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NMMA Transfers Yacht Design School to ABYC
ABYC to Affiliate with the Westlawn School of Yacht Design
April 29, 2003, Edgewater, MD: The American Boat & Yacht Council
(ABYC) and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA)
are pleased to announce that effective May 1, 2003, NMMA is transferring
control of the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology (also the
Westlawn School of Yacht Design), to ABYC, which will be assuming
the sole membership position in this not-for-profit 501 (c) (3)
educational institution, from NMMA.
For many years, NMMA has been Westlawn’s sole corporate member
and ardent supporter. For almost a year, NMMA has been in discussions
and negotiations with ABYC to determine if Westlawn could be better
serve both its student body and the industry at large if it were
more closely affiliated with ABYC.
ABYC has been a world marine industry leader in creating and improving
basic boating safety standards, and industry-wide education and
training programs for nearly 50 years. NMMA and ABYC mutually concluded
that Westlawn’s mission “fit” is more closely
aligned and in keeping with ABYC’s than that of NMMA’s.
It was therefore agreed that NMMA would transfer its sole membership
position of Westlawn to ABYC.
Thom Dammrich, President of NMMA said, “Stretching back to
1930, Westlawn has maintained worldwide recognition and a proud
tradition of providing quality education opportunities to those
in our industry.” “NMMA is privileged to have been affiliated
with such an organization as Westlawn for so long, and we feel this
transfer to ABYC will position Westlawn to succeed well into the
future.” “NMMA is delighted to transfer Westlawn to
ABYC, and we believe Westlawn will be better positioned to grow
and best serve the industry under the leadership of the ABYC,”
Skip Burdon, ABYC’s President / CEO said, “This is
an exciting and positive move for all parties involved – especially
the marine industry at large.” Burdon continued, “affiliating
with Westlawn is just the first in a series of initiatives ABYC
is currently undertaking to better serve the education and professional
development needs of the marine industry.” “ABYC is
continually developing new and innovative education and training
programs, and our affiliation with Westlawn represents ABYC’s
commitment to stay at the forefront of that effort,” Burdon
World recognized yacht designer, author, and Westlawn alumnus,
Dave Gerr, has been brought on as the new Director of Westlawn.
Gerr stated, “ABYC and Westlawn are planning significant improvements
and enhancements to the entire academic program over the next few
years. Working closely with ABYC, Westlawn will significantly upgrade
and modernize the entire academic program. We also have plans to
add more theoretical engineering and practical application course
material, offer a number of the courses online, add new industry
professional development programs, and reach out to secondary school
students potentially interested in pursuing a career within the
marine industry. Our immediate charge, however, is to make the transition
as fluid, seamless, and easy as possible for our current students,
and therefore – administratively - its business as usual,”
The mission of Westlawn is twofold: First to provide students with
the skills and knowledge required to build a successful career in
small boat and yacht design, and second, to support continued growth
of the recreational marine industry through the development of various
courses and programs to promote and provide educational opportunities
for those working – and those intending to work – within
the marine industry.
Westlawn’s main operation will remain a separate entity from
ABYC, located at its present location in Stamford, Connecticut,
until such time when ABYC can transfer Westlawn to ABYC’s
headquarters building in Edgewater, Maryland. During this transition,
students should continue to work on and send in lessons exactly
as they currently are. For now, the Westlawn telephone numbers and
email address will remain unchanged.
NMMA is a non-profit association with more than 1,400 companies
that produce every conceivable product used by recreational boaters.
NMMA is dedicated to creating, promoting and protecting an environment
where members can achieve financial success through excellence in
manufacturing, in selling, and in servicing their customers. NMMA
today provides a wide variety of programs and services tailored
to member needs including technical expertise, standards monitoring,
government relations avocation, industry statistics, as well as
boat shows. For more information on NMMA please visit www.nmma.org.
Nationally accredited and internationally recognized, the Westlawn
School of Yacht Design has been producing skilled yacht designers,
many of whom have become leaders in the industry, for over 70 years.
The school is approved by the Department of Higher Education of
the State of Connecticut and nationally accredited by the Accrediting
Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council, which
is listed by the US Department of Education as a nationally recognized
accrediting agency. Westlawn is also listed as a recognized institution
by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.
The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) is a not-for-profit
organization that has been developing, writing and updating the
safety standards for boat building and repair in the United States
for nearly 50 years. ABYC is actively involved with the International
Organization for Standardization (ISO) as well as certification
programs for marine technicians. These standards are available on
CD-ROM and in printed form. For more information on this transfer,
you may call ABYC at (410) 956-1050. Membership and general information
can be requested by also calling (410) 956-1050 or by visiting the
ABYC Web Site at www.abycinc.org.