TWIGGY THE WATER SKIING SQUIRREL
Ms. Shawn Alladio is founder of K38, an international service provider for education, consulting, program development, training and operations regarding personal watercraft. K38 enjoys international affiliations with outstanding qualified instructors, the standard bearer for Rescue Water Craft operations. Shawn is a professional Personal Water Craft Competitor, receiving numerous awards for drowning and accident prevention and boating safety education. She is the founder of the Rescue Water Craft Association an international program for water safety. She resides in California and enjoys life with her 2 daughters. k38rescue.com
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 has also performed original stand-up comedy, both in local clubs and occasionally on the conference stage. Glenn Anderson is a personal development speaker, keynote speaker and conference host at events throughout the world. glennandersonspeaks.com
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).
After building her love of the outdoors in the mountains of northern Georgia, Kelsey graduated from Brevard College with a dual undergraduate degree in Wilderness Leadership & Experiential Education and Psychology. She later received a Master’s degree in Recreation and Sport Pedagogy from Ohio University and joined the ACA as manager of the Safety Education and Instruction Department. Upon relocating to Virginia, she completed her Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg. During her tenure at the ACA, she has written and executed a large number of federally funded grant projects, planned annual conferences and meetings, and manages many aspects of the ACA national and international instruction programs.
Steve Chambers operates in the Business Development sector of Mustang Survival. Mustang Survival is the leading supplier of quality flotation and personal protective equipment to the most demanding maritime customers including Coast Guard, Law Enforcement, Water Rescue Teams, and Recreational Boaters. mustangsurvival.com
The National Safe Boating Council’s Program Manager, Diane Corish, closely interacts with the council’s membership and local, state, and national recreational boating safety professionals. She has actively worked on and promoted various projects including the Safe Boating Campaign, Get Connected, and NASBLA’s Spring Aboard and Operation Dry Water campaigns. As program manager, she oversees many of the day-to-day operations of the NSBC including grant program support and resource fulfillment. safeboatingcouncil.org
With 20 years of experience, Kristin has developed, managed and implemented public relations and marketing programs for clients ranging from non-profit organizations to Fortune 500 companies. Kristin holds an MBA from Franklin University and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from The Ohio State University. She is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and serves on the executive committee of the national PRSA Health Academy and is on the board of the San Diego PRSA chapter. Passionate about giving back to her community, Kristin supports Women Drive Innovation San Diego, Solutions for Change, The Women’s Fund, Life Care Alliance and The American Heart Association.
Cynthia Dudzinski is a Grants Management Specialist for the U.S. Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Division, Office of Auxiliary & Boating Safety. Cynthia began her career as a Program Officer for International and Foreign Language Education at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education, where she was hired as a Presidential Management Fellow (Class of 2007). She completed a short-term detail at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, DRL Programs and served as a Grants Review Specialist for the Corporation for National & Community Service’s Office of Grants Policy and Operations. uscgboating.org
As Government Relations Manager, Adam is responsible for representing the legislative and regulatory interests of the MRAA and its members, ensuring the Association’s voice is present wherever issues concerning boating and marine retailers are discussed. He is based out of the offices of the National Marine Manufacturers Association in Washington, D.C., where he works directly with the NMMA team in representing the marine industry and its significance in the overall economy. Adam leads MRAA’s efforts in all areas of advocacy, including BoatPAC, the joint MRAA-NMMA Political Action Committee. He graduated from the University of Maine magna cum laude, with a Bachelor’s degree in economics and political science. He has previously worked in the office of Senator Susan Collins, and for former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen. mraa.com
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
Jeff Gayer is a Government and Industrial National Sales Manager for The Coleman Company, Inc. Stearns® is a subsidiary of The Coleman Company, Inc. and is investing millions of dollars into the Sauk Rapids, MN facility where world-class products are designed, tested and made to higher standards. coleman.com
Verne Gifford is 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 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
