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2018 Keynote Speakers

2018 Speakers


Ahoy! My name is Shawn Alladio, and I care. When a student stands in front of me, I see a single person, their agency and community representation. When a class stands in front of me, I see their loved ones. I do not take this responsibility lightly. It is a burden of risk. I am the founder of K38, a company that is thick with solutions, challenges and performance. We offer real programs and we are considerate and compassionate but strong and unwavering in the Personal Water Craft community. Our company thrives from the efforts of two other hard-working partners who sacrifice a lot to support thousands. We created something believable and pure. It’s built upon the lives of those lost and those who mourn. I sacrificed my own family needs many times to keep on target. They are our silent partners. K38 is bound on the dedication of people who believe and are of the same kind of character. We care, we believe, and we represent a community of similar elite and driven people. We are working harder to develop a culture that ensures lifesaving begins with us and is enforced by those who are K38 trained and qualified.


Robert Baldridge is a Past Chief Commander of the United States Power Squadrons and has been a member of the Baton Rouge Sail & Power Squadron since 1976. He has served on the USPS national Computer Systems, Marketing, and Planning committees and as its national Secretary, Administrative Officer, Executive Officer, and Chief Commander.


I graduated from the University of Florida (UF) in December 2017, with a degree in Natural Resource Conservation.


Stacey is currently the Recreational Boating Safety Manager for the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries. In her role, Stacey represents the Commonwealth on a state, regional, and national basis to ensure Virginia’s collaboration and participation on boating safety laws and educational measures across the U. S. She manages the implementation of the mandatory boating education requirements, provides outreach materials that promote boating safety, assists citizens with understanding state and federal boating safety laws and regulations, and compiles boat incident reports.


Mr. Chambers is chair of the NASBLA Recreational Boating Professional Certification Commission. He is director-emeritus of the National Safe Boating Council, Inc. (NSBC), having served as executive director from 1996 through September 2013. Virgil retired from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1995 where he was the chief of the Boating Safety and Education Division for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. While there, he developed Pennsylvania’s public-school boating and water safety program. He also established the Pennsylvania Water Rescue program, one of the first recognized water rescue training programs for fire and rescue service personnel nationwide.


Kevin Colburn is the National Stewardship Director for American Whitewater. Over the past 17 years with American Whitewater, he has helped design dam releases, river habitat enhancements, and access areas that foster public safety and enjoyment of waterways.


Nathan Depenbrock is the owner of Canoe Kentucky. Canoe Kentucky’s rental fleet has grown from 6 boats to 100+ canoes, 75 kayaks, 20 SUP boards, and 15 rafts. Our retail operation is considered the state’s premier paddlesports shop. We are selling around 400 boats/boards per year, a lot of that has to do with our experience and the ability to demo any boat, any day. We have also developed a very good instructional program, having four certified instructors on staff, and running over 500 people through our summer and winter programs last year.


Jerry Desmond is currently serving as the Education Coordinator for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. After serving 34 years with the Stonington Police Department, Stonington, Connecticut, Desmond is a retired police captain. Desmond received a Bachelor’s degree in education from Southern Connecticut State College and a Master’s degree in Homeland Security Management from the University of Connecticut. He is also a graduate of the F.B.I. National Academy.


Pamela Dillon serves as director of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Education and Standards Division. In this capacity, she works to fully articulate NASBLA’s national role in standards development and conformity assessment, as well as to provide broader and deeper professional development opportunities for our members and the recreational boating community. Previously, Pam served as Boating Law Administrator (BLA), retiring in 2011, as chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Watercraft. During a five-year break in service from the state of Ohio, Dillon served as executive director of the American Canoe Association (2002-2007), working to develop strategic alliances with boating, outdoor recreation, and paddlesport education and conservation programs across the U.S. and Canada. Dillon served two terms as a public member of the National Boating Safety Advisory Council. In 2014, Dillon earned her credential as a Certified Association Executive (CAE) from ASAE (American Society of Association Executives).


