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Sail America presents 2021 Board of Directors

by Sail America 14 Jan 2021 08:39 PST
Sail America © Sail America

Sail America, the trade association for the U.S. sailing industry, welcomed four new members to its 2021 board of directors: Todd Hess, SailTime; Cindy Kalow, Superior Charters; Tyler Fields, Ballentine Boatworks and Tyler Fields Photography; and Don Smith, Beneteau America. All directors were elected through the association's standard election process. A nominating committee submits candidate names to association members, who then vote anonymously on the names put forward. All board members serve for three years.

The new Sail America directors will join the newly elected president of the board, Josie Tucci, from The Moorings and Sunsail. Also elected to the executive committee were Margriet Mitchell of Jeanneau America, Peter Trogdon of Annapolis Boat Shows, Ted Winston of Spinlock, Kevin Carlan of Mastry Engine Center and Mark Pillsbury as past president from Cruising World. The executive team joins the rest of the board members, which includes Freya Olsen, NMMA; Josh Toso, U.S. Sailing; Chris Doscher, Hudson Yacht Group; Lenny Shabes, American Sailing Association; and Patrick Turner, Catalina Yachts.

The Sail America board says farewell and extends its thanks to Reagan Haynes, Soundings Trade Only; JF Lair, Beneteau America; Lou Sandoval, Brunswick Corporation-Nautic-ON; and Jim Abel, West Marine for their tenure and service to the organization.

New Directors to the Board:

Todd Hess, SailTime Group

Growing up on the coast of New Jersey, Todd has been boating since childhood. As a youth, Todd was an avid sport-fisherman, spending many days on extended offshore trips. Later in life, Todd was introduced to sailing and developed a passion for the sport.

Todd's business career began in the building materials industry. Starting as a supervisor for a small family-owned construction materials business, Todd quickly advanced into project management, business development, and then general management, overseeing the regional expansion of the largest international building materials company into North America.

In 2005 Todd acquired and operated one of the largest sailing schools and charter companies on the Chesapeake Bay. In the same year, Todd acquired the territory rights for the northern Chesapeake Bay and founded The SailTime Havre de Grace and Baltimore franchises. The business combined composes a fleet of 16 boats and teaches over 300 students annually.

In 2010 Todd became the CEO and President of the SailTime Group, LLC and is one of the primary owners of the organization. For the past 10 years, Todd has been leading the organization expansion into new markets, new products and improved services. SailTime is currently the world's leading boat membership program, acclaimed in INC Magazine's list of 5000 Top Fastest Growing American Companies and in Entrepreneur Magazine's Top 500 Franchises, has enjoyed growth of 161% since 2012, expanding to 38 franchise bases in the United States, Europe and Australia. SailTime currently has a fleet of 100 plus boats worldwide with over 1,500 members. SailTime has the largest network of American Sailing Association sailing schools and certifies thousands of new sailors each year.

Cindy Kalow, Superior Charters and Yacht Sales

Cindy Kalow has been a boater for 30 years and a sailor for over 25 years. In 2004, purchasing Superior Charters, she left her corporate job in Minneapolis, Minnesota to pursue a dream with her husband of raising their family on the shores of Lake Superior. In 2007 they expanded the business, adding brokerage boat sales, and became a Jeanneau dealer in the Midwest. Cindy became the sole manager of the company in 2014 as her husband took over management of a failing company in a different industry. In 2018, Superior Yachts Sales was named the Lagoon catamaran dealer for the western Great Lakes.

In an industry that struggles to maintain market share of recreational spending dollars, Cindy has grown revenues of Superior Charters & Yacht Sales by over 35% in the last three years. Cindy also has a personal passion for introducing sailing to women and has often presented at boat shows and yacht clubs on the topic.

Prior to owning Superior Charters, Cindy spent 20 years in the technology and consulting industry, working with organizations of various sizes and structures including start-ups, Fortune 500 and non-profit organizations. Her background includes managing organizations through times of change and leadership coaching and development.

Combining a love of boating, the industry and a passion for the Apostle Islands, Cindy continues to operate Superior Charters & Superior Yacht Sales in Bayfield, Wisconsin with her oldest son Alec.

Tyler Fields, Tyler Fields Photography

Tyler grew up in western Oregon and spent time exploring all that the Pacific Northwest offers. As a student at the University of Oregon (UO), Tyler joined the UO club sailing team and sailed in regattas from San Francisco to Seattle. During his junior year, Tyler was able to study abroad with Seamester, a tall ship program based in the British Virgin Islands. Graduating with a BA in History from Oregon State University, Tyler took a position with Ballentine's Boat Shop (BBS) in Massachusetts and has gained skills in marine finishing, rigging, sales, and yacht brokerage. At the time he joined BBS, the company took ownership and building responsibilities of two classic Herreshoff replications, the Stuart Knockabout and the Doughdish. After this transition, Tyler's responsibilities grew into marketing and photo/video content creation for all three companies. While continuing his work at BBS, Tyler has grown a photography career focused on classic yachts. He has built a following for his published images and written articles in WoodenBoat, Classic Boat, Soundings, and other leading marine publications. His commercial clients include Arey's Pond Boatyard, First Light Boatworks, and ZAR New England. Tyler also co-hosts the popular marine podcast Around the Buoy with Carter Richardson, owner of East Passage Boatwrights.

Don Smith, Beneteau America

While Donald J. Smith graduated with a degree in Urban Planning some forty years ago, more than 30 years of his professional career since then has been within the marine industry. This includes experience in a wide range of leadership and management roles from sales management to wholesale distribution to brand management and communications, to marina and boatyard management and boat manufacturing.

Smith, currently the president of Beneteau America, was previously their sales manager for outboard ranges. This followed from his time at Jupiter Marine International as director of sales and marketing; several years as vice president of sales at Regal Marine Industries, Inc.; a six-year stint at Hatteras CABO Yacht Center as director of sales, vice president of sales, and general manager-all on the heels of years of leadership at MarineMax, Inc., Galati Yachts, Perico Harbor Marina, Chris Craft Boats, and Imperial Yacht Center.

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