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The Sailing Education Association of Sheboygan (SEAS) recently announced the promotion of Geoff Rudolph to executive director. 

Since SEAS began in 2012 Leslie Kohler has lead the organization’s development as chairman of the board with a vision of making boating accessible for everyone. This is a vision that both she and her late father, Terry J. Kohler, shared. Their passion for sailing and the educational and recreational opportunities it provides lead them to form SEAS and bring the experience to all of Sheboygan County.  “In the past few years, SEAS has grown dramatically in the numbers we serve.  We added more staff to serve the community and it became time to name an executive director” according to Leslie Kohler.

Rudolph joined SEAS in May 2016 as the fleet director, responsible for making sure all of the boats remain in pristine condition. As the discussion of building a new facility continued, worked with the architect to incorporate all the needs of the organization under one roof while expanding the capacity for the future growth & functions of SEAS.  “As SEAS looks to the future and the role it will play in STEM education and boating instruction and building in the community, Rudolph’s experience gives him the tools needed to lead this organization”, said Leslie Kohler.

Rudolph has a diverse background with over 40 years in the marine industry. He has captained both sail and powered vessels up to 100’; marine construction vessels, high speed ferry service, commercial fishing & dive boats, and an 80’ EPA Research Vessel.  He has managed multiple projects throughout his career, refitting and restoring vessels up to 220’ in length, has enjoyed One Design and offshore racing and cruising, and has made numerous deliveries between the Great Lakes, and the West Indies. e

Prior to SEAS he was contracted by Maritime Heritage Alliance in Traverse City for two winter restorations on the gaff rigged cutter Champion and Captained their Sail Champion Program for at risk youth. Rudolph co-founded the Red8 Boat Works while in Traverse City, which works with High School aged students teaching skills needed to build boats and character.  He was introduced to Sheboygan and SEAS when his first mate on the Champion asked him to be the coach for the US Blind Sailing Team for the 2014 Blind World Championship in Sheboygan.

“I look forward to helping SEAS grow and the challenges of building new programs in the Sheboygan area.  It is a rewarding experience watching young people develop new skills and achieving a greater sense of self.”  Rudolph said.