K. Brian Dorval is Founding Partner of Think First Serve, a management consulting company specializing in helping organizations figure out new ways to grow. Brian has over 30 years of experience helping individuals, teams and organizations significantly improve personal performance and business results, delivering over 1000 creative problem solving, management coaching and performance training sessions to organizations companies in 20 different countries.  Brian was instrumental in the development of Creative Problem Solving (CPS) version 6.1™, a proven framework for innovation and change, and has published over 60 articles, chapters and books.

Brian has brought his expertise to recreational boating as Facilitator of the National On-Water Standards (NOWS) Program. He designed and facilitated the overall process and validation programs used to prepare three On-Water skills-based recreational boating standards for entry into an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved process. He is also the chief architect of the US Coast Guard’s National System of Standards for Recreational Boat Operation being used to organize skills and knowledge standards and best practices.

Brian is an experienced sail, power and human-propelled boat operator, and has delivered high-performance training in sailboat racing teamwork. He is also a USPTA-certified tennis teaching professional specializing in the mental game.


Joanne Dorval is a corporate officer of METCOR, Ltd. and serves as Secretary and Treasurer of the company. As Vice President of Administration, she is responsible for all corporate administration functions and compliance, overseeing all administrative personnel and providing leadership in finance and human resources. Joanne has over 30 years of experience in executive communication, conference/convention management, strategic planning, public relations and program administration.

Since 1994, Joanne has served as assistant to James P. Muldoon, immediate past Chairman of the US Coast Guard’s National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC). She has also served as a member of the National On-Water Standards (NOWS) Program Administration Team since the program began in 2011. Joanne has been lead administrator of the Brendan Sail Training Program for Youth with Learning Differences since 2005 and the manager of the Donnybrook USA 66 racing program since 1995. She is US Sailing’s Assistant Vice President of Government Relations. Joanne also contributed to the development 2017-2021 Recreational Boating Safety Strategic Plan while serving on the NBSAC’s Strategic Planning Subcommittee’s Technical Standards Advisory Committee.


Captain Eguchi became the first head of the Safety Measures Division of the Japan Coast Guard (JCG), a Division that was established in 2016, with the objective of reducing accidents at sea. Functions carried out by the Division includes: analysis of maritime accidents, coordination of efforts with the public and private sectors to implement safety measures, and provision of safety information via the internet and other media.


As a communications specialist, “Shouting from the highest rooftops” is what Jim Emmons does best! Known for his activism, Emmons has been a devoted marketing and public relations leader sharing passion since his early years.


Gwendolynn Flynn is currently serving as the Supervisor of Education and Outreach for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection- Boating Division. Flynn received a Bachelor’s degree in Coastal Studies from the University of Connecticut.


Ms. Gage is founder of The LV Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to buoyancy, on water and in life. Ms. Gage founded The LV Project in 2012, following the preventable drowning of her 15-year-old son at a lake birthday party. Ms. Gage previously served as VP of Marketing of Tribune Media Services, a $200M division of Chicago-based Tribune Company. While there, Ms. Gage led company-wide marketing efforts for TMS Entertainment Products, a collection of nine business units. Prior to that, she served as GM/ Sales & Marketing of Tribune’s TV Publishing division, overseeing a $40M revenue line. Before joining Tribune, she served as Vice President of Marketing and equity partner in JDTV, a company she and four others founded, which ultimately sold to Tribune in 1999. Before founding, JDTV, Ms. Gage was Director of Marketing for Fox Sports Satellite. She began her career in the TV information business, selling entertainment metadata to cable and newspaper companies. She has led volunteer-based organizations, served as President of Women in Cable Television, and is an active member of the water safety community. Ms. Gage holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas.


