Brad Read, executive director, Sail Newport

WATER WAYS OF LIFE: Brad Read, executive director for Sail Newport, involves his organization with the Newport Public Schools system, where it integrates marine education and learning to sail into the curriculum at Pell Elementary School. 
PBN FILE PHOTO/KATE WHITNEY LUCEY
WATER WAYS OF LIFE: Brad Read, executive director for Sail Newport, involves his organization with the Newport Public Schools system, where it integrates marine education and learning to sail into the curriculum at Pell Elementary School. 
PBN FILE PHOTO/KATE WHITNEY LUCEY

PBN 2020 Leaders & Achievers Awards
Brad Read | Executive director, Sail Newport


SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. Respect for the environment. Teamwork. Self-reliance. Perseverance. Humility. Self-esteem. Leadership.

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These are just a few of the many life lessons to be learned through sailing, Brad Read said.

“No other sport inspires the teamwork and potential for leadership skills more than sailing and sailboat racing,” said Read, executive director at Sail Newport, New England’s largest public sailing center located inside Fort Adams State Park in Newport. “A boat needs a skipper and so does a business. Getting a complicated sailboat around a racecourse requires practice, training, repetition and a teamwork ethic. Over the years, sailing has taught me the leadership to make that a successful process.”

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For the past 23 years, while leading the charge to revitalize Fort Adams, Read combined sailing aspects with his engaging personality to generate and promote opportunity, and community outreach.

Sail Newport was originally designed as a special-event management company to entice larger international sailing events back to the state after the loss of the America’s Cup. But the organization has become much more.

Along with bringing the Volvo Ocean Races – and the event’s economic impact – to Rhode Island, Read led the effort to fund and build Sail Newport’s new Mid-Park Marine Education and Recreation Center. The LEED-compliant headquarters was constructed using recycled materials. It collects rainwater for boat washing and landscape irrigation, and includes close to 50 solar panels.

Sail Newport is also involved with the Newport Public Schools system. One program integrates marine education and learning to sail into the standard curriculum for fourth graders at the Pell Elementary School. The four-month experiential learning program, offered to all students, combines science, technology, engineering and math curriculums with hands-on sailing fundamentals and boating safety. Sail Newport expects nearly 170 students to participate during the 2020-21 academic year.

“Every child in our state deserves an opportunity to understand the world around them. Real socioeconomic and physical barriers exist for people on our island to experience the life-changing opportunities offered by being on the water,” Read said.

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