Welcome to Boating Writers International
BWI is a professional organization consisting of writers, editors, publishers, photographers, broadcasters, public relations specialists and others in the communications profession associated with the boating industry.
Members include active marine journalists across the United States, Canada and Europe; associate members in public relations roles; and supporting members, such as marine manufacturers and service companies.
BWI is Best Known For…
- The Annual Writing Contest, held in November and December, which features 17 writing and electronic media submission categories resulting in $17,000 in awards
- Panels and discussions at general membership meetings open to all for exceptional networking in the recreational boating industry during the Fort Lauderdale and Miami boat shows
- Communications efforts, including monthly newsletters, an active and resource-rich website, an on-line Writers’ Directory, annual full-member directory and engaging “LinkedIn” group focused on member issues and news
- Partnerships with leading marine manufacturer associations to recognize innovations in marine product development, where BWI members serve as judges
BWI’s Mission Statement…
The purposes of the Association are:
- To provide a professional and fraternal association for writers, editors, publishers, photographers, artists, broadcasters and others involved in recreational boating and fishing.
- To foster interest in recreational boating and fishing through articles, columns, and other documents in all media including magazines, newspapers, radio, TV, the Internet, and books.
- To encourage ethical standards in accord with the journalistic professions.
- To keep the membership informed of: changes in the craft, publications and personnel; opportunities for career advancement; important events and dates; and vital regulatory or industry issues.
- To encourage safe boating practices.
- To provide forums for members to express their opinion, inform their peers and exchange views with the marine industry.
Who Manages BWI…
The Association is managed by a nine-member volunteer Board of Directors with an Executive Director providing administrative support and member committees focused on areas of interest. Here are the current officers and directors:
Alan Wendt has been a boat owner and active member of BWI for nearly two decades, has volunteered his time as a writing contest judge and BWI Innovations Awards judge for nine years, and as a board member for BWI the past three years. He is a regular contributor to TalkoftheDock website, former editorial director for Marine CEO magazine and publisher of two custom lifestyle boating publications, Adventures and Getaways! Wendt’s journalistic career began in 1970 as a TV & Radio reporter, later as a newspaper writer for the Tampa Tribune and Orlando Sentinel, before spending 18 years as a news anchor for a Tampa television station. His assignments included overseas coverage ranging from war and natural disasters to the softer side of the news that included pursing the boating lifestyle. Wendt and his wife, Susan, also organize boating rendezvous for manufacturers and retail boat dealers throughout the U.S., Canada and the Bahamas.
First Vice President
Lindsey Johnson is a lifelong boater and editor of Lakeland Boating since October 2009. For the last two years, she’s helped shape and refine the editorial direction of the magazine, including a complete redesign in 2011. Prior to her time at the helm of Lakeland, Johnson served as Trade Communications Manager for the Chicago-based National Marine Manufacturers Association, acting as liaison between NMMA and the consumer and trade boating press. Originally from the East Coast, she got her start in the marine industry in 2001, taking a staff job with Soundings Trade Only magazine, a position she held for four years before relocating to the Midwest. Johnson has been a member of BWI since 2003 and has served as chair of the BWI Contest Committee for the last five years.
Second Vice President
Lenny Rudow has been a writer and editor in the marine field for over two decades, and has authored six books. His byline regularly appears in a wide variety of magazines and web sites, including such industry power-houses as BoatUS Magazine, Boating, Boating World, Boats.com/Yachtworld.com, and Saltwater Sportsman, and his writing has resulted in 20 BWI writing contest and two OWAA Excellence in Craft awards. Volunteer positions have included NMMA Innovations Award judging and serving as the president of the Maryland Freshwater Foundation. Rudow is an alumnus of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology, and The Sea School. He boats and fishes as often as possible on the Chesapeake Bay and in the Atlantic Ocean.
Board of Directors
Zuzana Prochazka is immediate past president of the BWI Board of Directors, a freelancer and Technical Editor for Latitudes and Attitudes magazine. She contributes regularly to Lakeland Boating, Boats.com, and Yachtworld and launched her boat and gear review website, Talk of the Dock, in 2010. Her work has appeared in Santana (where she served as editor), Dockside, Voyaging, Good Old Boat, DIY Boat Owner, Newport Beach 714, Pool & Spa News, Reeds Nautical Almanac, Circumnavigator and the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine. Her online credits include Boatermouth.com, Underwatercolors.com, Sailingbreezes.com, Catamarans.com and Floridascubanews.com. She is the Chair of the BWI New Products Committee and has repeatedly judged NMMA Innovation Awards and NMEA New Product Awards. She is a USCG 100 Ton Master and serves as a judging chair for the BWI Annual Writing Contest.
began his journalistic career as a sportswriter for the Clearwater Sun back in the ’70s and has been a full-time writer and editor for Boating World
Magazine for 14 years and most recently a contributing editor for Sea
Alan writes the Editor’s Letter, engine column, all boat tests and is the on-camera personality for Boating World Magazine as well as being a feature writer, humorist, and fishing enthusiast. He also shoots photography and videos. Alan has been a judge at the NMMA Innovations Awards contest numerous times and has been recognized by BWI seven times in the annual writing contest.