Debbie Huntsman is president of the National Women’s Sailing Association. She is a certified instructor for the US Sailing, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, the National Safe Boating Council, States of Louisiana, Utah and Arizona and USPS. Huntsman is a past flotilla commander and Division 10 public affairs officer for the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. She served as commodore for the Lake Pleasant Sailing Club in Phoenix, AZ where she first became involved with AdventureSail® and adult sailing programs. Huntsman is a past commodore for the Lake Pontchartrain Women’s Sailing Association where she introduced the AdventureSail® and L.A.S.T. (Learn About Sailing Things) programs to the Gulf Coast. Debbie joined the Board in 2016. She was elected Vice President in 2017 and President in 2018. womensailing.org
Stephanie Hussey has more than 25 years experience working with state fish and wildlife agencies and is one of the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s (RBFF) veteran staff members. As State R3 Program Director, Stephanie serves as primary liaison with state fish and wildlife agencies in recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) efforts and leads RBFF’s state R3 program development to help agencies increase participation in fishing and boating. Stephanie joined RBFF in December 2000 and has led the development and implementation of many key products and programs with state agencies. Stephanie received a B.S. degree in biology from Michigan State University and went to Utah State University for a Master’s in fisheries and wildlife. takemefishing.org
Commodore Johnson is a lifelong boater, licensed Coast Guard Master, and safety professional/advocate. His professional experience includes Deputy Commissioner/Director of Safety and Health (OSHA) for the State of North Carolina and working with over 100 organizations in 18 countries worldwide to improve safety and reliability of high-hazard facilities. He was served as a volunteer Commander, Captain, and Commodore with the Peninsula Yacht Club on Lake Norman, NC, where we strive to improve boating safety and reduce fatalities on the water.
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. The National Recreational Boating Safety (NRBS) program’s 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
Gail R. Kulp is the Executive Director for the Sea Tow Foundation. Gail received her master’s degree in educational policy, planning and leadership from The College of William & Mary and she is also a Certified Association Executive, a credential earned from the American Society of Association Executives. Gail’s other work experience includes serving as the Director of Education and Standards for NASBLA, serving as Executive Director for the Eastern Lycoming YMCA, serving as Executive Director of the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership and she also taught middle school. In her spare time, she enjoys kayaking, hiking, baking cookies, reading, photography and scrapbooking. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and their dog. boatingsafety.com
Jason Leggatt is the President of Mustang Survival, and the current Chair of the Life Jacket Association. Jason has almost 20 years of business experience in the marine and aviation safety & protection equipment industry. He has a broad range of expertise in the field having held leadership over different function during his career trajectory, including VP R&D & Quality, technical product development, Government R&D programs, and business development & marketing. Jason is an athletic enthusiast, most recently competing in triathlon but also continuing to enjoy recreational watersports, ice hockey, snow-skiing & snowboarding. Most importantly, he lucky to be husband to his beautiful wife Jai, and is blessed with 3 amazing daughters. mustangsurvival.com
Born and raised in Scottsdale, AZ, MariAnn grew up boating and learned how to water ski on Lake Powell, Arizona. She graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology, with an emphasis in Fish and Wildlife Management. Before college, she attended the National Park Service Law Enforcement Training at Silva, North Carolina. She worked as a seasonal Boat Patrol Law Enforcement Officer for the Glen Canyon National Recreational Area, National Park Service. She was also a certified Emergency Medical Technician and worked several boating accidents. Before coming to the Oregon State Marine Board, she worked for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. She has been with the Oregon State Marine Board since March 2006 in the Boating Safety Section as the Boating Education Coordinator, but wears many other hats too; the Jr. Boater Coordinator, the School Program Coordinator and the “Let’s Go Boating” Assistance Program Coordinator and now the Project Manager for the Non-Motorized Program/Project.
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
Doc Morgan: as a member of the Southern Arizona Red Cross Chapter serves as a Community Volunteer Leader and the Regional Training Lead. During his tenure with the Red Cross he has deployed on numerous Disaster Recovery Operations across the U.S. He is retired from both the United States Army and Department of Defense.
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.
Alex Otte joined NASBLA in December of 2018 as a contractor, before officially joining the organization as a staff research associate in January of 2020. After losing her right leg and suffering a severe traumatic brain injury when she was run over by a drunk boater at 13 years old, Otte developed a passion for solving the problem of drunk boating/driving and preventing another incident like hers. Otte currently does Coast Guard funded research on boating under the influence, as well as works on the CRBP and Waterways Management projects.
