The National Sailing Hall of Fame announced this morning that Heather Ruhsam has been named their organization’s new Executive Director.  

Ms. Ruhsam’s appointment is effective immediately. She will be based at the organization’s new home at the Armory on Thames Street in Newport.

City officials in March formally closed on a deal to sell the upper two floors of the historic Armory building on Lower Thames Street to the National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) for $1,685,000.

According to a press release from NSHOF, Ms. Ruhsam is a philanthropy and business development specialist with extensive experience in the not-for-profit arena, with a focus on sailing and conservation.  She joins the NSHOF from Intertidal Ventures, a Newport-based strategic philanthropy consulting firm, where she was a Principal.

An avid sailor, The National Sailing Hall of Fame says Ms. Ruhsam is a former Stewardship Director for Sailors for the Sea, the global ocean conservation organization, and Director of Development for the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park in St. John, USVI.  While she began her career on Wall Street and in the events world, it was her fundraising with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s triathlon teams that shifted her career toward philanthropy.

“We are delighted to have someone with Heather’s experience, energy and enthusiasm join the National Sailing Hall of Fame team at this exciting time for our organization,” said Gus Carlson, NSHOF President in a prepared statement.  “Heather understands our mission and vision, knows the fundraising space, and is a sailor herself. We are confident she brings the right mix of talent, experience and passion for our sport to help take the NSHOF forward.”

“It’s an honor to have the opportunity to work alongside this passionate Board of Directors as the NSHOF embarks on a new era celebrating the legacy of our sailing heroes and their contributions to the sport,” Ms. Ruhsam said in the prepared statement. “Through them we will create a dynamic showcase and experience that promises to inspire and engage the sailing faithful and attract a new generation of sailors.”