Our annual fundraiser, ShrimpFeast, was held on Friday, October 15 at the Exploration Tower, Port Canaveral. The weather could not have been more beautiful for this event which was held outdoors this year. The event was cancelled in 2020 and was postponed in 2021 from our traditional April time frame. Thank you to all of our members, partners, sponsors, and community family, friends, and neighbors, who helped make this a big success. The funds raised support the club’s community outreach programs, especially our support of the Rockledge High School HELM Maritime Studies program and our scholarship program for graduating High School seniors going on to post secondary education or technical training in a maritime related field. Big Thank Yous to Fishlips and Wild Ocean Seafood for the outstanding food, Keep Brevard Beautiful for the clean up crew, Naval Sea Cadets, Courageous Division Color Guard for the Presentation of Colors, Sheriff Wayne Ivey for serving as our guest speaker, all of sponsors, especially Platinum sponsors the Canaveral Port Authority and Pediatric Care Group Orlando, and all of our volunteers who helped make it all happen!



Seafarers’ House honored Long-Time Supporter Cliff Berry II at 25th Annual 2021 International Golden Compass Gala

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – For more than 20 years, Cliff Berry II has dedicated his time and passion to Seafarers’ House. This year, the native Floridian and life-long Fort Lauderdale resident was honored with the non-profit organization’s prestigious International Golden Compass Award. Berry is President and CEO of Cliff Berry Inc., a Fort Lauderdale company founded in 1958 that offers environmental services. He has been on Seafarers’ House Board of Directors since 1999. He currently serves as the board’s vice president.

Twenty years ago, Berry’s father, Cliff Berry, Sr., was the recipient of the Golden Compass Award, which recognizes those who have achieved distinction in the maritime industry, those whose vocation or avocation has been the sea, or those who have ministered to or otherwise assisted seafarers.  “My father founded our company six decades ago and grew it into a nationally recognized powerhouse that I now have the privilege to lead. He dedicated his life to Port Everglade’s maritime community. It is such a privilege and honor to be able to follow in his footsteps in receiving this award,” said Berry.

Cliff Berry Inc. and the family generously gave a lead gift to the Place of Welcome Campaign to build the new Seafarers’ House in Port Everglades. They provide in-kind, volunteer and financial support year-round to ensure the organization’s ability to offer practical and spiritual care to as many as 150,000 seafarers who come to Port Everglades annually. The company also has supported Seafarers’ House as a Gold Sponsor of the Golden Compass Awards Gala, as well as sponsoring the annual South Florida Business Leaders Luncheon. The company and its employees also have been long-time supporters of Seafarers’ House annual Shoebox Christmas, donating and wrapping items for mariners who come to Port Everglades during the holiday season.

“The Berry family’s support of Seafarers’ House has been instrumental in our ability to serve Port Everglades maritime community, especially during these most difficult times,” said Seafarers’ House Executive Director Jennifer Stewart. “We are grateful for the family’s decades-long generosity, which has had such a positive impact on the lives of our seafaring community.”

Berry also is a board member of the Port Everglades Association, the Broward Marine Advisory Committee and the Fort Lauderdale Marine Advisory Board, and past board member of the Broward County Fire Rescue Board, the Spill Control Association of America, among many other local and national boards.



