Phil Cappel, United States Coast Guard, and Tom Marhevko, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Receive 2018 Charles Chapman Award

Cappel and Marhevko honored during Innovation Breakfast at Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show

2/16/2018 12:00:00 AM

MIAMI – February 16, 2018 – The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) today honored Phil Cappel, United States Coast Guard, and Tom Marhevko, NMMA, with the 2018 Charles Chapman Award. The Chapman Award recognizes individuals or groups within the marine industry who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of boating for the benefit of the recreational boating industry and boating public. The award was presented during the Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show’s annual Innovation Breakfast. 

“Phil and Tom have devoted their entire careers to bettering the boating industry and community, and we are proud to honor them with the Charles Chapman Award,” noted Thom Dammrich, NMMA president. “Phil spent his entire career in service to the United States Coast Guard and has helped marine manufacturers understand and comply with regulations, establish standards for the marine industry and ensure the quality and safety of recreational boats for the public.”

Phil is a 1971 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. As a member of the United States Coast Guard (USCG), Phil served both afloat and shoreside, including shipboard engineering watch officer on the cutter Boutwell, shipboard damage control officer on the cutter Mendota, and instructor at the Officer Candidate School at Training Center Yorktown. After earning an MBA at The College of William and Mary in 1978, Phil served in a broad range of management positions for the USCG.

He retired from the USCG in 1991, and in 1992 he embarked upon a career as a civilian employee at the USCG headquarters as Chief of the R&D Planning Branch. In 1996, he was reassigned as the Recreational Boating Product Assurance Branch Chief for the Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety, a position he currently holds.

Phil served on both the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) Technical Board and the SAE Marine Technical Steering Committee for twenty-one years. He has worked with the NMMA on numerous issues such as EPA requirements for installing catalytic converters on inboard engines, reduction of vapor emissions from fuel vent systems, and the use of ethanol in marine fuel. He established agreements that led to studies by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health on ways to reduce or eliminate CO hazards on recreational boats. He presented technical seminars at Boatbuilding and IBEX conferences, and conducted semiannual updates at IBEX and the Miami International Boat Show to keep the industry updated on USCG actions. He also launched a Recreational Boat Manufacturer Factory Inspection Program to assist manufacturers in complying with the Federal Safety regulations.

“Tom has spent more than forty years working in the marine industry, and we are forever grateful for his service to the NMMA,” said Dammrich. “His dedication to improving recreational boating through certification and standards is unparalleled within the industry. His focus on opening up dialogue between those who draw up industry standards with those who have to comply with them has resulted in a coordination of efforts that benefits both boat builders, boaters and the entire industry.”

Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Tom graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering and earned a Master of Science in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering from the University of Michigan.

He spent 26 years in the USCG, working primarily on naval engineering, and retired in 1997 with the rank of captain, with six USCG Commendation Medals and a USCG Meritorious Service Medal. After retiring, he took a position as manager of technical services for the NMMA, and was named vice president of engineering standards in 2006. Tom retired form NMMA in 2017 and is currently running TJM Marine Consulting.

Tom has shared his expertise with the industry at numerous seminars, expos and professional conferences, including IBEX and NMMA Certification and Engineering Compliance seminars. He is or has been active in a number of professional organizations, including ISO Technical Committees on small craft, large yachts, marine engines and tourism, American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), the Society of Automotive Engineers and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. Tom currently serves on the boards of the ABYC, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Recreational Craft Sectoral Group (RSG), and the International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA). His past board service also includes the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Tom’s accomplishments were recognized by the American Boat & Yacht Council, which honored him with the C.T. Moyer Leadership Award in 2006. 

For more information about NMMA’s Charles Chapman Award and to nominate a deserving leader for 2019, please contact Rachel Harmon, project manager, consumer and trade events,, or visit  

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About NMMA: The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the leading trade organization for the North American recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, marine accessories and gear used by millions of boaters in North America. The association serves its members and their sales and service networks by improving the business environment for recreational boating including providing domestic and international sales and marketing opportunities, reducing unnecessary government regulation, decreasing the cost of doing business, and helping grow boating participation. As the largest producer of boat and sport shows in the U.S., NMMA connects the recreational boating industry with the boating consumer year-round. Learn more at and get engaged with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Contact: Sarah Salvatori 312.946.6285

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