The owner

Gale Force Sailing is Owned & Operated by Kristen Berry

DSC_8776Gale Force Sailing was founded and is lead by Kristen Berry. Kristen has achieved professional success in people focused businesses including politics, communications and sales. Now he is leveraging his passion for sailing and his professional strengths for Gale Force Sailing and the Downtown Sailing Center.

Kristen is a US Sailing certified Level One, Basic Keelboat, Cruising and Coastal Navigation instructor and coach and has worked as a sailing coach and corporate team building event coordinator for more than five years.

Kristen kicked off 2010 with a bang, as a member of the J122 team that won the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race. Kristen will be racing locally, nationally and internationally in 2010, with a focus on the 2010 J80 World Championship being held in Newport, RI in October.

When he’s not busy with Gale Force clients, Kristen serves as the Executive Director of Baltimore’s Downtown Sailing Center.  The Downtown Sailing Center is a volunteer-driven organization that instills confidence, teamwork and a sense of community through a range of educational and recreational sailing programs.  The Downtown Sailing Center is committed to providing access to the freedom of sailing to everyone in the greater Baltimore area, especially those with disabilities or limited income.

In addition to the work he does with his own company and the Downtown Sailing Center, Kristen coaches with JWorld Annapolis – America’s top ranked sailing school and is actively involved in their learn to sail, cruising and racing programs in Annapolis, Key West and St. Petersburg, Florida as well as abroad in the British Virgin Islands and Bermuda.

Kristen continues to work when he can as a sailing coach with the United States Naval Academy where he teaches USNA Midshipmen and United States Naval officers fundamental sailing, seamanship and leadership skills.

Kristen works in close partnership with Oceana – the largest global ocean conservation organization – advocating on behalf of marine ecosystems.  Together they formed the Ocean Conservation Yacht Club, a virtual yacht club, designed to help boaters become more connected with the marine environment and conservation issues related to boating.

Kristen has coached the National Maritime Heritage Foundation’s National Capital High School Sailing program.  This alternative educational and physical fitness program for high school students in the Washington, DC area provides a positive environment in which athletes learn the importance of teamwork, respect, responsibility, leadership, commitment and sportsmanship in addition to sailing and racing techniques and the value of competition.

In 2009 Kristen was profiled in Spinsheet Magazine, was recognized by US Sailing as their Sailor of the Week and was honored by GQ Magazine’s Gentleman’s Fund for his work on ocean conservation.

Before starting Gale Force Sailing, Kristen was the Executive Director of Our Nation’s Capital, a DC based advocacy organization, that advocates for voting rights for DC residents as well as the federal financial support necessary to make Washington, DC a World-class capital.

Always committed to environmental protection and conservation, Kristen was also the president of BirdPAC, a political action committee dedicated to conservation. Prior to flying to BirdPAC he was the Director of Communications and Grassroots Manager of The National Audubon Society.

Kristen spent several years with professional grassroots and lobbying firms where he designed and directed award-winning grassroots and lobbying campaigns at the local, state and federal level. Kristen’s campaign experience includes working for candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. Kristen was worked as an appropriations lobbyist for corporations and municipalities; was a researcher/writer for ESPN’s X Games; Washington, D.C. bureau photographer for Knight-Ridder newspaper association and an on-air radio personality.

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