Thank you, Kim Sweers, for welcoming me to the helm of Boat Boss. Great platform to promote the 50th-anniversary celebration of Winterfest. Be a part of all the events leading up to the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade on 12.11.21.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – APRIL 12, 2021 – Winterfest, Inc. announced today that it has appointed Mark A. Swenson, Senior Vice President – Wealth Management Wealth Advisor at UBS Financial Services – The Garvin Financial Team, as chairman of the board. The 2021-2022 Winterfest Board will be effective Monday, April 12, 2021. The handing over of the gavel from the current chair, Susan Renneisen, Vice President of Community Affairs & Special Events at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to Mr. Swenson. Chair-Elect Bill Walker, Principal, CEO of Water Taxi of Fort Lauderdale LLC, Boat Parade Chair Britt Lanier, Franchisee Owner of Two Men and a Truck/Fort Lauderdale, Davie, and Boca Raton, and Parade Enhancement Chair James Harrison, owner of Frank and Jimmie’s Prop Shop start their new roles as well. Additional new members include
Chair Mark Swenson Sr. Vice President – Wealth Management, UBS Financial Services
Chair Elect Bill Walker Owner, Water Taxi of Fort Lauderdale, LLC
Immediate Past Chair Susan Renneisen V.P. of Community Affairs & Special Events, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Secretary Lisa Duke Chief Financial Officer, Walter Duke + Partners
Assistant Secretary Karla Nelson-Thatcher Director of Public Relations, Events, Media, Hotwire Communications
Treasurer Ken Ortner Director, Kenneth A Ortner, P.A.
Assistant Treasurer James Ray Senior Vice President, Fifth Third Bank
Co-Counsel Robyn Vines Attorney, Gray Robinson Attorneys at Law
Co-Counsel Johnny Williams Managing Partner, ProMotion Sports & Entertainment, LLC
Lisa Scott-Founds President & CEO, Winterfest, Inc.
Robert Kornahrens President, Advanced Roofing / Advanced Green Technologies
Britt Lanier Franchise Owner, Two Men and a Truck
Dan Lindblade President & CEO, Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce
Gregg Snowden VP, Account Director, GTB, South Florida Ford
Bob Swindell Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, President and CEO
New Board Members:
Melanie Dickinson South Florida Business Journal, President & Publisher
Erick Eldridge Vice President of Operations, Light Up The Night
Luis Jimenjez Principal (Owner), Suncoast Elevator Company, Inc.
Lt. Raymond C. Milne IV Commanding Officer of Station Ft. Lauderdale, United States Coast Guard
L. Katerina Perez Partner Relations & Development, Florida Panthers, Vice President
(complete list of Winterfest Board and Advisory Members with photos can be found by clicking here)
“We are pleased to welcome Mark, Bill, Britt, and James to their new roles along with our new executive, board, and members,” said Lisa Scott-Founds, President and CEO. “Their new positions are an integral part of Winterfest during the Parade’s 50th Anniversary Celebration this year. The 2021 Board, Parade, and Enhancement Chairs are all boaters. They are focused on bringing our signature event, the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade to the next level. This is an exciting time with plans in the final stages for this memorable year. We look forward to showcasing the Parade enhancements of this community event with a global audience.”
Meet Mark A. Swenson
Mark has been involved with Winterfest since 2008 as a volunteer dock walker Parade night. He has been on the Board of Directors since 2010 and transitioned to Parade Chair in 2015.
A native of Minnesota, Mark grew up on Lake Minnetonka (about 30 miles from Minneapolis). An avid boater, Mark has been behind a wheel his entire life and spent his high school summers captaining charter boat cruises and jet skiing. Along with his passion for the water, Mark competitively played basketball and tennis in high school and college. He continues to play basketball recreationally weekly with friends and colleagues. Aftergraduating from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Economics, Mark moved to Fort Lauderdale in 2002 and started his career with UBS, The Financial Services, in 2007. He met his wife, Christine, at work, married in 2013, and lives in Lauderdale Harbors. Along with their beautiful three-year-old daughter, Annika, the family enjoys frequent trips on their boat to the Florida Keys and Bahamas as well as backcountry mountain snowmobiling in Wyoming.
