Jacob Raymond Named First Executive Director

Youth Sailing Virginia proudly announces the appointment of Jacob Raymond as their first Executive Director, a seasoned professional with over 14 years of extensive experience in community sailing programs. Jacob’s unwavering commitment to sharing the benefits of sailing with individuals from diverse backgrounds has guided him in his career, touching the lives of countless individuals across the nation.
“I am both humbled and thrilled to embark on this journey with Youth Sailing Virginia,” expressed Raymond. His arrival comes at a momentous juncture, as the organization plans a 10th year anniversary, to celebrate facilitating the youth in Hampton Roads and beyond with unparalleled access to the sport of sailing.

“We’re ecstatic to welcome Jacob on board as the inaugural Executive Director of Youth Sailing Virginia. The strides we’ve taken in the past 10 years as a volunteer-led entity are remarkable, and with Jacob at the helm, we’re poised to elevate our programs and facility to unprecedented heights,” said co-founder Gary Bodie.

Raymond’s track record stems from his previous role as the inaugural Executive Director at Community Sailing New Orleans, where he pioneered youth initiatives, spotlighting STEM education and maritime career exploration. During his tenure, he also established Adaptive Sailing programs, ensuring inclusivity for individuals of all abilities. Amidst the challenges posed by a pandemic and subsequent hurricanes, Raymond navigated Community Sailing New Orlean to serve over 1,400 individuals annually. Furthermore, the organization is poised to break ground on a state-of-the-art permanent facility in the forthcoming autumn of 2024.

Familiar with the Hampton Roads area, Jacob Raymond’s experience at Sail Nauticus in Norfolk, VA, further enhances his understanding of the region’s unique maritime landscape. Prior to his time in Southeast Virginia, Raymond’s career took flight at College of Charleston Sailing, where he held the position of Director of Education. In this role, he orchestrated comprehensive adult and youth programs, championed initiatives for individuals with diverse physical and intellectual abilities and collaborated with the College of Charleston’s Math and Science Department to forge an innovative STEM-centered sailing curriculum.

In addition to his multifaceted roles, Raymond is an experienced Instructor Trainer for U.S. Sailing, contributing his expertise to the organization’s advancement. He also serves as a volunteer on the U.S. Sailing’s Community Sailing Committee and Nominating Committee, signifying his commitment to shaping the future of sailing on a larger scale. His dedication to democratizing access to sailing was acknowledged in 2016 when U.S. Sailing bestowed upon him the prestigious Martin A. Luray Award, the highest accolade in the realm of community sailing.

Reflecting on his imminent role at Youth Sailing Virginia, Raymond expressed his anticipation, “YSV has carved a distinctive niche as an inclusive and hospitable haven. I am thrilled to join the YSV team, collaborating with a remarkable board of directors and dedicated staff to further our mission of enriching the community.”

For more information or media inquiries, please contact Claire Bellecci at communication@youthsailingva.org.


About Youth Sailing Virginia
Youth Sailing Virginia (YSV) stands as one of the distinguished US Sailing Community Sailing Centers out of the 43 across the United States. Positioned at the heart of community sailing, YSV plays a pivotal role as a nexus for High School Racing, serving as the host for regattas associated with VISA and MASSA. Additionally, it holds the esteemed designation as a REACH US Sailing STEM Education Center where YSV teaches youth STEM Education and offers Learn to Sail programs.

YSV’s unwavering commitment revolves around granting universal access to waterfront activities, commencing with imparting essential youth water safety knowledge. The YSV comprehensive sailing program is orchestrated by US Sailing Certified Instructors, catering to youth at various proficiency levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Intro to Racing, Water Safety and Survival, and Family Learn to Sail, welcoming all age groups.

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