September 1, 2021
The guest speaker at the September Luncheon was Lauren Brand, President of the National Waterfront Employers Association and and Executive Director of the National Maritime Safety Association. She previously worked at the Maritime Administration including serving for five years as Associate Administrator for Ports & Waterways. Ms. Brand also spent many years at the Canaveral Port Authority as Senior Director, Business Development. In her remarks she detailed how she was privileged to be involved in influencing maritime policy in Washington D.C. during a time of great change for how the maritime industry was perceived by government and received funding. In the past, the industry was not looked at as being integrated into the broader transportation and infrastructure networks and was considered as stopping at the port gate. Today, the industry has been integrated into the land transportation network of highways and rail and that includes competing for funding with these networks. She noted that at one time most maritime industry funding came through earmarks and that when that mechanism was shut down by congress, the industry had a huge learning curve in pursuing funding avenues that land based transportation has used for decades. Although she still works in DC advocating for the industry, Port Canaveral has always been her home port. She noted that Port Canaveral is home to all eight of the different types of marine terminals including cruise, all the different types of cargo, and commercial fishing. Brand detailed many of the different funding bills impacting the industry, including the Coronavirus Relief for Transportation Services program, the American Rescue Plan Act which included funding for seaports for Covid relief, and longer standing programs such as Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE Grants formerly known as TIGER Grants). She stated that the $3.5 Trillion infrastructure bill currently pending in the House is being closely watched in DC by maritime industry advocates and stakeholders.
At the August Propeller Club Luncheon a donation was made by Lauren & Malcolm Brand to the Propeller Club Scholarship Endowment Fund. This donation was made in memory of and to honor Lauren’s Mother, Laura Auad Kotas, who was inspired by opportunities for learning throughout her life and believed that learning new things kept her young. Both Lauren and Malcolm have had careers in the maritime industry. Lauren currently serves as President of the National Association of Waterfront Employers. On hand at the luncheon to help receive the donation was the Propeller Club’s 2020 Scholarship winner, Devon Krajewski, a graduate of the RHS HELM Maritime Studies program who is starting his sophomore year at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy! Photo (L to R): Propeller Club President Steven Hovan, Lauren Brand, Devon Krajewski.
August 4, 2021
Florida State Senator Tom Wright, R – District 14, was the guest speaker at the August 4th Propeller Club luncheon held at Fishlips Waterfront Bar & Grill in Port Canaveral. Senator Wright supports the port and the district by serving on several key committees including serving as Vice Chair of the Commerce and Tourism Committee. He also serves as Chair of the Florida Defense Support Task Force, whose mission is to preserve, protect, and enhance Florida’s military installations. Senator Wright highlighted the accomplishments of this year’s legislative session and the legislation and appropriations he supported that directly impacted the district and Port Canaveral He supported the distribution of $250 million in federal funds to Florida’s seaports from the American Rescue Plan Act, with $72 million going to Port Canaveral. He noted significant appropriations to the Brevard Zoo and the Brevard Achievements Center which he recently presented in person to these organizations. Wright also mentioned his advocacy and support for Veteran employment and training and first responder initiatives and legislation.
June 2, 2021
Space Florida VP of Government and External Relations Dale Ketcham was the guest speaker at the Propeller Club’s luncheon held on June 2 at Fishlips Waterfront Bar & Grill. Ketcham provided an overview and update on Space Florida’s mission and activities. Space Florida is an independent special district established by the legislature in 2006 to foster the growth and development and promote the space industry in Florida. Ketcham explained ways in which the agency carries out this mission by receiving facilities transferred from NASA for commercial space use, developing and upgrading infrastructure to support commercial space, coordinating and integrating across all transportation modes, and helping companies connect with capital to support innovation and progress. He noted Port Canaveral’s major role in SpaceX and future Blue Origin operations stating that the port is “fundamentally in the critical path” for these operations. He stated that one of the goals of Space Florida is to make sure the space industry is sufficiently diversified with commercial space operations to avoid the economic downturns that have occurred in Brevard County following the end of past government space programs such as the Shuttle program. Ketcham sees the Space Coast as the primary port of departure and entry on this planet for future space travel stating this as a primary reason to provide the infrastructure to get people and goods to the spaceport. He warned of formidable competition for this spaceport capability especially from China.
The Propeller Club of Port Canaveral joined the Navy League, Cape Canaveral Council, the Space Coast Chapter of the USMMA Alumni Foundation, Merchant Mariners active and retired, and maritime industry workers for a Maritime Day ceremony and wreath-laying on the waters of the harbor at Port Canaveral. On this day each year we recognize and celebrate all those who work in the maritime industry ashore and at sea supporting our nation’s economic and national security. We also remember all those who have gone on to eternal rest, especially our family and friends in our Port Canaveral and local communities.
May 5, 2021
The Propeller Club May Luncheon featured an update on the Rockledge High School HELM Maritime Studies Program from RHS Principal Burt Clark and remarks from guest speaker Rachel Rutledge, Director of Career & Technical Education, Brevard Public Schools. Mr. Clark highlighted all of the activities that the students were able to do despite the pandemic including virtual field trips, guest speaker videos, virtual mock job interviews, building submersible ROVs in the Sea Perch program and operating them in the pool, building models of historic ships, and using the classroom desktop ship bridge simulators. Mr. Clark read a thank you letter from one of last year’s Propeller Club scholarship award winners who is now attending the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Ms. Rutledge highlighted the BPS Career and Tech Ed offerings throughout the district and emphasized how students in the programs graduate ready for the work force or for continued education. She stated that they are working towards an internship program for next school year to help students obtain work experience in their field of interest. Both thanked the Propeller Club for the support of the HELM program. The Propeller Club announced a donation of $3500 to the HELM program at the luncheon.
