MEET THE

SPEAKERS

Rich du Moulin

Event Chair and Moderator

Rich has been the Chairman/CEO of shipping companies; owning and operating tankers and bulk carriers. As Chairman of Intertanko, Richard represented the international tanker industry. Richard is Chairman Emeritus of the Seamen’s Church Institute and is on the boards of two shipping companies and a private equity firm.  

He has served Storm Trysail Club as Commodore and is presently the Chair of the Storm Trysail Foundation.  

Rich is a qualified US Sailing Safety at Sea moderator and serves on the safety at sea committees of US Sailing, CCA, New York Yacht Club, and Storm Trysail Club. With his double-handed partner Rich Wilson, racing the 53 foot trimaran Great American II, he holds the Hong Kong-New York record of 72 days. He has competed in 25 Bermuda races and 6 Transatlantic Races. 

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

Keynote Speaker

In 1969, Sir Robin was the first person to sail single handed and non-stop around the world. Among many other races, in 2007 Sir Robin circumnavigated again in the VELUX 5 OCEANS race at the age of 68. He has completed 4 circumnavigations, 24 Atlantic crossings, and was President of the Sail Training Association 1993-2002 (Tall Ship Races), raising £11.5 million for two new sail training Brigs.  

After being knighted in 1995, he founded Clipper Ventures in 1996. The Clipper Race is the only race in the world where the organizers supply a fleet of twelve identical racing yachts, each with a fully qualified skipper to safely guide the crew composed of ordinary, everyday people on an around the world race. 

Susan Blank

Susan Blank, MD, MPH, CAPT, USPHS (Ret)

Panelist – Leadership Beyond Sailing

CAPT Susan Blank, MD, MPH has recently retired after 30 years of active duty as a Commissioned Corps Officer with the United States Public Health Service. Her career has included extensive public health emergency preparedness and response planning, and multiple collateral duty assignments serving as a deputy incident commander in NYC, CDC and USPHS deployments in such varied circumstances as 9/11, Anthrax, COVID-19, and Super Storm Sandy in NYC; Ebola in Guinea, West Africa; and earthquake response in Haiti.

She is a board-certified pediatrician, with a Master’s degree in public health. She was first commissioned in 1990, upon joining the Federal Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) Epidemic Intelligence Service, where her focus was on environmental health and injury prevention. Thereafter, she moved to CDC Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention on assignment to the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene.

Since 2000, She served as an Assistant Commissioner of Health and directed the Bureau of Sexually Transmitted Infections at the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. She was responsible for a budget of $30 million, over 350 staff, eight Sexual Health Clinics, sexually transmitted disease surveillance an

James Childs, CAPT, USN (Ret)

Panelist – Leadership Beyond Sailing

James Childs, CAPT, USN (Ret) is a graduate of the US Naval Academy. A career nuclear submarine officer, he held numerous leadership positions in the US Submarine Force over a 30 year career, both at sea and ashore.


At sea, he held several jobs as a Junior Officer aboard USS SALT LAKE CITY (SSN 716), then moved into a position as both the Combat Systems Officer and Navigation/Operations Officer aboard the USS PHOENIX (SSN 702), before becoming the Executive Officer aboard USS ALABAMA (BLUE) (SSBN 731) and afterwards taking command of the USS AUGUSTA (SSN 710).

He also commanded Submarine Squadrons ONE and THREE in Pearl Harbor, HI. He has held a number of leadership positions ashore, including Chief of Staff and Deputy Commander at Submarine Group SEVEN, in Yokosuka, JP, in charge of all Western Pacific and Arabian Gulf submarine operations, and Chief of Staff at Submarine Group NINE in Bangor, WA, in charge of training and certifying all Pacific Fleet Ballistic Missile submarine crews. 

He continues to work with the Submarine Force as a senior tactical and mariner skills advisor and mentor for submarine officers at all levels.

