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Contact: Skip Burdon at ABYC

(410) 990-4460, x25

[email protected]

Contact: Dave Gerr at Westlawn

(207) 853-6600, x50

[email protected]

Westlawn Signs on Two New Instructors


May 11, 2010, Annapolis, MD and Eastport, ME: The Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology announced today that two new instructors have joined the ranks of their growing staff. Both talented individuals are intimately familiar with the Westlawn design curriculum and bring with them extensive, real-world experience in boat design and construction.


Nicholas Di Matteo


Nicholas Di Matteo is a returning instructor and will now be grading and counseling Westlawn students out of his home office in Stuart, Florida. An avid sailor, Nick was senior design engineer at Tom Fexas Yacht Design for over 20 years. He has exhaustive experience in all aspects of boat design from project management, to bid specifications, through detailed design, to construction, to acceptance trials and testing. A Westlawn graduate, Nick also has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.


Nick has worked on mechanical and electrical engineering projects with the U.S. Navy PERA (Planning and Engineering for Repairs and Alterations) as a subcontractor on naval frigates and destroyers.  Before his work at Tom Fexas Yacht Design, Nick was a former instructor at Westlawn when current Westlawn provost, Norman Nudelman, served as the organization’s Director.


Eric Holohan


Graduating Westlawn in the shortest time of any student in the past decade, instructor Eric Holohan has spent three years living aboard a 40-foot sailboat.  He brings with him 20 years of experience in restoration, construction, and maintenance of small craft. He is a Lloyds certified marine surveyor and an ABYC Master Marine Technician, holding ABYC certification in diesel, composite construction and electrical.


Eric has his Yacht Master Offshore and Ocean certificates, with a radar license, and SOLAS certificate. He has been working as an assistant designer to McCurdy & Rhodes, naval architects, and continues to assist in the current build of their 50-foot historical oyster dredger project. Holding a U.S. Coast Guard 6-pack license, Eric was a past recipient of the Hargrave Scholarship for Westlawn modules 3 and 4 and will be interacting with students out of his Long Island, New York home office.


“We are very fortunate two have such fine new instructors on our team and we know that they will further enhance the Westlawn learning experience,” stated Westlawn’s Director, Dave Gerr before a recent ABYC/Westlawn staff luncheon.  “I know that our students will gain much knowledge and added value from the experience you both bring to the design table,” Gerr concluded.


The current Westlawn faculty and staff in the Westlawn director’s office.

From left to right: Dave Gerr, director; Nick Di Matteo, instructor; Patti Schulte, student services coordinator; Eric Holohan, instructor; Norm Nudelman, provost.



Founded in 1930, the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology is the only nationally accredited distance-learning school of small-craft design in the United States. Westlawn is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), in Washington DC, and is listed as an accredited school by the U.S. Department of Education and by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. As the not-for-profit educational affiliate of the American Boat and Yacht Council, the mission of the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology is threefold:

·       To provide our students with the skills and knowledge required to build a rewarding career in the profession of yacht and small-craft naval architecture.

·       To support continued growth of the recreational and small-craft marine community through the development of well-trained, safety-oriented, boat designers developing better products for the benefit of the boating public.

·       To provide continuing education to marine-industry professionals.


To learn more about Westlawn, please call (207) 853-6600 or visit the Westlawn website at: www.westlawn.edu.