On April 15 the Propeller Club hosted a Member & Partner Appreciation, New Member Introduction, and Networking event at the historic Field Manor on Merritt Island. Although the skies were cloudy at the beginning of the afternoon/evening event, the sun managed to peek out for a beautiful sunset.
April 7, 2021
Georganna Gillette, Executive Director of the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization was the guest speaker at the Propeller Club luncheon held on April 7, 2021 at Fishlips Waterfront Bar & Grill, Port Canaveral. Gillette provided an overview of the many projects and initiatives that the SCTPO is currently working on. She noted that the three top priorities are the NASA Causeway Indian River Bridge Replacement and improvements to connectors to the Space Port; SR 528 widening and new bridges; and the Ellis Road widening. She noted that Florida Department of Transportation has been asked to lengthen the SR 528 Beachline bridge over the Banana River which is currently in the design phase, to allow for future causeway removal which would improve water flow in the lagoon. She discussed the SR 401 bridge replacement which is a critical access point for Port Canaveral and the Canaveral Space Force Station and said this would involve replacing the existing bascule bridge with an elevated bridge.
Gillette highlighted many of the other important initiatives underway such as quality of life improvements for bikes and pedestrian traffic and safety improvements; Intelligent Transportation System improvements which are laying the foundation for autonomous vehicles; and the Transportation Resiliency Master Plan to identify vulnerable corridors and develop strategies. She expressed concern over inadequate federal funding to keep up with needed new projects as well as replacement of aging infrastructure. As soon as Gillette ended her presentation, the attendees filed out to the seawall to watch the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. This provided a dramatic finish to her infrastructure presentation.
March 3, 2021
RADM Wayne Justice, USCG (Ret.), Chairman of the Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners, was the guest speaker at the March 3rd Propeller Club Luncheon held at Fishlips Waterfront Bar and Grill at Port Canaveral. Justice gave an update on Port Canaveral, focusing on the challenges in dealing with the economic impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic over the past year as well as the recent milestones achieved in ongoing projects and preparations for the return of the cruise industry. He highlighted measures taken to adjust the Port’s budget to reflect the loss of revenues including the hard decisions in laying off some staff, and recent projects such as the completion of Cruise Terminal 3, the renovations to Cruise Terminals 8 and 10, the arrival of the LNG bunker barge, and the new Port Authority Fire Boat. He pointed to the commercial space industry as a sector that continues to grow tremendously at the port and said the port is well prepared for the future both from the response to the economic challenges as well as the foundations laid for future success. Justice gave credit to the Port Authority staff, and port partners including construction project contractors, the U.S. Coast Guard, NOTU, the Army Corps of Engineers, commercial space contractors, legislative representatives at the federal, state and local levels, and many others for all the hard work and dedication that has contributed to making Port Canaveral a dynamic and innovative local, regional and national asset, well positioned for the future. 
February 3, 2021
Capt. Mark Vlaun, USCG, Sector Commander and Captain of the Port for the area that includes Jacksonville and Port Canaveral, was the guest speaker at the Propeller Club of Port Canaveral luncheon on February 3, 2021 at Fishlips Waterfront Bar & Grill. Capt. Vlaun provided an update on the Coast Guard missions being carried out in the Sector which include being on the cutting edge and leading the way in the Coast Guard for missions related to Space Operations, LNG as a ship fuel, and support of high value strategic National Defense operations. The increased activity at Port Canaveral in these missions as well as continued support of missions such as search & rescue, incident management, marine safety, and marine fisheries enforcement, has resulted in the need for the Coast Guard to expand their footprint at the port. A $30 million construction project for Station Port Canaveral and the Marine Safety Detachment will be getting underway and the number of personnel stationed at Port Canaveral will be increased. Capt. Vlaun congratulated Port Canaveral on being named the winner of the Coast Guard’s 2020 RADM Richard Bennis Award for maritime security excellence and he thanked all of the Port Canaveral partners and stakeholders for their cooperation and commitment.
December 2, 2020
Congratulations to the Officers and Board Members for 2021 who were sworn in at the Annual Holiday Party held Wednesday, December 2 at the Hampton Inn/Home2 Suites, in Cape Canaveral. Outgoing President Lori Robinson, Business Liaison with CareerSource Brevard, turned over the gavel to incoming 2021 President Steve Hovan, Senior Security Consultant at Stanley Security. Lori steered the Propeller Club through a very challenging year due to the pandemic and economic impact on our port community. The club is in good hands with Steve taking over with what looks to be a difficult several months ahead, but with the light shining at the end of the tunnel. Moving up to the 1st VP position is Liz Alward, Assistant City Manager, Satellite Beach. Filling the position of 2nd VP is Kevin Jobes, Senior Project Manager, Terracon. Another new face to the Board for 2021 is Josh Hester, Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley, taking over the Treasurer position. Returning as the club Secretary is Bob Sielski, Naval Architect. For the complete list of Board Members for 2021 please visit our web site. Thank you to all of the Officers and Board Members for volunteering to take on these leadership positions, especially in these challenging times!
November 12, 2020
President of the Brevard Veterans Memorial Center Dean Schaaf, LCDR USN (Ret), and Chairman of the Brevard Veterans Council Donn Weaver former Capt. USA, were the guest speakers at the Propeller Club’s November Annual Meeting and Veterans Luncheon. Schaaf highlighted the continuing work of the Center and the programs they have been able to hold in 2020 despite the pandemic. He noted the continuing improvements being made, especially the upcoming installation of a periscope and a grant received for the construction of an amphitheater. Schaaf thanked Propeller Club members BRPH and Ivey’s Construction for all their help in projects for the Center. Weaver recounted how the Propeller Club was one of the first organizations the Center came to when their initial building plans were announced and thanked the club and the Canaveral Port Authority for all the support and connections to many club members who helped bring the project to fruition. He fondly recalled his first meeting with Propeller Club icon, the legendary retired Merchant Marine Captain Ed Lanni, and how that meeting and subsequent artifact donations from Capt. Lanni helped with the creation of a Merchant Marine section in the museum and recognition of the Merchant Marine at the Center and at the Memorial Day and Veterans Day events.
October 9, 2020

