Thursday Buzz: A Boating Association Leader’s Legacy

The boating community mourns the death and remembers the achievements of a cofounder of the Boat Owners Association of the United States. Plus: CEO Update aims to recognize the industry's best leaders.

Richard Schwartz saw a problem in the boating industry and did something about it.

And, in the process, he became a true embodiment of why people get involved in associations.

Schwartz, who died February 11 at age 85, was cofounder and chairman of the Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS).

Schwartz, a Yale-educated lawyer, helped start the association after finding out the hard way that boat manufacturers weren’t required to build boats to federal regulatory standards.

“It made no sense, but the Coast Guard could only enforce safety standards after the boat was in the water,” Schwartz said in a 2013 BoatUS Magazine interview.

It perplexed him there were few regulations for boat manufacturers and few protections for boat owners. “As a lawyer, I was stunned to discover that boat manufacturers at the time had no liability for meeting government safety regulations. And the Coast Guard had no jurisdiction over the manufacturers to make sure they built a safe boat, because those manufacturers built those boats on land!” he said.

After founding the association back in 1966 with Richard Ellison, the duo went on to make a huge impact on boating. For example, Schwartz successfully lobbied for a series of industry regulations, including the Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971.

BoatUS, which boasts more than 500,000 members today, offers a wide array of services, including insurance, financing and refinancing, lobbying, safety programs, and a magazine. The group also offers the country’s largest boat-towing service.

Schwartz will be missed by the boating industry and association leaders.

Tweet of the Day

CEO Update is gearing up for its second Association Leadership Awards by seeking nominations. Who do you think is the best CEO of a trade group? Of a professional society? And who’s the best lobbyist out there? You could have a hand in determining this year’s winners!

The nominees who do not meet award criteria will be eliminated. In the fall, a panel of industry members will determine the winners from the finalists.

Last year’s awards honored the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Thomas Donohue and Bruce Josten, as well as ASAE’s own CEO, John Graham.

Go nominate the leaders you think deserve these honors.

Other Links of Note

You can’t do it all. As a matter of fact, not doing it all can improve your productivity and prevent burnout. Inc. writer Jill Krasny writes about a new approach to time management.

The workforce is becoming more and more remote, but are they happy? CMSWire‘s Dom Nicastro highlights a recent study about productivity and his experiences about the pitfalls of working from home as he explores that question.

What’s better than networking? Lifehacker writer Eric Ravenscraft suggests that forming your own team of collaborators to test ideas, do projects together, and support each other is better.

BoatUS cofounder Richard Schwartz, doing what he did best. (Handout photo)

Patrick deHahn

By Patrick deHahn

Patrick deHahn is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!