2021 IBWSS Speakers

Glenn Anderson

Professional Speaker | Glenn Anderson Speaks

Glenn Anderson was a Managing Consultant with IBM Systems Lab Services and Training. During his 45 years with IBM, Glenn held positions in sales and support, management, technical training, conference speaking and event planning. Glenn holds a B.S. in Computer Science from the Missouri University of Science and Technology. In his private life, Glenn is active in the Chicago area theater as a member of an improvisational acting troupe and is a graduate of the Player’s Workshop of Second City. He is a personal development speaker, keynote speaker and conference host at events throughout the world. glennandersonspeaks.com

Tizzy Bennett

Co-chair, Life Jacket/PFD/Other Floatation Working Group | US National Water Safety Action Plan

For the last 30 years, Elizabeth “Tizzy” Bennett has led drowning prevention initiatives focused on open water including the successful Stay on Top of It life jacket campaign and Everyone Swims initiative, the first life jacket loan program in the US and a policy and system change strategy that included a strengthened boating under the influence law. She currently co-leads the Life Jacket/PFD/Other Floatation Working Group for the United States National Water Safety Action Plan and is a clinical instructor at the University of Washington School of Public Health. Tizzy, her husband Chuck and dog Maggie live in Seattle, Washington. She has two adult children who are lifelong life jacket wearers.

Chuck Best, Jr.

Owner | Twiggy’s Inc.

In 1978, a baby squirrel was rescued after being blown from her nest during a hurricane. Chuck and Lou Ann Best chose to take her in and make her a part of their family. Shortly thereafter, Chuck bought his daughter a remote-controlled boat for her birthday. Their friends started teasing him saying that he bought it for himself, since he played with it all the time. Defending himself, he quipped, “I have to learn to drive the boat so I can teach my squirrel to water-ski!” Twiggy has been performing since September of 1979, traveling all across the US, Canada, Bermuda, Europe and Germany. She has appeared in numerous books, magazines, newspapers, and television shows all over the world. Then, in November 1997, Chuck Best had a heart attack and drowned while saving the life of his stepfather when boating. Due to her husband’s passing, Lou Ann decided to make water safety an important part of Twiggy’s act. Today, Chuck Best Jr. is the owner of Twiggy’s Inc. Learn more at twiggysinc.com.

Lou Ann Best

Founder | Twiggy’s Inc.

In 1978, a baby squirrel was rescued after being blown from her nest during a hurricane. Chuck and Lou Ann Best chose to take her in and make her a part of their family. Shortly thereafter, Chuck bought his daughter a remote-controlled boat for her birthday. Their friends started teasing him saying that he bought it for himself, since he played with it all the time. Defending himself, he quipped, “I have to learn to drive the boat so I can teach my squirrel to water-ski!” Twiggy has been performing since September of 1979, traveling all across the US, Canada, Bermuda, Europe and Germany. She has appeared in numerous books, magazines, newspapers, and television shows all over the world. Then, in November 1997, Chuck Best had a heart attack and drowned while saving the life of his stepfather when boating. Due to her husband’s passing, Lou Ann decided to make water safety an important part of Twiggy’s act. Learn more at twiggysinc.com.

Kevin Bonnema

Founding Partner | Carefree Boat Club

Kevin Bonnema is a founding partner of Carefree Boat Club.  In 20 years, the club has grown to over 100+ locations worldwide. Kevin mentors existing club locations and educates individuals to open clubs. He has developed the Carefree Boat Club Training Program that includes boat safety and handling training, operations, sales and marketing, and entrepreneurship. Kevin is retired U.S. Air Force after 21 years of service. He holds a B.S. in Aeronautical Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Kevin is the owner of Coastal Marina Sales & Services, a boat dealership and service center in Virginia Beach. In his personal life, Kevin enjoys travel and boating. carefreeboats.com

Dr. Diana Bowman

Professor | Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

Diana M. Bowman is a full professor in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, where she serves as the associate dean for international engagement, and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society. She is also a PluS Alliance Fellow (2016-2019) and team member of PlanetWorks in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. Her research analyzes and informs the development of smarter governance and regulation of innovation in order to simultaneously enhance creativity, improve public health, and stimulate deliberation of the ethical, legal, and societal dimensions of emerging technologies. Diana is an Andrew Carnegie Fellow (Class of 2018).

