MIDDLETON, R.I. - Sail America has chosen Jonathan Banks as its new executive director, the organization reported yesterday.
President Bill Bolin said Sail America's screening committee chose Banks, a marketing consultant with an extensive background in all facets of sailing and the marine industry, unanimously. He will take the helm of Sail America sometime during the first week of July.
“Jonathan Banks got his feet wet in the marine industry with New England Ropes a few years back, and now runs his own marketing consulting company,” said Bolin. “He has circumnavigated the world as a yacht captain aboard a Swan 57, and remains actively involved with sailing.
“Jonathan brings a boatload of marketing and organizational skills to our organization, as well as charm, charisma, and a vision that mirrors that of the board,” said Bolin. “We are all thrilled that Jonathan will join us, and we look forward to working with him for a long time to come.”
Banks has an in-depth knowledge of the marine industry and has experience working with boat builders, accessory manufacturers, distributors, dealers, retailers, reps and charter companies, Sail America said.
He has served as the vice president of the Providence Community Boating Center and as a member of the Sail America Marketing Committee. Previously, Banks was director of marketing for Vectrix Corp. in Newport, RI, a developer of zero-emission personal transportation products; vice president of sales and marketing at Thule, in Seymour, Conn.; and marine market manager at New England Ropes in Fall River, Mass. He also held various management roles with two of the UK's leading telecommunications companies, British Telecom and Cable and Wireless.
Banks has extensive sailing experience on all types of boats from dinghies to mega-yachts. He grew up sailing on the south coast of England. He twice won the UK National Championships in the MG Spring class and competed in regattas in Europe and the Caribbean. From 1991 to 1994, he was the captain of Tenareze, a Swan 57, on a circumnavigation of the world. Since moving to the United States in 1995, he has been actively involved in cruising and one-design racing.
“I am excited to be joining Sail America as its new executive director,” Banks said. “This position will allow me to contribute to the future of a sport that has given me so much pleasure and opportunity over the years.
“Given the important mission of Sail America, and the ever-changing challenges and opportunities facing the marine industry, I will do my best to bring strong leadership, direction and unity to Sail America and the sailing industry,” he said. “I look forward to working with Sail America's Board of Directors and its members to identify and implement strategies to grow membership, increase sailing participation, encourage increased spending from existing boat owners, grow export sales, and raise the professionalism and profitability of the sailing industry.”
- For more of the latest news, click here.