Jacob Raymond

CSNOI Welcomes Jacob Raymond Aboard as the Center’s Executive Director

When US Sailing gave Jacob Raymond its Martin A. Luray Award, community sailing’s highest honor, it described him as a “natural leader” and a passionate professional dedicated to providing educational and recreational opportunities to people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities.

Now, Raymond brings that leadership and passion to New Orleans.

Community Sailing New Orleans has hired Raymond as the center’s executive director. He comes to CSNOI with more than 10 years of experience working at nationally respected community sailing centers, including Sail Nauticus in Norfolk, Va., and the College of Charleston’s community programs in Charleston, S.C. He has created and directed adult and youth programs, developed programs for people with physical and intellectual challenges, worked with U.S. Sailing’s national STEM-based sailing curriculum (the Reach Program), and collaborated with the College of Charleston’s Math and Science Department in formulating a STEM-based sailing curriculum specifically for its needs.

A military veteran who served in Iraq with the Army National Guard and assisted in the relief efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Raymond has a unique background that perfectly fits with the goals and mission of Community Sailing New Orleans. He has worked hard throughout his career to remove the physical and financial barriers that can impede participation in the sport that he loves.

“With Jacob leading the organization, local children and adults with a range of backgrounds and abilities will have the chance to learn, grow and develop a love of the water and a deep respect for Lake Pontchartrain,” said John Manard, president of Community Sailing New Orleans’ Board of Directors.

“I am honored to join Community Sailing New Orleans. I believe it has the right vision, right goals and right values and is poised to have a huge impact on the community,” Raymond said.

After a decade of planning and development, Phase I of CSNOI opened in the fall of 2018 with facilities for collegiate and high school sailors. It serves as home base for the Tulane University Varsity Sailing Team.

Jacob now joins the center at an exciting time, as the facility prepares to open youth programs for underserved children in the Greater New Orleans area, adaptive sailing opportunities for adults and youth with a range of physical and intellectual abilities, and adult sailing lessons. CSNOI has a fleet of boats designed to safely serve a wide variety of sailors.

As a veteran, Raymond personally has experienced the healing and therapeutic benefits of being on the water. While serving as a military police officer, he deployed in east Baghdad and survived a roadside bomb. “I was very fortunate to walk away uninjured and to come back with 10 fingers and 10 toes,” he said. When returning from deployment, he felt a disconnect from society but eventually found himself at home when he discovered sailing and the people in the community.

He discovered sailing through a job opportunity. Without ever stepping foot on a sailboat before, he applied for a dock assistant position at the College of Charleston and enrolled in a sailing class. It changed the course of his life.

Today, Raymond is a sailing coach for the Special Olympics and is active in the national Warrior Sailing Program, which “provides maritime education and outreach for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans.”

He met his future wife, Sarah Wolcott, at a Special Olympics regatta. Raymond and Wolcott, a school teacher and an active sailor, are engaged to be married in June and both are excited about the move to New Orleans, he said.

“Everyone has been so welcoming and kind to me,” he said. “We can’t wait to join the New Orleans community.”

Raymond will begin work at Community Sailing New Orleans in March.

Guy Williams

Get to know Guy Williams, President and CEO, Gulf Coast Bank, and Treasurer, Community Sailing New Orleans Inc. Board of Directors

Guy Williams is well known in New Orleans as president and CEO of Gulf Coast Bank, one of the city’s largest home mortgage and small business lenders. He often is asked to speak to community groups, has appeared on CSPAN, and serves on the Board of Directors for Greater New Orleans Inc., the regional economic development organization for Southeast Louisiana.

Less well known, though, are Williams’ personal efforts to improve the lives of others. When he is not at the bank, he works hard to help those in need. A private pilot, Williams flies patients to hospitals for medical treatments as part of the Pilots for Patients organization. He has been actively involved in Sails for Sustenance, a program that provides recycled sails to Haitian fishermen. He also ministers to inmates at Angola Penitentiary and supports the work of countless nonprofit groups, including Community Sailing New Orleans.

An accomplished sailor, Williams serves as treasurer of CSNOI’s Board of Directors. “Without Guy, this project would never have gotten off the ground or be where it is today,” said John Manard, CSNOI Board President. “Guy has provided financial contributions, from original seed money to the most recent fundraising push, as well as good ideas on all things, from boat selection to how to build the best and least expensive drainage channel. He also provides a guiding hand on sound business practices.”

“Community Sailing is part of the New Orleans renaissance,” Williams said. “The new sailing
center will offer rental sailboats and sailing lessons. The center will also introduce underserved city residents to the waterfront and use sailing to enable students to learn team-building and water skills. I am also very proud that, through our connections with local veterans’ organizations, injured servicemen and women will be able to use our specially modified boats to engage in a healthy outdoor sport.”

Thank you, Guy, for your guidance and support!

Scott Evans

Get to know Scott Evans, Principal, Mathes Brierre Architects

There are many supporters, board members and others who have helped to build Community Sailing New Orleans. But only one is an actual architect. Without Scott Evans of Mathes Brierre Architects, CSNOI would be a dream without a physical reality.

“A decade ago, in the early days of the project, Creed Brierre and Ed Mathes embraced CSNOI’s mission and had their firm prepare the original design and renderings, which made it possible to explain the project, secure the site lease and raise the funds necessary for its first phases,” said John Manard, CSNOI Board President. “In doing so, they introduced us to Scott Evans, who has served as CSNOI’s lead architect throughout.”