Mary Carrier

Boater Education Coordinator | Texas Parks and Wildlife

Mary is the Boater Education Coordinator with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Through Texas Parks and Wildlife, Mary hosts Boater Education Instructor courses to help educate and inform boaters. She also serves on the Coastal Brigade Committee. The Coastal Brigade is a nonprofit organization with a mission of education and empowerment of adolescents through education. tpwd.texas.gov 

Mark Chanski

Education Director | National Association of State Boating Law Administrators

Mark Chanski is one of the eight volunteers that participated in Cold Water Boot Camp USA. Mark survived his Boot Camp experience and is now NASBLA’s Education Director. Before joining NASBLA in 2019, he worked for the State of Connecticut’s Boating Division for more than twelve years. Mark has extensive commercial and recreational maritime experience. Mark has earned credentials, licenses, and certificates from the U.S. Coast Guard, American Canoe Association, Connecticut DEEP, National Association of State Law Administrators, National Safe Boating Council, and U.S. Sailing. Mark has received numerous awards from state and national organizations for his efforts and achievements in the boating education field. nasbla.org

Jennifer Dadamo

Multimedia/Web Project Administrator | BoatUS Foundation

Jennifer currently serves as the Multimedia/Web Project Administrator for the BoatUS Foundation. Her current role responsibilities include updating the website, graphic content, video production, and online course information, in addition to working with the team to develop new design initiatives and projects. Jennifer’s true passion is in cruising sailboats.

Mikele D’Arcangelo

Vice President of Global Marketing and Product Management | ACR Electronics, Inc.

Mikele is vice president of global marketing and product management for ACR Electronics, the leading development center for emergency beacons. His leadership experience includes the maritime, outdoor, and aviation markets for a leading manufacturer of safety and survival products with a real passion for marketing, branding, product management, and public relations. acrartex.com

Pam Dillon

Project Specialist | NASBLA

Pamela Dillon has been involved with Recreational Boating Safety since 1977. From 2011-2019 she directed NASBLA’s Education and Standards programs, articulating NASBLA’s national role in standards development and conformity assessment. She now serves as NASBLA Project Specialist for Waterway Management and the Education Standards USCG grant projects. Previously, Pam served as Ohio’s Boating Law Administrator, retiring as chief of the Ohio DNR 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. Dillon is married to Virgil Chambers and lives in the mountains of SW Pennsylvania.

Lily Durkee

Co-Founder, President, Events Director | Diversify Whitewater

Lily Durkee is the Co-Founder, President, and Events Director of the Colorado-based nonprofit Diversify Whitewater, which works to promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in paddlesports by removing the barriers that exist for Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and Allies in the various paddling disciplines. She is also a full-time PhD student in Ecology at Colorado State University, where she studies evolutionary ecology and conservation.

Laura Fergusson

Manager: Ambassador & Content | Mustang Survival

Laura is a self-proclaimed marketing and gear nerd! She’s been working in the outdoor gear industry for nearly 2 decades and specializes in ambassador management, brand storytelling and events. After studying marketing at BCIT she jumped into a career working for notable outdoor brands such as Arc’teryx and Mountain Equipment Co-op and currently holds the role of Manager – Ambassadors and Content at Mustang Survival. Based in the recreation mecca, North Vancouver, BC, she spends as much time as possible paddling, biking and skiing, genuinely engaging with the gear she spends her career promoting. mustangsurvival.com

