ALEXANDRIA, VA – After 23 years at Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), Margaret Bonds Podlich announced she is stepping down as president effective Sept. 30. A search has been initiated for a permanent replacement to lead the national boating advocacy, services and safety group.
“We want to thank Margaret for her many years of service and dedication to America’s recreational boat owners,” said BoatUS CEO Kirk La. “She made boating better by making government more accountable to boat owners, ensuring that their voice was heard when unfair legislation was being debated. She’s been a strong environmental advocate and played a big role in successfully growing BoatUS into the more than half-a-million-member association that we are today.”
Podlich began her career at BoatUS in 1993 as Director of the Clean Water Trust, now part of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Under her direction, the Trust (and later the Foundation) grew to play a national role in clean water issues that affect recreational boaters. Many of today’s Clean Marina programs were developed under Podlich’s vision and leadership.
A 2014 honoree of the Darlene Briggs Marine Industry Woman of the Year award, Podlich also worked to promote boating safety initiatives and participated on the US Coast Guard National Boating Safety Advisory Committee.
As former BoatUS Vice President of Government Affairs, Margaret supported realistic, boating-friendly policies and helped successfully pass the 2008 Federal Clean Boating Act that freed boaters from a new state operating permit. Podlich is also credited in leading BoatUS to work with the recreational boating industry, working on policy and programs mutually beneficial to boat owners, manufacturers and service providers, such as combating the spread of ethanol fuels and saving the GPS system. In 2012 she was bestowed the NASBLA Award by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.
Along the way, Podlich campaigned her Laser sailboat in national championships, most recently taking the top women’s radial trophy at the 2014 US Laser Masters Championships and the Atlantic Coast Championship. She was also a crewmember on the 2006/2007 US Sailing Team.