Keith Graham

One-Design Leadership Award 
presented to
Joseph Sullivan of New York, New York


On behalf of the United States Sailing One Design Class Council, it gives me great pleasure to present Joseph Sullivan the One Design Leadership Award for recognition of individual initiative, enthusiasm, organizing ability, and leadership in creating the one-design fleet building program of the year.

Over the past several year’s Joe has spent his time focusing on two programs: reviving the Fordham University sailing team and building the Sunfish class.

In 2001, Fordham University sailing team completed its first full year of competition after almost thirty years of inactivity. Joe is Fordham Sailing’s guiding hand and volunteer coach. Joe started the team from scratch by using a well-articulated five-year plan. The program began at “zero” and quickly reached varsity status.  Joe posted the plan’s key elements – which include measurable objectives and a specific timetable on the web and Fordham’s program is hitting all its target objectives. The program is a model for fledgling sailing programs and  “selling” a start-up program to school administrations.

As Joe was getting the Fordham program underway, he was also elected to a two-year term as the US Sunfish Class New York Regional Representative where his introduced some ambitious and successful initiatives.

First he coordinated major regattas among the regions effectively expanding the calendar for a majority of class members.

Secondly, he also initiated three new championship events within the New York region, targeting Women’s, Masters, and Junior championships.

Joe’s involvement in the sport is by no means a flash in the pan. Thirty-one years ago he co-founded the “World’s Longest Sunfish Race Around Shelter Island,” an annual Sunfish sailing marathon held out of Southold YC. There were over 40 entries in this year’s running.

Although he is carrying on his work for the Fordham team, Joe recently stepped down from his Sunfish post in order to tend to family responsibilities. Tragically, he lost his son-in-law in the WTC attack. Joe’s activities and accomplishments over the past year are particularly impressive because they draw on a wide range of leadership talents including implementing new initiatives and day-to-day time commitments.

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