NASBLA recognizes the winner of the 2020 Dr. L. Daniel Maxim Award for Distinguished Service


NASBLA recognizes the winner of the 2020 Dr. L. Daniel Maxim Award for Distinguished Service
*This is a transcript of the Pete Chisholm recognized as the winner of the 2020 Dr. L Daniel Maxim Award for Distinguished Service" video from the virtual recognition ceremony on Wednesday, December 16th, 2020.

Hello everyone! We hope you are staying safe and healthy during these times. As many of you know, NASBLA typically recognizes all of our award winners in-person at the Annual Conference. However, this year the Annual Conference was held virtually, so we were only able to recognize some of these winners during the short awards ceremony which took place on September 30th.

Today, we are meeting virtually again to recognize and show our gratitude to one of the 2020 NASBLA award winners!

Numerous individuals and organizations assist NASBLA in various ways throughout the year. To show our appreciation for this invaluable assistance, NASBLA recognizes outstanding individuals and groups for their contributions to recreational boating safety through its awards program.

Established in 2018 to honor and celebrate the life of Dr. Leslie Daniel Maxim, NASBLA announced the creation of the L. Daniel Maxim Award for Distinguished Service. The L. Daniel Maxim Award recognizes the contributions of those individuals whose efforts advance our understanding of the world we live in through the application of research, analysis and the scientific method.

The 2020 L. Daniel Maxim Award for Distinguished Service is presented to Pete Chisholm with Mercury Marine.

Pete has been involved with NASBLA for a number of years in various capacities. He has served on NASBLA’s Engineering, Reporting & Analysis (ERAC) Committee, has provided technical assistance upon request, and works diligently in collaboration with NASBLA’s Boat Operations and Training (BOAT) Program.

Additionally, Pete’s excellent work and leadership has allowed Mercury Marine to support him routinely in serving as a guest instructor for NASBLA’s Advanced Accident Reconstruction Courses. Pete has also donated boats, motors, engine control units (ECUs) and his expertise to NASBLA’s Staged Boat Collision Project.

Pete has been instrumental in helping officers obtain Engine Control Module (ECM) data nationwide in order to gain investigative information that assists investigators in understanding how the vessel was being operated prior to the incident that occurred. 

Furthermore, Pete has been on the forefront of conducting validating research to further the accuracy and court defendability of utilizing engine control unit data in crash reconstruction. This exceptional work has assisted in the prosecution of crimes and allows Mercury Marine to have a better understanding of the product operation, prior to, during, and after an incident.  Pete also provides technical assistance to the Courts for support of the investigations by bringing the industry perspective and regulations into the equation.

Pete has used his position at Mercury Marine to move the needle forward for safety. He continues to strive for better product development through safer designs of boating equipment to make the activity safer for all boaters.

His efforts and continued assistance to marine professionals nationwide does not go unnoticed. All in all, Pete is incredibly supportive of the overall law enforcement mission to ensure the safety of the boating public.

Pete is a boating safety advocate that has a passion for knowledge, innovation and collaboration. His work and research surrounding engine control module data has been significant to the recreational boating community and its safety advancements. In recognition for his contributions to boating safety over the course of his career, NASBLA in honored to present the L. Daniel Maxim Award for Distinguished Service to Pete Chisholm. Congratulations!

I would now like to give Captain Majors the opportunity to say a few words…


Pete, let me just tell you, congratulations!

First and foremost, your professionalism is second to none, and for that, we all thank you. Your eagerness to help embodies the whole spirit of the Dan Maxim Award - for that, we thank you as well.

Your boating knowledge is very remarkable, and we're all much better because you share that with us. So thank you for that.

Lastly, I just want to tell you, your friendship is very important to so many in the boating community. Not only do you work hard, but you also help us better the industry. And there's not many people like that and I hope you recognize that.

The last thing, I'll say is, I'm very proud to call you a boating professional colleague, but more importantly Pete, I'm proud to call you a friend.

Congratulations on your award, and I know Dan is smiling somewhere. Congratulations!

Mr. Pete?


Well, Darren and Matt, thank you so much for your kind words.

Darren, when you were about halfway through your dissertation there, I had to pinch myself and say, “Is he really talking about me? Have I done all of those things?”

You know, I think that I pale in comparison with Dan Maxim for the scientific approach. He was just a tremendous individual, who was a great guy.

And as far as I know, the first inaugural award for the Dan Maxim Award went to my predecessor, Mr. Dick Snyder.




So I'm rather humbled to be in the company of such great people. Of course, you know, Dick worked here for almost 50 years in one capacity or another and everybody in the industry has their favorite Dick Snyder story.

But I am proud to help move the needle, like you say. And people ask me, “Well, why does Mercury participate so freely in accident investigations if there’s no issues with the product?” And I say, “Well, how do you know there's not an issue with the product until we really understand what the true root cause is?”

So, we really want to understand and we want to try to make our products better. And along the way, some of that investigative helps you all out there as far as your work and investigation.

So, I'm rather humbled to be recognized with the Daniel Maxim Award and I appreciate the kind words. Thank you for this honor.


Pete, thanks so much and again congratulations!

Your continued dedication to advancing the products surrounding boating safety is paramount. We go back a long ways and I have seen your work and it’s incredible. Your dedication, like Matt said, your sharing of all of that to us, we’re better off for that. So, again, thank you for that. We appreciate it. Congratulations!


Thank you very much.




Watch the full Maxim Award recognition video on NASBLA's Vimeo channel!