BoatUS names new president

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Margaret Podlich was named the next president of BoatUS.

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Podlich previously was the group’s vice president of government affairs, and her new role broadens her responsibilities to include external communications encompassing government affairs and public relations, as well as other association programs, benefits and services.

Podlich’s promotion comes after the half-million-member boat owners group recently lost former president Nancy Michelman to cancer.

Podlich began at BoatUS in 1994 as the director of the former BoatUS Clean Water Trust, now part of the non-profit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. She was promoted in 2005 to vice president of government affairs, where she led the association’s advocacy efforts on issues such as the Clean Boating Act, increased ethanol in fuel and the possible loss of GPS as a critical safety tool, as well as state issues such as the loss of boating access and Florida anchoring issues.

Podlich is a lifelong boater, raised in a sailing family. After racing in college while attending Tulane University, she competed in a range of national and international events, including finishing fourth in this year’s Rolex Women’s International Keelboat Regatta. In 2006, she was a member of the three-woman Yngling Team Cronin sailing crew that competed for a place on the U.S. Olympic sailing team for the 2008 Beijing summer games.

Earlier this year she was a member of the winning Volvo Penta team at the annual Alice Kelley Ladies Billfish Tournament.

“Margaret’s passion for boating and ‘messing around in boats’ shows in her results and commitment to BoatUS, our members and the nation’s boat owners,” BoatUS CEO Bill Oakerson said in a statement. “She’s a brilliant and effective public policy analyst who achieves results, making the boating lifestyle better for all of us by fighting unfair and onerous regulation and giving boaters a voice in government. We look forward to this energy being tapped for a wide array of programs within BoatUS.”

Podlich lives in the Annapolis, Md., area with her husband, Steve, and two children.

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