“Winterfest is the best example of fun and camaraderie our community has on the water and brings families together in a way no other event can here in South Florida. Whether you are a boater, waterway enthusiast, or shoreline spectator; this event has something for everyone. I was hooked the first night that I volunteered, and I am looking forward to leading this board on a path to create the best celebration of the Parade’s golden anniversary. “
Meet Bill Walker
Bill has been an active board member since 2016 and a Parade participant since 2007. Bill started his career on the waterways of Boston and has a Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation from Massachusetts Maritime Academy. He has a proven track record leading successful ventures in business, the marine industry, and public service. These ventures have led to the purchasing of high and low-speed passenger vessel service. This 150-employee business, focused on guest services and excellent marine practices, has a proven track record of safety and reliability. These experiences transporting guests for public services, and private ventures, along with marketing have made Water Taxi recognizable by both tourists and residents. Along with Winterfest, Bill is active as a board member on the Marine Advisory of Fort Lauderdale, Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, Friends of Birch State Park, Las Olas Association, Riverwalk, and is a member of the Marine Industry Association of South Florida, and Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center.
“Winterfest is the annual event that brings the City of Fort Lauderdale and Broward County family and friends together. The year after year presentation of the ‘Best Show on H2O’ is a tradition that is experienced locally and seen inter-nationally. While the Parade brings tons of fun, Winterfest and its foundation bring year-round events and contributions to the area.”
Meet Britt Lanier
Britt has been a Parade Participant in Winterfest since 2001, which led to his becoming a member of the Boat Parade Committee. In 2017, Britt was invited to the Winterfest Advisory Committee and took on the position of Parade Enhancement Chair. In 2019, he became a board member while continuing as Parade Enhancement Chair and serving on additional committees furthering the future vision of Winterfest. Since opening his first Two Men and a Truck® franchise in South Florida in 1999, he has expanded that one office into four offices in Broward and Palm Beach. Britt is active on the board of Riverwalk and involved with charities such as Forever Family, Riverwalk Trust, Women in Distress, AVDA, Harvest Drive, Kids in Distress, United Way, American Cancer Society, as well as entering approximately 10 holiday parades annually. Britt is happiest on the water with his wife and two daughters. The oldest of which will be following in his footsteps to FSU after graduating from high school this year.
“One of the first things that attracted me to Two Men and a Truck as a company was their commitment to giving back to local communities. Winterfest may be the ‘best show on H2O’ but their dedication to the Greater Fort Lauderdale community, non-profits, and local businesses is at their core and why I love helping in whatever capacity I can. Getting to work with the boats and boaters is the reward.”
Meet Jimmie Harrison
Jimmie is a native of Fort Lauderdale and lives in Rio Vista with his wife, Isabelle where they raised their two daughters – Martine, an artist, and Christie, who works in the family business, Frank & Jimmie’s Propeller. He is a graduate of St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Art Institute of Ft Lauderdale – Graphic Design, University of North Carolina Asheville – Business, and Florida Atlantic University – Marketing. Jimmie’s hobbies include all things boating: Offshore Power Boat racing (4x National Champion). poker runs, scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, Bahamas trips as well as playing guitar, going to concerts/live comedy shows, snow skiing, traveling, art, and photography. His first working boat show was at the age of six. He started at the family business in 1973 as a teenager working after school and summers and became the owner in 1992. With Jimmie at the helm, the company has grown into the largest propeller shop in the country. They have opened and are partnered with additional FJ Propeller shops in Miami, Lake of the Ozarks, The Bahamas, The Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Columbia. He is also the founder of Neptune Boat Lifts, a boat lift manufacturing company in Fort Lauderdale. In addition to his involvement with Winterfest, he serves as Vice Chairman of the Marine Industries Association of South Florida (MIASF), Fort Lauderdale Marine Advisory Board, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber’s Economic Advisory Board, and sponsor of the MIASF Waterway Clean-up, the Plywood Regatta, and numerous other community events.
