NASBLA’s leadership recognized numerous outstanding individuals and organizations throughout the organization’s annual conference. These award recipients have provided invaluable assistance to NASBLA in undertaking its multitude of strategic objectives.
Boating Educator of the Year
Zac Campbell, boating education coordinator with the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources, has proven to be a vital asset to the safe boating initiative in Kentucky. For example, he worked diligently with his agency’s conservation education personnel to include a boating safety message into their curriculum when they visit local schools. He was also instrumental in developing the Kentucky Boat Safe app. READ MORE
Boating Law Enforcement Officer of the Year
When it comes to marine law enforcement, Corporal Jason Roberson with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources is top notch. Assigned to one of the most visited lakes in the country, Lake Sidney Lanier, he Cpl. Roberson is dedicated to ensuring the safety of Georgia’s boating public. He is a professional that exhibits fair and unbiased enforcement, education where applicable, compassion when needed, and dedication always.
Boating Safety Award
While recreational boating safety is not the primary mission of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, the agency’s law enforcement officers are strong advocates of recreational boating safety. This emphasis is largely due to the importance placed upon it by Police Chief Steven Crown and Deputy Chief Cenci. These officers have ensured that boating safety is a very tangible priority for their force by tying marine law enforcement training qualifications to eligibility for promotions and making boating safety inspections a key part of every officer’s expectations.
Dan Hesket began his career with the department in 1989 after graduating from Fort Hays State University in Western Kansas. The following year, he transferred to Wilson Reservoir, where he became a pioneer in the boating safety field.
In 2012, the Oregon State Marine Board initiated a comprehensive, all-inclusive Non-Motorized project. This project successfully addressed each of its five goals as well as other imperatives and is acknowledged as a positive approach to proactively engage the non-motorized community.
The United States Power Squadrons unveiled the Boating Skills Virtual Trainer program in January 2014, offering a new and creative approach to advancing boating safety.
This interactive simulation-based recreational boating skills and safety program and powerful instructor tool provides hands-on boating skills and safety education to the public.
Connecticut State Senator L. Scott Frantz received this award for his role in taking steps to reduce water-ski related accidents in the state. Working with the family of a young girl who was killed in a tubing accident in 2014, Senator Frantz was instrumental in introducing legislation that increases the age to operate a vessel engaged in towed water sports in Connecticut to 16.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Brian Kempf joined the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in 1984 as a senior marine service representative and became the chief administrator in the Marine Services Bureau in 1999, a position he held until his retirement last month. In this position, he also served as the state’s boating law administrator. Under Kempf’s direction, the NY Marine Services Bureau has implemented mandatory boater education and has been a leader in cold-water life jacket wear.
Joe Gatfield’s volunteer career has spanned 45 years with involvement in several major national and international organizations, including the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons where he currently serves as chief commander. Gatfield has been very active with NASBLA’s National Boating Education Standards Panel since its creation in 2011 and currently serves as the group’s chairman.
MariAnn McKenzie, education coordinator for the Oregon State Marine Board, was honored with a President’s Award in recognition of and in appreciation for her leadership role in the OSMB’s Non-Motorized Project.
Rob Goley, Business Development Director – U.S. Federal Programs with SAFE Boats International, was honored with a President’s Award in recognition of his history of professionalism, commitment and leadership as well as the value he has brought NASBLA and the organization’s endeavors to enhance the safety and security of the nation’s waterways.