2023 US Sailing Community Awards
Published on February 2nd, 2024
US Sailing celebrated individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions with their annual Community Sailing Awards. The 2023 recipients were nominated by their peers in the sailing community through a public nomination form and reviewed and selected by current members of the US Sailing Community Sailing Committee.
• Excellence in Instruction – Jodi Weinbecker (Jacksonville, FL)
• Creative Innovations in Programming – Boothbay Sea and Science Center (East Boothbay, ME)
• Outstanding Community Sailing Program – Alameda Community Sailing Center (Alameda, CA)
• Outstanding Program Director – Emily C. Taylor (Nantucket, MA)
• Outstanding Organizational Leader – Paul Lang (San Diego, CA)
• Volunteer of the Year – Alan Posnack (Alton Bay, NH)
• More than Ten Years of Hallmark Performance – US Sailing Center Martin County (Jensen Beach, FL)
• Jim Kilroy Outstanding Outreach & Inclusion – Community Sailing New Orleans (New Orleans, LA)
• Martin A. Luray Award – Jamie Jones (Westerville, OH)
Excellence in Instruction – Jodi Weinbecker (Jacksonville, FL)
The Excellence in Instruction Award recognizes an individual who has consistently demonstrated excellence in instructing, training, or making presentations at local, regional, or national seminars, conferences, or workshops.
Jodi Weinbecker is an instructor, trainer, mentor, listener, spirit lifter, and an active US Sailing Level 1 Instructor Trainer who led 12 Level 1 Instructor Trainer Courses in 2023. Weinbecker uses a growth mindset approach coupled with appropriate age and physical developmental strategies to elicit skill and learning gains. Audiences of adults, teens, and youth in Florida have all benefited from Weinbecker’s expertise and guidance.
Creative Innovations in Programming – Boothbay Sea and Science Center (East Boothbay, ME)
The Creative Innovations in Programming Award recognizes those programs or individuals who have successfully found new and different methods for teaching sailing.
Boothbay Sea and Science Center (BSSC) has developed partnership programs that integrate sea, science, observation skills, and real time data collection and analysis. BSSC programs foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for the waterways and industries in Maine, to have a positive economic impact worldwide, and potentially stimulate economic growth to the Northeast region while centered on combining sailing and environmental sciences for all ages.
Outstanding Community Sailing Program – Alameda Community Sailing Center (Alameda, CA)
The Outstanding Community Sailing Program Award is given annually to a program that has made notable contributions to promote public access sailing.
Alameda Community Sailing (ACSC) offers a robust assortment of learn-to-sail programs – day camps, after-school sailing, adult and family classes, US Sailing Instructor Certification courses, Open Sail Saturdays, the occasional regatta, and Community Sailing Days open to all with free life-vest giveaways. ACSC also provides needs-based scholarships and granted over $50,000 in sailing camp scholarships in 2023. They have formed partnerships with local community groups in Alameda and the San Francisco Bay Area to recruit and retain sailors from non-traditional sailing backgrounds.
Outstanding Program Director – Emily C. Taylor (Nantucket, MA)
The Outstanding Program Director Award is given annually to an individual who has made notable contributions to promote public access sailing in the development and organization of a sailing program.
Emily C. Taylor is a selfless volunteer in Community Sailing and has been the fearless leader at Nantucket Community Sailing (NCS) for over 15 years. Taylor is a respected Level 1 Instructor Trainer and a mentor for new Level 1 Instructors in her Southern Massachusetts region. NCS is a US Sailing Accredited Community Sailing Center because of her hard work improving systems, safety procedures, and implementing new curriculum.
Outstanding Organizational Leader – Paul Lang (San Diego, CA)
The Outstanding Organizational Leader Award honors an exceptional individual who has made notable contributions to an organization that have resulted in membership growth, positive financial development, or increased community awareness or integration.
Paul Lang has led a staff of almost 50 sailing instructors and over 90 more wakeboarding, surfing, and paddling instructors to teach watersports activities to over 40,000 participants at Mission Bay Aquatic Center (MBAC). Paul has ensured accurate grading for more than 1,500 students in MBAC’s college credit courses and somehow finds additional time to volunteer for several committees within US Sailing. Paul has demonstrated extraordinary performance for MBAC, the San Diego area, and Southern California region this year.
Volunteer of the Year – Alan Posnack (Alton Bay, NH)
The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes an individual whose contributions went ‘above and beyond’ while not receiving any financial compensation.
Alan Posnack is actively involved in nearly all aspects of the Lake Winnipesaukee Sailing Association youth sailing operations. Paul helps with the website and online registration and develops new programming and course content. Paul has single-handedly pulled in hundreds of thousands of dollars in the donated-boat program. Paul is invaluable to the Lake Winnipesaukee Sailing Association and has been a tireless volunteer supporting and promoting the sport of sailing in the Northeast for decades.
More than Ten Years of Hallmark Performance – US Sailing Center Martin County (Jensen Beach, FL)
The More Than 10 Years of Hallmark Performance Award is given annually to a program that has a track record of providing sailing education, training, and public access to their community.
US Sailing Center Martin County (USCMC) is year-round program with five employees, 300 members, hundreds of volunteers, five high school sailing programs, twelve recurring winter-time regattas, and a 10-week summer camp with over 500 campers participating. USCMC runs unique partner programs for autistic and learning-challenged young adults, for at-risk teenagers, and for service persons’ children. With dedication to creating access to the sport of sailing and over a decade of measurable success, USCMC was recently awarded an extension on their lease of the property because of their contribution to the Martin County Florida community.
Jim Kilroy Outstanding Outreach & Inclusion – Community Sailing New Orleans (New Orleans, LA)
The Jim Kilroy Outstanding Outreach and Inclusion Award, named in honor of Mr. John B. “Jim” Kilroy, Sr., is given annually to a Program Director or Program that has made notable contributions to promote public access sailing by finding and including people in their program that would normally have no access to sailing.
Community Sailing New Orleans (CSNO) outreach initiatives have created a welcoming environment that encourages individuals from all backgrounds, regardless of age, race, ability, or socio-economic status, to discover the joys of sailing. By fostering inclusivity, CSNO has successfully broken down barriers and created meaningful opportunities for underserved populations to engage with the sport. CSNO has gone above and beyond to collaborate with local New Orleans schools, community centers, and organizations, actively introducing young people to the joys of sailing. They have partnered with 20 unique programs in 2023 alone! By providing scholarships, hosting workshops, and partnering with educational institutions, CSNO has created avenues for Louisiana children and adults who might not have otherwise learned how to sail.
Martin A. Luray Award – Jamie Jones (Westerville, OH)
The Martin A. Luray Award, known as the “Marty,” is presented annually to a deserving recipient who has made an outstanding and unselfish contribution to further public access sailing. The Marty is Community Sailing’s highest honor.
Jamie Jones has built the Central Ohio High School Sailing Association from the ground up and led the Hoover Sailing Club’s robust youth and adult summer programming. Jones has held multiple leadership roles for his organization, regional sailing associations, and US Sailing Committees, as well as received numerous nominations and awards for Community Sailing. Jones has given immeasurable contributions to the Central Ohio area’s explosive youth sailing program growth, mentoring a path from learn to sail to learn to teach in his high school programs and at Hoover Sailing Club, and has had an impact through leadership at the national level.
Source: US Sailing