Thank you to the following experts for contributing to the Challenge.

Alan Arsenault

Chief of C4ISR Branch, U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center

Alan Arsenault serves as Chief of the C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) Branch at the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center. Previously, Arsenault served in various roles at the U.S. Coast Guard including engineering, R&D, leadership, and project management, retiring after 26 years of active duty at the rank of Captain.

Monique Beaudoin

Program Manager, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

As a Program Manager at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) Dr. Monique Beaudoin manages the Neurological Health and Human Performance program within the Research and Exploratory Development Department (REDD). Prior to joining JHU/APL, Dr. Beaudoin was a Navy Civilian at the US Office of Naval Research Global where she developed and managed a science and technology research portfolio.

Carl Blackwell

Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President, National Marine Manufacturers Association

As the Chief Marketing Officer and Senior Vice President, Carl Blackwell oversees all marketing and communication efforts at the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). In July 2011, Blackwell was appointed President of Grow Boating, Inc., which produces the industry-funded Discover Boating Campaign. He grew up in southern Indiana near Lake Monroe and docks his boat at Diversey Harbor in Chicago.

Matthew Borgatti

Founder, Super-Releaser Soft Robotics

Matthew Borgatti is a mechanical and industrial designer with a broad background. He has tackled engineering challenges in soft robotics for clients like Google X, novel optics for ATAP, spacesuit gloves as a NASA subcontractor, and even movie monsters for films like Snakes on a Plane and Alien Vs Predator 2. Through his company, Super-Releaser, Borgatti has developed a broad range of wearable technologies that focus emerging concepts in engineering and material science through a practical design-for-manufacture lens.

Bruce Buckley

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

Bruce Buckley has served as a Auxiliary member for the U.S. Coast Guard for 15 years and is qualified as a boating safety instructor, a boat crew member and mentor, a vessel examiner, and a public educator staff officer. Buckley is a lifetime boater in Connecticut and is an experienced offshore recreational tuna and shark fishermen.

Judith Connelly

C4ISR Branch Project Manager, U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center

Judith Connelly is a project manager in the C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) Branch of the U.S. Coast Guard. Connelly has served as a project manager in academia, government, and industry with 16 years of technical engineering experience and 15 years scientific research experience.

Tarasa Davis

Director, US Sailing

Tarasa Davis is a member of the Board of Directors of the United States Sailing Association and the National Sailing Hall of Fame. Davis was a past US Sailing Team member, an Olympic class women’s single-handed national champion, and a bronze medal winner in the Pan Am Games Snipe Class. She has been employed by Accenture for 30 years and currently serves as Social Learning Strategic Advisor.

Dr. Andrew Dent

Executive Vice President of Research, Material ConneXion

Dr. Andrew Dent is Executive Vice President of Research at Material ConneXion, and Chief Material Scientist at SANDOW. At Material ConneXion, Dent plays a key role in the expansion of Material ConneXion’s technical knowledge base. Since joining, Dent has helped hundreds of clients—from Whirlpool and Adidas to BMW and Procter & Gamble—develop or improve their products through the use of innovative materials.

Troy Faletra

Inventor and Founder, ThrowRaft

Troy Faletra is the inventor and founder of ThrowRaft. He is a fisherman turned yacht captain turned all-around waterman. Faletra fully understands the importance of being prepared on the water (having once been stranded nine miles offshore before fighting his way back to land over the course of 16 hours) and went on to design and patent ThrowRaft, a U.S. Coast Guard approved inflatable throwable device.

John Fetterman

Deputy Executive Director, National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA)

John Fetterman serves as Deputy Executive Director for NASBLA and was hired in January 2010 as the association’s first Law Enforcement Director. Fetterman and his team launched NASBLA’s Boat Operations and Training Program (BOAT) in April of 2010, training thousands of maritime law enforcement officers and maritime response professionals. Before joining NASBLA, Fetterman worked for the Maine Bureau of Marine Patrol for 32 years.

Michael Folkerts

Recreational Boating Safety Specialist, U.S. Coast Guard District Seventeen

Michael Folkerts is the U.S. Coast Guard’s Recreational Boating Safety Specialist for District Seventeen, Alaska. Folkerts has boated recreationally in Alaska since 1971 in nearly every type of craft including canoes, kayaks, skiffs, rafts, airboats, jet boats, cabin cruisers and personal watercraft. He is also a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary where he has held the qualification of Coxswain, Qualifying Examiner, Instructor, Vessel Examiner and is also a Past Commodore of District Seventeen.

