Bob Saxon has realized four decades in the megayacht marketplace during which time he has participated in virtually every aspect of the industry including sales, charter, crewing and yacht management within the international megayacht profession. He is founding and four term President of the International Superyacht Society (ISS), currently President of the International Yacht Brokers Association (IYBA), and recipient of the coveted ISS “Lifetime Achievement Award”. Bob was inducted into the International Charter Brokers “Hall-of-Fame” in 2019. Both of these awards are in acknowledgement of his collective body of work for and on behalf of the yachting industry-at-large. Bob is a frequent public speaker, emcee and moderator at numerous industry forums on behalf of the yachting industry-at-large.
IYBA Executive Director - Panelist
Paul has been involved in the marine industry for almost his entire life, having started as a dock boy on Eastern Long Island in the late 1960's and working his way up to the position of captain on custom sportfishing boats in the tournament circuit. He holds a 500 ton U.S.C.G. Masters license, has traveled many of the oceans of the world and is also a licensed private pilot.
In 1992, Paul began working in a yacht brokerage position in Jacksonville Fl. and in 1996, he opened Flannery Yachts, Inc where he was a new boat dealer, ran a complete marine service company and enjoyed great success in the brokerage markets. In 2004, Flannery Yachts combined efforts with HMY Yacht Sales and launched the North Florida representation for various high end production new boat brands as well as brokerage sales. His affiliation with HMY lasted for 12 years and the final two years of Paul's brokerage career were spent with SYS Yachts as Director of Sales, Palm Beach Division.
In early 2018, Paul was approached by the Executive Committee of IYBA and asked to assume the role of Executive Director on a full-time basis, where he currently directs the day to day operations of the association. His current duties involve the coordination of seminars, networking events, legislative affairs and working with the Board of Directors to shepherd the growth of the organization. When asked what he enjoys most regarding his career, he says that he genuinely enjoys the opportunity to continue to "give back" to the industry which has given him so much.
Fraser Yachts - Panelist
Melanie Burke was raised near Chicago, but the sun, sand and ocean beckoned her to South Florida in the late 70’s, and she never looked back. Her yachting career began in 1987 in South Florida after falling in love with cruising the islands of the Bahamas on her summers off from college.
Over the past 30 years she has enjoyed everything yachting; sailing competitively and for fun, crewing on charter yachts, managing yachts and marinas, and was also a central agent for a fleet of Florida and Bahamas based charter yachts. Since the mid-90’s Melanie turned her focus exclusively to arranging luxury yacht charter vacations worldwide.
Having hands on experience in nearly every aspect of luxury yachting has helped her to understand the key elements vital for a magnificent yacht charter experience. A discerning eye for details has helped her gain the trust of her clients and earn their repeat charter bookings. She loves to make her clients dreams come true.
Being a hawk for excellence she attends charter yacht shows around the world to inspect the yachts and interview captains and crews to keep her thumb on the pulse of the industry at all times. Clients are assured of the utmost in privacy and discretion when working with Melanie, and she prides herself on attending to every detail to provide them with a bespoke yacht charter experience.
Melanie is a retail Charter Broker with Fraser Yachts, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She previously served on the board of the Charter Yacht Brokers Association (CYBA) and is presently a member of the Charter Retail Committee with International Yacht Brokers Association (IYBA), where she enjoys collaborating with industry colleagues to share knowledge and experience to continually improve the yachting industry.
IYC - Panelist
Heather Hatcher is the Charter Management Director of IYC for the past three years. Heather is an active member of IYBA and MYBA. In 2008, Heather began her career in yachting and spent spent several years working and living in the some of the most popular charter destinations, St. Maarten, Ft. Lauderdale, and Newport, RI. Now, based permanently in Ft. Lauderdale, Heather overseas IYC’s Fleet of over 100+ charter yachts located all around the world.
Alley, Maass, Rogers & Lindsay, P.A. - Panelist
Robb Maass is a shareholder and president of Alley, Maass, Rogers & Lindsay, P.A., a fullservice · 1aw firm with offices in Palm Beach, Florida. He holds an A.B. from Princeton University and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Mr. Maass heads the firm's Maritime Department, which specializes in yacht transactions. He and the other lawyers in his department represent a broad spectrum of the marine industry, including yacht owners, crew, manufacturers, dealers, brokers, and vendors. He was recently reappointed as a director of the Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands, which includes the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry.
Northrop and Johnson - Panelist
A fourth-generation Floridian, Northrop & Johnson Commercial Director, US, Crom Littlejohn grew up in Indialantic with the Indian River as his front yard and the Atlantic Ocean in the back yard. Whether racing sailboats, rebuilding classic Chris Crafts or simply messing around with boats, Crom spent every spare moment in, on and by the water. By the age of 13, he knew helping others enjoy his passion was his future.
Realizing that larger yachts required a new venue, Crom moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1981, where he was offered a position on the classic Americas Cup Committee boat, BLACK KNIGHT. The desire to concentrate on the larger yacht market led him to take a position as captain on a large motor yacht, cruising and chartering throughout the Bahamas, East Coast and Great Lakes.
With two beautiful daughters back home, Crom made the transition to a land-based life and joined the firm of Merle Wood & Associates, where, he was deeply involved in both the sales and charter divisions for 15 years.
Crom served on the FYBA's Board of Directors for 11 years, including a two-year term as president; he remains actively involved and was honored as Yacht Broker of the Year in 2015. Additionally, he currently holds a Board seat on the AYCA. Crom brings his extensive knowledge and experience within the yachting industry to his role at Northrop & Johnson, based in the Fort Lauderdale office.