The ABYC Foundation announced Margaret Podlich has been hired to serve as executive director. The ABYC Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), focused on providing resources that create educational and lifelong career opportunities to current and aspiring marine service technicians.
“I can’t imagine a more perfect person to be the foundation’s first executive director,” said ABYC president John Adey. “The ABYC Foundation has some heavy lifting coming up if we hope to move the needle on the population of qualified technicians and Margaret is our best chance of success. The ABYC board of directors and I are very proud to make this announcement.”
Podlich retired as president of BoatU.S. in 2016 and has since been consulting in the industry. Most of her career has been working and educating on boating issues, from environmental and safety topics to helping make smarter boating policies.
Her primary role as executive director will be to lead the ABYC Foundation in its strategic growth and renewed mission, vision and priorities.
“For years, we’ve all been talking about the need to increase the skills and numbers of trained marine techs,” said Podlich. “There are some wonderful programs out there, but across the country, we are still running in deficit mode which affects everyone in this industry. I see several necessary ingredients for success that are ready and being used – like the ABYC ‘Fundamentals of Marine Service Technology’ textbook and great scholarship programs, but there is a lot of growth opportunity. I’m looking forward to strengthening the abilities of the ABYC Foundation and connecting with industry partners to address workforce development issues.”
Podlich will oversee all ABYC Foundation initiatives which include:
- Marine Service Technology Program: This program gives schools all the tools needed to implement a standards-based curriculum on topics ranging from shop safety, electrical systems, to engine maintenance and plumbing. It includes instructor guides, online demonstration videos, PowerPoint presentations, sample tests and discounts on textbooks.
- Engine Donation: Evinrude donated $2 million worth of outboard engines to add hands-on training to secondary and post-secondary technology programs.
- Student Scholarships: The ABYC Foundation established a needs-based scholarship fund to assist students in various educational opportunities including 2-year traditional programs, continuing education events, certification courses and specialized product training.
- Living Classroom: A donated 38’ trawler, with an array of boat systems and learning opportunities, will be used to create a unique experience for students that are interested in careers in the marine industry, at no charge to the schools.
- Boat Donations: The ABYC Foundation is accepting new and used boats in good (or better) working condition. Proceeds from the donations directly back into foundation programming.
To learn more about ABYC Foundation, a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) visit: www.abycfoundation.org.