Today, the NMMA honored John McKnight with the 2023 Charles F. Chapman Award during the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX)’s annual Industry Breakfast. McKnight is an industry veteran who has been at the forefront of negotiating regulations, managing technical projects and assisting members with new and existing government regulations compliance.
In his role as NMMA’s director of environmental health and safety, McKnight oversaw key projects, including managing and negotiating the first EPA and CARB OB/PWC engine emission regulations, as well as obtaining funding from the EPA Clean Water Group for “Walk the Dock to Profits”, a significant project to educate marina owners on the benefit of installing pump outs under the 1992 Clean Vessel Act.
In 2007, he was promoted to senior vice president of government relations, where he led NMMA’s efforts on environmental and safety issues and managed the Washington, D.C. office. In 2017, McKnight transitioned to his current role, senior vice president of environmental health and safety. In these roles, he has made numerous contributions to the environmental health and safety of the recreational boating industry–from negotiating funding for multiple projects, including the industry’s first sustainable fuel test project, to leading the industry in managing the sterndrive and inboard emission regulations.
Throughout his career, he has served as staff liaison for NMMA’s Engine Manufacturers Division Board of Directors, Boat Manufacturers Division Board of Directors and the Engine Manufacturers Technical Committee. McKnight is also the Chair ABYC Engine and Powertrain Committee and serves as the NMMA staff representative for several other industry committees.
McKnight, who grew up in northern New Jersey, graduated from Kean College with a degree in Industrial Engineering Technology. He lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his wife, Dawn, of 35 years. They have two grown children, Emily and Andrew.