John Freda

Operations Research Analyst, U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center

John Freda is an operations research analyst at the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center with a focus on modeling and simulation and the analysis of Coast Guard operations. Previously, Freda served in various roles at the U.S. Coast Guard including shipboard tours, U.S. Coast Guard Academy mathematics instructor, operations research analyst, and organizational performance consultant, retiring after 20 years of active duty at the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

James Grove

Senior Advisor, Interagency Office at Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate

James Grove is a retired Army Medical Service Corps Colonel including nearly 7 years in emergency management. Since joining the Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) in 2009, Grove has served in a variety of interagency and partnership building positions and currently leads the Department’s prize and challenge program.

Lt. Brock Hashimoto

Engineer, U.S. Coast Guard, Lifesaving and Fire Safety Division

Lieutenant Brock Hashimoto is a Staff Engineer at the U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters Office of Design and Engineering Standards, Lifesaving & Fire Safety Division. He served eight years as a U.S. Coast Guard marine inspector and is a U.S. Coast Guard Licensed 3rd Assistant Engineer of Unlimited Horsepower of Diesel, Steam and Gas Turbine engines. Hashimoto received a Masters of Engineering in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering.

Edward Huntsman

Boating Safety Program Manager, U.S. Coast Guard District Eight

Edward Huntsman coordinates the U.S. Coast Guard’s recreational boating and water safety programs in the Eighth District, America’s Heartland. He is responsible for policy planning and outreach related to enforcement of federal boating safety laws and water safety. Huntsman holds a U.S. Coast Guard master’s license with sailing and towing endorsements and is a decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam War.

Martin Jackson

Lifesaving Equipment Engineer, U.S. Coast Guard, Lifesaving and Fire Safety Division

Martin Jackson is a lifesaving equipment engineer at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters in the Office of Design and Engineering Standards, Lifesaving and Fire Safety Division (CG-ENG-4). He has been assisting U.S. Coast Guard efforts to develop standards for testing and certification of personal and primary types of lifesaving equipment for over 20 years. His present position includes design review and acceptance of water survival equipment, with a focus on standards for EPIRBs, PLBs, and LED type distress signals.

Jason Leggatt

Vice President and General Manager, Mustang Survival

Jason Leggatt is the head of Mustang Survival’s business in his current role as Vice President and General Manager. Leggatt has over 18 years of business experience in the marine and aviation safety & protection equipment industry, and has held multiple positions within Mustang Survival, spanning several different functions including VP R&D & Quality, technical product development, Government R&D programs, and business development & marketing.

Anna Levesque

Owner, Mind Body Paddle

Anna Levesque is the owner of, a paddlesports educator and trainer, an author, and a speaker. Levesque is the author of Yoga for Paddling, and an international paddling and yoga coach and trainer. She was a member of the Canadian Freestyle Kayak Team for 5 years and ranked 3rd in the world. Having paddled (kayak and SUP) on all 6 continents and in over 13 countries, she inspires and empowers her students through Mind Body Paddle programming that deepens the connection to self, nature, and community.

M. J. Lewandowski

Branch Chief, U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center

M. J. Lewandowski has been employed by the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center since 2003. In this time, his work has included identifying and prioritizing the Search and Rescue (SAR) performance gaps, studying the maritime drift of search objects, and providing input on development of a Personal Locator Beacon standards. Lewandowski has also developed a risk-based strategy to address mass-rescue operations, has participated in mass rescue exercises, and addressed the availability of mass-rescue intervention devices that could allow multiple-person recovery.

Lisa Murphy

General Manager, Gregg Orr Marine

Lisa Murphy is the General Manager at Gregg Orr Marine, a full service marina and boat dealership located in Arkansas, Texas, and Florida that sells new and pre-owned boats from every segment of boating, provides marine service and boat storage, runs a pro shop, and more. Lisa personally believes that that boating is the best way for families to make lifelong memories and has focused her career around understanding and serving recreational boaters.

Len Nelson

Director of Sales, Absolute Outdoor Inc.

Len Nelson leads the commercial, industrial and marine business for Absolute Outdoor, Inc. in his role as Director of Sales. Nelson has over 18 years of business experience serving in the marine, commercial, military and outdoor markets in sales, marketing, product development and business development roles.

