2005: Richard Schwartz, Chairman and Founder, BoatU.S.
As Founder, Chairman and CEO of Boat Owners Association of The United States, Richard Schwartz has accomplished what no one else has been able to do—build a national organization of recreational boat owners that has grown steadily over a period of 38 years and which now numbers over 575,000 dues-paying members. And, as Chairman of the Board of the BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety, Schwartz has presided over the development of a not-for profit foundation which has created a number of unique national programs that have materially touched the lives and affected the safety of millions of recreational boaters.
On his watch, BoatU.S. took the lead and succeeded in convincing Congress to repel the federal boat “user fee” tax, the federal marine diesel fuel tax, the FCC VHF license fee and retain LORAN-C. These successes have saved the recreational boating public hundreds of millions of dollars and eliminated potential impediments that might have discouraged many boaters from continuing to boat.
BoatU.S. has also been a leading advocate for the Wallop/Breaux Trust Fund and the Boating Infrastructure Grant program which has funneled $32 million into transient access facilities for cruising boats since 1999.
Few people in the industry can match Richard's credentials for promoting boating safety to the public. The BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water, chaired by Richard, is responsible for directing more than one million boaters to free boating and safety courses offered by the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Power Squadrons and the states; has distributed in excess of one million pieces of free boating safety literature to the boating public in each of the past twenty years and has provided more that 12,000 children’s life jackets to boating safety organizations. They also developed a free online boating safety course that has been passed by more than 350,000 boaters, distributed nearly $600,000 in Safety Grants to local boating groups since 1989 and provided an additional $125,000 in Clean Water Grants since 1999.