meet- as the PVA Legal Hotline and helped members with U.S. Coast Guard ing I attended. I was awestruck by the members and presenters and theand regulatory compliance issues and challenges. level enthusiasm and commitment to make a real difference in the way our industry operates. I learned about enhancements in safety, security,Let me tell you a little bit about me and the organization I hail from. I training tools and resources, business strategies, marketing techniques,grew up near the crisp, cool waters of Long Island Sound, where I was and technology improvements that had been developed by PVA indus- hooked on the industry from my first boat ride. Our family did not own try-specific working groups. When I left the meeting to head back toa boat, but neighbors, friends, and uncles did. I bartered and negotiated work, I was excited to share my experiences with my employer. Theyat every opportunity to get out on the water: fishing, cruising, sailing, or were operators of a small family business who years ago welcomed mesometimes just rowing. It did't matter, as long I was out on the water. The onboard and gave me an opportunity to begin working in this industry.real game changer for me was when I moved to Florida. Do you know the water temperature difference between Long Island Sound and Biscayne Bay? Florida is a boating mecca, and I was very fortunate to have been I was welcomed into a giant familywelcomed there by two pioneer boating families; one who developed early speed boats, and the other an accomplished Olympic sailor. Both instilled business that is PVA, which looksin me a great respect for Mother Nature and her power, as well as the need after the interests of U.S. passengerto pay attention to details on the mechanical side of vessel operations. vessel operators, small and large.I found that I could not earn a living at that time on boats, so I worked in a new restaurant being built in South Miami. The restaurant was small but impressive by circa 1974 standards. Working at the restaurant offered At that time, I could not imagine how I could participate in or offerperks as the clientele had big boats, and the perfect combination of yacht-anything that would be of value or make a difference. I soon found out,ing and hospitality quickly became my new passion and ultimate career. however, that I was welcomed into a giant family business that is PVA,This was the 70s and 80s in Miami, but that is another story. In 1993, which looks after the interests of U.S. passenger vessel operators, smalla friend from the local boat yard suggested I join him in his brothers and large. PVA leadership and staff; vessels members, from owners toboating business. I recall the times at the boat yard where I was working crew; and associate members, from suppliers to shipyards, quickly be- on my owners boat, when I saw individuals in blue jump suits drawing came friends and mentors. I was guided and encouraged by my fellowwith chalk on the side of their boat. It seemed simple enough and I signed members to get involved in the association. What I did not realize thenon. Fast forward 28 years, and there were more vessels added and many was that I was being given a gift and an opportunity to make a realmore visits by those individuals in blue jump suits. Island Queen Cruises difference and to evoke change for the greater goodfor the safety,and Biscayne Lady Yacht Charters currently has nine inspected vesselscomfort, and entertainment of our passengers.eight T-boats and one K boat. Please visit me if you are in South Florida as I would love to show you around. There are very special people in our association, and to all I am extreme-ly grateful. I cannot say enough about Colleen Stephens, our presidentMy goals as your president for 2022 are simple: for 2020 and 2021, who lead us through two of the most challengingyears. Colleen showed us what real commitment means. She kept us in-To have the ear of PVA members new and old, and to help adapt formed and provided essential support for our staff. She answered theour association to continually address the needs of our members. call to provide additional member resources specifically to combat the troubled economic impacts of the pandemic. Colleen has set the barTo encourage member involvement at every level. very high and is a true leader in our industry. I could take up this whole column sharing experiences that I have had with all the tremendous To understand all members priorities, and bring their thoughtspeople who make up PVA, and I will throughout the coming year.and concerns to the tableBut now, I need to speak of the backbone of the organization: our To guide and support the board of directors and staff with toolstireless, unwavering staff. They kept our headway through legislativesuch as strategic planning. PVAs officers and staff will plan and efforts that resulted in economic relief, they offered timely reportingprioritize association concerns and activities for the next year and Continued on page 31FOGHORN 4"