Program Advisory Board

Program Advisory Board

GLBBS Career Programs, students, and future employers, are all a part of a rapidly changing environment. The pace of change requires that the School review the curriculum and practices often to ensure relevancy, to be proactive, and that we meet future employment expectations. One of the ways to gauge how those expectations are met is through respectful dialog and commitment of professionals in the field. We have to ask ourselves, “Do GLBBS Career Programs provide sufficient training to allow a graduate to gain initial employment in the field?

Knowing this, the School’s ultimate goal for students enrolled in GLBBS Career Programs is to, at the best of the School’s ability, prepare them to obtain employment in any region. Therefore, GLBBS relies on the input, feedback, new ideas, and multiple perspectives from the PAB. The PAB is a paramount component to the success, growth, and improvement of the Career Programs. Although the PAB is neither administrative nor policy making in its orientation, their recommendations play an instrumental role in program development.  Since the PAB’s focus is on planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating programs, their review of curriculum content can help ensure GLBBS Career Courses relate to the present and future employment needs.

Are you interested in becoming a member?

To become a member, please contact Nikki Storey, Executive Director of Operations, at



Steven VanDam:

Steve trained as a wooden sailboat boat builder in the early 1970’s with one of the pioneers of epoxy and wood boatbuilding in North America. He, along with his wife Jean, started Van Dam Custom Boats in 1977. VDCB has evolved over the years from a one-man effort (with support from Jean who had a real job) in an 864 square foot shop Jean and he built themselves, to a 16 acre complex in Boyne City Michigan. The “16 acres” as it is referred to in-house, encompasses VDCB with Ben Van Dam at the helm, Boyne Boat Yard under the leadership of Charlie Harrett, and Boyne Yacht Sales with Jeremy Pearson leading that endeavor. Steve is firmly committed to constant improvement and his personal interest has moved from hands on boatbuilding to the exploration of Servant Leadership and the building of a culture of excellence to facilitate their continued success. Steve is ready and willing to share some of this experience with the Great Lakes Boat building School to help them achieve their mission and vision as well.


Norris “Sandy” Bryson:


Sandy Bryson is retired academic staff from Michigan State University where he managed a self-supporting academic outreach program offering master’s degrees in education to international school teachers. In 1979, he received a PhD in Social Foundations of Education from MSU. Recently, he was a trustee of the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven and served as secretary and vice president of the Museum’s board. He continues as the chair of the Museum’s Grants Committee. As a lifelong canoeist, rower and sailor, Sandy continues his small craft advocation as a member of the Traditional Small Craft Association and is the secretary of the Pine Lake Chapter in mid-Michigan. He is a descendent of the historic Scottish yacht designers and builders, the Fifes of Fairlie.


What People Say

Thank you so much for doing such a beautiful job on the
Marilyn Jean. Everyone loves her!

Wayne B., Commissioned Boat Client July 14, 2017

What Will You Build Next?