“Growing up here I always knew this was the best place in the world to live, work and play and Winterfest showcases that we truly are the Yachting Capital of the World! I’m very excited and grateful to now be a part of nurturing and growing the Winterfest experience.”
For additional information on the Chairmen of Winterfest, Board/Advisory members, how to get involved as a sponsor, boater, or volunteer, call Winterfest, Inc. at 954-767-0686.
About Winterfest, Inc.
Winterfest is a Florida not-for-profit organization based in Broward County that produces a variety of events including the free public event known as the Winterfest Boat Parade – “The World’s Most Watched Boat Parade.” Spectators view the Parade along the 12-mile route with millions more via television and the internet bringing National and International recognition to South Florida. Winterfest also hosts annual events to enhance the community’s image and provide unique, wholesome family entertainment. For more information on Winterfest, please contact the office at (954) 767-0686 or website: www.winterfestparade.com. FB: winterfest.parade #WinterfestFL #WF50
The Organizers of Winterfest, Producers of the Signature Event, The Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade, brings “Home for the Holidays” with Decorating Contests, Virtual Events, Pop Up Santa Sightings, Holiday Cheer Light Cruises, and More as a countdown to the Annual Holiday Television Special
It was a very difficult decision to pause the “World’s Most Watch Boat Parade” for 2020, but that did not stop the organizers of Winterfest from reinventing this year’s holiday season. The team may not be able to produce the famous Parade in December; however, they are committed to bringing community cheer with the theme, “Home for the Holidays.”
“This has been a very emotional time for all of us,” noted Lisa Scott-Founds, President and CEO of Winterfest, Inc. “The Parade is synonymous with the holidays. We had to weigh the safety of everyone onshore as well as the water. The event would create “gatherings” in public and private areas with little or no control regarding social distancing, and mask-wearing. What would those optics look like and how would that be perceived? It was decided by the Winterfest Board of Directors, as well as a few of our major sponsors, that the safety of the community was the main priority. As the area businesses open up, there is a tear that we are not the finale celebration for this difficult year. We may not have live events, but our calendar is full of holiday events and activities for everyone to enjoy.” Winterfest is asking the community to help spread the warm and positive feelings of the holidays by decorating and submitting a photo. Simply visit the https://winterfestparade.com/winterfest-decorating-contestto upload your images OR upload them on social media using the hashtag: #winterfestdecor on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. We want everyone to show their lights! When you enter on social media, include your social media handle, a brief description, and a shout-out where your amazing decorations are located (business name, for residents – your city, state … No exact location unless you want people to drive by and gawk!) If you decorated it – we want to see it (boats, homes, businesses, interior/exterior parts of your home … holiday tree, room, dock, balcony, porch, etc.)! Lots of great prizes will be given out including a $500 Bloomers Frosé Basket to the photo with the most votes in select categories. A few over the top entries will receive the “Griswold Award” which will be selected by the president of the Broward, Palm Beaches & St. Lucie Realtors®, Jarrod K. Lowe. We even have a contest for the cutest holiday pets! Voters, we didn’t forget about you – Vote starting November 28th and you’ll be entered for a chance to win round trip travel on Southwest Airlines®.
Are you out and about? Enjoy the Holidays with Winterfest aboard Holiday Lights Cruises on a special decorated Water Taxi or download the Winterfest App to see where Santa will be from November 27th to December 24th as he vacations in Fort Lauderdale. Want to getaway? Check out Winterfest’s Social Media and Crown Wine & Spirits locations and enter to win a two-night stay at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, dinner for (2) two, Southwest Airlines tickets and more. Click on https://winterfestparade.com/contests for all the details on how to enter!
