RBIEF grants record scholarship funds

The Recreational Boating Industries Educational Foundation (RBIEF) more than doubled the amount of funds distributed this year compared to years past, as qualified applicants express keen interest in careers in the marine industry. The Foundation awarded $18,500 in scholarship funds to 10 students.  

The RBIEF scholarship fund was developed in 1986 by the Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA) with the mission: advancing opportunities for scholarships and training benefiting Michigan’s marine industry. Traditional scholarships are awarded to college students interested in a career in the marine industry, as well as current MBIA members and their employees for industry conferences, certifications, and other training programs. Continuing education “industry” scholarship applications can be submitted year-round and are available on mbia.org. With this year’s awards, RBEIF has now distributed $409,000 to deserving recipients.

“Michigan supports the third largest recreational boating market in the country and needs qualified, educated individuals to continue our leadership role,” said RBIEF President Jim Coburn of The Coburn Consulting Company. “RBIEF is proud to provide funding and educational opportunities for individuals interested recreational boating careers. We are also very grateful to Jefferson Beach Yacht Sales and Walstrom Marine for their leadership and recent donations.”

2021 RBIEF scholarship recipients:

  • Tyler Waters – Gregory P. Krueger Scholarship
  • Gretchen Hambrick – Brenda Andrews Scholarship
  • Hunter Hambrick – Brenda Andrews Scholarship
  • Josh Cooper, Gage Gruever, Mitchell Hilbrandt, Gabriella Inman, Noel King, Caleb Kohlman, Taylor Oselka

The Gregory P. Krueger Scholarship is a named scholarship in the memory of RBIEF co-founder, MBIA Board Director and President of Jefferson Beach Yacht Sales, Greg Krueger. The scholarship has been awarded each year since his passing to an esteemed recipient who has shown perseverance and strives for education in the marine industry.

New this year. the Brenda Andrews Scholarship was uniquely awarded to sibling co-winners who strive to revolutionize their family’s marine business. 

“An investment in students seeking boating industry careers is an investment in the future of our industry,” said Nicki Polan, executive director of MBIA and RBIEF director. “MBIA continues to prioritize the development of the marine workforce in Michigan, partnering in the opening of two marine tech programs and being the connection between education programs and our industry members.” 

Generous donations in 2021 from Walstrom Marine and Jefferson Beach Yacht Sales, along with the annual contribution from the MBIA makes RBIEF’s scholarship funding possible. RBIEF Board members encourage everyone to donate as well. Contributions are tax deductible. To donate and find out more about RBIEF, visit mbia.org/rbief. 

MBIA is a state-wide, non-profit organization representing more than 350 marine businesses in Michigan.  The boating industry in Michigan represents a $7.8 billion economic impact in Michigan, nearly 1,500 marine businesses and nearly 40,000 jobs. For more information about MBIA visit mbia.org.

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