After 28 years with the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water, most recently serving as the 501(c)(3) non-profit's President for the last five years, Ruth Wood has announced her retirement. She plans to continue her passion for choral singing and spending time outdoors camping, hiking, sailing and kayaking with her Golden Retriever, Jackie. She will also remain as a volunteer member of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation, helping to guide the organization well into the next decade.
Wood joined the Foundation in 1983, just two years after it was created as a sister organization of Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) solely dedicated to promoting safe and environmentally-sensitive boating. Working with the US Coast Guard Auxiliary and US Power Squadrons, one of her first projects was to develop a toll-free boating safety courseline for boaters wanting to find the location of nearby local boating safety courses. (Today this information can be found online at www.BoatUS.com/courseline.) Wood says this effort taught her about the power of partnerships, of which many remain today.
Over her career, Wood has served as Chair of the National Safe Boating Council and a Member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary Board of Directors, as well as worked on the Underwriters Laboratories PFD Technical Panel and the US Coast Guard's Boating Safety Advisory Council.
BoatUS Foundation Chairman Bill Oakerson said, "Ruth's work has been instrumental in building the Foundation's national reputation as a leader in boating safety and environmental stewardship. She leaves a legacy of partnership within the boating safety community. Her personal dedication and tireless efforts have contributed to the significant improvement in life jacket design and awareness, online education and responsible boating."
Said Wood, "I am proud of the programs and the many teams I have led that have made a difference. It humbles me to have had the opportunity to spend nearly three decades of my life helping to preserve the lives of other boaters, sailors and anglers."
The Foundation was the first to offer a nationwide Life Jacket Loaner Program for Kids, an EPIRB rental program, a free Online Boating Safety Course and its Foundation Findings series of boating product tests, which contributed to securing US Coast Guard approval for inflatable life jackets.
BoatUS Foundation Vice President Chris Edmonston, who joined BoatUS in 1994 and has overseen the organization's boating safety programs for the last ten years, succeeds Wood as Foundation President.
About the BoatUS Foundation:
The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating. Funded primarily by the half-million members of BoatUS, it provides innovative educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of America's waterways and keeping boating safe for all. To make a tax-deductible donation to this 501(c)(3) nonprofit, go to www.BoatUS.com/foundation.