William Ruh

William Ruh

Position: Director

Hometown: Orchard Park, NY

Education: Bachelor of Science – New York Maritime College; MBA – Duke University Fuqua School of Business

An Interview with William Ruh

  1. Why do you want to be a member of US Sailing’s Board of Directors?                         
    As someone who has participated in the sport of sailing for fifty years, my goal was to apply some of the knowledge and skills that I developed in the Private Equity and Financial Services businesses to help US Sailing improve its operational and financial performance. With a keen focus on enhancing its value proposition to US Sailing’s membership base, it can help foster further growth in our sport.
  2. How can community sailing centers, yacht clubs, and other sailing organizations collaborate with each other more on key initiatives to grow sailing?Regardless of the type of boat, the principles of sailing remain constant. The goal is to make sailing approachable to a wide variety of people and to promote safe and fun learning regardless of the venue.  As interest in the sport grows, all organizations affiliated with sailing benefit, which in turn will help rally support for our US Sailing team.
  3. How can these organizations and other sailing industries integrate with their local communities to provide more awareness for prospective new sailors?
    As these organizations help raise interest in Olympic sailing, the youth participants will begin to identify with those sailors that have reached the pinnacle of the sport.  As the US marine industry and the sailing-related organizations rally around the US Sailing Team, the greater the potential funding opportunity.  Better funding will lead to enhanced training and improved medal performance, which in turn will help garner interest from prospective new sailors.
  4. What can US Sailing do to help facilitate these partnerships?                                       
    US Sailing needs to embrace the opportunity to promote the sailors at the top of the sport. As youth sailors come to know and appreciate the commitment required to achieve Olympic success, their level of interest will increase.
  5. How have US Sailing programs and services impacted your overall sailing experience?
    A whole array of US Sailing programs have helped to make sailboat racing a very positive experience for me and the many friends that I’ve met through sailing. Its Safety at Sea classes have been invaluable, and the continued clarification of the Racing Rules of Sailing has helped improve the sport. Further, US Sailing’s efforts to promote a fair yacht rating system, while enhancing race official education, continue to positively impact the sport.
  6. Is it important for sailors to be members of US Sailing?                                                 
    In my opinion, anyone who actively participates in sailing should be a member. US Sailing supports sailing in countless ways, and an active membership base will provide the necessary funding for US Sailing to continue leading the sport


Professional Experience:

  • Cairn Capital Management – President, 2016 to Present, Merchant Bank
  • Ruh Advisory Corp. – President, 2005 to Present, Financial Advisory Services
  • CCM Capital Opportunities Fund – Co-Founder and Managing Principal, 2014-2015, FinTech focused Private Equity Fund
  • Castle Creek® – Co-Founder and Managing Principal, 1994 to 2013, Banking/Financial Services focused Private Equity Funds
  • Mabon Securities Corporation – Vice President – Investment Banking, 1992-1993
  • First Chicago Corporation – Assistant Vice President, 1990-1991, Commercial Banking
  • Merchant Marine Officer, 1982-1985

Current Board Memberships:

  • Figg, Inc., 2020 – Present, Card-Linked Online-to-Offline Commerce Platform
  • Empyr Incorporated, 2015 – Present, Card-Linked Online-to-Offline Commerce Platform
  • Buy It Mobility Networks, 2018 – Present, Payment and Commerce FinTech Platform
  • nCino, Inc., 2013 – Present, Worldwide Leader in Cloud Banking

Volunteer Experience:

  • San Diego Yacht Club, 2017 – Present, Chairman of the Investment Committee and Member of Finance Committee
  • Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, 2008 – 2016, Chairman of the Board 2015-2016, Member of Finance, Investment and Executive Committees
  • Rancho Santa Fe Eagles Lacrosse, 2006 – 2009, Co-Founder and Board Member
  • Rancho Santa Fe Association, 2005 – 2006, Member of Finance Committee
  • Rancho Santa Fe Education Foundation, 2003 – 2007, Member of Executive Committee and Treasurer


  • Director of the Hood Racing Division – 1986 to 1988
  • Member of three America’s Cup teams
    • Freedom Campaign 1982-1983
    • Heart of America 1986-1987
    • America3 1991-1992 Successful Defense of the America’s Cup
  • Raced in five Maxi World Championships
    • Matador 2 1991 1st Place
    • Boomerang 1996 1st Place
    • Boomerang 1999 1st Place
  • Raced in three International 50’ World Championships
    • Carat VII 1991 1st Place
  • Raced in nine Bermuda Races o
    • Boomerang 1996 1st Overall, 1st to Finish, New Course Record
    • Stark Raving Mad VII 2014 1st Overall, 1st in Class •
  • Raced in two Fastnet Races
    • Nirvana 1985 1st to Finish, New Course Record
  • Raced in eight Chicago to Mackinac Races
    • Windquest 1994 1st Overall, 1st in Class, 1st to Finish
    • Windquest 2007 1st Overall, 1st in Class, 1st to Finish
  • Raced in five Port Huron to Mackinac Races
    • Sassy 1984 1st to Finish, New Course Record
    • Windquest 1994 1st Overall, 1st in Class, 1st to Finish
    • Windquest 2006 1st to Finish, New Course Record
  • Raced in seven SDYC Hot Rum Series
    • Raving Madness 2015 1st Overall, 1st in Class
    • Stark Raving Mad VII 2016 1st Overall
    • Stark Raving Mad VII 2017 1st Overall, 1st in Class
    • Stark Raving Mad VII 2018 1st Overall, 1st in Class
  • Melges IC37 Class
    • Pacific Yankee 2020 1st Overall – Winter Series
    • Pacific Yankee 2020 1st Overall – National Championship

Statement from William Ruh

As an avid racing sailor, the combination of my maritime, professional sailing and business experience provides me with a unique insight regarding the US Sailing Association, Foundation, and myriad of issues facing the sport of sailing. As a Board member, I continue to provide input to the executive team of US Sailing with regards to fundraising, financial and operational performance, governance, and outreach to the sailing community.

Currently, the United States is at a distinct disadvantage as compared to other nations with well-funded Olympic sailing teams. As a Board Member of the US Sailing Association and Chairman of the US Sailing Foundation, my goal is to help improve funding for the US Sailing Team and the Olympic Development Program. With enhanced financial support from US corporate sponsors and our sailing community, we can dramatically improve the prospects for Olympic medals through superior coaching, enhanced physical and mental conditioning, advanced technology, and the application of modern sports science to help our athletes reach the pinnacle of their sport.

Contact William Ruh