Looking to snuggle more on your comfy couch? Winterfest makes Holiday Shopping, baking, DIY ornament crafting easy with a click to our website. Your family can even enjoy Santa in your home virtually. This year, Storytime with Santa is a Winterfest virtual experience with the first 100 children that are registered receiving a copy of the book Santa will be reading so kids may read along.. The sight will have the link to see Santa read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas on December 5th. A list of all the holiday excitement is on the Winterfestparade.com site under “2020 holidays.”
And what would Winterfest be without the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade? On December 19th, 25th and 31st, turn on WSVN Channel 7 to watch a trip down memory lane with a retrospective of 49 years of this holiday tradition. For your holiday needs and wishes, go to Winterfestparade.com
For more information on Winterfest, Inc., call 954-767-0686.
“As published in the International Festivals & Events Association’s “i.e.: the business of international events” quarterly magazine. The premiere association supporting and enabling festivals and events worldwide. For more information on the IFEA, go to www.ifea.com.”
Winterfest is looking online for fun and creative festive fun for the whole family! From recipes to decorations, Winterfest is working on a few easy links to make this year “together” memorable. Keep visiting this page as we expand on how to get creative this holiday season.
HOMEMADE ORNAMENTS: Want to create a memory for your tree? Meet Winterfest’s Workshop Wizard – 7-year-old James T. (J.T.) Floyd – the star of our “How To Ornament Videos. ” He will show us how to make Boat, Gnome, and Snowflake Ornaments.
Visit a Dollar Store, Hobby Lobby, or other location to pick up the following items and print out or re-create the easy templates on this page.
OTHER CRAFT IDEAS (cookie links at the end of this post) :
Fort Lauderdale, Florida – August 18, 2020 – The 2020 Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade slated for Saturday, Dec. 12, has been canceled due to ongoing coronavirus concerns and the organization’s unwavering commitment to the health and safety of participants and spectators.
Announcement of the cancellation followed a unanimous vote of the Winterfest Board of Directors to forego the 2020 boat parade. Related Winterfest live events will also be canceled this year.
Organizers of the annual holiday celebration, one of the nation’s most popular community events, are instead focusing on the 50th Anniversary Year Boat Parade event in December of 2021. The first Winterfest Boat Parade took place in December 1971.
“Our team, partners and community supporters were very hopeful for the traditional holiday boat parade to continue in December,” said Lisa Scott-Founds, President and CEO of Winterfest, Inc. “This was a very difficult decision, but we are being proactive and socially responsible for the health and safety of our community. That is our top priority.”
Television Special Still Planned for this December
In addition to the 50th Anniversary events in 2021, organizers will concentrate this year on the annual television special focusing on the Best of the Parade with a “Home for the Holidays” theme. The 2020 television special produced by WSVN Channel 7 will blend the retrospect and a combination of special surprises as organizers move their attention to the 50th anniversary December 2021
The television special scheduled to air in December will bring the best of the best of decorated boats into the comfort of viewers’ homes. The special will air again on Christmas and New Year’s Day along with additional airings on Fox Sports Sun. The “Home for the Holidays,” message will envelop a three-month campaign of virtual events leading up to the television show, including passive decorating entries of homes, businesses, boats, and docks. “We are bringing a hometown feel of family, friends, and parade partners to this year’s special,” said Lisa Scott-Founds. “Winterfest 2020 is a reflection of our community’s heart and hope.”
Winterfest is developing new simulated experiences with a touch of tradition such as picking this year’s Jr. Captain with the Winterfest Foundation, a Coloring Competition, Cookies with Santa, Video Greetings, Flashbacks of Fan Favorite Entries, and Celebrity Grand marshals along with a few local sightings of the Parade’s beloved mascot “Skippy” and Santa’s Elves. Winterfest’s annual online auction promises to be one of the largest holiday shopping experiences with over 250 items from jewelry, travel, dinners, and more.