Joe Gatfield is a Past Chief Commander of Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS-ECP). Joe is a life member of CPS-ECP. During his almost 30-year involvement with the CPS-ECP, Joe has been involved at all levels of the organization. His main thrust has been in the Educational Department, having also served as the National Educational Officer for four years. During those four years, CPS-ECP updated all its educational material to current dating and standards and successfully transitioned to the new Operator Competency Program in Canada. Over the years, Joe has instructed almost every course CPS-ECP has to offer. He is a recognized instructor and qualified to instruct government regulated courses in Canada.


Stu Gilfillen is the Director of Education for US Sailing/US Powerboating, overseeing all sail and power training for the organization at both the student and instructor levels. He is also responsible for all product and program development, including online courses and digital resources. Prior to joining US Sailing, he served as the Executive Director for the Sarasota Youth Sailing Program in Sarasota, Florida, the Sailing Director for both the Edgartown and Beverly Yacht Clubs and the Head Coach of the Providence College Sailing Team. He is a US Sailing Small Boat Level 1-3 Instructor-Trainer and a US Powerboating Instructor. Gilfillen is a Board member for both the National Safe Boating Council and US Safe Boating Institute. He is a former recipient of the US Sailing Community Sailing Committee’s Marty A. Luray award, given to an individual who has made an “outstanding and unselfish contribution to further public access sailing.”


John Gullick is a senior manager with over forty years of experience in the not-for-profit field. His strong commitment to the community combined with a supportive management style has resulted in a highly successful career working with volunteers and professional staff in a wide variety of work environments.


Dr. Adam B. Katchmarchi is an Assistant Professor and the Aquatics Director in the Department of Kinesiology, Health and Sport Sciences at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Katchmarchi is also the Executive Director of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA). Dr. Katchmarchi received his Ph.D. from West Virginia University in Kinesiology, his M.S. in Sport Management from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and his B.S.Ed. in Health and Physical Education from Slippery Rock University. His research interests focus on aquatic education, swimming and water safety, drowning prevention education, lifeguard training, and sport facility risk management. Dr. Katchmarchi holds provider, instructor, and trainer certifications from multiple organizations, is a licensed teacher in the state of Pennsylvania for grades K-12 in Health and Physical Education, and is a licensed Emergency Medical Technician (EMT­ B). Dr. Katchmarchi has been recognized twice by Aquatic International as a Power Award recipient, most recently in 2017, as one of the “Most Influential People in the Aquatic Industry.” Dr. Katchmarchi’s personal mission is to help grow the field of aquatics, educate future aquatic professionals, and conduct research that will further the field of drowning prevention and water safety to help save lives.


Alan Korn is the executive director of the Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation (AHCF) where he assists the organization in its management, public policy, marketing and public relations efforts. Before joining AHCH, he was the executive director and general counsel for Safe Kids USA, a member of Safe Kids Worldwide’s global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury, a leading killer of children 14 and under. While at Safe Kids, he led the over 600 coalitions and chapters in the Safe Kids USA network of child injury prevention advocates. He also directed the public policy agenda at the federal level and guided the coalitions in their state advocacy efforts. In addition, he advised the organization on legal issues such as trademark, copyright, contract and liability.


John M. Malatak served as Chief, Program Operations for the Department of Homeland Security/United States Coast Guard, Boating Safety Division, Washington, DC from 1992-2012. Prior to his assignment with the Coast Guard, he held various positions within the American Red Cross from 1970-1992. During his Red Cross career, he served in various capacities including national safety representative for European Area Headquarters, Stuttgart, West Germany. While in Europe, he assumed special assignments to Africa, Greece, Crete, Turkey, France, Holland, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Portugal and the Azores. His last assignment with the Red Cross was as Assistant National Director, Health and Safety. He has a B.S. and advanced degrees in Business Administration. A few of his recognitions are: American Red Cross Lifesaving Award of Merit, signed by President Jimmy Carter, for saving the life of another individual; 1991 High School Sports Hall of Fame; 1992 Lifesaving and Water Safety Hall of Fame; 1998 International Swimming Hall of Fame, “Paragon Award;” 1999 NASBLA Special Recognition Award; 2000 USBI “Silver Schooner” Award; 2002 National Water Safety Congress National Award of Honor; 2002 State of Pennsylvania Swimming Hall of Fame; 2004 U.S. Sailing Larr Award; 2005 National Boating Safety Hall of Fame; and 2010 NASBLA Lifetime Achievement Award. He is an active member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and Past Rear Commander of the United States Power Squadrons. He has authored 187 national articles and contributed to 11 Red Cross publications. He and his wife, Jane, live in Franklin, Tennessee, where they enjoy boating on the Cumberland River on their 40-foot Silverton Motor Yacht.


