Lars Erik Granholm, a founding force behind the International Marine Certification Institute, has died at the age of 81.
Granholm, born in Finland in 1934, immigrated in 1961 to the United States where he joined the Outboard Marine Corporation. From 1974 to 1981 he authored small boat regulations while serving as the project manager for standards development with the U.S. Coast Guard. In 1981, he joined the National Marine Manufacturers Association, establishing the NMMA Certification programs.
His proposal to NMMA and several European industry association to work together in certification of boats resulted in the founding of IMCI in 1993. He served as the association's managing director and then chairman of the board until 2004.
That year he received the NMMA Charles F. Chapman Award for his lifetime achievements in the marine industry. The award recognizes individuals or groups that have provided consistent promotion and protection of the sport of boating, resulting in benefits to both the industry and the public.
“Lars was the best teacher and mentor to me. He made IMCI more than 20 years ago and we still stick to most of his philosophies. I wish Leena and the Granholm family all the strength they will need in a future without him,” said IMCI managing director Ulrich (Uli) Heinemann.