Our Coaches
Committed to the Development and Safety of our Young Sailors
Our US Sailing Certified Coaches and Instructors are experienced sailors with a love of teaching sailing to the next generation. Every Coach and Instructor we hire is prepared to share their diverse experiences in sailing with our program’s youth to engage and motivate them to succeed both on and off the water.

All of our Coaches and Instructors are required to have the following certifications:
  • US Sailing Level 1 Instructor (many have their Level 2s or 3s)
  • Adult and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED
  • SafeSport Training through Team USA
  • Concussion Awareness through the CDC
  • NASBLA Valid in FL
  • FL Department of Children and Families Level 2 Background Screening
Safety is a priority for everyone at the VYBA. Sailors are under constant supervision while on the water by our Coaches and Instructors in powerboats. Every powerboat carries a first aid kit and VHF radio to provide immediate care and contact with the VYBA Director, the Venice Yacht Club Dock Master, and the Venice Marine Patrol. Our Program Director monitors a variety of sources for weather and lightning updates in the area.

Executive Director - Kelley Severns

Kelley is a US Sailing Level 3 Certified instructor with extensive experience in both the for profit and non-profit worlds.  Before her transition to the youth sailing industry, Kelley was a civil engineer program and project manager in the bridge industry.  She has worked as a board member, waterfront coordinator and youth programs coordinator in Nashville, TN ( Percy Priest Yacht Club, Harbor Island Yacht Club, Nashville Sailing Foundation) and St. Croix, USVI (Waterfront Coordinator - St. Croix Yacht Club).  She lives in Cape Coral, FL with her husband Dave and has three children - Jenna, Jordan and Gunner.

Summer Sailing Director - Alex Torres

Alex is a Level 1 US Sailing Certified Instructor and a recent grad of Florida State University in Environmental Science.  Alex was the 2020 Summer Head Coach and has worked in the VYBA summer program for over 5 years.  Alex also sailed and raced C420s for many years at VYBA.

Summer Head Coach - Aine-Marie Porter

Aine is a Level 1 US Sailing Certified instructor.  She is also an architecture student at University of South Florida, where she is an active member of their sailing team.  Aine began sailing at Dunedin Youth Sailing Association in Optis and C420s.  Recently she has coached Learn to Sail, Adventure Sail and Green Fleet Optis as well as Learn to Sail C420s in Dunedin.

Coach Alyssa Jongsma

Alyssa has been sailing for nine years at VYBA and is now a US Sailing Level 1 Certified coach.  She currently races C420s, Lasers and is the Co-Captain of the Venice High School Sailing Team.  Alyssa coaches the RWB Opti race team during the school year.

Coach Kane Fenton

Kane has been been sailing for over 5 years.  He currently races C420s and is the Co-Captain of the Venice High School Sailing Team. Kane is a certified US Sailing Level 1 instructor and coaches the Opti Green Fleet race team during the school year

Coach Zoe Watson

Zoe has been sailing her whole life, learning to sail Optis when she was just 5 years old.  She recently graduated from Venice High School where she was on the Venice High Sailing Team.  She is a US Sailing Level 1 instructor and is the lead coach for the Adventure Sail program during the school year.

Coach Nick Waite

Nick has been sailing for over 5 years and currently is a member of the Venice High School Sailing Team.  He also sails Lasers.  He is currently a US Sailing Level 1 certified instructor and assists with Adventure Sail and Green Fleet Optis during the school year.

Assistant Coach Morgan Smith

Morgan has sailed with VYBA and Sarasota Youth Sailing since he was in 3rd grade.  He attends Lemon Bay High School and is an accomplished Laser Radial sailor.  Morgan will be assisting all our coaches through the summer and providing his expertise in the Laser Learn to Sail and Laser Race Clinic sessions.

School Year Sailing Director - Henry Millette

Henry has been working as a sailing coach since 2011 primarily in the area around New York City. He has worked at several different yacht clubs and organizations including Larchmont Yacht Club (Larchmont, NY), New York Athletic Club (Pelham, NY) , and Indian Harbor Yacht Club (Greenwich, CT), where he is currently both the primary coach of their Optimist Race Team as well as the club's Head Coach. In addition to his role at Indian Harbor, Henry is the Head Coach of the Greenwich High School Varsity Sailing Team as well as a private coach that works with multiple different Opti, Laser, 420 (both I and C), and Feva sailors/teams. He is a firm believer in the potential of community sailing organizations to serve as an ideal platform to enable local sailors (both young and not-so-young) to fall in love with the sport and develop the skills to compete at whatever level they aspire to. He is thus very excited to begin working on taking the VYBA program to the next level!  Henry is a graduate of Boston College that lives in Mamaroneck, NY with his girlfriend, Georgia, and her Maltese Shih Tzu, Bert.

Our Board of Directors
Committed to the Safe, Efficient and Fun Operations of VYBA

Our Board of Directors is a highly effective group of community leaders, parents and sailors working hard to make sure the VYBA operates effectively and efficiently.

Edmund (Ed) B. Campbell, III -  Chair

Florence Fauls - Vice Chair

Richard (Dick) Lawson - Secretary

Joseph A. Occhino - Treasurer

Shaun D. Graser D.M.D. - Director 

Michael Kirk - Director

Kim Whiteman - Director

Renee Fenton - Director

Bruce Furman - Director

Sara Gill - Director



Executive Director - Kelley Severns

1330 Tarpon Center Drive, Venice, FL  34285



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