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Officers, Staff, and Volunteers

SSCA Board

The SSCA board of directors meets the third Tuesday of every month at noon Eastern time.  Members are welcomed to attend the meetings.  Call Home Base at 754-702-5068 for call-in instructions if you are interested in attending a meeting.

Commodore Ed Kelly, President
Member since 2000, Commodore since 2010
Elected Nov. 2017 - Term Expires Nov. 2020 

Ed and his wife Sue have been cruising 24/7 on their sailboat sv Angel Louise for ten years through 48 countries and five continents. He is a member of the Ocean Cruising Club and is licensed by the US Coast Guard with International Certificates of Competence for operation of power and sail vesssels in foreign nations.

Ed is an attorney and received his education from the University of Iowa. He served as state prosecutor, Senior Assistant US Attorney, and Director of Cybercrime Training for the US Department of Justice. He has served as a school board director and on the board of directors for the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association, as well as numerous other boards.

Ed Kelly

Rich Boren

Commodore Richard Boren, Vice President

Member since 2006, Commodore since 2012
Elected Nov. 2014 - Term Expires Nov. 2019

Rich’s company (Cruise RO Water) is a sponsor of the SSCA website and sponsored SSCA’s 2014 presence at the Strictly Sail Oakland Boat Show. He would like to be involved in growing SSCA’s US West Coast presence. After spending four years cruising Mexico with his family, he is currently living aboard in Morro Bay, California, and is the Cruising Station host for Morro Bay.

With a degree in Biological Sciences and Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1993, combined with operating a cruising gear company servicing cruisers, Rich has a desire to give something back to the cruising community that has given so much to him and his family.

Commodore Jim Osborn, Treasurer

Member since 2014, Commodore since 2016
Elected Nov. 2017 - Term Expires Nov. 2020 

Jim and his wife Cristine have been full-time cruisers since 2011, traveling 40,000 nautical miles from Newfoundland to Panama to Trinidad. 

Jim's first career was on ships, where he was an officer with an unlimited tonnage pilot license. He is a graduate in economics from the University of Michigan, and spent 25 years as an underwriter and forensic accountant with several insurance companies. He was also active as a volunteer with the YMCA.

Jim Osborn

Thom Unger
Thom Unger

Associate Thom Unger, Corresponding Secretary

Member since 2008
Elected Nov. 2016 - Term Expires Nov. 2019

Thom has been a member of the Sailing Club of Washington (DC) for over 25 years, during which he served as Training Director, Vice-Commodore, and Commodore of this 400+ member club. He has been an active participant at the Annapolis Gam for many years, most recognizable as one of the bartenders serving fellow cruisers wine and beer!

His sailing experience includes multiple charters in the Caribbean and England; numerous trips helping friends move boats along the East Coast and from Bermuda; volunteer crew on board the Kalmar Nyckel, a 130' 17th century tall ship based in Wilmington, DE; and finally numerous trips on the Chesapeake Bay, where he has lived aboard his 1966 Allied Luders 33 since 2005. He is a freelance consultant in web programming and database work. 

Thom hopes to continue SSCA's fine tradition of serving cruisers world-wide, to help SSCA to expand its network and membership, to support the shared love of cruising, to further the education and outreach that is useful to so many, and to use his technical knowledge to assist where possible.

Commodore Skip Gundlach,  Director

Member since 2004, Commodore since 2016
Elected Nov. 2018 - Term Expires Nov. 2021

Skip and his wife Lydia have been active cruisers since 2007 and their preferred cruising grounds are the Bahamas with occasional forays on the east coast.  Skip is also active in dozens of cruising-related groups--social media, forums, etc.


He is a college graduate of Marietta College (Marietta, OH--Math, Physics and Chemistry) with 3 national championship gold (and one bronze) rowing medals and an adult-life continuous boater.  In his professional life, Skip was a consultant; his job was finding ways to improve his clients’ businesses by increasing efficiency and profitability.  And, he has expectations of doing the same for SSCA during his tenure while looking for additional ways to increase membership.

Skip Gundlach

Jeff Gower

Associate Jeff Gower, Director

Member since 1995
Elected Nov. 2018 - Term Expires Nov. 2021

While stationed in Coronado and living aboard their Westsail 32, Calypso, Jeff and his wife Wendy became SSCA members. They found a group of like-minded, self sufficient sailors who forged not only a love for the sea but the cruising way of life. Lots of water has passed under their keel since then and Calypso still remains home. After retiring from the Navy, they cruised from Texas to the Chesapeake with their 13-year old daughter. Settling in Morehead City, NC, Jeff taught high school for 10 years.