Todd Gautier

Panelist – Leadership Beyond Sailing

Todd is president of the Aviation Systems segment for L3Harris Technologies – the sixth largest defense company in the U.S., and a top 10 defense company worldwide – with approximately $17 billion in revenue and 50,000 employees, including 20,000 engineers and scientists. In this role, he is responsible for business strategy, financial performance, successful execution and growth for Aviation Systems, which covers an extensive portfolio of solutions in Commercial Aviation, Mission Networks, Precision Engagement, Aerospace Products and Military. 

Todd has more than 30 years of Aerospace and Defense leadership and program management experience. He also served in the U.S. Navy as a Strike/Fighter Pilot, where he held a variety of operational and instructional positions.

Captain Stephen Polk

Panelist – Leadership Beyond Sailing

Stephen Polk graduated from Texas A&M University and has experience on towing vessels, container ships, MODU’s, and tankers.

A US Navy veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Captain Polk served in the US Navy with two patrol boat units. As a Lieutenant Commander (LCDR), he has worked in various leadership and supervisory roles such as Tactical Communications Officer, Training Department Head, and Operations Department Head for both of the patrol boat units he was assigned. he has logged over 10,000 hours of tactical and underway command experience while protecting ports and performing escorts of Military Sealift Command and Navy warships in and out of various harbors worldwide.

Captain Polk supervises the Seamen’s Church Institute Center for Maritime Education. He manages two training centers, in Houston and Paducah (Kentucky), which have a total of ten bridge simulators. 

Eric Simonson

Panelist – Leadership Beyond Sailing

Eric has been a professional mountain guide since 1973 and has personally conducted over 100 major expeditions around the globe, including over 30 to the Himalayas. He has become recognized internationally as one of the world's premiere mountaineering expedition leaders, specializing in climbs of Mt. Everest and the other classic 8,000m peaks of the Himalayas. His international guiding and climbing resume includes expeditions on every continent of the globe, including ascents of the "Seven Summits" and eleven expeditions to Mt. Everest, reaching the summit in 1991 via the North Ridge.


He co-authored Detectives on Everest, recapping the 2001 Mallory & Irvine Research Expedition which conducted the world's highest archeology project and culminated with the accomplishment of the highest mountaineering rescue in history. Eric currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Foundation for International Mountaineering Exploration and Research.

Walker Potts

Panelist – Leadership Beyond Sailing

Walker began his career as a Marine with multiple combat deployments as an infantryman and as a Recon Marine in a special operations unit, becoming a team leader in a Force Recon unit conducting combat operations in Iraq. Seriously injured by an IED, he transitioned out of the Marines and moved to New Zealand. There, Walker earned a degree in Strategic Management and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Canterbury while participating in helo-rescue operations at the area ski slopes and mountains.

He also worked in youth advocacy for at-risk teens, running wilderness expeditions and leadership courses. Later, he returned to ocean racing as a professional sailor, covering over 40,000 miles. Now based out of a family farm in CT,  Walker continues to hold medevac/rescue roles with the America's Cup and a number of teams competing in various circuits.  

John De Regt

Moderator – Leadership Beyond Sailing, Organizing Committee

An Executive Coach, John helps senior leadership teams optimize their dynamics and group performance. He has 35 years of experience in executive leadership.

During his 25-year career in executive search, he was a partner in three of the most successful global search firms, with a focus on the aerospace, airline, and industrial sectors. He opened his own executive coaching practice in 2010, having finished the Coach Intensive Training program at the Hudson Institute. Subsequently, he completed Hudson’s Master Coach program in 2014.

John earned his B.A. in Economics from Dartmouth College in 1972. He also earned his M.S. in Transportation Management from SUNY Maritime College, with honors, and his M.B.A. from New York University. He serves on the Board of Warfighter Advance, a not-for-profit which helps veterans of all wars manage Post Traumatic Stress without the use of pharmaceuticals. 

Larry Huntington

Panelist – Leadership Under Sail

Larry Huntington participated in his first Bermuda Race at age 16, starting a sailing career that includes 23 races to Bermuda from Newport, and eight Transatlantic races or cruises.

