Seamen’s Church Institute is happy to announce that Ann Souder has been appointed Executive Director of the organization and Katie Barker has joined the team as Director of Finance, Human Resources and Operations.

Since the beginning of her career, Souder has been in the yachting, tourism, non-profit and museum industries. Her special expertise includes marketing to high net worth individuals and companies worldwide and developing high-yield business-to-business networking connections. In addition to initiating and managing the fundraiser for Seamen’s as Immediate Past President of the Board of Directors, Souder has also managed successful high-profile yachting events, including the Bucket Regattas in Newport and St. Barth’s. Her previous experience also includes marketing and direct sales roles for DYT Yacht Transport, Churchill Yacht Partners, the Newport Shipyard, Pearson Yachts, and administrative roles at the Dallas Museum of Fine Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and Deborah Gage (Works of Art) in London.

Souder is a lifelong sailor and competitive racer, and has been affiliated with Seamen’s since 2004. She is currently the president of the Newport Maritime Alliance and was appointed to House Commission on the Economic Impact of Rising Sea Levels by the State of Rhode Island Legislature in 2015. Souder is a graduate of Boston University.

“Seamen’s has been an important part of my life for 15 years and I am excited to be part of this prominent Newport institution as we move forward into our second century,” Souder said.

Barker comes to Seamen’s after 13 years at Sail Newport where she was an integral part of the organization’s growth and expansion during her tenure. She has a passion for non-profit organizations, particularly as it relates to the maritime industry and the Newport community. She is looking forward to helping to steer Seamen’s mission as the organization heads into its next 100 years of service to the community. Barker is a Rhode Island native and graduate of Rollins College. When not at work, Barker can be found on the water as a competitive sailor.


In addition to adding new staff members, Seamen’s is also proud to unveil new signage on its historic building. This year marks 100 years of service to the Newport community and the new signage features the Discovery Deck, The Chapel by the Sea, Crow’s Nest lodging and its service offerings. Open 365 days a year, Seamen’s is devoted to serving the maritime and local community through hospitality, basic needs and education services.

Souder said, “The façade of our National listed building has been cleaned and restored to its original look. New and less intrusive signage allows the beauty of its Georgian architecture to shine through.  Seamen’s is the only building on the Newport waterfront still being used for its original purpose and as we celebrate our centenary, we welcome all to come and visit this gem in the heart of the City by the Sea.”

To learn more about Seamen’s, visit


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