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Award Winners Recognized at the 2021 NASBLA Annual Conference

By Taylor Matsko posted 10-26-2021 05:02 PM


Award Winners Recognized at the 2021 NASBLA Annual Conference

The 62nd Annual NASBLA Conference was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from Sept. 26 – 29, 2021. During the awards ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 28, NASBLA presented their annual national awards, recognizing NASBLA members and colleagues in the recreational boating safety community for their outstanding contributions to boating and water safety. NASBLA had the opportunity to recognize 18 award winners at this year’s event.

Chair’s Award

  • Captain Kenneth Ryan, New Jersey Boating Law Administrator, New Jersey State Police Marine Unit
  • Amanda Pérez, Director of Education, BoatUS


Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Lieutenant Mark Brown, Oklahoma Boating Law Administrator, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Marine Law Enforcement Section
  • Penny Kanable, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (ret.)


Garner Leadership Award

  • Captain Matt Majors, Boating Investigator, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency



  • Vicki Rhodes, Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control, Division of Fish Management (ret.)


Boating Safety Award

  • John Alexiou, Marine Safety Operations Program Manager, City of Monterey Fire Department


Regional Pamela S. Dillon Boating Educator of the Year

  • Northern Region: Jerry Desmond, Boating Education Coordinator, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
  • Southern Region: Sergeant Johnathan Beardsley, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
  • Western Region: Sara Smith, Instructional Coordinator, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks


National Educator of the Year


Regional Boating Officer of the Year

  • Northern Region: Conservation Officer Arnaud Kpachavi, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
  • Southern Region: Texas Game Warden Hani Raja Ataya, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
  • Western Region: Sergeant Ken Mencl, Twin Falls County Sheriff's Office


National Officer of the Year


Operation Dry Water Awards

The Operation Dry Water (ODW) Awards Program recognizes law enforcement officers and agencies that are making a positive impact on boating under the influence (BUI). During the ceremony, the ODW Officer of the Year, Top Agencies and Media Award winners were honored for their hard work and dedication to boating under the influence prevention and the Operation Dry Water campaign. Click here to read more about the 2021 ODW award winners

The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators would like to congratulate all of the 2021 national award winners. If you would like to learn more about the awards or this year’s recipients, please click here.


The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) is a national nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety. NASBLA represents the recreational boating authorities of all 50 states and the U.S. territories.

We offer a variety of resources, including training, model acts, education standards, publications and more. Through a national network of thousands of professional educators, law enforcement officers and volunteers, we affect the lives of over 76 million American boaters.