Spring 2019 Articles





After a winter on pause, OHPRI will push play again this spring. Can a new approach keep this full-rigged ship off a lee shore?

Marlinspike recently spoke with the new CEO of OHPRI, Jonathan Kabak.

Kabak is well-known and well-respected in the sail-training industry. He was most recently Director of Marine Operations for the USMMA Sailing Foundation and continues to serve as an adjunct curriculum developer and instructor at the U.S. Maritime Resource Center. Kabak sits on the Board of Directors of Tall Ships America, chairing the Ship Operations and Safety Committee and the Annual Conference Planning Committee.

Marlinspike: Jonathan, everybody in our industry admires the scope of what OHPRI set out to do. But I think that as the ship neared completion, the scale and complexity of the vessel became clear and started to scare people. They began to worry about whether it would ever be able to support itself...


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Marlinspike talks with the new Executive Director of Tall Ships America, Dr. Kris von Wald, about the current state of the sail-training industry

Dr. Kris Von Wald came on board as the new Executive Director of Tall Ships America in January. Kris was already known to the Tall Ships community as the lead author and investigator for the creation of the “Sail Training Programme Evaluation Self-Assessment Toolkit.” Development of the Toolkit involved extensive, worldwide interaction with sail vessel operators and with the tall ships races.  

She has experience as a social science leader for a British Exploring Society expedition to Greenland and as a participant on a sailing expedition with Hurricane Island Outward Bound.  Kris has directly relevant experience as the chief executive of the Association for Experiential Education in the United States and the Hibernian Community Foundation in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Her work has emphasized leading transformative change, facilitating strategic leadership development, and business planning. She has a BS in Business, an MA in Educational Psychology and a PhD in Leadership and Innovation. Most recently she was with Penn State University.

Kris was introduced to the membership at the annual conference in San Pedro, California in February. She spoke with Marlinspike in late March.

Marlinspike: First, tell us how you came to lead Tall Ships America. You had done some work in this field previously..?

Kris von Wald: The work that I did was with Sail Training International...

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