Little Traverse Sailors is pleased to announce that Dan Thompson has been hired as the new LTS Program Director. Dan is well-known to the Harbor Springs sailing community, having served for the last two years as the Little Traverse Yacht Club Sailing Director and as the LTS Race Team Coach for summer 2014. He will continue in both of these roles while overseeing Little Traverse Sailors. Thompson replaces Linda Orlow, who retired at the end of the season after ten years running the program with her late husband, Tom Orlow.
When Thompson is not in Harbor Springs, he is the Assistant Sailing Coach for Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. He has also been a coach and director of junior sailing programs in Edgartown, MA and White Bear Lake, MN, and was the captain of the Hobart Sailing Team in 2007-08.
“Dan Thompson brings a wealth of experience in junior sailing and coaching at a national level to LTS, while at the same time he’s very familiar with our program and the Harbor Springs sailing community,” said Tom Trautman, the LTS Board President. “Dan is beloved by the kids for his friendly and low-key coaching style, while at the same time he always impresses with his innovative ideas, strong work ethic, and drive for excellence.”
“I’m honored and excited to take on this job,” said Thompson, “and I look forward to working with the LTS staff and our supportive families to build on the excellent foundation for junior sailing already in place.”
The LTS program, which serves over 350 young sailors every summer, will resume its acclaimed learn-to-sail program in June 2015. Thompson, working with the LTS Board of Directors, has a number of plans to enhance the junior sailing experience at LTS in the coming year. More details will be announced in the upcoming months, but they include an increased emphasis on student sailing in the learn-to-sail program, an expansion of the advanced sailing opportunities for teenagers, such as the Race Team and big-boat sailing, and an opportunity for interested 10-12 year olds to be introduced to more advanced sailing and racing.
Thompson notes “For the past sixty years, three core values have driven Little Traverse Sailors’ success: Safety, Fun, and Learning. These values have contributed to a long list of graduates who–whether they sail for competition, for pleasure, both, or neither–developed many skills in learning to sail that are important on and off the water. We will use these core values to continue to provide a world-class junior sailing program in Harbor Springs for years to come.”
“We are extremely fortunate to have had Linda and Tom Orlow as Program Directors for the past ten years,” said Trautman, “and Linda leaves LTS with a strong staff, enthusiastic students who come back every year, and a long tradition of success. Everyone will dearly miss Linda’s warm and friendly presence on the waterfront, and we wish her the best in her retirement. She has left an important legacy to Harbor Springs sailing. We will miss her, and we are confident that the LTS program is in good hands with Dan Thompson.”
Little Traverse Sailors (www.LittleTraverseSailors.org), a 501(C)(3) charitable education organization, has been a leader in teaching youth and adults how to sail for nearly sixty years. The LTS mission is to build lifelong sailors, through offering fun and safe opportunities to learn on-the-water skills at all levels. All LTS programs operate on the waterfront of the Little Traverse Yacht Club on Bay Street in Harbor Springs, Michigan.
Little Traverse Sailors
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Dan Thompson, Director, Little Traverse Sailors
Tom Trautman, President, LTS Board of Directors