Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky and US Sailing introduce the Old Pulteney Maritime Heroes Award. This award recognizes the men and women who are making significant contributions to educate, volunteer, advocate or simply encourage participation in sailing within their community-or beyond.
We've gone through the submissions and selected our top 6 finalists...
Now it's your chance to vote for your Maritime Hero!
Stephanie Webb - Fort Myers, FL
Stephanie has served as a tireless supporter of her sailing community for over 30 years. Stephanie is one of the founding members of the Edison Sailing Center in Ft. Myers, Florida, which teaches children sailing safety and offers an outlet for those who wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to experience this maritime adventure.
Throughout her tenure at Edison, Stephanie has maintained a strong belief that children from all backgrounds should have an opportunity to learn to sail. With her guidance, Edison has become one of the model programs in the US for public access sailing. In 2011, US Sailing recognized Edison Sailing Center's consistent excellence by identifying them as an Accredited Community Sailing Center.
Most recently, Stephanie has become more involved on a national level, helping the US Sailing Community Sailing Committee grow the Regional Symposium program in the Southeast region and providing her vast experience to help shape the program's development.
Hallie Payne - Mystic, CT
Hallie has served as Program Director of Mystic Seaport for more than a decade and has helped to teach over 6,000 students how to sail-she has managed a community sailing program as well as an intensive overnight residential summer sailing camp. The camp holds a special place in Hallie's heart, as she attended the program herself beginning at age 12.
The memories and bonds that Hallie made during her youth has consistently driven her passion for sailing and she continues to give back to the community through education and mentorship-sharing her dedication and superior technical sailing skills with a side of humor.
Jen Guimaraes - Burlington, VT
Jen Guimaraes has managed to successfully combine her passion for science and the environment with her love for teaching sailing as the Associate Director for the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center. She started the Center's WAVES (Water, Access Vitality, Education & Stewardship) Program in 2008, which teaches environmental and STEM education utilizing inquiry-based learning techniques that make it relevant and enjoyable to participants.
Jen is a strong advocate for getting women on the water and created the Center's "Women in Wind" program program which utilizes sailing and science as the mediums to address the unique challenges faced by Vermont girls and women. Working with confident female instructors, individuals practice leadership, communication, and collaboration skills.
In 2012, Jen was awarded the 2012 "Creative Innovations in Programming" by the US Sailing Community Sailing Committee in recognition of her commitment to finding exciting new ways to offer educational experiences to all members of her community. With over 10 years of dedication the Community Sailing Center Jen truly strives to provide Lake Access, Life Lessons, For All.
Michael Long - Sarasota, FL
Michael Long founded SailFuture in 2012 using his own experience-spending two and a half years in and out of the Florida juvenile justice system-as a springboard to mentor, inspire and empower at-risk youth to make transformative life changes. Michael's program pairs passionate college students and young professionals with at-risk youth and creates a dynamic experience to help them form lifelong relationships. The end goal of the program is for each student to graduate high school, develop confidence in themselves, develop resilience and grit, and to create a family of supporters to lean on now and in the future.
Michael is also developing SailFuture Odyssey in partnership with Florida's Department of Juvenile Justice. Participants would live and work aboard a sailing vessel for six months while earning their GED's, performing global service projects and learning essential life skills through seamanship. Upon completion of the journey, every participant will be placed in entry-level jobs, provided with resources to further their education and paired with a mentor to ensure a smooth transition back into society.
Richard Ramos and Aleef Mahmud - Medford, MA
After suffering a spinal cord injury while diving in Nantucket, Richard Ramos thought he would never be able to participate in competitive sports again. A chance meeting through Community Boating, Inc. (CBI) brought him together with Aleef Mahmud, an engineer from RIT; and since then, the pair has created an adaptive system that allows Richard, and eventually others with similar traumatic injuries, the opportunity to pursue their passion and sail once again.
Richard is a long-time CBI Universal Access Program sailor and a competitive racer mounting a campaign to qualify for the Paralympics and Aleef is a talented engineer from RIT who now lives in Boston. Through their dedication, they're opening up the doors for a new generation of people to enjoy sailing.
Matt Schulz - Marina del Rey, CA
After serving in the German navy, Matt brought his love of life on the sea to the United States, where he founded Schulz Surveyors-a premier marine surveying company. In his free time, Matt established LifeSail a program that utilizes science and mathematics to provide sailing education through boat building. He also piloted the US Reach/ STEM program at the W-Coast US and has introduced over 5000 children to sailing--from Boatbuilding to Bluewater sailing--applying Reach & team working in every facet.
Teaching is more than just education to Matt; it's about providing the opportunity and education to kids that might not otherwise have the chance to participate.
Matt is a popular lecturer, marine instructor International consultant, windsurfing & Keelboat instructor since the 70's and crossed the Atlantic in a 29' yacht. He has been recognized for his outstanding teaching approach and received awards from the city of Hawthorne School District and US Sailing for leadership and exemplary service to marine science education.
Our Maritime Heritage
Old Pulteney was founded in 1826 and is crafted at the Pulteney Distillery in Wick, Scotland. The distillery is located in the very far north of Scotland, by Wick's historic harbor, which was known for the barrels of silver (herring) and gold (whisky) which left the port in vast numbers during the 1800's, at a time when road links to the town were not established. To this day, Old Pulteney matures its fine whisky in hand-selected oak casks, slowly capturing the unique character of this stunning landscape with its long seafaring history. The brand has a long standing association with the sea and is known as the Genuine Maritime Malt. Through its partnership with US Sailing, Old Pulteney has the opportunity to share its rich heritage and fine expressions with the adult sailing community in the United States.
About US Sailing
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and advancement for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.