An update on the efforts underway to restore the water quality and ecosystem of the Indian River Lagoon was the topic of the presentation given at the Propeller Club Luncheon held on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at Fishlips Waterfront Bar & Grill, Port Canaveral. The featured speakers were Virginia Barker, Director Brevard County Natural Resources Management Department, and Dr. Duane De Freese, Executive Director, Indian River Lagoon Council and Indian River Lagoon Estuary Program. Barker highlighted the projects underway and planned by Brevard County’s Save Our Indian River Lagoon Program. This program is the result of the 1/2 cent sales tax voted for by Brevard County residents in 2016 to address lagoon pollution caused by excessive nitrogen and phosphorus. The tax is projected to provide over 400 million dollars over a 10 year period to fund projects administered by the County which include waste water treatment and sewage system upgrades; storm water drainage; septic system removals, upgrades and connection of more homes to sewer systems; muck removal; and oyster bed installations. De Freese noted the work at the federal level of the IRL Estuary Program and commended the Florida legislative delegations, especially Sen. Marco Rubio, for their work to significantly increase federal funding to be included in the next Water Resource Development Act which has strong bipartisan support and is expected to pass this year. He commended the efforts of Brevard County stating that no other county bordering the lagoon is doing near as much as Brevard. Both speakers encouraged members and guests attending both in person and virtually, not to be discouraged by the brown algae bloom that has recently occurred in the lagoon after a period of cleaner water. They pointed to other successful clean ups of bays and estuaries, including Tampa Bay, as evidence that these efforts will be successful with time and the right amount of investment. They urged everyone living on or near the lagoon to take their own individual actions regarding runoff from their homes, lawns and septic systems emphasizing that this is a process in which we can all make an impact.

