By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,601)
The Board of Directors of MaineSail announced today that it has retained a new executive director, Janet Acker. Ms. Acker will be assuming her responsibilities on Monday, November 11th at the waterfront location, 58 Fore Street. She replaces Jeff Cumming who has been the executive director for the past 8 years and with the non-profit for the last 15 years.
A local community sailing program, SailMaine has helped sailors of all ages get out on the water to enjoy educational, recreational and competitive sailing since 1996 from its port on Casco Bay at the bottom of Munjoy Hill. Under the leadership of Cumming, the organization has achieved significant growth and success in recent years and has become a vital community resource. In 2013, SailMaine hosted the U.S. Optimist Dinghy Association 2013 New England Championship Regatta, which brought to Portland over 300 sailors and their families from all over the world. It was considered a major achievement for this non-profit and was covered extensively by mhn.com.
Acker brings with her extensive experience in sailing, management, finance, strategic planning, teaching, technology and program development that make her a “natural fit for the organization at this point in its evolution,” according to a press release issued by SailMaine today. “Her sailing and racing experience has taken her to Bermuda, the Caribbean, the Chesapeake, the coast of Maine, Washington, Southern California and British Columbia. Acker and her husband lived aboard and cruised their sailboat for seven years, both in Washington State and in Portland Harbor. They remain active sailors today.
Acker will focus on increasing the profile and awareness of the nonprofit organization and its objectives as well as ensuring the scalability and longevity of SailMaine. Real estate developer, Jim Brady, became a board member of SailMaine this year. This summer Brady and his investors purchased from Phin Sprague, Jr., the almost ten-acre site at 58 Fore Street known as the Portland Company Complex. Brady is a former American competitive sailor who won a silver medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. He competed in the America’s Cup as navigator for Dennis Conner on Stars & Stripes. In 1997, he co-founded The Olympia Companies with former Olympic sailing partner Kevin Mahaney.