Our Staff are integral to all that goes on at Sail Sand Point. We are responsible for day-to-day operations and implementing long-term goals, and we strive to live up to your highest expectations, both on and off the water. Please let us know if we can do anything differently to help us achieve this goal!

Year-round staff administrate and maintain Sail Sand Point. They create and oversee Sail Sand Point’s programs, are responsible for day-to-day operations, maintain the facilities and fleets, and interact with our community on a daily basis. Our small year-round staff works under the guidance of the Board of Directors.

Sail Sand Point relies on its stellar team of seasonal staff to run its spring, summer, and fall programs, such as sailing instruction, the popular Open Boating program, coaching the SPYS race teams, and being the face of Sail Sand Point to the public. Sail Sand Point is fortunate to have such an enthusiastic and dedicated group of instructors and dockmasters! If you are interested in a seasonal position at SSP, you can find more information here.

Executive Director: Mary Anne Ward

Sail Sand Point is proud to introduce its new Executive Director, Mary Anne Ward. Mary Anne comes to Seattle from Chicago, where she was the Event Director at Chicago Match Race Center, an organization that hosts and supports world-class race events. Previously, she was the Regatta Chairman at the Lake Eustis Sailing Club, a nonprofit community sailing center in Florida. An experienced entrepreneur, Mary Anne also successfully founded two education companies prior to working in the sailing world.

Mary Anne comes to Sail Sand Point after a successful career as a professional racer, as the skipper and owner of the M&M Racing Team, and after being the only female skipper to win a Bacardi Race Week. She is a respected role model for women in the sailing community, a motivating mentor for racers, and an empowering public speaker for youth. Her enthusiasm for teaching others how to sail and encouraging people to take on challenges make her an inspiring fit for Sail Sand Point. She looks forward to supporting and fostering the community spirit that makes Sail Sand Point unique from other sailing programs in Seattle.

Director of Youth Programs and Operations: Nino Johnson

Nino Johnson headshot

Nino is a Seattle native and SSP “lifer” having been introduced to Sail Sand Point in 2002, when he took his first sail camp! After enjoying summer camps and SPYS for a few summers, Nino became a volunteer and later an instructor in 2006. He spent his next four years at the University of Washington, teaching camps at SSP in the summers and sailing on the UW team in the fall and spring. Since graduating in 2010, Nino has been a consistent coaching presence for the youth racing teams, drastically increasing opportunities, resources, and most importantly, participation.

After years of learning the ins and outs of SSP, becoming involved on a management level was an easy transition. Nino’s leadership and interpersonal skills (cultivated as a student and instructor) are a textbook example of the power of SSP to develop future leaders. Besides a deep devotion to building and strengthening the SSP community, Nino is a staunch proponent for growing community sailing in the NW (and beyond), especially through youth racing and instructor development. He is a US Sailing Level 3 Coach and Level 1 Instructor Trainer.

Outside of being around SSP, Nino enjoys racing with the Seattle Thistle Fleet throughout the spring and summer at Leschi. His other interests include anything outdoors; most notably rock climbing, backpacking, and other activities that allows for continued exploration of the American West’s expansive natural beauty.

Administrative Director:  Jeanne Currie

img_2922Jeanne has been hanging out at SSP since 2007, when she took her first sailing camp and came back for three more that summer. She then started racing with SPYS and became an assistant and then an instructor, eventually coaching SPOT and SPYS in the summer while racing and occasionally studying at the University of British Columbia the rest of the year. Jeanne likes getting to see future sailors grow up at SSP and is excited to avoid sunburns by working indoors as a year-round office staff member. However, she continues to enjoy teaching the occasional class and being on the lake after work. When not at Sand Point, Jeanne is happiest when surrounded by trees, water, mountains, or veggies.

Adult Program Director: Bryan Rust

Bryan suffers from an obvious addiction to the water. It began his freshman year of college when he joined the Western Washington University Sailing team despite having no experience. Inspired by his grandfather, who grew up racing scows in the Midwest and later sailed his whole family through the South Pacific aboard a 65’ Schooner, Bryan took to everything involving wind and water.

During his time at WWU Bryan earned a BS in Environmental Science, but more importantly he began teaching Sailing and Windsurfing and became a Varsity Skipper and the Captain of the Sailing team. After graduating he moved to Puerto Rico for a few years to teach watersports to the rich and famous. On the warm tropical island he learned how to speak Spanish, kiteboard, surf and scuba dive.

After leaving the island with some friends on a catamaran to explore the rest of the Caribbean for a few months, Bryan made his way back to the great PNW. He now lives aboard a 34’ wooden boat and spends his time off-the-water riding mountain bikes, skiing, or playing the trumpet. He also has worked in Hawaii, Canada and Mexico in the aquaculture industry and is very passionate about marine ecology. Bryan is very excited to be able to share his experience and enthusiasm for the water with the SSP community. You’ll find him coaching SPYS, fixing stuff, or teaching our adult programs, unless it’s really windy…. then hopefully he’ll be kiteboarding.