Boating Educator of the Year

Nominating: Pamela s. dillon boating educator of the year

In 2019, Pamela S. Dillon retired after more than 40 years in recreational boating safety. In recognition of Pam’s hard work, dedication and service given to NASBLA, the States and the recreational boating safety community, the Boating Educator of the Year award was renamed the ‘Pamela S. Dillon Educator of the Year’ award. In 2011, Pam began serving as the Education and Standards Director for NASBLA. In this position, she led NASBLA’s education efforts with monumental results. With all she accomplished in her time with NASBLA, it is just the tip of the iceberg in what she accomplished over a lifetime of vocation and service in the recreational boating community.

Educators and volunteers from state and local agencies and from nonprofit organizations are eligible. Boating law administrators should nominate candidates who have made an outstanding contribution to boating safety through education. A nominee should be someone in the education field who goes above and beyond to engage students and boaters, raise awareness, and make boating education and education initiatives relevant, thorough and exciting. Posthumous nominations are not eligible.

Three regional finalists will be chosen from among the state nominees and will win a paid trip to the NASBLA Annual Conference where the national winner will be announced and recognized during the Awards Ceremony.

Nominations for this award must be submitted by a boating law administrator.

The nomination deadline for the Educator of the Year award was April 30, 2021. Nominations for 2021 are now closed. 

View sample application.

National boating educator of the year selected

NASBLA, Fresh Air Educators, and Kalkomey Enterprises, Inc., are pleased to announce the regional winners of the Boating Educator of the Year Award. This award symbolizes the highest level of achievement among boating safety educators in the U.S.

National Winner 2020

l8Oc6V0MT2Gb7u1BNCW5_Meier_FFD.jpgDuring its 61st annual meeting, held virtually from Sept. 28 - 30, 2020, NASBLA presented its prestigious national Pamela S. Dillon Boating Educator of the Year award to Aaron Meier with the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW). NASBLA congratulates Aaron Meier on receiving the National Boating Educator of the Year award in recognition of his exceptional career and impact on recreational boating safety.

Northern Region

Richard WernerRichard Werner
New York
Richard Werner, of Safe Boating America, has been named the 2020 Northern Region Educator of the Year. Richard Werner is a U.S. Coast Guard licensed Master and the owner of Safe Boating America, a safety education company based out of Bethpage, New York. Safe Boating America consists of 17 instructors who teach more than 7,500 students annually throughout New York State and Connecticut. The company will soon be extending their services to the state of Florida. As one of New York’s most active instructors, Werner has been certified to teach the New York State Safe Boating Course since 2004. Over the course of the past 16 years, Werner has delivered boating education to over 12,000 students in more than 350 sessions. His vibrant teaching style and successful use of visual aids has resulted in engaged students who ultimately become safer boaters on the water.

Werner’s dedication, focus and commitment to boating education are second to none and make him a valuable asset to the recreational boating community. He has truly made a significant impact on the safety of New York’s waterways. Congratulations Richard Werner! Read the full press release

Southern Region

Sergeant Brad StoopSergeant Brad Stoop
North Carolina
Sergeant Brad Stoop, of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC), has been named the Southern Region Educator of the Year for 2020. Sgt. Brad Stoop began his career with the NCWRC Law Enforcement Division in March of 2000. He is currently stationed in District One Area Three where he works closely with officers in four northeastern counties. In 2006, Sgt. Stoop began teaching standardized field sobriety testing procedure with a team of outstanding instructors. Since that time, Sgt. Stoop has had the opportunity to travel to several states to attend the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Instructor Seated Battery course. He and the team of instructors were able to take this curriculum across the state of North Carolina and present it to all NCWRC officers. It has since become an integral part of the basic training program for NCWRC recruits.

Overall. Sgt. Stoop’s knowledge, coupled with his unwavering commitment to enhancing the safety on North Carolina’s waterways, does not go unnoticed. Day in and day out, Sgt. Stoop plays a role in the safety and education of the people of North Carolina, and this is something he takes great pride in. This is consistently exhibited through his efforts to educate the public about safe boating practices in and around the water. Congratulations Sergeant Brad Stoop! Read the full press release

Western Region

Aaron MeierAaron Meier
Aaron Meier, of the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), has been named the 2020 Western Region Educator of the Year. Since taking over the boating education program, Meier has completely changed the way that the state of Nevada promotes boating safety and education. Meier was aware of the financial difficulties associated with advertising and promotion in entertainment cities such as Las Vegas and Reno. For this reason, Meier has refocused NDOW’s efforts into almost entirely digital campaigns and connected television, such as streaming on Hulu, Sling and Amazon Prime. His efforts led to a 13% increase in the number of boater education certificates awarded in 2019. Over the past two years, Nevada has seen an incredible 33% increase in the number of boater education certificates awarded to recreational boaters. This is a sizeable increase in the department’s reach and boater education impact.

Nevada’s boater education program is in its current state of excellence due to Aaron Meier’s consistent efforts and dedication to boating safety. He is constantly looking for new ways to expand and improve the education program and goes above and beyond in his daily efforts. Meier is truly an incredible asset to the Nevada Department of Wildlife and they look forward to what he will continue to do for the recreational boating community. Congratulations Aaron Meier! Read the full press release



Generously sponsored by Fresh Air Educators, and Kalkomey Enterprises, Inc., the Boating Educator of the Year Award was launched by NASBLA in 2011 to recognize those who go above to engage students and boaters, raise awareness, and make boating education initiatives relevant, thorough and exciting.

2020 State Boating Educators of the Year

Northern Region

Paul Gibson, Connecticut

Harbormaster Bion Pike, Massachusetts

David Carle, New Hampshire

Richard Werner, New York

Waterways Conservation Officer Richard Morder, Pennsylvania 

Southern Region

Theodore E. Dawson Jr., Florida

Marine Operations Trooper Tye W. DeCramer, Missouri

Sergeant Brad Stoop, North Carolina

Wally Lessig, Tennessee

Western Region

Iris Nawiesniak, Alaska

Jim Liesen, Arizona

Luke Stucker, Colorado

Aaron Meier, Nevada 

(Those in bold text are the regional boating educators of the year)

Previous Recipients