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.


STAFF

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.

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.

Head Senior Coach - Alex Kirchgaesser

Alex is a student at College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, but is currently in Venice with his family.  Alex will be working with C420s, Lasers and Adult Sailing.  He is a Level 2 US Sailing Certified Instructor.  He has served as a program manager and instructor at the American Yacht Club in New York.  He was also a competitive Laser sailor and instructor at the Larchmont Yacht Club in New York for many years.  

Current Spring 2021 Coaches

Alyssa Jongsma – Opti Coach / Adult and Family Sail Race Committee and Safety

- Level 1 US Sailing Certified

- Member – C420/High School Race Team

- Past – Opti Green and RWB with VYBA

- 2020 Summer Learn to Sail Instructor

Zoe Watson – Adventure Sail / Adult and Family Sail Race Committee and Safety

- Level 1 US Sailing Certified

- Member – High School Race Team

- Past – Opti Green/ RWB/ C420 with VYBA

- 2020 Summer Learn to Sail Instructor

Molly James – Adventure Sail / Adult and Family Sail Race Committee and Safety

- Level 1 US Sailing Certified

- Member – C420/High School Race Team

- 2020 Summer Learn to Sail Instructor

Kane Fenton – Opti Coach 

- Level 1 US Sailing Certified

- Member – C420/High School Race Team

- 2020 Summer Learn to Sail Instructor

Peyton Dec – Opti Coach / Adventure Sail

- Level 1 US Sailing Certified

- Member – C420/High School Race Team

- 2020 Summer Learn to Sail Instructor

Davis Whitehead - Volunteer Coach

- Member C420/High School Race Team


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


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CONTACT US:


Executive Director - Kelley Severns

1330 Tarpon Center Drive, Venice, FL  34285

941-468-1719

director@veniceyouthboating.com 


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