An investment banker, Larry has been the CEO for the Fiduciary Trust Company International for almost thirty years. He took up serious mountaineering at age 40, ascending some of the world’s highest mountains. Larry made two attempts on Mt Everest, both times having to turn back just short of the summit due to deteriorating weather. He has served the sport of yacht racing in many capacities including as Commodore of the New York Yacht Club and as Rear Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club.

Stan Honey

Panelist – Leadership Under Sail

Stan is an American professional offshore navigator with world sailing records and a businessman who founded Etak and Sportvision.


His track record as a navigator includes a victory in the 2005-06 Volvo Ocean Race onboard ABN Amro I, eleven wins in Transpac races across the Pacific Ocean, and Comanche’s record breaking Trans-Atlantic race win. He has held the speed record for sailing around the World, and across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. He was named U.S. Sailing's 2010 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year for his critical role in cutting the nonstop circumnavigation record to 48 days aboard the 103-foot French trimaran Groupama 3.


As a businessman, he is the father of consumer on-screen navigation, including the automotive navigation systems used around the world, with his company Etak. With his company Sportvision, he invented the technology that displays the first-down line on your TV in American Football, the "glowing" hockey pucks, baseball strikes, and the real-time "player cards" in international football (soccer).


Stan was the Director of Technology for the 34th America's Cup. He and his team won The George Wensel Technical Achievement Award for America's Cup LiveLine.

Renee Mehl

Panelist – Leadership Under Sail, Organizing Committee

Renee’s major racing credits include crewing on the 1993/94 Whitbread Around the World Race, Women’s Match Racing World Championship winner in 1992, J-22 World Championship winner in 1994, and navigator for the 1995 Tour de France a la Voile. 

She was One Design Class Manager at Farr International for 11 years and served as ISAF Class Secretary, measurer, and event organizer for the Mumm 30 and Farr 40 Classes. Ms. Mehl started as the Vanderstar Chair (sailing program safety advisor) at the US Naval Academy and is currently the Offshore Sail Training Squadron Director. OSTS is part of the Professional Development Dept for Midshipmen and is a forerunner in the experiential leadership development program at the Academy.   

Renee served from 2008-16 as a member of the International Sailing Federation Offshore Special Regulations and Class Rules Committees, is a member of the US Sailing Safety at Sea committee and chair of the USNA Safety at Sea Seminar planning committee.  Renee is a member of the inaugural 2019 class for the US Naval Academy Stockdale Associate Fellows Program, part of the Influence the Influencer program of the Vice Admiral James B Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership.

Kenneth Read

Panelist – Leadership Under Sail

Ken is considered one of the world’s most accomplished and celebrated sailors. He was named United States Rolex Yachtsman of the Year twice (1985 and 1995), and has won more than 40 world, North American, and national championships in a variety of classes, with nine of those being World Championships titles. Read was helmsman aboard two (2000, 2003) of Dennis Conner’s Stars & Stripes America’s Cup campaigns. He also served as strategist and coach with America’s Cup entry Young America in 1999.

In 2013, Ken returned to his business and sailmaking roots as President of North Sails Group. Ken has become an ambassador for the sport of sailing and serves as an NBC Sports color commentator for the America’s Cup.


He has also skippered two Volvo Around the World Races and helms Comanche – the fastest mono-hull in the world.

Dawn Riley

Panelist – Leadership Under Sail

Dawn was the first American, man or woman, to race in four America's Cups and two Whitbread Round The World Race teams. Riley has served as President of the Women's Sports Foundation, which was founded by Billie Jean King. She was named 1999 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, and served on the board of US Sailing.


She is an advisory board member of the National Women's Sailing Association, the National Sailing Hall of Fame, and a founding member of the International Women's Match Racing Association.

As CEO and captain of America True, Dawn Riley was the first woman to manage an America’s Cup sailing team. She is the former president of the Woman’s Sports Foundation, served on the board of US Sailing, and is an advisor to several public service organizations.

Dawn is currently the CEO of the Oakcliff Sailing Center, a US Olympic Team training center dedicated to building American leaders through sailing by providing coaching, mentorship and job training both on and off the water.

