Recreational Boating Industries Educational Foundation Elects Officers, Appoints New President; Creates New Scholarship Award

The Recreational Boating Industries Educational Foundation (RBIEF) announces new leadership on their Board of Trustees following their recent meeting at MacRay Harbor in Harrison Township, Michigan.

Officers and Trustees of the new RBIEF Board are: President, Jim Coburn of Coburn & Association in Macomb; Vice President, Bob Liggett, entrepreneur and investment executive in Grosse Pointe Shores; Secretary, Nicki Polan of Michigan Boating Industries Association (MBIA) in Livonia; and Treasurer, Horst Sherriff of PNC Bank in Troy.  Ray Underwood of Muchmore Harrington Smalley & Associates in Lansing also a Trustee at RBIEF.

“As a founding Trustee of the RBIEF organization, I take pride in leading the efforts contributing to the education of current and future marine industry professionals in Michigan,” said RBIEF President Jim Coburn.  “It’s important to provide well-educated individuals to run successful business operations in any industry.”  Coburn also serves as Chairman of the MBIA.

The RBIEF was developed in 1986 by the MBIA as a support program for students interested in pursuing careers in the recreational boating industry.  In addition to traditional scholarships, trade and industry conference tuition can now be awarded to MBIA members for continuing education.  Scholarships are awarded based upon the value an applicant displays to the industry, academic achievement and financial need. 

The Board also passed a resolution creating a new, named scholarship in honor of the late Greg Krueger, a founding RBIEF Trustee, long-time boat dealer and marine industry leader.  The Greg Krueger Scholarship Award, will be awarded annually to the highest qualified, most deserving applicant.  “Greg Kruger was an inspiration to many students seeking a career in the recreational marine industry.  We intend to maintain his legacy and passion for higher education within the industry,” stated Coburn.

To date, RBIEF has distributed over $345,000 to deserving students.  Information about RBIEF is available on MBIA’s website under programs (  The MBIA is a state-wide, non-profit organization representing nearly 350 marine businesses in Michigan.  The boating industry in Michigan represents a $7.4 billion state-wide economic impact, nearly 1,500 marine businesses and nearly 40,000 jobs.

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