Don't miss the industry's most important political and legislative event of the year!

Keynote Speaker

Chris Wallace

Award-Winning Veteran Journalist & Host of FOX News Sunday

Chris Wallace breaks down today’s top news issues impacting individuals and industry, leaving audiences with takeaways that prepare them for impending changes in the political landscape.

The host of “FOX News Sunday,” Chris has established himself as a battled-tested media presence, an incisive, thoughtful interviewer, and a venerable authority on presidential history and election politics.

Over Chris’s decades-long journalism career, he reported from the ABC News desk as a senior correspondent for “Primetime” and “20/20,” and as an anchor on the longest running show on television, NBC News' “Meet the Press.” The author of the best-seller, “Character: Profiles in Presidential Courage,” Chris has won every major broadcast news award, including three Emmys, the Peabody Award and the Dupont-Columbia Silver Baton Award. In 2016, Chris earned praise from fellow journalists and political operatives on both sides of the aisle for his sterling performance moderating the final presidential debate between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump.

With substance, fairness and gravitas, Chris captivates with seasoned insights on current events and political affairs, including the evolving role of the media and influence of technology on the presidency, what America will look like under our 45th president, and what audiences can expect during his administration.

Conference Speakers

Captain Jennifer Williams, United States Coast Guard

Captain Jennifer Williams assumed her duties as Director of Inspections and Compliance at Coast Guard Headquarters in April 2017. In this position, she develops and maintains policy, standards, and program alignment for all prevention activities associated to the safe operation of vessels and facilities. This Directorate manages policy development for the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, recreational boating safety, foreign and domestic commercial vessels compliance inspections, ports and facilities safety and security, as well as vessel documentation and marine casualty investigation. Captain Williams is a 1990 graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, NY where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation and an unlimited tonnage third mate merchant mariner license. Captain Williams earned her Master of Science in Quality Systems Management in 2006 from the National Graduate School. Prior to her current assignment at Coast Guard Headquarters, Captain Williams served as Sector Commander and Captain of the Port for U.S. Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles – Long Beach. Captain Williams also served as Deputy Commander and Alternate Captain of the Port at Sector Los Angeles – Long Beach. Captain Williams’ earlier field assignments include Sector North Carolina, Sector South East New England, Marine Safety Office Providence, Marine Safety Office San Diego, and Marine Safety Office Honolulu where she served in various capacities related to vessel inspections, marine casualty investigations, and mariner Suspension & Revocation proceedings. Captain Williams is a native of Freeland, Maryland. She and her husband Commander John Williams (USCG, ret.) have three sons; Joseph, Seth and Ethan.

Chad Moutray, Chief Economist, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)

Chad Moutray serves as the NAM’s economic forecaster and spokesperson on economic issues. He frequently comments on current economic conditions for manufacturers through professional presentations and media interviews, and has appeared on Bloomberg, CNBC, C-SPAN, Fox Business and Fox News, among other news outlets. Prior to joining the NAM, Chad was the chief economist and director of economic research for the Office of Advocacy at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) from 2002 to 2010. In that role, he was responsible for researching the importance of entrepreneurship to the U.S. economy and highlighting various issues of importance to small business owners, policymakers and academics. In addition to discussing economic and policy trends, his personal research focused on the importance of educational attainment to both self-employment and economic growth. Prior to working at the SBA, Chad was the dean of the School of Business Administration at Robert Morris College in Chicago, Ill. (now Robert Morris University of Illinois). He is a former board member of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE). He is also the former president and chairman of the National Economists Club, the local NABE chapter for Washington, D.C. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from Eastern Illinois University. He is a Certified Business Economist™, where he was part of the initial graduating class in 2015. In 2014, he received the Outstanding Graduate Alumni Award from Eastern Illinois University, and in 2015, he accepted the Alumnus Achievement Award from Lake Land College in Mattoon, Ill., where he earned his associate’s degree in business administration.