Ryan Foland

IBWSS Host, Global Keynote Speaker, Author, Brand Consultant

Ryan teaches people how to build their brand, get featured in publications, and grow their social media following. Ryan’s clients include New York Times bestselling authors, venture capitalists, and Fortune 500 executives. His book, Ditch the Act, helps executives and entrepreneurs navigate the waters of what to do, in the right order, to help them harness the power of vulnerability and authenticity to build a better, more relatable, more profitable brand. Recognized by Inc. Magazine as a Top Marketer and named a Top Personal Branding Expert by Entrepreneur Magazine, and a 4 time TEDx speaker whose talks have been named in Top TED lists by Forbes, Mashable, and Inc. Ryan works with thought leaders to create and syndicate content that reveals their whole self to drive differentiation, growth, and loyalty. By positioning the expertise of people within companies as the core talent behind the corporate brand, he helps to drive reputation, trust, and more clients to their businesses. ryanfoland.com

Four W’s Fishing Team

Big Will, Wanda, Lil’ Will, and Wendy

The Franklin family is dedicated to promoting the outdoors through saltwater fishing. Father and team captain, Willard, has faced discrimination and stereotyping over the years, yet he has successfully risen above and has been uniting the Black community of Galveston, Texas with recreational boating for 4 decades. Inspired by his father who introduced him to fishing as a young boy, Willard continued the tradition with his children. After attending a boat show and leaving with a beautiful, new boat, his house became a favorite of youth in the community. As an avid outdoorsman and angler, Willard has introduced hundreds of teens to the sport. Fishing is fun, but Willard has also inspired and guided dozens of teens into marine and outdoor industry careers. fourwsfishingteam.com

Wendy Franklin

Team Member | 4 W’s Fishing Team

Wendy is a graduate from the University of North Texas with a major in Fashion Merchandising and a minor in business. With a new career as merchandise coordinator at Neiman Marcus, Wendy is also making her mark as a model. Wendy is an avid outdoorswoman and member of the 4W Fishing Team. fourwsfishingteam.com 

Dana Gage

Founder | The LV Project

Dana 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. 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 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. thelvproject.org 

Dr. Lincoln German

Chiropractor | Spine Care of Manassas Chiropractic Center

Dr. German is a 1987 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa. He completed his internship at the Outer Banks Chiropractic Clinic in 1987 in Nags Head, North Carolina, where he concentrated on the prevention and care of sports injuries. He received his specialty training in Chiropractic Rehabilitation from Cleveland Chiropractic College and additional training in Clinical Nutrition through Logan College of Chiropractic. Dr. German holds a B.S. degree in Biochemistry from Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin. Dr. German recently completed his training in postural neurology and is certified by the American Posture Institute as a Certified Postural Neurologist.

Dima Ghawi

Executive Coach and Author | Ghawi Consulting

Dima draws from two decades of corporate experience leading global teams and developing future leaders worldwide. She has worked across the United States, Europe, Asia, Middle East, and Africa for several Fortune 100 companies including IBM, Merrill Lynch, and Intuit. She has honed a keen expertise in developing leaders to meet the demands of the global workforce. Her memoir Breaking Vases received many awards including Writer’s Digest 2018 Grand Prize Award, Best Indie Book Award, Readers’ Favorite Award, National Indie Excellence Award, and Nautilus Book Award. dimaghawi.com

Verne Gifford

Chief | Boating Safety Division at Coast Guard (CG) Headquarters

Verne Gifford has been the Chief, Boating Safety Division at Coast Guard (CG) Headquarters since September 2017. He is responsible for the administration and coordination of all functions of the National Recreational Boating Safety (NRBS) program, whose mission is to minimize the loss of life, personal injury, property damage, and environmental impact from recreational vessel use, while optimizing safety and waterways enjoyment by the American public. These program functions include managing a $110 million grant program; developing the NRBS strategic plan; serving as Designated Federal Official (DFO) to the National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC); administering the casualty reporting system for recreational vessels; developing standards for recreational boat and equipment manufacture; administering the boat manufacturer compliance program; publishing Boating Safety Circulars; maintaining the notification (recall) process concerning defects; and administering the NRBS education, state law enforcement, and undocumented vessel numbering programs. uscgboating.org