Dr. Thomas W. Mangione, Senior Research Scientist at JSI Research & Training Institute in Boston, Massachusetts has been the project director for the Coast Guard’s National Life Jacket Observation Study since the beginning of the project in 1998. In addition to conducting the yearly national study, he has also conducted targeted evaluations of (a) an intensive life jacket education/promotion effort in the Delta region of California; (b) a mandatory life jacket experiment conducted by the U.S Army Corps of Engineers in four lakes in Northern Mississippi; and (c) a targeted life jacket study in Washington State to assess the impact of loaner boards on wear rates.


Dr. Marshburn is the Director of the East Carolina University Center for Recreational Boating Research which represents a nexus for federal/state, industry, and foundation research at the intersection of recreational boating, society, and the environment. The primary purpose of the center is to increase research interest in recreational boating and environmental management (e.g., risk assessment and mitigation involving coastal and inland waterways used by recreational boaters). In addition, Dr. Marshburn currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC), Chairman of the NBSAC Strategic Planning Subcommittee, and was Chief Commander of the United States Power Squadrons from 2006-2007.


Scott McDonald is a member of United States Power Squadrons, and serves as chairman of the National Boat Operator Certification (BOC) Committee. He holds a BOC certification at the Advanced Coastal Navigator level, and is a BOC Certifier Trainer Instructor. He is also a Master Instructor in boating safety for Texas Parks and Wildlife, and an Instructor Member of the National Safe Boating Council. Scott has served USPS in a variety of roles, including Commander for the Houston Sail and Power Squadron and for District 21. He is an instructor for the Piloting and Navigation courses, and regularly teaches America’s Boating Course and Practical On-the-Water Training (POTW) for the public.


MariAnn has been with the Oregon State Marine Board since March 2006, in the Boating Safety Section. She is the Boater Education Coordinator, but wears several hats including the Jr. Boater & Water Wits School Program Coordinator, the “Let’s Go Boating” Grant Program Coordinator and currently, the Project Manager for the Non-Motorized Boating Project and the Team Leader for the Non-Motorized Boat Oregon Advisory Team (BOATs) linked to the Marine Board’s Strategic Plan.


Fred F. Messmann is a retired (2009) Game Warden Captain from the Nevada Department of Wildlife currently serving as the Deputy Director of the National Safe Boating Council. Captain Messmann was the Nevada Boating Law Administrator, Boating Access, Clean Vessel Act, and Boating Infrastructure Grant Programs Administrator for 20 years.


Harry Munns has spent over 25 years in boating education. During this time, he has created curricula, wrote standards, wrote support material and trained instructors. From 1991-2004, he served as Executive Vice President American Sailing Association, Marina del Rey, California, serving on NASBLA’s Education committee during his entire tenure. He was appointed to the National Boating Education Standards Panel in 2014 and was appointed Chair in 2017.


As a native Puerto Rican Spanish speaker, Luis has the experience of dealing and selling to Mexico, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

As a military dependent and as a past member of the US Air Force, he has travelled extensively and lived in Spanish speaking regions throughout the United States.

Luis was the point of contact and project manager for USPS’ first translation of their Basic Boating course 15 years ago. He is presently the project manager for the new ABC3 course translation as well as the online version.

