Florida Boating Safety Educator of the Year Nominations

You have the opportunity to nominate the Boating Safety Educator of the Year for the State of Florida and to compete for the national award through the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). The national award is sponsored by BoaterExam.com. This is the fourth year for this award; Dr. Wil Hugli was the Boating Safety Educator of the Year for the State of Florida in 2011, Sam Boyd was selected in 2012, and Henry Cespedes was selected in 2013. Henry Cespedes was also selected by NASBLA as the Regional Southeast Boating Educator of the Year and was invited to the annual NASBLA Conference in Boise, Idaho to be recognized.
Since the Boating and Waterways Section of FWC serves more to support our boating safety education partners and less in the way of direct “education” using staff members, we are reaching out to all of our partner organizations that are involved in boating safety education to solicit nominees.

We must receive your nominations by Monday, March 24, make a selection from those nominees, and submit our state nominee for the national award no later than Tuesday, April 1.

Here is what I ask you to do:

  1. Reach out to your respective organization and solicit nominees. We are not going to limit the number of nominees from each organization. We suggest that you focus on the cream of the crop, since we want to be poised to compete well for the national award.
  2. We should receive narrative nominations of no less than one page via email (sent to brian.rehwinkel@myfwc.com) by March 24, 2014. Any that are received beyond that date will not be considered.
  3. Nominations should name the individual being nominated and the organization they teach under, provide the nominee’s contact information, and describe what this individual has done to make them worthy of being recognized as the State and National Boating Safety Educator of the Year. This description should include a summary of their work over the years and specific examples that exemplify their qualifications from the last year. Some ideas for these examples might include their passion for boating safety, any use of innovative education techniques, any focus on risk-based education aimed at reducing accidents and saving lives, and active support of state boating safety goals.

We will use a committee to review all the nominations and make a selection of the stand-out nominee for the State of Florida’s Boating Educator of the Year and for submission to NASBLA for the national award. That state nominee will receive a certificate from NASBLA as the state winner, and the three regional awards committees will choose the regional winners. The regional winners will attend the NASBLA Annual Conference. The national winner will be chosen from among the three regional winners and will be announced at the awards ceremony at the conference. This program will run along the same lines as the Boating Officer of the Year program; and the state, regional and national winners will be featured in the annual education issue of Small Craft Advisory.

This is a big opportunity and we are excited about the chance to highlight Florida’s boating educators. We are confident that our education partners are doing great, innovative things to make Florida’s waters safer and more enjoyable, but we need your help to identify those within your organization that deserve to be recognized.

Remember, we need at least a one-page write-up due to us by email on or before March 24th. Only one nominee per write-up. No limit to the number of nominations from an organization.

If you have questions, please feel free to email or call 850-488-5600.

Thank you for your hard work and support!


FWC Facts:
A child under the age of 6 must wear a USCG-approved Type I, II or III personal flotation device (PFD) while onboard a vessel under 26 feet that is underway.

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