Stu Gilfillen

Director of Education | US Sailing/US Powerboating

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.” ussailing.org

Ian Gilson

Director | Canadian Safe Boating Council

Ian has been a boater for 25 years and a member of the Canadian Safe Boating Council since 2005. During the last 10 years, Ian has served as a director, managing national boating safety programs. He is currently the manager of Cold-Water Programs, working with Professor Gordon Giesbrecht of the University of Manitoba. To date, these have taken place from Victoria, British Columbia to St. John’s Newfoundland and North to the Yukon and Northwest Territories. Most recently, these workshops have been held virtually with attendees from all over North America. Ian is also a Captain with the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary serving on the western end of Lake Ontario. csbc.ca

Kim Hodges

Founder | National Injury Prevention Council

Kim and her husband, David, founded the National Injury Prevention Council in 2011 after the loss of their son, Brandon, due to a drowning accident. The National Injury Prevention Council is a nonprofit dedicated to minimizing injury and death due to accidental injuries. Kim’s ultimate goal is to bring awareness to the epidemic of accidental injuries and its impact on the community. nationalinjurypreventioncouncil.org 

Captain Scott Johnson

Chief | Coast Guard Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety

Captain Johnson is the Chief of the Coast Guard Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety where he serves as the Chief Director of the Coast Guard Auxiliary as well as the National Coordinator for the National Recreational Boating Safety Program. His previous assignment was a Division Chief in the Coast Guard’s Office of Design and Engineering Standards where he led the development of U.S. national maritime safety and environmental protection regulations and policies for complex shipping, oil and gas projects. Additional assignments include Chief of Prevention at Coast Guard Sector Anchorage, Division Chief at the Marine Safety Center, and Executive Officer then Commanding Officer at Marine Safety Unit Baton Rouge, Marine Safety Office New Orleans and CGC ALERT. Captain Johnson is a 1994 graduate of Norwich University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He also graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA in 2006 with a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Captain Johnson is a native of Covington, Louisiana. He and his wife Tamara live on a farm in Fredericksburg, Virginia with their five children: Madison (Liberty University, Nursing), Nolan (Coast Guard Academy, Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering), Benjamin (Syracuse University, Computer Engineering, Air Force ROTC), Teagan and Callahan. uscgboating.org

Cody Jones

Assistant Commander for Marine Enforcement | Texas Parks & Wildlife

Cody serves as the Assistant Commander for Marine Enforcement with Texas Parks and Wildlife. Cody also the Past Chair of National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and a member of the National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) for the United States Coast Guard. He is a strong advocate for boating safety from his experience with Texas Parks and Wildlife. tpwd.texas.gov

Dave Marlow

Director of Product Integrity/Government Affairs | Brunswick Corporation

Dave is currently serving as the Director of Product Integrity/Government Affairs at Brunswick Corporation. He is a consistent leader in product compliance and safety program development, implementation and management of product integrity, safety/liability and compliance audit functions aimed at creating a corporate culture of “Do the Right Thing.” Additionally, Marlow is experienced in the mentoring and/or growth of cross-functional support teams within product development and manufacturing organizations focused on driving product integrity and compliance across brands. His leadership at Brunswick, in addition to the numerous other organizations he serves, qualifies him as a leading figure in boating safety. brunswick.com

Rebecca Medeiros

Education and Agency Relations Team | Kalkomey

Rebecca is a member of the Education and Agency Relations Team at Kalkomey. She works closely with Kalkomey’s agency partners on a daily basis to ensure students have a top-notch experience with our courses and curriculum. As an avid recreational boater herself, her goals at Kalkomey include providing students with an educational foundation to ensure that each student who takes our course is prepared to participate in the community as a responsible and safe boater. kalkomey.com

