ALEXANDRIA, VA, October 8, 2008 – BoatUS Magazine Editor and Publisher, Michael Sciulla, ended a 28-year career with Boat Owners Association of The United States today and will, among other things, be joining the American Recreation Coalition as a Senior Fellow working on recreational policy issues and a National Geographic Society book on scenic waterways. Sciulla will also continue to contribute to BoatUS Magazine as Editor-at-Large through 2009.
As Founding Editor of BoatUS Magazine (1996-2008), Sciulla transformed an 8-page association newsletter he inherited in 1980 into the most widely read boating publication in the world, with a circulation in excess of 650,000 and a readership topping one million.
While serving as editor of the association’s flagship publication Sciulla also directed the association’s lobbying operation from 1980 to 2006 as Senior Vice President and Director of Government and Public Affairs. He testified more than 30 times before various Congressional committees and served as the association’s chief media spokesman on public policy issues.
Sciulla was elected president of Boating Writers International (2003-05) and has been a member of its Board of Directors for the past 10 years. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Marine Marketers Association of America and previously served on the Board of Directors of the Society of National Association Publications (2005-07). He served on the Board of Directors of the American League of Anglers and Boaters from 1984 to 2007 and was elected its President in 1989. He was appointed a charter member of the federal Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council in 1993.
As Director of BoatUS Government Relations, Sciulla spearheaded the association’s major lobbying efforts during the 1980s and 1990s including the successful repeal of the federal boat “user fee” tax, the federal “luxury” tax, the federal VHF fee and the federal recreational boat diesel fuel tax. He is a recipient of numerous industry awards.
Sciulla was also a key player in the passage of a number of federal laws, including the establishment of the Aquatic Resources (Wallop/Breaux) Trust Fund in 1983, as well as reauthorizations of the law in 1988, 1993 and 1998. The 1998 law led to the establishment of the new federal Boating Infrastructure Grant program which Sciulla championed. The federal Trust Fund now funnels more than $600 million per year back to the states for their boating and fishing programs.
During his tenure as Editor of BoatUS Magazine the publication has been the recipient of numerous awards from the American Society of Association Executives, Boating Writers International, the Outdoor Writers Association of America as well as the Apex Awards for Publication Excellence.
In 2006 Sciulla was also named Publisher of DIY Boat Owner magazine after successfully negotiating its acquisition from its founding partners and in 2008 he launched the digital edition of BoatUS Magazine.
BoatUS Founder and Chairman Richard Schwartz said, “I will greatly miss Mike’s presence and cannot thank him enough for his dedication, tenacity and foresight throughout all of these years.”
Former Cruising World Editor Bernadette Bernon has been appointed Editor on an interim basis until a new Editor is found.
BoatUS – Boat Owners Association of The United States – is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its 650,000 members with a wide array of consumer services including a group-rate marine insurance program that insures nearly a quarter million boats; the largest fleet of more than 500 towing assistance vessels; discounts on fuel, slips, and repairs at over 885 Cooperating Marinas; boat financing; and a subscription to BoatUS Magazine the most widely read boating publication in the US.