Board of Directors
Tom has resided in Vermont since 1966. Lake Champlain, the Green Mountains, and IBM were the draw. Tom is married to his wife Georgene , celebrating 66 years together, and has 3 children (one deceased). His professional career included 31 years at IBM in Engineering, Engineering Management, and Technology Marketing. After an early buyout, Tom switched careers to being a Commercial Real Estate broker for the following 29 years. Throughout his career, he has always been very active in leadership roles in a wide variety of nonprofit organizations including fire rescue, ski patrol, rotary, and community development. Tom has been an active sailor for 50+ years starting with a Sunfish and ending up with a 33’ Tartan Ten, with which he had a very successful racing career, including the Lake Champlain Championship. As a person starting his 3rd year of cancer treatments, Tom understands the value and need of SBC. He has first hand experience from his own mission sail and as serving as 1st mate for many others' mission sails.
Capt. Douglas White’s career in the Yachting Industry started in New England as a consultant for major refits between yacht owners and shipyards. For many years he maintained and operated three yachts: Golden Eagle, a 72’ Alden; Tarbaby, a 50’ Alden Schooner; and Snooty Fox, a 57’ Huckins. He also handled customer service and satisfaction for new Beneteau yacht owners for three years. Many years sailing, racing, and crewing on the Eastern Seaboard, Caribbean and the Pacific Northwest have honed his skills and knowledge. About 20 years ago his skill set was noticed by the ski industry (it is surprising how many ski area owners are yachtsmen!) He began performing major renovation and energy efficiency refits at ski areas around the country while continuing yacht delivery and consultation services. Most recently, he has been involved with commercial construction and project management in New England, again while maintaining his commitment to the yachting industry, and Sail Beyond Cancer.
Jan Vente is a lifetime sailing enthusiast, starting at the age of eight on the Friesian lakes of his native country The Netherlands. As a young adult, he pursued a foreign exchange student program in the United States where he started his automotive career after graduating from Northwood University. His career path took him on an international trajectory, working as an executive for major global car manufacturers in the U.S. and in Europe. During his years in Michigan, Jan frequently sailed the Great Lakes, obtained his USCG Captain’s license and his ASA Sailing Instructor certification. Jan relocated to the Salem, MA area where he came into contact with SBC NS and offered his skills as a volunteer captain for the mission sails. He recently joined the SBC USA board, where he’s excited to help with the development of central standards, best practices, and developing a training curriculum which will help new chapters get up to speed quickly.
Whit believes that resilience is fostered by acceptance and that acceptance often arises when an experience transcends our attachment to a given situation. He has come to understand that for many people sailing provides that transcendent experience.
"In my involvement in Sail Beyond Cancer, I have had the privilege to share and document through photography and film people whose perspective on their physical and mental state, as well as their relationship with others, has been transformed - and for the better - by simply being able to breathe and break bread with family members and friends on a boat powered by wind, water and sail. As current board chair, I am determined to create greater awareness and to help bring as many people in this region as possible to a Sail Beyond Cancer experience."