Emma Moore

Search and Rescue Programs Officer | Canadian Coast Guard, Arctic Region

Emma has spent the last 6 years working for the Canadian Coast Guard’s Search and Rescue (SAR) programs across various regions. During this time, Emma also completed an undergraduate degree in Life and Health Sciences from Carleton University as well as graduated from the Humber College Primary Care Paramedic program with honors. She is now an AEMCA certified Primary Care Paramedic. Although she grew up around the waters of Muskoka and Georgian Bay, Ontario, Emma’s experience in cold water evolved during her first year with the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) in 2015, working as a SAR crew member at an Inshore Rescue Boat (IRB) station in Notre Dame Bay, Newfoundland. Her continued employment with the CCG brought her to working as a crewmember and Coxswain of various IRB stations in the Great Lakes. In 2019, Emma took on a new role as the Inshore Rescue Boat Coordinator for the Arctic Region, where her experience and familiarity with cold water currently lies.

Jennifer Moore

YouTube Certified TV/Media veteran

Jennifer Moore is a 15-year veteran of the broadcast / media industry working in 6 local TV newsrooms, HSN, and CNN in Atlanta. She has served in the roles of line / field / special projects producer, digital content producer, show booker, and assignment editor. While at CNN, Jennifer started and grew multiple YouTube channels, which ended up being the avenue for quitting in 2017 to focus on being a full-time video creator. She currently produces and manages content for five different channels, including a few local clients in the Tampa Bay area. extvproducer.com

Joseph Mouzon

Chief Operating Officer | Outdoor Afro

Joseph is an experienced social impact professional and business manager with 15 years of executive leadership responsibility. Joseph has a background in leading strategy, organizational growth, scaling and client service delivery as well as process improvement, technology procurement, and project management. He has experience leading and coaching high performing teams with an emphasis on morale building, diversity & equity. In his spare time, Joseph enjoys hiking Half Dome in Yosemite, biking over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and forest bathing in Oakland Redwood Regional Park. outdoorafro.com

Kate Neubauer

President | Neubauer Consulting Group

With over 20 years of professional experience in nonprofit management and philanthropy, Kate Neubauer has served in leadership roles for a wide range of environmental, sailing education and mission-based organizations. She is a key problem solver with entrepreneurial passion and loves working with her clients to design innovative strategies that increase organizational capacity and leverage philanthropy for impact. Kate has an extensive portfolio of projects, ranging from grassroots nonprofit organizations to multimillion-dollar capital campaign and currently serves as Board President of Rozalia Project. neubauerconsultinggroup.com

Keri-anne Payne

British former competition swimmer and Olympic medalist

Keri-anne Payne is a South African-born British swimmer, specializing in marathon open water swimming and long-distance freestyle swimming in the pool. She is a two-time 10-kilometre open water world champion, and an Olympic silver medallist. Keri-anne was instrumental in creating the Level 2 open water coaching qualification in the UK and to date has helped to empower over 300 coaches to coach open water swimming effectively and safely.

Yvonne Pentz

Communications Director | National Safe Boating Council

The NSBC’s communications director, Yvonne Pentz, has more than 15 years of experience in integrated communications and marketing, with over a decade working in recreational boating safety. She focuses on reaching the boating public with safety information in a format that is user-friendly and engaging. She oversees grant management and implementation working alongside staff, partners and contractors. Her recreational boating safety work has received recognition 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. safeboatingcouncil.org

Peg Phillips

Executive Director | National Safe Boating Council

The NSBC’s Executive Director, Peg Phillips, is an experienced executive and boating instructor. She is a certified American Canoe Association L2 Kayak Instructor, SUP Instructor, and NSBC Powerboat Instructor. Working hands-on with hundreds of students, she has instilled recreational boating safety and influenced boater behavior. She has successfully provided guidance for over a dozen federally grant-funded programs since she joined the NSBC in 2018. Phillips has received awards for her outstanding boating instruction including the American Canoe Association President’s Award and American Canoe Association State Director of the Year. With two decades of senior executive level management experience, Peg is accomplished in strategic planning, staff development, inspiring commitment, managing change, and building coalitions and partnerships. safeboatingcouncil.org