Dr. Tim Gallaudet, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere

Timothy Gallaudet, Ph.D., was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on October 5, 2017, as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere for the Department of Commerce in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Dr. Gallaudet was previously a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy, where his most recent assignment was Oceanographer of the Navy and Commander of the Navy Meteorology and Oceanography Command. During his 32 years of military service, Dr. Gallaudet has had experience in weather and ocean forecasting, hydrographic surveying, developing policy and plans to counter illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, and assessing the national security impacts of climate change. He has led teams of Navy sailors and civilians performing such diverse functions as overseeing aircraft carrier combat operations, planning and conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster response efforts, assisting Navy SEAL Teams during high visibility counter-terrorism operations, and developing the Navy's annual $52 billion information technology, cyber security and intelligence budget.

Dr. Gallaudet holds a bachelor's degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and master’s and doctoral degrees from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, all in oceanography.


Lucas Hitt, Communications Chief, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Lucas Hitt is the Chief of Communications for the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. In this role, he is responsible for the dissemination - to the public, media, and the world - of some of the nation’s most closely watched economic indicators including key figures such as GDP, Personal Income, Corporate Profits and State Personal Income. Prior to joining the Bureau, Lucas spent many years as a consultant advising companies, state and local governments, and corporations on strategic communications, political strategy and government affairs. He is the former Legislative Director at the Air Force Association and a former aide to U.S. Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings of South Carolina. Lucas will address the new Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account, which for the first time recognizes outdoor recreation, including boating and fishing, as part of U.S. GDP. Lucas will talk about the significance of these data and what they mean for the boating industry.

Rep. Charlie Crist (FL-3)

Charlie Crist represents Florida’s 13th district, which covers Pinellas County from Clearwater down through St. Pete, where he grew up. Charlie has spent his life’s work serving his fellow Floridians. He was elected to the Florida State Senate in 1992, where he championed environmental protection issues and public education. In 2000, after two terms in the Florida Senate, Charlie continued to push for education funding and better teacher pay as the state’s Education Commissioner. In 2002, he was elected Florida Attorney General, a role through which he fought for consumer protections, civil rights, and opportunities for at-risk youth.

Elected as Florida’s 44th Governor, Charlie furthered his commitment to public education, using federal stimulus funding to save thousands of teachers’ jobs. As a staunch environmental advocate, he also secured a landmark land acquisition to preserve the Florida Everglades, and fought to hold BP accountable after the 2010 oil spill that ravaged Florida’s coastline.

In Congress, Charlie is committed to working in a nonpartisan manner to create jobs, increase wages, protect Florida’s beaches, honor military and veterans, and protect the benefits seniors have earned. With his role on the House Financial Services, he fights to make flood insurance more affordable, defend and strengthen reform of Wall Street, and provide greater access to capital for aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses – from the local barbershop to technology startups.

Charlie resides in his hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida – “The Sunshine City.”

Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-2)

Jackie Walorski is a lifelong Hoosier, born and raised in South Bend, who has dedicated herself to helping Hoosier families. She is grateful to represent the people of Indiana’s 2nd District in the 115th Congress, serving on the House Ways and Means Committee. Jackie works every day to boost economic growth and job creation, restore fiscal responsibility, strengthen our national security, support our military, and honor our veterans by ensuring they get the services and care they earned. Since she was first elected to Congress in 2012, Jackie has been committed to bringing Hoosier common sense to Washington and reaching across the aisle to achieve bipartisan solutions.

Rep. Joyce Beatty (OH-3)

Joyce Beatty is a native Ohioan with a strong history of connecting people, policy and politics to make a difference. She is also an avid boater! Since 2013, Joyce has proudly represented Ohio’s Third Congressional District and serves on the exclusive House Committee on Financial Services and is a member of two Subcommittees: Housing and Insurance and Oversight and Investigations.

Prior to her service in the U.S. House of Representatives, Joyce was Senior Vice President of Outreach and Engagement at The Ohio State University and a member in the Ohio House of Representatives for five terms. During her tenure in the Ohio House, she rose to become the first female Democratic House Leader in Ohio’s history and was instrumental in spearheading and enacting legislation to require financial literacy in Ohio’s public school curriculum, to expand STEM education, and to secure funds to help under- and uninsured women access breast and cervical cancer treatment.