President, LAPWARE, LLC
Fort Myers, Florida – Arnold, Maryland
Richard M. Plant, Sr.
Established in 2002, LAPWARE (License Advancement Program softWARE) is the leading USCG mariner used license advancement study program for one to raise their license, Deck or Engine. All state, federal and major maritime labor organization training facilities, a few community colleges, mom-and-pop training facilities and thousands of individuals subscribe to the LAPWARE internet based program. Captain Joseph Murphy, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, is his partner and author of the “Murphy Books”.
Richard retired from Masters, Mates and Pilots (IOMM&P) in 2010. He graduated from New York State Maritime College (Fort Schuyler) in 1967 and sailed for six years obtaining a Chief Mate Unlimited USCG License. He then taught at Texas Maritime Academy for three years before being hired by MITAGS (Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies).
Working as an instructor for 27.5 years, Richard was then offered the opportunity to work as Director of Special Projects at the MM&P Headquarters on the same grounds as MITAGS. After 12 years of working in this position Richard retired at age 65.
While teaching at MITAGS Richard taught in various areas including Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and was the “sole” acceptor for the $1.8 million simulator that was installed at MITAGS. After six months of working with the computer, the manufacturer in reviewing the simulator stated that an additional $600,000 of value had been added to the simulator’s capability by the changes Richard requested the MITAGS computer engineers create in the simulator student and instructor displays.
Since then, Richard’s concentration has been on the LAPWARE program Deck and Engine improving the program for the benefit of mariners sitting for their license exam. An average of 25% increase per year in usage has been achieved since retiring.
Richard was hired by ABS Consulting, by Captain David Stalfort, ex-NMC Director, in 2011 to head up the Quality and Assurance control for a one year project to write both Deck and Engine license exam questions in compliance with the STCW Manila amendments.
Richard is a strong advocate for mariner safety and the proper issuance of valid correctly keyed USCG license exam questions for mariners sitting for their license exam.
Richard is totally self-taught on computers and writes code for Visual Basic in MS Excel and MS Access to better manipulate all of the data he works with. Richard was asked to volunteer to help the USCG NavCen in 2014 to create the latest (August 2014) Rules of the Road manual reviewing the proposed manual text for major to minor errors with well over 90% of his recommendations being accepted.
Richard is very detailed oriented. Both the Rules of the Road manual (various versions) and Stability by LAPWARE have been created in eBooks for Windows and the Apple.
Richard is married for 47 years to Mary Ellen (Fanelli) Plant, has four children and eight grandchildren.
Richard lives primarily in Fort Myers, Florida but maintains a house in Arnold, Maryland to be close to three of his children and five of his grandchildren. His other daughter and three grandchildren live in Cape Coral, Florida.