Greetings, and a very happy holiday season to you and your family. After almost ten years, this is my last update as the Director of LMSS. I am happy to announce that Annika Ekholm and Ian Solum are taking over as Co-Directors of Lake Minnetonka Sailing School, as of January 1st.
Annika will be overseeing our Recreational Sailing programs while managing all operational logistics. Ian will be leading our Middle & High School Sailing Teams along with our summer LMSS Race Teams.
Annika and Ian are smart, passionate individuals who will bring fresh energy and perspective to our organization. As alumni of LMSS, I am confident in their ability to carry our mission forward, leading and educating our next generation of LMSS sailors.
I will be transitioning from my role as Director to a new part-time position with LMSS as Staff Advisor and Fundraising Liaison, as my husband and I prepare for the arrival of our first child in March. As part of this new role, I am looking forward to organizing our 50th anniversary regatta and celebration in June. Stop by the island this summer and say hello—I will be in the office three days a week!
With so many changes in store, I have been reflecting recently on my time as Director of LMSS, and I wanted to take a minute to share some of our recent highlights and accomplishments as an organization:
- LMSS is stronger and larger than ever! Our registrations in 2021 exceeded 1,000 students, and we are positioning ourselves for further growth in 2022.
- Our sailors are seeing success building skill and confidence across our entire program, from first-time sailors all the way to competition at a national level.
- LMSS employs over 30 instructors and coaches, providing sailing education across a huge range of ages and skill levels. Their passion for sailing and positive rapport with students continues to impress me.
- Beginning in 2019, the Woody Jewett Scholarship program provides ongoing tuition support for recreational sailors and competitive Race Team athletes. Thanks to the Jewett family and a growing community of supporters, we award more than $5,000 in funding annually.
- Our core mission at LMSS has long been to promote sailing as a lifelong sport at every level. We continue to see more and more of our LMSS graduates fulfilling this mission as they move on to sail recreationally, compete in college, join MYC racing, and even compete in America’s Cup boats.
It is especially appropriate to celebrate these achievements this year, our 50th anniversary. Join myself and the LMSS community of alumni and supporters throughout the weekend of June 17-19th for events celebrating the history of the school, acknowledging those who have put LMSS on the map, and looking forward towards the bright future ahead of us.
As I close, I would like to thank a few of the many mentors who helped make my years with LMSS such a success: Trevor Davis, Gordy Bowers, Steve Bernstein, Sam Rogers, Kelly Brackin, Cindy Moen, and Mark Sigel. Thank you also to our board of directors and supportive LMSS community of parents and volunteers. MOST importantly, thank you to all of our wonderful LMSS sailors.
I appreciate all of you who make LMSS a great place to work. I know that Annika and Ian will enjoy making their own mark on the school as I did. We have a lot to be proud of here at LMSS, and there is plenty of work ahead of us as we continue to grow a passion and love for the sport of sailing. Cheers to many more years of success.