Mills Retires from Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum After 15 Years

Lad Mills, the longtime Charity Boat Donation Director at Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, has retired.

Mills spent nearly 16 years at the museum in St. Michaels traveling up and down the east coast, working with boatowners, yacht brokers, marinas, boatyards and potential buyers.

Mills started at CBMM in September 2001, working with CBMM’s John Ford to build its budding charity boat donation program. The goal: sell used boats that are donated to the museum, and put the funds back into museum operations.

“We soon learned Lad was excellent at selling boats,” commented Ford at a recent reception honoring Mills. “It didn't take long for the program to really take off.” 

Mills says it's been a rewarding journey.

“I sold my first boat for $50 to a young couple on their 35-foot sailboat who were sailing around the world,” recalls Mills. “Their dinghy was recently destroyed in a storm, and they didn’t have a lot of money. I got really excited about helping this young couple out, while helping a donor get rid of a boat, and handing over their check to the accounting office. It’s really a win-win-win situation, and has been a whole lot of fun.”

In his retirement, Mills is immediately working on getting his Lyman motorboat back on the Miles River, with trips already taken and future travel plans made for South Bristol, Maine.

Todd Taylor, who joined CBMM in January 2015,  is now leading the program.

“Lad's efforts and dedication helped build the largest and most reputable charity boat donation operation in the nation, and I've sincerely enjoyed my time working with him and learned a tremendous amount," comments Taylor. "Although Lad will be focusing on his R&R with his family, we'll continue to run CBMM's Charity Boat Donation Program as one of the finest around.”

CBMM’s Charity Boat Donation Program accepts and sells all manner of craft year-round, and offers long-standing boat sales and lease/charter operations, with 100 percent of the proceeds supporting the children and adults served by its education, curatorial and boatbuilding programs. This year’s Charity Boat Auction is set for Saturday, September 2. Find more about CBMM’s Charity Boat Donation Program at