Evans has handled all of CSNOI’s design work and interfaced with the City of New Orleans, DonahueFavret Contractors, GVA Engineering, Morphy Makofsky Consulting Engineers and numerous contractors during site construction. “Scott became much more to the project than just the architect, as important as that was. He has been my real partner, and we would never have gotten to where we are now in terms of concepts, construction and approvals without him,” Manard said.

A graduate of the Tulane School of Architecture, Evans joined Mathes Brierre Architects in 2008 with a background in architectural and environmental design. Among his many projects, he was part of the team that completed renovations to Thomas Hall at Loyola University New Orleans, and he works tirelessly on the expansion of the National World War II Museum.

Get to know Gordon Wadge, CEO, YMCA of Greater New Orleans, and Amy Wahl Segar, Director, YMCA Children’s Unified Benefits and Services (YCUBS)

Community Sailing New Orleans’ mission is to open Lake Pontchartrain to “all.” While that sounds good on paper, how does a new organization — built from the ground up — achieve such a lofty goal?

From the beginning, CSNOI’s Board of Directors has reached out for help, turning to successful local nonprofits that already work with the underserved communities who will be key constituents of our new sailing programs. One of those organizations is the YMCA of Greater New Orleans.

As confirmed by its website, the YMCA of Greater New Orleans is “a cause-driven organization that is for youth development, for healthy living and for social responsibility.” Its work focuses on building a strong community by investing “in our kids, our health and our neighbors.”

Gordon Wadge, chief executive officer of the YMCA of Greater New Orleans, and Amy Wahl Segar, director of the YMCA Children’s Unified Benefits and Services, or YCUBS, have been particularly generous with their time, advice and guidance for Community Sailing New Orleans, said CSNOI Board President John Manard.

“At the YMCA, we believe that each person has special gifts and great potential,” Wadge and Segar wrote in a letter of support for CSNOI. “We work every day to help individuals set and achieve their personal educational goals. … Community Sailing New Orleans Inc. is an ideal partner with the Y. We share a mission commitment to helping children and teens reach their full potential.”

Serving children on the autism spectrum is an important part of what CSNOI will deliver, Manard said. YCUBS, led by Segar, has been a vital resource, helping to shape our sailing programs to serve these individuals.

“Amy’s knowledge and support will help ensure that those children and their families can get the most out of what CSNOI can bring to their lives,” Manard said.

The opportunity to introduce YCUBS’ families to the world of sailing got an immediate “Yes!” from Segar. “I had meetings with Community Sailing board members Ric Smith, Warner Tureaud and John Manard and supporters Whit Huguley and Gabe Feldman. I was inspired by their vision that all are welcome,” she said. “We can recruit and prepare children with exceptionalities to be crew members and captains in Community Sailing.”

CSNOI thanks the YMCA of Greater New Orleans, and Wadge and Segar personally, for their continued assistance as our community sailing programs launch this year.

From Luggage to Lifejackets

A big thank you to Nola Aviation, a locally owned ground handling and maintenance provider, which recently donated a luggage cart to Community Sailing New Orleans.

Why does a community sailing center need a luggage cart? Great question. CSNOI will use the cart to organize and store lifejackets.

We got that brilliant idea from our friends at Shake-A-Leg Miami, a non-profit which works “with children and adults with physical, developmental and economic challenges in a marine environment, utilizing Biscayne Bay to teach environmental lessons, therapeutic sailing, swimming and kayaking.”
Shake-A-Leg has been a supporter and adviser to Community Sailing New Orleans. We’re thrilled to steal their idea of the luggage-cart-turned-lifejacket-closet.

CSNOI is thankful to State Rep. Neil Abramson, a member of the New Orleans Aviation Board and Liskow & Lewis partner, who connected us to Kevin Harper, the owner of Nola Aviation.

Thank you again to Nola Aviation for the cart and to all of our partners who are helping to make Community Sailing New Orleans a reality!

Luggage Cart
Community Sailing Luggage Cart

Meet Judd and Sliv

When you’re on Lake Pontchartrain this year, keep an eye out for Community Sailing New Orleans’ seven Freedom Independence 20 sailboats. You’ll spot two with special names: Judd and Sliv.

CSNOI purchased the seven boats from the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation in Chicago, one of the largest adaptive sailing programs in the country and a generous adviser to our work building a community sailing center in New Orleans.

Designed by Gary Mull specifically for adaptive sailing, Freedom Independence 20s are durable, safe and stable boats with large open cockpits and minimal obstructions. They will be the workhorses of CSNOI’s community programs, which will launch later this year.

Now about those two boats named Judd and Sliv. They are named for Justin “Judd” Goldman and his wife, Sliv. The boats came to CSNOI with those names, and we are honored to retain the names in tribute to two people who have been so instrumental in building and supporting adaptive sailing in the United States.

According to the Goldman Foundation’s website, Judd Goldman was 17 years old “when he suffered a disabling bone disease. After realizing that there were few sports that he could participate in, he discovered sailing. During the next fifty-eight years, he competed successfully in many races throughout the world, including over twenty-five Chicago-Mackinac Races, a 333-mile challenge from Chicago to Mackinac Island, Michigan. He founded an Olympic one-design class of sailboats in Chicago, the Dragon class. In 1989, at the age of seventy-five, Judd passed away at a Naples, Florida boatyard.”

Judd’s wife, Sliv, son, Peter, and daughter, Judy, established the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Foundation in 1990.

CSNOI is thankful for the Foundation’s advice and the support of Peter Goldman (a Tulane alum). We hope these boats, Judd and Sliv, will carry on their namesakes’ work, helping to open the sport of sailing to all on Lake Pontchartrain.

Judd boat on a trailer
Sliv boat on a trailer