Speakers revealed

Three international keynote speakers have been confirmed for the 2024 ASMEX Conference, which heads to the Gold Coast in May.

14 March 2024


The Australian International Marine Export Group (AIMEX), together with Superyacht Australia and the Australian Commercial Marine Group, have confirmed three keynote speakers for the upcoming ASMEX Conference.

The annual event is to be held this year from 20 to 22 May 2024 at the InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort on the Gold Coast in Queensland.

Kitty McGowan, President of the US Superyacht Association (USSA); Theo Hooning, Secretary General of the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss); and Petros Michelidarkis, Director of Messe Düsseldorf, will each present on updates and latest developments from their regions and the international impact these initiatives will have for other markets.

McGowan, an industry veteran with three decades of experience, is currently based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In her role as president of USSA, she successfully created a national advocacy platform that created the first US large-yacht flag registry.


McGowan has testified before congressional committees on industry issues and worked with international partners on developing regulations.

McGowan has worked to educate the US Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection agencies about the economic impact of the superyacht industry that helped create relationships to ease U.S. entry for yacht crew.

She has also been responsible for expanding the presence of the US superyacht market internationally through the development of successful boat show events in the United States and beyond.

Theo Hooning, Secretary General of the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss) joins ASMEX 2024 from Amsterdam. Graduating as an economist, Hooning worked for several years in the automotive industry before joining the Dutch association of car and truck importers and manufacturers.

In 2007, Hooning founded the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss) to ensure that the needs of the world’s leading superyacht builders were addressed on the international stage.

Sixteen years later, the association has 25 members across nine countries who are responsible for 60 percent of yachts over 40 metres. The association has gained permanent consultative status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Alongside Hooning’s role as Secretary General at SYBAss, he is also the Secretary General of the Superyacht Life Foundation, an advocacy group for the superyacht sector.

Hooning is an advisor to the board of the Water Revolution Foundation, a non-profit seeking to accelerate sustainability within the superyacht industry. He has also held the role of treasurer of the Superyacht Alliance, since it was formed in 2023.

Petros Michelidakis has beenDirector of Messe Düsseldorf since 2016, responsible for the boating and water sports sector and boot Düsseldorf.

“We’re excited to have three industry leaders join us this year at ASMEX 2024,” says David Good, CEO of the Australian International Marine Export Group.

“Attracting top experienced marine industry members to Australia not only reaffirms the importance of global conversations at the annual ASMEX Conference, it also reflects the significance of Australia’s place in the global marine industry.”



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