BoatU.S. adds to its lobbying muscle

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The Boat Owners Association of the United States is looking to strengthen its lobbying effort by creating a new position of vice president of government affairs and naming Margaret Bonds Podlich to fill the slot.

Podlich was previously assistant vice president for environmental programs for the nonprofit BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water, which develops model education and outreach environmental programs for boaters and marinas. She joined BoatU.S. in 1994 to head its Clean Water Trust, a predecessor to the BoatU.S. Foundation, which was established in 2000.

“Podlich’s addition to the BoatU.S. government affairs team will help expand the association’s federal and state government affairs activities,” says senior vice president for government and public affairs Michael Sciulla.

Podlich, a resident of Annapolis, Md., will report jointly to Sciulla and BoatU.S. president Jim Ellis.

“She has a proven track record of relationship building, working on diverse topics, and being a problem solver,” said Ellis. Her “passion for boating will be put to good use in this position.”

Podlich has been involved in environmental work for many years. In addition to her 10-plus years at BoatU.S., she has worked on boating and environmental issues at the Center for Marine Conservation, and for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. BoatU.S. describes her as “an outspoken promoter of women in boating, voluntary state Clean Marina programs and the growing need for more access to the water.”

Podlich is a longtime boater and inshore sailor, with 25 years of experience racing J/24s, J/22s and Lasers. She has participated in seven Rolex International Keelboat Regattas, and steered her team to fifth place in the 2001 competition.

She is member of Severn Sailing Association and lives in Annapolis with her husband, Steve, daughter Sophie and son, Ben.