Gary Jobson

Moderator – Leadership Under Sail

Gary first attracted worldwide attention as the tactician on the winning America’s Cup yacht, Courageous, in 1977, with skipper Ted Turner. He started his career as a sailing coach at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and later at the U.S. Naval Academy. Since then, Jobson has authored 21 books on sailing, narrated or produced 1,200 television programs and films, has given over 2,700 lectures, and has competed in 5,700 races.

Jobson is currently a Vice President of the Board of World Sailing, the sport’s international governing body, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Luminis Health and Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Trust.

Gary spent 31 years with ESPN covering nine America’s Cup events, and six Olympics, and an additional America’s Cup for NBC. He has won two Emmys, four Tellys and an ACE Award.


For many years, he has been actively involved with education, environmental issues and healthcare. From 1993-2017 he served as Chair of the Leukemia Cup Regatta Series, which has raised over $60 million. (Jobson survived a two-year battle with lymphoma in 2003-04). He is also a past President of US SAILING, America’s governing body of sailing.

Jobson was inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame (2011) and the America’s Cup Hall of Fame (2003).

A.J. Evans

Commodore, Storm Trysail Club, Organizing Committee

AJ practices maritime and admiralty law in New York and New Jersey and is a past chair of the Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association. He is currently the Commodore of Storm Trysail Club.  AJ is also a member of the Steering Committee for the Newport Bermuda Race, which he chaired in 2016 and has competed in 11 times. He holds a 100-ton USCG Master’s License and is a member of the New York Yacht Club race committee and the Youth Advisory Committee of the National Sailing Hall of Fame. 

Ed Cesare

Vice Commodore, Storm Trysail Club, Organizing Committee

Ed Cesare is a financial professional with 30 years in the capital markets. In the course of his career Ed has held C-suite posts in both private and public companies. Most recently Ed founded Pleiad Governance, providing intellectual capital at the intersection of vision, capital and operations to both .org and .com clients. Ed is past President of the Board of Trustees at King School in Stamford Connecticut. He is past Commodore of Norwalk Yacht Club, a trustee of New York Yacht Club, Overseas Rear Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, and Vice Commodore of the Storm Trysail Club. Ed is an avid and accomplished sailor and ocean racer, navigating for a number of high level programs and is a frequent speaker on weather and ocean tactics.

Jack Cummiskey

Chair, Storm Trysail Club Seamanship Committee, Organizing Committee

An architect and project manager, Jack was a founding partner and CEO of Granary Associates, an international healthcare planning and development firm specializing in many complex and leading edge facilities for major healthcare systems. More recently, he led the Southeast Asia division of Turner International establishing regional headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. Turner’s projects included many of the region’s tallest buildings and large urban scale developments.

Jack has served as Board Member and Chair of the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild, Co-chair of OP Sail Philadelphia and currently Chairs the Storm Trysail Club Seamanship Committee.


To date, Jack has participated in 4 Transatlantic races and passages, 16 Newport Bermuda Races and 6 Fastnet Races, most as either skipper or watch captain.

Bob Reichart, CAPT, SC, USN (Ret)

Organizing Committee

Officer, serving in a wide variety of leadership positions afloat and ashore around the world over a 30-year active duty career.   


At sea, he served as Supply Officer aboard USS BOSTON (SSN-703) and Material Division Officer Aboard USS KITTY HAWK (CV-63). He served overseas in Naples, Italy, Yokosuka, Japan, and Baghdad, Iraq. Notable shore tours included Supply Officer for the Submarine Force, US Pacific Fleet, Assistant Commander, Acquisition Logistics, Naval Supply Systems Command, and Lead Logistician, Naval Sea Systems Command.


He completed his service with the Navy as a civilian Chief of Staff for the Command Information Officer, Naval Sea Systems Command.


He is Director of Coaches and Head Sculling Coach at the Capital Rowing Club, a community rowing club in Washington DC. He also coaches at Craftsbury Sculling Center in Vermont. 


Bob has been a member of the Storm Trysail Club since 1985 and has sailed extensively on and off the East Coast of the US. Most recently, he was a crew-member on board Carina for the 2019 Transatlantic Race.