During his tenure, Alan has taken many adventurous trips in small boats:
• Cruised 1,500 miles from Seattle to Glacier Bay, Alaska in a 26-footer
• Drove a deckboat 1,000 miles from St. Louis on the Mississippi River, Ohio River, Tennessee River and Tenn/Tom to Florida
• Crossed the Gulf of Mexico over 500 miles non-stop in a 24-foot center console from the Florida Panhandle to Key West.
Michael G. Sciulla. A past president of BWI, Michael has served on its Board of Directors for more than 12 years. As president he gained member approval for a new set of bylaws, conducted BWI’s first online membership survey and established discounted BWI membership rates for publications. As chair of the Speaker’s Committee, he succeeded in getting numerous VIPs to speak at BWI meetings including David Rockefeller, the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board and top Coast Guard officials. He has produced a number of well-attended panels including, “Expanding the Boating Universe Beyond Middle-aged White Males,” “The Boating Media and the New Economic Realities,” “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Boating at a Crossroads: How to Live Long and Prosper.” He is currently Vice President and a member of the Board of Directors of Marine Marketers Association of America. He previously served on the Board of Directors of the Society of National Association Publications. He has chaired numerous BWI writing contest categories and established the prestigious Monk Farnham Award for Excellence in Editorial Commentary. During a 28-year career at BoatU.S., Michael served as founding editor and publisher of BoatU.S. Magazine and publisher of DIY Boat Owner magazine. Earlier, he was a reporter for The Geneva Times, The Virgin Islands Post and Stars and Stripes.
John Wooldridge is Editor-in-Chief of PassageMaker Magazine based in Annapolis, MD. In addition to managing the magazine, its website and helping produce its TrawlerFests, he is an active writer on lifestyle, travel, tests, and technical subjects. He is a regular new products award and BWI Annual Contest judge and a successful recruiter of new members. John served as President of BWI and helped to re-establish it in the mid-1980s. His credits over the years include PassageMaker, Motor Boating, Yachting, Lakeland Boating, Waterway Guide, The Yacht, Sea Magazine, and Inland Sea.
has been a professional writer for more than 15 years, with experience as an advertising copywriter, PR specialist and magazine editor prior to launching her freelance writing business in 2004. Heather writes about popular boating and cruising destinations, power/sail chartering, general boating lifestyle topics, profiles, watersports and outdoor adventures. Her work has appeared in a variety of regionally and nationally circulated magazines, including Boating, Great Lakes Angler, Islands, Lakeland Boating, Motor Boating, Sailing, Sea, ShowBoats International, Southern Boating, Sport Diver
. She also serves as Lakeland Boating
‘s editor at large and as a contributing editor for Sailing
Heather began boating as a child on Lake Michigan, and to date, she has owned three boats. Today she lives in Colorado with her husband and 2-year-old daughter, where she’s been delighted to discover that you really can find die-hard boaters everywhere… even in the Rocky Mountains. She has been a BWI member since 2004, volunteering as a BWI Writing Contest judge five times.
has been a boater for more than 60 years and his writing career was split into two separate phases – one before almost 30 years of practicing law and doing Labor Relations Consulting and the current phase – writing in the Marine field. Prior to practicing law McAfee was a news reporter on a couple of daily newspapers in Vancouver and Ottawa.
He contributes, on a fairly regular freelance basis to Pacific Yachting, Sea, Southern Boating, Lakeland Boating and occasionally to ShowBoats International. He has been a seminar presenter at the Vancouver and Seattle International Boat Shows as well as at the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival. He has written two books, including “The Warm Dry Boat” and produced a number of wheelhouse log books.
He has volunteered as a BWI Innovation Awards judge at IBEX and Miami and continues as a judge for the BWI writing contest. He is also a former director and president of the Metal Boat Society.
Executive Director, Secretary and Treasurer
Greg Proteau writes about boating and marine finance industry trends, companies, people and ideas. He served as director of communications and public relations for the National Marine Manufacturers Association and was the founding executive director of the National Marine Bankers Association. He also provides strategic marketing communications and public affairs consulting to manufacturers, marketing agencies, service providers and organizations within and outside the marine sector, and is senior counsel for Home Port Marine Marketing, the marine marketing consultancy.
Committee Structure at BWI…
BWI’s standing committees include:
Contest. The Contest Committee organizes the annual writing contest, securing judges for reading and scoring, reviewing categories and definitions, publishing the contest brochure and announcing the results. The current Chair is Lindsey Johnson.
Membership. The membership Committee addresses recruiting and retention of the three levels of members, undertakes surveys, and reviews and seeks out member benefits. The current Chair is Alan Wendt.
Fundraising. The Fundraising Committee finds sponsors for BWI activities, including the annual writing contest, annual membership meetings in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale and new endeavors.
Communications. The Communications committee oversees the BWI website, social media, the monthly BWI Journal newsletter and BWI publicity. The current Chair Greg Proteau.
Product Awards. The Product Awards Committee coordinates efforts with manufacturer organizations which sponsor awards programs. The committee selects judges with appropriate expertise to be on review panels and manages on-site award efforts. The current Chair is Zuzana Prochazka.
Speakers. The Speakers Committee determines topics, secures speakers and organizes the presentations for “Newsmaker” events in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. The current Chair is Michael Sciulla.
Members with interest in serving on any of the Committees or in support roles are encouraged to contact the appropriate chairpersons through an email using our contact form.