He has been a member of the United States Power Squadrons for 28 years and a member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary for 26 years. He is a certified instructor in both organizations.

Boating and teaching have been a large part of his life. He has raced sailboats in the Caribbean as well as around Annapolis. He presently owns and operates two vessels, a Bass boat for the lake and an offshore center console.

He is uniquely qualified to demonstrate how to engage Hispanics in their native language and how to do it safely.


As a 20-year-old college student from Lexington, Kentucky, I am a victim of Boating Under the Influence, and have refused to ever be labeled a victim. I am a student, a communications intern, a traumatic amputee, a professional photographer, a Mother’s Against Drunk Driving representative, and an activist. Since my crash nearly seven years ago, I have made it my mission to make sure that what happened to me never happens to anyone else. In 2015, I was named MADD’s youth activist of the year for my work in legislation. I have represented one law in the state of Kentucky, and am now working to revamp it, and will hopefully soon be working on another. I have traveled to speak at high schools, churches, colleges, conferences in Kentucky, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. I have participated in panel discussions regarding drinking and driving and underage drinking. I also mentor new amputees and some other victims of severe trauma across the state of Kentucky.


Chief Warrant Officer Robert W Patterson joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1983, in Field Artillery. After retiring from active duty 20 years later, he joined the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group as a Junior Canadian Ranger instructor working in Ontario’s north with youth 12 to 18 years of age. Rob then moved to the position of Canadian Ranger Instructor responsible for four James Bay coastal communities.


Yvonne brings to National Safe Boating Council members and partners expertise in strategic communications and marketing. Her areas of specialization include public relations, grassroots campaigns, social media, digital strategies, content marketing, event planning and influencer campaigns.

With more than a decade of agency and marketing experience informing her strategic thinking and implementation, she leans into her diverse set of skills to make a tangible difference in how programs are developed, conveyed and received. Her work has received recognition as an award-winning practitioner from the likes of the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts’ Communicator Awards, Hermes Awards, PR Daily Nonprofit Awards, and PRSA’s Bronze Anvil, to name a few.
Prior to joining the National Safe Boating Council, Yvonne served as a marketing communications consultant with Paul Werth Associates for the past 11 years. Many of you may already know Yvonne as she has provided communications support for various National Safe Boating Council programs, and is a familiar face at the International Boating & Water Safety Summit and on the Life Jacket Wear Rate Tiger Team.

Originally from Ohio, Yvonne holds down the fort as our sole team member in Windsor, Colorado. Easily found in all the right social media circles, she maintains a seamless and accessible presence – both online and off – as if she were just down the hall.


Peg Phillips is the Executive Director of the National Safe Boating Council; with over two decades of executive level management experience.  She is an American Canoe Association certified Kayak Instructor and recipient of their 2016 State Director of the Year award.  She serves on the Florida Boating Advisory Council Non-motorized Boat Working Group; advancing boating safety programs and regulations that save lives and reduce injuries. Peg created a paddling program in partnership with Florida State Parks that was awarded Best Kayaking Tours in Southwest Florida. As Race Director of Caloosa Palooza, Peg partnered with regional and national organizations to use competition as a venue for boating safety education. With her passion for engaging youth in safe boating, she has provided complimentary kayaking instruction to over 300 teens annually since 2013. A native of St. Simons Island, Georgia, Peg grew up boating and saltwater fishing. She is a proud alumni of Georgia Southern University. She resides in Manassas, Virginia near NSBC headquarters.

Working with recreational boating partners nationally, the National Safe Boating Council implements programs and provides resources to advance and promote safer recreational boating experiences.


Ron Sarver began his career with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) in 1993. He has worked in many aspects of the association including staffing policy committees such as Vessel Identification, Registration & Titling Law Enforcement and Preparedness & Response. Ron now serves as the association’s deputy director. He oversees public policy development for NASBLA.


