US Sailing, the National Governing Body of the sport, has officially appointed Jack Gierhart as its eighth Executive Director in the history of the organization. Gierhart has served as the organization’s acting Executive Director since October of 2010 following the retirement of Charlie Leighton. He had served as the Associate Executive Director since November of 2009.
The US Sailing’s Board of Directors and Search Committee worked closely with a retained executive search firm on a national search. After extensive research, more than 80 individuals were considered for the position and seven candidates with a wide range of experience, expertise and perspective were evaluated by the Search Committee in interviews and through referencing. Gierhart was selected from this thorough process to lead US Sailing.
'After an extensive national search, I am pleased to announce that our Board of Directors has appointed Jack Gierhart as our Executive Director,' said US Sailing President Gary Jobson. 'Jack has played an integral role with the organization for over six years and brings a wealth of experience to US Sailing. We look forward to working with Jack in the coming years.'
'I am very excited about this opportunity to work with the board, our volunteers, and staff,' offered Gierhart. 'We have a great team here at US Sailing, and with our current momentum there is a lot of opportunity. We will continue to focus on improving our core programs, but also look forward to new ideas, initiatives and strengthening support of local sailing organizations that are critical to the future of sailing in the United States.'
Gierhart has garnered over 20 years of sales, marketing, and general management experience in the technology and marine industries. He has spent over six years at US Sailing in two separate stints. Gierhart first joined US Sailing in 2002 as the organization’s 1st Marketing Director. During his four years as marketing director, he managed the marketing, sponsorship, web, and licensing programs. Since re-joining the US Sailing in 2009, Gierhart has been focused on growing the organization’s membership base and improving the overall information technology infrastructure, content management and outgoing communications initiatives.
Prior to his return to US Sailing, Gierhart was the founder and CEO of MessageSherpa, an online communications company, from 2007 to 2009. As Executive Vice President of Nautor’s Swan U SA, Gierhart was responsible for developing strategies and implementing sales, marketing, and customer service plans to reinvigorate U.S. business for the company. During his six years with IBM, Gierhart served as a Global Sales and Business Development Manager where he developed worldwide sales strategies and enablement programs to expand software sales and consulting services.
An avid sailor, Gierhart sails both competitively and recreationally. In addition to circumnavigating Alaska and sailing much of the east and west coasts of the U.S., he has participated in numerous Bermuda races and enjoys sailing Lasers, H12s, Shields, J/105s, and J/80s. He has been a proud member of the Beverly Yacht Club (Mass.) since 2002. Gierhart graduated from Tulane University in 1987 and from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business with an MBA in 1993. He lives with his wife, two daughters and son in Marion, Mass. www.ussailing.org