Amanda Perez

Director of Education, BoatUS Foundation

Amanda manages the free online boating safety course, specialized courses, website and other online assets at BoatU.S. and the team that keeps those programs running. She also serves on the National Education Standards Panel, as well as the NASBLA Education and Outreach committee, helping to shape boating safety marketing and education best practices. A lifelong boater, Perez has been working in the boating industry for over 16 years.

Peg Phillips

Executive Director, National Safe Boating Council

Peg Phillips leads a national effort for recreational boating safety that provides education, outreach and training to advance and promote safer recreational boating experiences. She serves on the Florida Boating Advisory Council Non-Motorized Boat Working Group, which advances boating safety. Phillips was race director of Caloosa Palooza, which used competition as a venue for boating safety education.

Doug Ritter

Founder, Publisher, and Editor, Equipped to Survive

Doug Ritter is the founder, publisher and editor of Equipped To Survive, and chairman of the Equipped To Survive Foundation. He is widely recognized as an authority on safety and survival equipment, is an award-winning journalist and sits on national and international standard setting committees for safety and survival equipment, the only consumer advocate to do so.

Chris Sinnett

Captain (Retired), U.S. Coast Guard

Captain (Ret) Chris Sinnett is a 1983 graduate of the Coast Guard Academy, and a lifelong sailor, and a Coast Guard cutterman. His 30-year Coast Guard career includes almost fourteen years at sea during seven shipboard assignments, including seven years in command of three different cutters. Sinnett has sailed at least one major offshore race the past six summers, has completed multiple Safety at Sea programs as part of his offshore racing, and remains up to date on advances in the offshore sailing safety industry.

Sinclair Smith

Director, School of Visual Arts GroundFloor Incubator

Sinclair Smith is an NYC based industrial designer and Director of the SVA GroundFloor Incubator for alumni ventures at the School of Visual Arts. His studio, Sinclair Smith & Co., has provided product design services for clients including Disney and This American Life, commercial interiors for DKNY, Staple Design and Dolce Vita Footwear, and strategic consulting services for Amex, BMW and Samsung.

Mary Snyder

Vice President of Marketing, Absolute Outdoor Inc.

Mary Snyder is Vice President of Marketing at Absolute Outdoor Inc., a watersports, outdoor recreation, commercial, and marine manufacturer. Snyder is responsible for overseeing all of the marketing, brand management, advertising, and online communications for their four brands of products. She has over 23 years of experience in the marine and watersports industries.

Jay Spalding

System Engineer, U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center

Jay Spalding has been a research engineer at the US Coast Guard Research and Development Center for over 30 years. He has conducted projects developing Differential GPS, AtoN buoy positioning, Automatic Identification Systems, solid state radar systems, testing Coast Guard Cutters and Cyber Security.

Robert Taylor

C4ISR Branch Project Manager, U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center

Robert Taylor is a project manager in the C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) Branch of the U.S. Coast Guard. Taylor served in various U.S. Coast Guard assignments as a search and rescue helicopter pilot with deployments to the Arctic and Antarctica, an aeronautical engineering officer, information systems chief, agile project manager, and Chief Information Officer at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Rebecca Weil

Research Coordinator, Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety

Rebecca Weil, MS, OTR/L, is the commercial fishing research coordinator at the Northeast Center for Occupational Health and Safety: Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing (NEC). Her current work is with commercial lobstermen in Maine and Massachusetts, exploring ways to improve life jacket use and to support a better understanding of survival systems.

Yuchen Zhang

CEO and Founder, Wearable Media

Yuchen Zhang is a designer, educator, and entrepreneur in fashion technology based in New York City. After working in leading branding firms such as Pentagram and Red Antler, Zhang started to integrate technology with fashion during her masters in Design Technology at the Parsons School of Design. Her technologically-enhanced wearables have been shown at events around the world. In 2017, together with Hellyn Teng and Jingwen Zhu, Zhang formed their company, Wearable Media, where they integrate electronics and data with clothing.

Stephanie Zopf

Ambassador, Women of Wearables

Stephanie Zopf is the ambassador for the Women of Wearables Boston chapter. For the past 10 years, she served as an engineer with HP, Inc. and the US Army. Her past projects involved engineering systems for large format textile printing as well as developing advanced wearable components such as chemical/biological protective textiles and flexible energy storage.