Pete Schrappen brings 17 years of direct and indirect lobbying experience to the IBWSS community. If you count his political science major, that’s about 25 years he’s spent thinking about; dissecting and advocating for change and attention. As a middle child, he’ll tell you that he’s been lobbying for attention his entire life.


From south Louisiana to western North Carolina to Virginia, Chris has been affiliated with paddlesports in a variety of ways.

Prior to becoming the Chief Operating Officer of the ACA, Chris worked as an outdoor instructor for the YMCA, a raft guide for the Nantahala Outdoor Center,a Program Director at a prominent summer camp and in the ACA’s Safety Education & Instruction Department.

Chris holds the following ACA paddlesports certifications:

  • Level 4: Whitewater Canoe – Instructor Trainer Educator
  • Level 3: Whitewater Stand Up Paddleboarding – Instructor Trainer Educator
  • Level 2: Essentials of Canoe Touring – Instructor Trainer Educator
  • Former Level 5: Advanced Swiftwater Rescue – Instructor
  • Adaptive Paddling Endorsement

Chris has served on various committees for the National Safe Boating Council, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, and the PFD Manufacturers Association. He is a former Board Member of the Professional Paddlesports Association and a current Board Member for the National Safe Boating Council and on the Board of Governors of the International Whitewater Hall of Fame. In addition, he was appointed to the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Boating Safety Advisory Council by former Department of Homeland Security, Secretary Napolitano. He is also a lifetime member of American Whitewater.

In addition to articles published in several magazines, including poetry, Chris has contributed to three books and multiple educational videos. An Eagle Scout, he was also one of the writers of the revised Boy Scouts of America Canoeing and Whitewater Merit Badge Pamphlets and spearheaded the development of the BSA’s Stand Up Paddleboarding Award.

A love for competition has allowed he and his wife to place at regional and national downriver races in tandem canoe.

Chris lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia, with his wonderful wife and two children. When not in the office, he can be found spending time on the water with his family, whether it’s kayak fishing, whitewater canoeing on a section of the local Rappahannock River or surfing SUPs in the ocean.


Kristin Thomas is the executive director of the Stand-Up Paddle Industry Association (SUPIA). SUPIA is the trade organization of all stand up paddle businesses: manufacturers, retailers, service providers (instructors, guides, race directors, event planners, certifiers), media, sales reps, distributors, suppliers, etc. The SUP Industry Association will strive to move standup paddling forward in a positive direction, while improving each member’s individual businesses.


Kelli M. Toth is a life-long Alaskan who enjoys the outdoors. She received her Bachelors of Business Administration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She joined the Alaska Office of Boating Safety team in 2011, as education specialist and spokesperson. Her primary responsibility includes development, implementation and evaluation of the Kids Don’t Float education program, outreach efforts of the Alaska Office of Boating Safety, and media relations.


Derek serves as the Recreational Boating Safety Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Boating Program at the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. He develops strategies, key partnerships, and programs in order to influence target boating audiences to adopt basic safety behaviors. Prior to this role, Derek was an educator that worked in grades K-12 and college, as well as a small business owner with a background in marketing and sales. He is an avid boater that loves to kayak, sail, cruise the islands and fish both coastal and inland waters. His current position combines both his passion and skills with his desire to help others.


Michael Wesolowski advocates for boating safety as program director of Sea Tow Foundation through its EPIRB/PLB Beacon Rental Program, Designated Sober Skipper Campaign, Life Jacket Loaner Program. Previously, Michael advocated for a rare disorder, facilitated economic development; and designed sales promotion. Michael enjoys boating with his family and sweets.


Warrant Officer Carl Wolfe started his military career in 1994. He was involved in disaster relief for Manitoba’s flood of the century in 1997 and Quebec’s ice storm of 1998. Carl served in Afghanistan and upon his return was involved in training soldiers for their deployment to Afghanistan. Carl joined the Canadian Rangers in 2010.

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