Port Forum: Next Level Outreach – Experiential Education

 Next Level Outreach: Experiential Education – How community outreach can enhance your festival’s bottom line.
Updated 2.14.2013

Presenters: Eileen Smotzer, Project YESS, Rotary Club of Cleveland, OH 
                        Jessica Wurzbacher, Director of Education, OHPRI (click here for presentation)
                        Kezia Weed, Toronto Brigantine (click here for the presentation)
                        Tom Benson, J.L. Nick & Associates (click here for the presentation)

Session Description: Turning lives around through sail training is so important for today’s youth, and often vital to keep our ships working. Panelists discuss community outreach programs, hot to revitalize your program, how to earn respect for your program at port festival and why we need to continue to include youth-on-board programs in the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE. Lead by Eileen Smotzer of the Rotary Club of Cleveland, winner of the 2010 Program of the Year for YESS-Youth Enrichment to Succeed Through Sailing, participants and panelists will share their trials and tribulations.

Biography of Speakers

Eileen Smotzer

Eileen Smotzer
Eileen Smotzer

Eileen Ramerman Smotzer is a club trustee of The Rotary Club of Cleveland, 2012 Rotarian of the Year, 2012 Paul Harris Fellow, and 2010 recipient of the Rotary 4-way Test Award. Eileen developed and currently serves as program co-chair, for Project YESS (Youth Empowered to Succeed through Sailing) a legacy youth sail training program designed to build confidence, courage and community in gap youth. Project YESS celebrated its inaugural year in 2010 during Cleveland Tall Ships Festival which was sponsored and managed by the Rotary Club of Cleveland. “Service above self” is the mission of Rotary International, and Eileen feels honored to serve the northeastern Ohio community as a committed member of this remarkable international organization.

 Eileen is an account representative and project manager for SP Mount, a premier print services company in ClevelandOhio, founded in 1867. In her role as a career print professional, she focuses on graphic design and production for print and packaging. She is married to David Smotzer; her daughter Helen is a sophomore and Naval ROTC unit commander at OhioStateUniversity. She is a native Clevelander and life-long boater.

 Jessica Wurzbacher

Jessica Wurzbacher
Jessica Wurzbacher

Jess Wurzbacher is the Director of Education for the Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island. Previously she was the chief scientist and program manager for Sea|mester for 6 years, sailing 40,000nm with students aboard SY Argo and Ocean Star, crossing the Indian Ocean and Atlantic, Cape of Good Hope, Med & Caribbean. She currently teachers Biology at Roger Williams University and also taught at the high school level at the Island School in the Bahamas, an inquiry based high school semester program.

Tom Benson

Tom Benson has been developing and delivering customized professional development programs for more than 30 years. As Vice President, Employee Development and Senior Consultant for J.L. Nick Associates, one of the region’s oldest and largest Human Resources consulting firms, he has worked with hundreds of organizations in a broad variety of industries. His areas of expertise include Strategic Planning, Succession Planning, Performance Management, Executive Coaching, Sales Training, and Leadership Development. By blending real-world experience, fundamental knowledge and humor, Tom presents highly interactive and fast-paced programs that provide participants with skills that can be immediately applied in the workplace.

Kezia Weed

Herself an alumni of Toronto Brigantine, kezia is the program coordinator of the organization. Having been involved in the tall ship world since the age of 13, Kezia know firsthand the benefits of tall ship training for youth.


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