For more information as Winterfest builds with partner opportunities focusing on this year’s television special and the 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2021, contact the office at 954-767-0686 or email@example.com.
About Winterfest, Inc.
Winterfest is a Florida not-for-profit organization based in Broward County that produces a variety of events including the free public event known as the Winterfest Boat Parade – “The World’s Most Watched Boat Parade.” On a typical year, spectators view the Parade along the 12-mile route with millions more via television and the internet bringing National and International recognition to South Florida. Winterfest also hosts annual events to enhance the community’s image and provide unique, wholesome family entertainment. For more information on Winterfest, please contact the office at (954) 767-0686 or website: www.winterfestparade.com.
Susan Renneisen, 2019-2021 Chairman of the Winterfest® Board,
welcomes new Board Members via Zoom Meeting
VIA ZOOM, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – May 18, 2020 – Winterfest®, Inc. recently hosted the installation of their new 2020-2021 board members via a Zoom Meeting. The installation and welcome of the board and advisory members was followed by an announcement from Winterfest® Chair, Susan Renneisen, Vice President of Community Affairs and Special Events at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood and Chairman-Elect Mark Swenson, Senior Vice President-Wealth Management at UBS Financial Services, Inc. – The Garvin Financial Team, naming parade participant and board member Britt Lanier, Franchise Owner, Two Men and a Truck, as 2021 Boat Parade Chair.
“I am pleased to announce our 2020-2021 board members, who collectively represent the top leaders and talent from within our business community. This year presents a unique opportunity for us and through the collaborative efforts of our board and business partners we will produce a parade that will lift spirits and bring an element of joy to our South Florida families and beyond,” said Susan Renneisen, Vice President of Community Affairs and Special Events, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood and Winterfest® Chair.
“The 2020-2021 Winterfest® Board has a fresh new direction,” said Lisa Scott-Founds, Winterfest® President & CEO. “It is exciting to develop a celebration at the end of the year that our community will be looking forward to seeing in a variety of ways. We are always striving to bring the best and safest event to this area.”
The Winterfest® board of directors is composed of 50 community leaders who are ambassadors for this signature South Florida event.
New Board Members:
Amanda Cifu Burke – Florida Panthers
John Dunnuck – Broward College
James Harrison – Frank and Jimmie’s Propeller
Michael Johnson – Clearpath Alerts
Kristene Lundblad-Tokesky – Lank Oil Company
Steve Nudelberg – On the Ball
Gary Press – Lifestyle Magazine
Stacy Ritter – Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
For more information, photos of new board/advisory members and a complete list of Winterfest® Board and Advisory Members, visit winterfestparade.com or call 954-767-0686.
# # #
About Winterfest, Inc. Winterfest is a Florida not-for-profit organization based in Broward County that produces a variety of events including the free public event known as the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade – “The World’s Most Watched Boat Parade.” Approximately one million spectators view the Parade on the 12-mile route along with millions more via television and the internet bringing National and International recognition to South Florida. Winterfest also hosts annual events to enhance the community’s image and provide unique, wholesome family entertainment. For more information on Winterfest, please contact the office at (954) 767-0686 or their website: www.winterfestparade.com.
