Meet Our Volunteers
BOAST Chair, Meredith Hall
Hi my name is Meredith, I joined OWSA in late 2018 and am excited to serve as coordinator for our BOAST program and help more women develop their skills towards becoming a skipper and/or boat owner! I grew up in Michigan with a summer cottage on a lake and have always loved being on the water - anything involving being "on top of the water" such as sailing, paddling, or water skiing makes me so happy. I spent many afternoons crewing for my dad or my sister on our "dinghy" size sailboat, but hadn't previously aspired to be a skipper. I've been living in Portland since the late 90's and owned a Mastercraft for awhile, but hadn't been aware of the tremendous sailing community here. After a divorce I found my way to OWSA and participated in Wednesday Night Sails, education, and racing... and the "fever" finally kicked in to want to be able to sail as a skipper as well as improve my crewing ability.
Last year was my first time participating in BOAST, and I loved it. To sail with other women who are as enthusiastic as you about sailing, supporting one another, learning and growing along the way, is an amazing opportunity. We had a lot of fun racing as well as sailing at a more relaxed pace and taking day-long outings to check out an island or float on the river in the sun. If you're reading this, please consider applying for BOAST!!
In addition to water sports, I enjoy downhill skiing in the winter, hiking and yoga. I have a sweet little Boston Terrier boy - unfortunately he isn't the best sailor though. He had a traumatic experience falling off the boat this past summer! For work I own a market research company where I gather consumer opinions and analyze the results for a variety of clients in tech, appliances, banking, and even the trucking industries. Luckily we tend to be a little slow during the month of July so I can keep my hours short
BOAST First Mate, Position Available
If you are interested in this position contact email@example.com
Boat Wrangler, Carisa Bohus
Carisa Bohus, (Kah reese sah Bow hooosh!) joined OWSA in 2010 and has been learning how to really feel the wind ever since. I appreciate the many interesting areas OWSA brings to the membership, like volunteering at the Boat Show, and Sail for the Cause, as well as taking OWSA classes and attending sailing community talks. I love the monthly meetings and have learned so much from all my sailing sisters. Being in the BOAT/BOAST program has been a great way to get more time on the water.
Some of the benefits of Wednesday Night Sails are meeting other OWSA members, the skippers in the area, the river, and all the different boats we have the pleasure of sailing on. I'm looking forward to a fantastic 2021 sailing season. Please don't hesitate to give me feedback on the WNS program. I want to meet you and hear about your adventures.
Fleet Manager, Laura Gadley
Laura is also our commodore, but has stepped up into this position. She is having a lot of the deferred maintenance done on our little fleet, so they will be even better for the OWSA classes and the BOAST program.
Beven Peters, Wednesday Night Sail (WNS) Coordinator
This position is open. It is graciously being temporarily covered by Bevin Peters, who is already busy with programs. Step up to help OWSA with this essential, core activity!! You will get to meet all the skippers and help the OWSA members get out on the Columbia. Good communication and planning skills are all you need.
Skipper Vetter, Neonta Bell
Race Captain, Stephanie Walker
Sailing/racing since 2015. I own a Hunter 30 sailboat. Skipper for WNS. 2020 Race Captain.
Class Registrar, Berry Kruijnin
I grew up around water in The Netherlands and have sailed my whole life. I learned to sail when I was 5 on a pond behind our house. From there I graduated to a lake and by the time I was 13 I had done my first 16-day off shore trip to Norway (from The Netherlands). I have sailed many nautical miles off shore on the North Sea, English Channel and Atlantic, to Scandinavia, England, France, and Spain. Logged over 15K nautical miles. I've owned and skippered 3 sail boats so far and co-skippered my 30-foot boat for 5 years on the ocean.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, I have racing experience as crew on the Columbia on a J30 and later in the Cal 20 fleet for about 12 years, as well as cruising in the San Juan Islands. At OWSA I've mostly participated in Wednesday night sail in the past throughout the years. I love being out on the water either on a sailboat or in a kayak. I've rejoined OWSA after a few years break and I'm looking forward to getting to know you and see some familiar faces!
First Mate Coordinator, Colleen La Civita
Volunteer Coordinator, Oshra Rapaport - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Membership Chair - Erica Graham - Email: Membership@owsa.net
Boat Show Coordinator - Email: email@example.com
Fireside Coordinator - Carisa Bohus - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nauti Drinks Coordinator - Jasmine Stark
Communications Coordinator, Fernanda Gwinner
Webmaster, Judith Lebzelter
Judith always promised herself that she would get back to sailing which she fondly remembered from the Lake George, New York holidays of her childhood. Too much time passed, but then she found OWSA and BOAST, which was great for showing how to make it happen and to meet great people too! So now, she is trying to help out as webmaster. Let her know if you want anything posted or removed, find any problems or have any other ideas about the site.
Social Media Coordinator - Olivia Langley
My name is Olivia and I joined OWSA in the Fall of 2021. While much of my childhood was spent outdoors hiking or camping with family, I was not introduced to sailing until my early twenties by a close friend. I've always loved being near large bodies of water and became hooked on sailing after experiencing the sensation of flying across the water; it was exhilarating, beautiful (and just a tad scary) but all the more reason to learn!
I'm excited to serve OWSA as the Social Media Manager and play a role in documenting and sharing the amazing work we are doing. This is an organization that welcomes women at any skill level (proud beginner over here!) and provides multiple paths to learn and become involved. My hope is to capture what OWSA is all about through member stories, images, and videos both on and off the water.
Technology Coordinator, Kathy Clevenger
I started sailing in 2019, taking ASA 101 and 103 classes with my then teenage son. It was a great chance to spend time together, until he left for college (go Beavers!) I joined OWSA to meet other sailors and improve my skills. As a member of Island Sailing, I have access to a boat, but don't need to maintain one:) Also now retired, I recently took on the volunteer role of Technology Coordinator for OWSA.
Merchandise Chair, Sally Dewitt
Hi I'm Sally. I've called Portland home for almost 4 years and have been spending that time figuring out what outdoor adventures Im into. I'm from Louisiana and lived in Texas for a decade before shipping out west. Growing up I swam competitively, taught lessons, life guarded, and stayed in and around the water - swimming, canoeing, tubing, skiing, everything. Moving to Portland and things to do on the water, sailing seemed like an out of reach sport to get into. Last summer I was introduced to sailing through a friend who suggested I check out OWSA. The sailing basics course this year was my introduction. The instructors and class were amazing and encouraged me to pursue sailing and get involved with OWSA! In my free time, you can find me hiking, skiing, relaxing around the water or trying to coax my cats into taking a walk.
Bookkeeper, Susan Day
Sue recently moved to Portland from Vashon Island, Washington. She's currently working as the Director of Finance and Administration at APANO (Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon). Sue grew up in the suburbs of Boston, MA and sailing on Cape Cod, went to colleges in Vermont, Arizona, and Massachusetts, and finally settled in the Pacific Northwest nearly 20 years ago. She has a background in nonprofit management and small business ownership and has not done nearly enough sailing recently!