Since 2010, they have cruised the Exumas, both Florida coasts, and the Chesapeake. They've remained active in SSCA over the years by volunteering at the Melbourne Gam, writing articles for the Commodores' Bulletin and participating in SSU webinars. Being a realist, Jeff understands that a position on the board is no easy job especially in today’s world where organizations have declining membership and participation and his hope is to bring fresh ideas to the table while maintaining the traditions of the organization as a board member.


Associate Mike Hatton, Director

Member since 2002
Elected Nov. 2018 - Term Expires Nov. 2021

Mike and his wife Elizabeth have belonged to SSCA for many years and they've also attended many gams. In addition to SSCA, they also belong to the Waterway Radio Cruising Club (KC2GJZ,KC2GKA), and the Chesapeake Bay Hinckley Association. They've been sailing for 30 years, primarily on Lake Erie, Maine, and the Chesapeake Bay area.


Mike and Elizabeth keep their boat, Sweetwater, in Deale, MD and will be retiring aboard her next year as full-time cruisers. They actively cruise the Bay and North Carolina. They split cruising time between Buffalo, NY on Lake Erie and the Bay from April until about November every year. They raised all eight of their kids aboard various boats along the way.  Mike is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, and a professor at the School of Dental Medicine at Buffalo, NY. He has been active for many years running various professional and service organizations and brings those experiences to his board position.

Mike Hatton

Kim Russo
Kim Russo

Kim Russo - Executive Director

Kim is the co-president of KFR Services and is serving as the association director of SSCA.

She has been boating in the Charleston, South Carolina area for 20 years.  She has worked with recreational boating associations since 2007 and has spent that time focused on developing and directing sponsor programs, planning and implementation of seminars and events, and development of member content.  A frequent presenter at boating events, Kim has spoken at the Miami Boat Show, the Chicago Boat Show, the Seattle Boat Show, the New England Boat Show, the San Francisco Boat Show, TrawlerFest, and CruiserPort University.

She has also been active in advocacy efforts including anchoring rights and the American Boating Congress.

Karen Nettles – Member Services Coordinator

Karen became SSCA’s member services coordinator in July of 2017 when KFR Services acquired the management agreement with SSCA.  Although she has no cruising experience, she is quickly learning about cruising having served as member services coordinator for another boating association prior to coming onboard at SSCA.

Karen enjoys being around the water as she grew up in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, which is home to numerous beaches and rivers, including the ACE Basin, one of the largest wetland ecosystems on the Atlantic coast.  

Karen has over 15 years of association management experience that includes planning and executing events, implementing and administering programs and services, corresponding with members and overseeing general administrative procedures.   While serving as executive assistant for a professional trade association, she also handled various administrative duties for a non-profit foundation. She holds a BA degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of South Carolina.  Karen enjoys reading, cooking and being outdoors.

Karen Nettles
Karen Nettles

Barbara H
Barb Hart

Barb Hart - Communications Coordinator

Barb has lived aboard La Luna, a 47-foot Pedrick designed Cheoy Lee since 2002. She and her husband, Stew, sailed south in 2010 after enjoying seven winters aboard in Maine. Six winters in the Caribbean and Florida have convinced her that living aboard is more fun when snow doesn’t happen. Their cruise took them from Maine to Florida, the Bahamas, Caribbean, Azores, Canaries, and Panama. They returned to Florida in 2015 so Barb could go back to work.

Her land-based work experience included television production, sales, and recruiting—and writing everything from scripts to articles to blogs. After taking Barb Theisen’s Writing for Boaters Course in 2009, Barb published articles in Good Old Boat, All at Sea Caribbean, Latitudes and Attitudes, and other magazines. She is delighted to join the SSCA team working to increase Membership Engagement and plans to focus on the organization’s three pillars: Sharing Cruising Information, Fostering Camaraderie, and Leaving a Clean Wake.


Marine Weather Center
Marine Weather Center
St. Brendan's Isle Old Site Ad Small
500 Oakbrook Lane
Summerville, SC 29485
Phone: (754) 702-5068