Ted Rankine

President | PlaySafe Productions (Canada and USA)

Ted Rankine is media and business professional with extensive experience in broadcast television, marine media, medical education, safety communication, and general and social marketing. He founded a number of specialized media and communication companies including MDTV, PowerBoat Television, and PlaySafe Productions. Currently, Ted is president of PlaySafe Productions (Canada and USA), specializing in recreational safety, marine, aviation, and land adventuring. On the volunteer front, Ted is a Past Rear Commander with the United States Power Squadrons, has been a director of the National Safe Boating Council, the National Water Safety Congress, the National Air Force Museum of Canada and the Canadian Safe Boating Council, where he also served as Chairman. playsafeproductions.com

Jaret Rogers

Acting Warning Coordination Meteorologist | National Weather Service

Jaret is the Acting Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service office in Phoenix, Arizona. He specializes in building relationships with external partners, such as government agencies and community organizations, to enhance weather preparedness in support of a Weather Ready Nation. Prior to his stint in Phoenix, Jaret previously forecasted severe thunderstorms and tornadoes for the United States at the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. Jaret enjoys researching hazardous weather and developing innovative ways to deliver and communicate weather information. weather.gov

Dr. Hidetoshi Saitoh

Chairman | Society of Water Rescue and Survival Research

Hidetoshi Saitoh is a professor in the Nagaoka University of Technology, where he serves as a researcher at School for the Materials Science and Engineering. He also serves as the President of the Society of Water Rescue and Survival Research.  His primary research fields are materials science and water safety.  He is an invaluable scientist that analyzes water related accident occurring at sea, river, and pond in Japan. His research informs the development of survival skill, uitemate, learned as a result of open innovation by not only Japanese kids but also kids around the world. wr.umin.jp

Crystal Skahan

Education & Training Director | Northeast Passage

Crystal is currently the Education and Training Director at Northeast Passage, an Adapted Sport and Recreation Therapy program at the University of New Hampshire. Crystal’s areas of expertise are diverse, boasting the following accomplishments: Licensed Recreation Therapist (CTRS/L), Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS), American Canoe Association (ACA) Certifications: Adaptive Paddling and Advanced Communications Instructor Trainer (AP and AC IT) and SUP -Level 1, Coastal Kayaking Instructor-Level 2, Water Safety Instructor (WSI), USA Waterski Adaptive Waterski Instructor, Certified Nordic skiing guide for individuals with visual impairments through Ski for Light, Sexuality, & Disability. Crystal serves as the current Chair of the ACA Universal Paddling Committee and is committed to serving the adaptive/universal community through her various passions.

Chris Stec

Past Chair | National Safe Boating Council

Chris Stec served for 12 years as the Chief Operating Officer of the ACA, the oldest nonprofit paddlesports organization in the U.S., focusing on paddlesports education, stewardship, recreation and competition, including the Olympic paddlesports of Slalom and Sprint and the Paralympic discipline of Paracanoe. In addition, Chris holds numerous paddlesports instructor certifications and enjoys spending time on the water with his wife and two kids, whether it’s racing downriver canoes, kayak fishing, or surfing SUPs in the ocean. He currently serves as the Past Chair of the National Safe Boating Council.

Captain Fukumoto Takuya

Director for the Boating and Water Safety Division of Maritime Traffic Department | Japan Coast Guard

Captain Fukumoto is a Director for the Boating and Water Safety Division of Maritime Traffic Department of 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. Captain Fukumoto has worked in patrol vessels, Coast Guard Offices, Regional Coast Guard HQs and JCG HQ, and belonged to not only Maritime Traffic Department but also Guard and Rescue Department. In addition, he has extensive interagency experience as a Section Chief of the PKO secretariat and as a First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan in the Republic of Korea.