About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood is the flagship casino resort of Hard Rock International, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. This world-renowned entertainment, gaming and hospitality destination unveiled a $1.5 billion expansion on Oct. 24, 2019. New offerings include 638 upscale guestrooms in the first-ever Guitar Hotel, 168 luxury guestrooms and unique swim-up suites in the adjacent Oasis Tower at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, and 465 newly redesigned guestrooms in Hard Rock Hotel for a combined room count of 1,271 throughout the resort. Additional amenities include the lush, “Bora Bora” style lagoon with private cabanas and butler service; a 42,000 square-foot Rock Spa® & Salon; a 13.5-acre recreational water experience for swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding; 19 dining outlets and 20 bars and lounges; an expansive gaming floor with 3,100 slots, 195 table games and a 45-table poker room; 120,000 square feet of premier meeting and convention space including a 38,000 square-foot, carpeted exhibition hall; and The Shoppes at The Guitar Hotel, a 26,000 square-foot retail promenade. The highly anticipated Hard Rock Live entertainment venue with a 7,000-person capacity, will showcase A-list entertainers, comedy acts, Broadway performances, sporting events and live broadcast productions. The integrated resort is located on 87 acres of the Hollywood SeminoleReservation along State Road 7 (U.S. Highway 441), and is 10 minutes from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport and 30 minutes from downtown Miami and Miami International Airport. For more information, visit us online at www.seminolehardrockhollywood.com, call 800-937-0010 or follow us: Facebook: SeminoleHardRockHollywood, Twitter: @HardRockHolly, Instagram: @HardRockHolly
I first wanted to start by saying I hope everyone is staying safe, hunkering down, and keeping a positive attitude during this extraordinary start to 2020. This virus has impacted and disrupted everyone’s way of life one way or another, and we all look forward to putting this behind us in the near future.
As many of you know, Winterfest is much more than a single day event. The overall experience of participating in the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade opens you up to some of the nicest, most entertaining, people we have here in South Florida. From the events leading up to the Parade in December, to the ongoing Winterfest happy hours, the parade experience for everyone is second to none.
Currently, we have had to postpone a few of our events and in-person meetings for April and May. We will continue to assess the situation for June and July. However, the Winterfest staff and volunteers are doing everything we can to continually enhance the Winterfest experience for everyone…albeit in remote fashion from our kitchen tables! We are updating our website with new content, reformatting it to make it easier for boaters to find information such as decorating ideas for this year’s theme (Masquerade on Parade…Dance and Song All Night Long), updating the Parade Manual, starting the permit process with City officials, and preparing our happy hours and events that lead up to our December 12th spectacle.
I have been impressed to see all the various acts of kindness during this period, and have no doubt our community will be stronger than ever and will rally around our annual South Florida tradition…the Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade! This year’s event will be extra special given what everyone has gone through, and continuing to go through, here in South Florida. I appreciate more than ever the comradery of our Parade and the way it brings us all together. In the meantime please stay safe, stay at home, wash your hands, and practice social distancing. The Winterfest staff values your support and encourages you to reach out during this time with any questions, ideas, and/or social media links to share with our Winterfest followers. We are only a phone call, zoom meeting, or email away and we would love to hear from you!
I look forward to connecting with everyone again very soon!
Mark Swenson Boat Parade Chairman The Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade
SAVE THE DATE
Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade December 12, 2020
As our communities in Broward County and
around the world follow the recommendations to postpone group events,
Winterfest, Inc. would like to minimize any conflicts when choosing rescheduled
event dates. That said, we encourage local community leaders and organizers to
collaborate and share their proposed calendars.
work together to help those who have had to postpone or cancel their events
transition into this community’s social calendar with minimal event date conflicts.
It is for this reason that Winterfest event dates are on our website and social
media and it is our hope that all organizers would share their proposed dates
early to help with rescheduling.
will get past this, and once these safety measures are lifted, please post your
event details on social media and ask Winterfest to share.
hearts go out to our entire community, to all the businesses, organizations and
individuals impacted. We are in this together as a community, making hard
choices while being ready to quickly bounce back into the social scene that
makes South Florida such a wonderful place to live, work and play.
The Winterfest White Party Friday, November 6, 2020
Family Fun Day Sunday, November 22, 2020
Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Black Tie Ball Saturday, December 5, 2020
Grand Marshal Reception Friday, December 11, 2020
The Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade ‘Masquerade on Parade’ Dance and Song – All Night Long Saturday, December 12, 2020
Lisa Scott-Founds President & CEO of Winterfest, Inc.