UKSA will enter a new era in 2016 with the appointment of Ben Willows as Chief Executive officer. Ben is the current Deputy Chief Executive, and will take on the leadership of the charity in the New Year.

Ben is a passionate and avid sailor, having been part of GBR youth squads and then sailed professionally for over 10 years competing internationally in dinghies and yachts. Ben originally trained with UKSA to launch his maritime business career.

UKSA Chair of Trustees, David Lister commented on the new appointment; “UKSA is first and foremost a training organisation, and Ben is a fantastic example of the professional maritime careers UKSA offer to transform  lives. We are really proud to appoint Ben as the new CEO of UKSA, we can’t think of a better candidate to move us forward to provide professional careers and charitable ‘sea change’ journey’s for thousands more individuals.”

Ben has worked at UKSA for over 13 years, quickly reaching senior management level, he has led and run large operations for the charity in both the UK and overseas. With this wealth of industry knowledge and as the existing Deputy Chief Executive, he is the perfect appointment for the next chapter of UKSA’s journey. He will be transitioning into the new post in early 2016.

On his appointment Ben commented; “I’m passionate about our charity. The work that UKSA does transforms the lives of young people through the power of the sea. UKSA is truly special organisation to be part of and an incredible place to work. It is also a link into some of world’s most successful professional maritime training programmes for people who want to pursue a career in the industry. I have high hopes for UKSA’s development and vision to deliver real change to deserving young people and exceptional quality training for people to develop careers in the maritime industry. I am excited and looking forward to making a difference.”

Current CEO Richard Thornton will be taking up a new role heading up the Outdoor Education Group, a leading not for profit organisation in Australia. During his time at UKSA Richard put in place some valuable initiatives, not least of which was the “year six programme” by which UKSA gives every year six pupil on the Isle of Wight an opportunity to try sailing.  The Trustees are grateful to Richard for his contribution to increasing UKSA’s profile as a successful youth charity since he joined in 2013.