United States Power Squadrons Boating Education Can Help Your Ship Advance its Agenda
Bob Brandenstein, USPS, National Education Officer
Don Stark, USPS, Aide to the National Education Officer
Some 30,000 members of 400 local Power Squadrons comprise the United States Power Squadrons. Squadrons improve the skills of recreational boaters by making them more knowledgeable about what they do in boats on the water and how best to go about it. Teaching topics range from the basics how a boat floats, what makes it move through the water, and what is being marked by those funny looking things in the water, to marine weather, electronic charting, emergencies on-board and celestial navigation. Squadrons have been performing this valuable public service for over a century, and their positive effects are well recognized by the United States Coast Guard and by state boating agencies. Several Tall Ships America member vessels have given visitors to their ships a bit of an introduction to boats in general by engaging local Power Squadrons. Among these member ships are the Lady Washington and the Bill of Rights. Have a conversation with the presenters to discover how your ship can begin a similar dialog with one of the United States Power Squadrons.
Bob currently serves United States Power Squadrons as National Educational Officer, a position which oversees the development and maintenance of the nationwide educational programs of USPS. He is a life member of United States Power Squadrons and has taught all USPS courses. Bob is also a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. Bob and his wife Jane, also a Past USPS Squadron Commander and District Officer, have cruised extensively under sail in the Great Lakes, along the East and Gulf Coasts, in the Pacific Northwest, and in the Caribbean. They keep a 35’ C&C sailboat on Lake Erie at the Ashtabula Yacht Club, where Bob is Commodore. With a degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Bob managed corporate banking relationships for almost 30 years on behalf of what is now Bank of New York Mellon. Representing BNY-Mellon, and earlier IBM, he worked with multi-nationals as well as small businesses in all industries, especially utilities, insurance companies, and funds-management companies. Bob is a licensed Coast Guard Captain Master, and a Private Pilot. He is also a jazz musician, and serves on the Board of Pittsburgh Public Media, a company which provides 24/7 jazz programming at FM 88.1 in southwestern Pennsylvania, and on the internet.
Donald Stark, USPS Liaison to Tall Ships America and Aide to the National Education Officer, is a life member of USPS and a life time boater. In his professional life Don spent 32 years in secondary and adult education. He has three sailboats including a gaff-rigged catboat and sails on the waters of the Great Lakes and Coastal North Carolina. Don is a member of the National Safe Boating Council, The Flagship Niagara League, and the National Maritime Historical Society.