Akira Tanabe

Examination Department Director | Japan Marine Recreation Association

Akira belongs to a designated examination institution that conducts the national examination for small vessel operators in Japan, and works as the director of the examination department. He has been involved in the small vessel examination system for over 30 years and is committed to conducting proper, reliable, and fair examinations. He collects information on various safe operation methods, including at IBWSS, and aims to build examinations that are as useful as possible after qualification while ensuring safety. In Japan, professional qualifications for small vessels and their education methods have not been established, so in recent years he has been working toward the construction of these. jmra.or.jp

John Trierweiler

Public Information Officer | Arizona Game and Fish Department

John is a member of the public affairs and media relations team for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. His charge includes working with both local and national media outlets as well as the public, promoting and showcasing the work of the department. John is a veteran television broadcaster with over a decade of experience in media and television journalism in the midwest, Florida and Arizona. azgfd.com


Water Safety Advocate | Twiggys Inc.

In 1978, a baby squirrel was rescued after being blown from her nest during a hurricane. Chuck and Lou Ann Best chose to take her in and make her a part of their family. Shortly there after, Chuck bought his daughter a remote controlled boat for her birthday. Their friends started teasing him saying that he bought it for himself, since he played with it all the time. Defending himself, he quipped, “I have to learn to drive the boat so I can teach my squirrel to water-ski!” The rest is history. Twiggy has been performing since September of 1979, traveling all across the US, Canada, Bermuda, Europe and Germany. She has appeared in numerous books, magazines, newspapers, and television shows all over the world. Learn more at twiggysinc.com.


Dr. Reena Vaid, MD

Board Certified Dermatologist | Renewal Dermatology

Dr. Vaid is a board certified dermatologist with the American Board of Dermatology. She is also board certified in pediatrics with the American Board of Pediatrics. She received extensive training in medical and surgical dermatology at the highly-ranked University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Hospital, where she developed a special interest in skin cancer evaluation and management.Dr. Vaid has published in several journals and textbooks in dermatology. She has many interests in dermatology including adult and pediatric skin rashes, acne, warts, and skin cancer prevention and treatment. She is a fellow with the American Academy of Dermatology and the Washington D.C. Dermatologic Society. In her personal life, she enjoys Indian classical dance, soccer, running, and spending time with her family. renewaldermatology.com


Nicole Vasilaros

Senior Vice President, Government Relations and Legal Affairs | National Marine Manufacturers Association

Nicole is a seasoned government affairs leader with demonstrated experience bringing together industry executives, trade associations, non-profit organizations, and policymakers. She is also skilled in crisis communications, trade, transportation and environmental policy, strategic planning and budget analysis, and will lend her experience and expertise to IBWSS21. nmma.org

Mario Vittone

Retired U.S. Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue Swimmer

Mario Vittone is a retired U.S. Coast Guard helicopter rescue swimmer, who for 22 years rescued boaters in distress from the turbulent waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. He served two tours as a rescue swimmer at Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and one at Air Station New Orleans, Louisiana. Vittone was also an instructor and course developer at the Aviation Technical Training Center in Elizabeth City before retiring in 2013. An expert in immersion hypothermia, drowning, sea survival and safety at sea, he today writes and lectures on boating safety and search-and-rescue topics for popular print publications. mariovittone.com

Allison Wagner

American former competition swimmer and Olympic medalist

Allison Wagner is a decorated Olympic swimmer, previously holding the world record in the 200 meter medley. Her world record, set in 1993, stood for almost 15 years! Allison is now devoted to becoming a member of the third cohort of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Sport Ethics and Integrity. She is also a member of the Safesport Athlete Advisory committee team, the U.S. Center for SafeSport, and the Team USA Council on Racism and Social Justice.


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