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US Sailing Foundation gets reboot

Published on December 4th, 2019

Bill Ruh

The United States Sailing Foundation, a fundraising organization to support the objectives of US Sailing, has elected William J. Ruh (Del Mar, Calif.) to serve as Chair of the Foundation as well as join the Association’s Board of Directors.

By working with the Foundation’s Board, Ruh will sharpen its focus on the development of resources that will strengthen and sustain the fundamental drivers of growth, innovation and excellence in the sport, and support the mission of US Sailing: Youth Sailing and Olympic Sailing.

His proposed focus was met with unanimous approval from both the US Sailing Association and US Sailing Foundation Board of Directors.

Ruh will be leading an active and passionate board comprised of seasoned directors, including a newly elected director, Glenn Darden (Fort Worth, Texas). In the coming months, the Foundation expects to add other leaders from the business, philanthropic, and sailing communities to its board.

Ruh brings an ideal combination of skills and experience to his role as Chairman. He grew up sailing on Chautauqua Lake in upstate New York and began racing while in college as part of the SUNY Maritime College Offshore Team.

After graduating, he sailed with the 1983 Freedom Campaign for the America’s Cup challenge, while also working as a merchant marine officer. Ruh has participated in three America’s Cup campaigns (1983, 1987, and 1992).

He had the opportunity to lead the Hood Sailmakers Racing Division, and he began racing professionally aboard many of the famed maxi yachts and IOR sailboats of the mid-1980s and has competed on winning teams in several blue water offshore races and World Championships over the past 40 years.

“Sailing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember,” said Ruh. “From sailing small boats on lakes with my family growing up to racing yachts all over the world. The friendships that I’ve developed over many years of racing helped shaped my life both personally and professionally.

“Chairing the US Sailing Foundation provides me with the opportunity to give back by helping grow a sport I love, while positively shaping the lives of many young sailors throughout the US.”

Professionally, Ruh has managed several private equity firms, most recently as Managing Principal of the CCM Capital Opportunities Fund, an early-stage FinTech focused Private Equity Fund, and as Co-Founder and Managing Principal of Castle Creek Capital, a series of PE funds focused on the recapitalization and consolidation of community banks around the country.

Ruh has 25 years of experience serving on the boards of banking, financial services and financial technology companies, as wells as non-profit and community-based organizations and programs.

Most recently, Ruh served as Chairman, of the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, where its assets grew from less than $20 million to over $100 million during his nine-year tenure on the board. He also served on the board and as the Treasurer of the Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation, as well as several other Rancho Santa Fe and North San Diego County non-profits.

“I am looking forward to seeing the positive impact that the Foundation will make in the coming years, as it helps to fund the expansion of Youth and Olympic sailing,” said Ruh. “It is my hope that introducing the youth of America to sailing will provide them with the opportunity to enjoy a lifelong journey; whether it’s cruising, local and club racing, or participating at the highest levels of the sport.”

Jack Gierhart, CEO of US Sailing, notes how significant progress has occurred to revitalize the Foundation. “We are thrilled to now have the leadership and experience in place with Bill coming on board to take the US Sailing Foundation to the next level, focus the organization and develop the resources that will lead the sport of sailing into the future.”

Source: US Sailing, Scuttlebutt

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