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NMMA names 2018 Alan J. Freedman, Charles Chapman Award winners

By National Marine Manufacturers Association

The NMMA honored Giuseppe Carnevali, Founder and CEO, Navionics, with the 2018 Alan J. Freedman Memorial Leadership Award, which recognizes individuals who’ve made outstanding contributions to the marine accessories industry through leadership, creativity and personal motivation.

“NMMA is proud to honor Giuseppe Carnevali with the Alan J. Freedman Award for his ingenuity and lifelong commitment to the marine industry, most notably his work to modernize marine navigation,” noted Thom Dammrich, NMMA president. “Giuseppe changed how navigation is viewed and played a large role in shaping how modern mariners plot their on-water adventures.”

Carnevali attained a Doctor of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture from the University of Genova in 1971, magna cum laude. After a stint in the Italian Navy, Carnevali became the production manager of the prestigious Benetti Shipyard, and was the project manager for the construction of Nabila, the most sophisticated mega yacht of its time.

He then launched a company that introduced the first CAD-CAM technology and computer graphics into Italian shipbuilding.

In the early '80s, Carnevali realized that to survive he needed to invent something radically new, and by combining his extensive background in the boating and shipping industry with his skills as navigator and his experience with computer graphics, he came up with the world's first electronic charting device.

In 1984, his company Navionics changed the way people navigate. Giuseppe’s invention of the Geonav chartplotter paved the way for today’s GPS devices.

Under Carnevali’s leadership, Navionics has grown into the leader in electronic charting. It has the world’s largest privately held database of marine and lake charts, covering the salt waters of the entire planet as well as tens of thousands of lakes and rivers. Many of these charts have been developed through proprietary surveys done both in the field and with remote sensing, including satellite imagery and airborne laser scanners.

The NMMA also honored Phil Cappel, United States Coast Guard, and Tom Marhevko, NMMA, with the 2018 Charles Chapman Award.

The Chapman Award recognizes individuals or groups within the marine industry who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of boating for the benefit of the recreational boating industry and boating public.

“Phil and Tom have devoted their entire careers to bettering the boating industry and community, and we are proud to honor them with the Charles Chapman Award,” Dammrich said. “Phil spent his entire career in service to the United States Coast Guard and has helped marine manufacturers understand and comply with regulations, establish standards for the marine industry and ensure the quality and safety of recreational boats for the public.”

Cappel is a 1971 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. As a member of the United States Coast Guard (USCG), he served both afloat and shoreside, including shipboard engineering watch officer on the cutter Boutwell, shipboard damage control officer on the cutter Mendota, and instructor at the Officer Candidate School at Training Center Yorktown.

After earning an MBA at The College of William and Mary in 1978, Cappel served in a broad range of management positions for the USCG.

He retired from the USCG in 1991, and in 1992 he embarked upon a career as a civilian employee at the USCG headquarters as Chief of the R&D Planning Branch. In 1996, he was reassigned as the Recreational Boating Product Assurance Branch Chief for the Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety, a position he currently holds.

Cappel served on both the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) Technical Board and the SAE Marine Technical Steering Committee for twenty-one years. He has worked with the NMMA on numerous issues such as EPA requirements for installing catalytic converters on inboard engines, reduction of vapor emissions from fuel vent systems, and the use of ethanol in marine fuel.

He established agreements that led to studies by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health on ways to reduce or eliminate CO hazards on recreational boats. He presented technical seminars at Boatbuilding and IBEX conferences, and conducted semiannual updates at IBEX and the Miami International Boat Show to keep the industry updated on USCG actions.

Cappel also launched a Recreational Boat Manufacturer Factory Inspection Program to assist manufacturers in complying with the Federal Safety regulations.

“Tom has spent more than forty years working in the marine industry, and we are forever grateful for his service to the NMMA,” said Dammrich. “His dedication to improving recreational boating through certification and standards is unparalleled within the industry. His focus on opening up dialogue between those who draw up industry standards with those who have to comply with them has resulted in a coordination of efforts that benefits both boat builders, boaters and the entire industry.”

Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Marhevko graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering and earned a Master of Science in Navel Architecture & Marine Engineering from the University of Michigan.

He spent 26 years in the USCG, working primarily on naval engineering, and retired in 1997 with the rank of captain, with six USCG Commendation Medals and a USCG Meritorious Service Medal.

After retiring, he took a position as manager of technical services for the NMMA, and was named vice president of engineering standards in 2006. Marhevko retired form NMMA in 2017 and is currently running TJM Marine Consulting.

Marhevko has shared his expertise with the industry at numerous seminars, expos and professional conferences, including IBEX and NMMA Certification and Engineering Compliance seminars.

He is or has been active in a number of professional organizations, including ISO Technical Committees on small craft, large yachts, marine engines and tourism, American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), the Society of Automotive Engineers and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.

Marhevko currently serves on the boards of the ABYC, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Recreational Craft Sectoral Group (RSG), and the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA). His past board service also includes the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Marhevko’s accomplishments were recognized by the American Boat & Yacht Council, which honored him with the C.T. Moyer Leadership Award in 2006. 

Both awards were presented during the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show’s annual Innovation Breakfast on Friday, Feb 16. 

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