October 7, 2020
The Propeller Club of Port Canaveral has named Tara Ruch as Member of the Year for 2020. Tara currently works as the Sales and Events Manager for Homewood Suites and the Hampton Inn & Suites in Cape Canaveral. She previously worked for the Canaveral Port Authority as Sales & Marketing Manager. Tara is being recognized by the club for her hard work and dedication over the years in serving on the club’s board and helping with the planning of club events. Congratulations to Tara on this well deserved award.

September 8, 2020
The two candidates running for the District 4 open seat on the Canaveral Port Authority Board of Commissioners attended the Candidate Forum hosted by the Propeller Club of Port Canaveral at the luncheon held on September 2nd.  Democrat Paul Kellem and Republican Kevin Markey introduced themselves to attendees at Fishlips Waterfront Bar & Grill as well as to those attending by virtual meeting.  Each candidate highlighted their ties to Brevard County and their reasons for running for the seat.  Kellem is a lifelong resident of Merritt Island, and currently serves as the Financial Secretary for the International Longshoreman’s Association Locals 1359 and 1860 and has worked at the port for  17 years.  He stated that his knowledge of port operations and the maritime industry make him well suited for the position.  Markey is also a lifelong resident of Brevard County and is an attorney who is General Counsel for Eastern Florida State College and previously served as Assistant City Attorney for Cape Canaveral and General Counsel for the Titusville-Cocoa Airport Authority.  He believes this experience makes him well qualified for the Port Commission. Both candidates highlighted their extensive community service over the years especially with youth sports.  The candidates hold similar positions on the issues and challenges facing Port Canaveral.  The biggest challenge is the loss of revenue due to the shutdown of the cruise industry from the Covid-19 pandemic and both candidates support cost-cutting measures and pursuit of government grants and programs to help the port weather the storm until the cruise industry comes back.  

September 2, 2020
At the September 2nd Propeller Club luncheon held at Fishlips Waterfront Bar & Grill, the Propeller Club of Port Canaveral recognized Malcolm “Mac” McLouth as this year’s Maritime Person of the Year. This award recognizes and honors Mac’s long history of dedication and service to Port Canaveral, including more than three decades as a port commissioner, plus eight years as a port executive.  Mac served as a CPA Commissioner from 1967 to 1996, and again  from 2009 to 2010. Mac also was the port’s Deputy Executive Director of Business Development from 1996 to 2000. He then was the port’s Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer from 2000 to 2004. The fishing pier at Jetty Park is named for McLouth, who also was a professional engineer. In Dec. 2018, Mac McLouth was honored and named as Port Ambassador Emeritus by the Port Commissioners.  McLouth has years of dedicated service to the Propeller Club of Port Canaveral having served as a founding member, board member and is a Past President.

June 9, 2020
The Propeller Club of Port Canaveral announces the four High School recipients of the 2020 Propeller Club Scholarship
Award. The members of the Class of 2020 have earned scholarships to pursue further education in the Maritime
industry and help cover tuition and educational expenses at their chosen collegiate institutions. This prestigious
group of young leaders, shares a unified goal of making a positive impact in the greater community and world.
Lori Robinson, Propeller Club President, says, “As we continue the Scholarship program, we are increasingly
assured that our future is in exceptional hands. The high-level of accomplishment is evidenced in each and
every one of our Scholars and is inspiring and truly humbling.”

The 2020 Propeller Club Scholars are:

  • Mikayla Atkins, graduated from Rockledge High School and will be attending Massachusetts Maritime
    Academy, majoring in Marine Transportation
  • Edward (Teddy) Brunger, graduated from MCC and will be attending US Merchant Marine Academy,
    majoring in Marine Engineering.
  • Devon Krajewski, graduated from Rockledge High School and will be attending Massachusetts Maritime
    Academy, majoring in Marine Transportation.
  • Noah Ogburn, graduated from West Shore and will be attending the US Merchant Marine Academy,
    majoring in Engineering.

Richard Grimison, Chairman of the Propeller Club Education Committee said “Every year we are amazed with the
incredible Maritime passion from our applicants. These young leaders exhibit a high-level of integrity and
maturity and demonstrate a positive engagement in community services. They exhibit strong leadership
qualities, are active in extracurricular activities and show strength in academics.” The Propeller Club joins these
Scholars families, friends and teachers in congratulating each of them on their achievement of earning the Propeller Club Scholarship Award.

Congratulations to the Rockledge High School HELM Maritime Studies graduating Seniors Class of 2020! This talented and dedicated group of students includes the first three students to complete four years in the program, and several students who were awarded Propeller Club Scholarships and are attending maritime academies. All of these distinguished graduates have bright futures ahead! Take a look at this video compilation of the activities from this past school year!

May 19, 2020
PROPELLER CLUB – Amid these challenging times during the COVID-19 pandemic, your local
chapter of the International Propeller Club of the United States contributed funds to local community
partners to assist with relief efforts. Donations of $1,000 each was made to the Canaveral Port
Ministry, Community Foundation for Brevard and Brevard Schools Foundation. “From the moment
that COVID-19 began to threaten our way of life, we wanted to give back to our Community. Our
Club wanted to provide a way to support those on the front lines that can best serve those in need”
said Lori Robinson, President of the Propeller Club. The Club knows that COVID-19 is impacting
everyone in different ways, the donation aims to help stretch the increased demand for services.

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