NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
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Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com
BoatUS Founder Receives Top Marine Industry Award
BoatU.S. Founder and Chairman Richard Schwartz was honored today by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) with its Charles F. Chapman Award during ceremonies at the Miami Boat Show. Given to one outstanding individual each year since 1977, the award celebrates those who have made a significant contribution to the boating industry and boating public.
“We’ve all come a long way since Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatU.S). was launched 40 years ago, said Schwartz in accepting the award from NMMA Chairman George Bellwoar. A long-time consumer advocate, Schwartz built BoatU.S. from the bottom up. Headquartered just outside of Washington, DC, the Association has grown steadily over the years and now has nearly 640,000 dues paying members and a staff of 500.
“I am particularly proud of the close working relationship that we have developed with the marine industry in recent years under the leadership of NMMA President Thom Dammrich,” said Schwartz. “The marine industry’s boating certification and grow boating campaigns are a major step in the right direction as are the industry’s strides to improve the consumer’s overall boating experience,” he added. BoatU.S. and NMMA most recently concluded a year-long joint program to encourage the design of more wearable life jackets.
Under Schwartz’ leadership, BoatU.S. has been a major force for boaters, particularly in Washington D.C., where the Association has used its grassroots clout to fight against numerous unfair federal taxes and fees over the years. BoatU.S. has also been instrumental in helping to expand the Aquatic Resources (Wallop/Breaux) Trust Fund from just $30 million two decades ago to over $630 million per year.
Schwartz was also recognized for the work of the BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit education and research organization which operates more than a dozen programs including the only accredited, free, online boating safety course, a life-saving EPIRB rental program and a free kids Life Jacket Loaner program. The Foundation has awarded over $850,000 in boating safety and clean water grants to local boating groups in recent years.