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
Amanda Pérez has been educating recreational boaters with the BoatU.S. Foundation for nearly 13 years. In her current role as Director of Education, she manages the free online boating safety course, specialized courses, website and other online assets and media as well as the team of developers, designers and project managers who keep those programs running. Amanda serves on the National Education Standards Panel whose mission is to “Establish and maintain recreational boating education standards to increase safety on our nation’s waterways.” In addition, Amanda also serves on the NASBLA Education and Outreach committee, helping to shape boating safety marketing and education best practices. A lifelong boater, Amanda has spent nearly her entire career working in the boating industry. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Towson University and a Master of Arts from St. John’s College. boatus.org
Deanna Pfleger began boating with her family on the Colorado River in the 1960’s so it was a natural fit when she returned in 1992 to work for Arizona Game and Fish as a wildlife manager with primary enforcement duties on the lower Colorado River. Over the past 27 years, Deanna has taught Arizona Boating Safety and helped train new volunteer boating safety instructors. She has also been very involved in the Watercraft Enforcement Patrol Officer Course (WEPOC), providing instruction on NASBLA Officer Water Survival, trailering, National Safe Boat Council Close Quarter Boat Handling, and field scenarios. Deanna participated in the first organized boating sobriety checkpoint in Arizona at Lake Havasu in 1993 and now organizes and runs similar details annually. In 2003, Deanna was honored to be named NASBLA Boating Officer of the Year for the State of Arizona.
The National Safe Boating Council’s executive director, Peg Phillips, is an experienced executive and boating instructor. She is a certified American Canoe Association L2 Kayak Instructor and NSBC Powerboat Instructor trained in Open Water and Close-Quarters Boat Control. Working hands-on with hundreds of students, she has instilled recreational boating safety through her passion for recruiting new boaters and educating current boaters. 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. safeboatingcouncil.org
With over 15 years of experience in the boating and water safety industry, Brian Rehwinkel is the Boating and Waterways Outreach Coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Brian is involved in many boating safety initiatives and is an active member of the National Safe Boating Council’s Life Jacket Wear Rate Tiger Team.myfwc.com
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.
Bill Schuffenhauer is a 3-time Olympian and Olympic Silver medalist that has overcome extreme adversity to achieve his dreams as a champion in life. As a speaker, trainer and mentor, he teaches key concepts of success in business and life to leaders and organizations around the world. Bill has worked with clients from non-profit to technology and currently serves as an advisor to the technology industry, Utah Olympic Foundation for the 2030-34 Winter Olympic Bid and several other organizations and individuals. Olympic and business principals can be applied to real-life solutions to help educate, inspire and transform organizations and individuals.
Carrie graduated from Brevard College with a dual undergraduate degree in Business and Organizational Leadership and Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education. She holds the following certifications – Level 4: Whitewater Kayaking Instructor, Leave No Trace Trainer, Wilderness First Responder, North Carolina Environmental Educator, and has taken multiple Swiftwater Rescue training courses. With paddling being at the root of her passions, Carrie has taught kayaking across the US; as an adjunct professor at Brevard College, summer camp paddling specialist, and in the snowmelt of Colorado before landing in Fredericksburg, Virginia with the ACA. During her tenure at the ACA, she has assisted in oversight of multiple USCG grant funded projects and Safety, Education, and Instruction department needs.
Courtney Slanaker joined the American Red Cross in March 2018 as Executive Director. Prior to her current role, she worked closely with the local Southern Arizona Red Cross chapter on numerous disaster responses through Community Organizations Active in Disasters from 2015 to 2017. She previously served as the Executive Director of local non-profit, World Care. She led World Care through many organizational transitions and coordinated large-scale disaster relief efforts. Courtney is a Tucson native and earned her bachelor’s degree in Public Health with a minor in Spanish from the University of Arizona in 2014.
