Meet the senior team

UKSA is led by a senior team with a wealth of knowledge in both the charity sector and the world of sailing and watersports.

UKSA Chief Executive

Ben Willows

Ben Willows, CEO

Prior to taking on the role of Chief Executive, Ben was the Deputy Chief Executive and previously Director of Operations at UKSA.  He came to UKSA from a professional sailing background including campaigning for the British Sailing team and working onboard various high profile yachts. He has worked at UKSA for over 10 years, and throughout this time Ben has worked in a number of different capacities throughout the operations of UKSA, which has given him an unrivalled breadth of knowledge about the organisation and its facilities.  Ben has also graduated from Cranfield University with the Advanced Development Programme qualification.

“I continue to be inspired by our students, some of whom have come from challenging backgrounds.  We have seen them turn their lives around and leave UKSA with new confidence, work and life skills, that will set them up for a long-term career in the maritime industry. It is a good reminder for us all that with the right encouragement and training anyone can turn their lives around, begin a new chapter and look ahead to a rewarding, long-term career.”


Director of Sales & Marketing

Julia Hutchison

Julia Hutchison

I am an entrepreneurial professional with over 20 years’ of expertise and achievements in content marketing, commercial delivery, digital development, SEO, publishing, marketing, content creation and strategy. As a well-respected high profile leader, I utilise my skills to discover new markets, drive business growth, manage multi-million pound budgets and develop new business to achieve commercial success. As an inspirational team leader, I have engaging communication skills and use these to build lasting working relationships with a solid network of contacts, clients, colleagues, senior stakeholders and board level management. With strong strategic thinking and negotiation skills, I ensure objectives are met on time and within budget.

“I am passionate about motivating and developing people, recognising talent and maintaining high standards, as demonstrated by the success of my career to date and believe that I add value to any business.”

Director of Finance & Business Services

Simon Hamilton - UKSA Financial Director Simon Hamilton

Simon joined UKSA in May 2018 after nearly twenty years in the residential property sector as a very “hands-on” director and business owner. Before that he worked in the marine insurance sector in the City of London, having trained as an accountant with Coopers & Lybrand. After leaving University he worked for a couple of seasons as a deckhand on sailing yachts in the Mediterranean, and has enjoyed sailing with family and friends ever since.

I came to UKSA on a course in the summer of 2017, and thought at the time that if they ever needed a Finance Director, it would be great to part of the future of this amazing organisation. Then they did, and here I am! I believe in what we do here, and that working together we can and will do so much more. The financials are important at UKSA insofar as they drive our ability to deliver outcomes, but I like that my role here is just as much about people, communication and making a difference.”