Robert Burke

Executive Director

Robert has spent his career in experiential and adventure education, youth development, and non-profit management. He has taught sailing and climbing throughout the US, and enjoys providing young people opportunities to explore and challenge themselves. Robert has a strong interest in the natural and human history of the Hudson River, and has kayaked or sailed most of its tidal length. Robert holds degrees in English and Education from Fordham University. He holds a US Coast Guard 50-Ton Master’s License, and has been a NY State Guide since 1992. Mr. Burke sits on the NYC Outward Bound Safety Committee, after working as the Program and Safety Director there form 2002-12.


Christopher Green

Operations Director

Christopher was born and raised in NYC and grew up sailing and working on wooden boats on the coast of Maine. He started learning about boatbuilding when he and his brother restored his family’s 1928 Northeast Harbor A-Boat at a boatyard in Maine. Chris studied architecture at Cornell University and worked briefly in the field before starting to teach English and Math in NYC, but boats and the water have never been far from his horizon.


Maeve Gately

Development Director

Maeve Gately joined HRCS as a sailing instructor in 2014 while she was getting her Master's in Journalism from Columbia University. She quickly fell in love with the organization, and decided to stay on as Director of Development and Communications after graduation. Maeve works with Robert to manage the organization's grants, events, and communications. On occasion, she teaches college essay workshops and gets to take students sailing


Don Rotzien

Community Sailing Director

Since joining HRCS in 2014, Don has managed HRCS's racing, adaptive sailing, and special events programming, in addition to other capacity-building initiatives. Don was the General Manager of Greenwich Community Sailing from 2007-2013, is a US Sailing national faculty member and was honored to receive US Sailing's Excellence in Instruction award in 2016. Don has spent over 15 years working as a professional in the field organizing and educating thousands of students and sailors.

Program Leadership


Alexe Taylor

Youth Sailing Director

Alexe grew up in southern New Hampshire sailing on the Piscataqua River, whose name means rapid waters in Abenaki. It is one of the few places in the US with more tidal current than the Hudson! Alexe has sailed Tall ships and small ships, in Maine, and in the rain. But after graduating from NYU with a degree in History she came to HRCS to share her passion for science and experiential education with a new generation of sailors. Alexe oversees the Ocean Literacy program, an environmental science course where students in their second year at HRCS hone their sailing skills and learn more about the estuarine ecosystem. She also coordinates the youth racing program and City Sail summer camp.  Alexe is a certified USCG Captain, US Sailing Basic Keelboat Instructor, and US Powerboating Safe Powerboat Handling Instructor.


Mwenye Seville

Youth Development Director

Mwenye is from Trenton, NJ where he is a member of the Board of Directors for The Granville Academy of NJ. He has been working in education since 1997 and has worked at The Princeton-Blairstown Center as a instructor and program coordinator. He has also worked at NYC Outward Bound schools since 2005 as an instructor and course director as well as site manager for high challenge courses. Mwenye holds a US Coast Guard OUPV license as well as Basic Keelboat Instructor Certification from U.S. Sailing. He is a certified First Aid and CPR/AED Instructor for the Red Cross as well as a Safe Boating instructor for NY State Parks Department. He has worked as a substitute teacher and has volunteered as a tutor and mentor for various programs in NJ and NYC. In total, he has been working with youth for over 20 years.


Emily Moffat

Youth Academic Director

Emily was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2013 with a degree in Neuroscience. Emily then joined Teach for America, and returned to Brooklyn to teach science. She has taught for the past three years, creating programming outside of the classroom for her students as well. During her first two years of teaching, Emily attended the Fordham University Graduate School of Education. She graduated in 2015 as a Master of Science in Teaching.


Will Culver

Inwood Manager

Will grew up in West Newbury, Massachusetts and learned to sail on the Merrimack River and the Gulf of Maine. He taught youth sailing at a local yacht club for ten summers and has crewed on voyages to Maine and Nova Scotia. After studying history and literature at Hampshire College, Will moved to New York to pursue his interests in sailing and education.


Julia Miller

Development and Volunteer Coordinator

Julia is originally from Westfield, NJ and she grew up sailing on the Barnegat Bay at the Lavallette Yacht Club. She graduated from Fordham University in 2017, where she studied Communications and Spanish Studies with a concentration in Visual Arts. After graduation, Julia was a City Sail instructor at HRCS before moving to Spain to teach English in Murcia.Julia returned to HRCS in January 2018 on the Development Communication team.


Alec Basillion

Fleet and Operations Manager

Alec grew up on the north shore of Long Island, where he spent his summers sailing at his local yacht club. Upon turning 18 he began to instruct, coach, and manage sailing programs up and down Long Island Sound. He attended SUNY Albany for public law and philosophy but just could not stay away from boats and the sailing industry for too long. After graduation he devoted all of his time to the mission of community sailing at the Waterfront Center in Oyster Bay. He then attended the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) in Newport, RI for advanced composites fabrication and repair. Alec brings his unique set of skills as a certified composites boat builder and experienced sailing educator to fill the role of Fleet and Operations Manager here at HRCS.