Chris Snyder is the director of coaching education for the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. In his current role, Chris and the coaching department support the USOPC by working in coach education, high performance coaching development and coach recognition for all Olympic and Pan-American Sports, as well as, working as an advisor for US Paralympic sport on coaching. The coaching department also directs the long-term athlete development system called the American Development Model (ADM) for the USOPC, while also operating the How to Coach Kids program with Project Play and Nike.
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.
Scott Swanby, boating safety activist and developer of the first S.O.S. inflatable lifejacket (SOSPENDERS®), has made boating safety his life’s work. Swanby is a nationally recognized boating and outdoor enthusiast that has won numeorus accolades, including his most recent award as the 27th inductee into the National Boating Safety Council Hall of Fame. He also served two terms as a member of the Boating Advisory Council, a prestigious position that is appointed by the White House. Swanby is presently the Director of Sales for UST Brands, an emergency and survival gear manufacturer founded in 1936, and still works to advocate boating safety worldwide.
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.
Glendale Mayor Jerry P. Weiers was born in South Dakota and moved to Phoenix as a child. As a young boy he learned the value of a dollar, hard work and honesty. He has held onto these core values throughout his life as a husband, parent, small business owner and public servant serving four terms in the Arizona House of Representatives before becoming Mayor of Glendale in 2012. Mayor Weiers has been a lifelong advocate for the military and veterans and dedicates endless hours to providing resources and support for those who serve and have served. With over four decades of experience as a small business owner, Mayor Weiers provides the public sector with insight and knowledge based on a desire to reduce the bureaucratic red tape that can hinder small businesses.
Mayor Weiers is proud of his reputation as a man of his word and down-to-earth guy who enjoys talking with people, solving problems, riding his motorcycle and flying his plane. He is an avid hunter and lifelong conservationist who understands the joys and trials of living the American dream of owning your own business. This perspective has served Glendale citizens well, as he continues to foster a culture of positive public-private partnerships which help the city grow and make a positive difference in people’s lives. His priority initiatives are: fiscal responsibility, public safety, economic development, reducing homelessness, supporting and advocating for Luke Air Force Base, military installations and veterans.
Captain Kathy A. Weydig is co-founder of the Women Diver’s Hall of Fame. In 2018, became the first female Board Chair for the Divers Alert Network (DAN) Foundation. She holds a 100 ton USCG Master captain’s license sailing the Atlantic, Caribbean and now, the Pacific. She has been a scuba instructor since 1989, as well as holding Instructor Trainer and Course Director ratings with NAUI and SDI/TDI. Kathy is also a certified Instructor with the National Safe Boating Council.
Jeff Wheeler is the Deputy Chief of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Office of Boat Forces located at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC. The Office of Boat Forces enables mission performance in support of the strategic goals of the Coast Guard, providing human capital and capabilities necessary to effectively operate boats to meet Coast Guard mission requirements. He came to Boat Forces in 2000 while still on active duty, assuming the role of Manager, Boat Crew Training. In 2008, Mr. Wheeler assumed the Deputy Chief position in which he is responsible for the direct supervision, management and strategic development of the Boat Forces program. Prior to his assignments within the Office of Boat Forces, Mr. Wheeler served at multiple operational field commands throughout the country. uscg.mil
Mary Jean White, CGMS has twenty-six years of experience in regulatory compliance consulting, grants management consulting, acquisitions and procurement, training, grant writing, strategic planning, compliance monitoring and program remediation for public sector, non-profit, and commercial clients, and is a recognized Subject Matter Expert in grants management, Uniform Administrative Requirements (2 CFR 200/45 CFR Part 75 (HHS)) and the Federal Acquisition Regulation, as well as state and local procurement and compliance issues surrounding federal and state-funded programs.
Mary Winkler has been with Kalkomey Enterprises for seven years. As Director of Content, she supervises the writing, editing, and production of over 800 print publications and 200 online courses. These various educational materials are created for boaters, hunters, bowhunters, scuba divers, off-road riders, snowmobilers, and others to teach them what they need to know to be safe while enjoying their outdoor recreation activities. In her role, Mary works with her team to ensure that all of Kalkomey’s courses meet the company’s high standards for accuracy, quality, and consistency. In addition, Mary serves on the NASBLA Education and Outreach Committee, exploring different options for changing the way that students are taught. kalkomey.com