Andy Sold

Membership Coordinator

Andy learned to sail on the majestic Hudson River in Croton on Hudson, NY. He has twelve years of experience teaching sailing on 420’s, Rainbow 24’s, Melges 24’s, J80’s and Pearson 26’s. He graduated from Oberlin College in 2012 with a degree in Theater and Chemistry. He is a licensed Coast Guard captain and US Sailing Certified Keelboat Instructor. His aspirations include running an aquaponic vegetable and fish farm in the American Southwest, and owning a multimedia performance venue. He is excited to help grow the community of mariners, and spend many more years trading knowledge of sailing in New York Harbor.

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Conor Murphy

Public Program Coordinator

Conor grew up in Old Greenwich, CT, sailing dinghies out of Greenwich Community Sailing, where he later became an instructor. He became the Operations Manager at GCS in the summer of 2014 and later served as the Program Director at GCS's sister school, Longshore Sailing School, in 2017. A 2013 graduate from Dartmouth College with a degree in History and Environmental Studies, Conor spends his time off the water playing in a local soccer league.


Emily Martinez

Assistant Program Coordinator

Emily is a Bronx native who discovered her love for sailing after joining a non profit organization in the south Bronx called Rocking the Boat. She first attended the program as a high-school student, learning how to row and sail wooden boats. During college Emily became a program assistant, who was then able to teach the newer students everything she learned during her own time as a student. At that point, Rocking the Boat was able to upgrade to more modern sailboats instead of the wooden ones that were built in the shop. As a program assistant, Emily has taken courses at SUNY Maritime for her Basic Keelboat certification and safe powerboat handling certificate. After Graduating college with a degree in Sociology, Emily decided to venture into other fields of work and stopped working with students and boats altogether. Not surprisingly, no other job seemed as exciting or fulfilling. Emily hopes to not only get back in touch with her inner aquatic self, but to further her skill set while educating youth at HRCS.

Sailing Educators


Brook Aquilino

Sailing Educator

Brook grew up sailing on Narragansett Bay. Since then he has owned and sailed, as he says, “A fleet of sailboats”, including a wooden schooner. He recently completed a transatlantic crossing onboard a 49’ sloop. He holds a Master’s 50 GRT Near Coastal license and is looking forward to a great season sailing with HRCS.


Jay Baum

Sailing Educator

Jay started sailing Sailfish with his father when he was 8 and was a sailing instructor on Lake Wentworth, NH at 16. Moving up to larger boats, Jay has been sailing keelboats since 1995 and joined HRCS as a captain in 2013, winning the prestigious Henry Hudson Award in 2014. Jay has sailed with the First Mates, and worked on numerous maintenance projects with HRCS. In his spare time, he is a manufacturing operations consultant.


Hannah Belsky

Sailing Educator

Hannah is a lifelong sailing enthusiast, equally content helming in a fast-paced race or sailing off into the sunset in a gentle breeze. She has taught sailing to youth and adults in Maine and California and brings her passion for experiential learning and outdoor education. After several years working as a wilderness expedition leader and group challenge facilitator, Hannah most recently brought together college-aged students from around the world in online cross-cultural exchanges through the nonprofit Soliya. She is a graduate of Smith College and is currently pursuing her Masters in Business Administration at New York University.


Danny Crawford

Sailing Educator

Danny is a native of Wilmington, Delaware, and moved to New York in the summer of 2006 to attend New York University. He has been working and teaching on various sized sailboats and motor yachts in New York Harbor since 2011. Danny currently holds a 100 Ton Master’s license through the USCG, and is a scholar of the history and evolution of sailing.


Carrie Morea

Head Sailing Instructor - City Sail

Carrie is returning to City Sail this summer as the Head Instructor. She grew up sailing on the Long Island Sound through the Junior Sailing Association (JSA) where she competed in 420s. When she aged out of JSA, she began coaching and fell in love with the job. For the past 13 years, she has coached on the Long Island Sound, Charles River in Boston, and now on the Hudson River. She recently graduated with a Master’s in School Counseling and looks forward to providing a safe place for students and start her career in education. Outside of coaching, Carrie enjoys skiing, hiking, traveling, cooking, and exploring the City.


Jerry Tullo

Sailing Educator

Jerry learned to sail at the New Jersey Shore when he was seven years old and has been sailing ever since. During his teenage years he was constantly on the move, traveling to compete in Laser, 420, and Multihull regattas in the US and abroad. He began teaching and coaching sailing in his early teens and has continued this passion to this day. During college, while receiving his degree in biology, he began sailing larger boats over longer distances. In the last few years Jerry has sailed from Korea to China and back, and worked as a boat captain in the Caribbean and Thailand. Jerry loves being on the water and sharing his knowledge of the art of sailing with others.


Matt Bennett

Sailing Educator
A British-American hybrid, Matt learnt to sail on small dinghies like Laser Picos and RS Fevas as a 10 year old on the south coast of the UK after being introduced to the sport by his dad. After enjoying it casually for many years, he eventually qualified as an RYA sailing instructor in 2015, and has taught sailing on a variety of different dinghies and keelboats, ranging from Optimists, Lasers and FJs to Sonars and J24s in the UK and community sailing programs in Boston and San Francisco every summer since. A (very) recent graduate of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, UK, Matt studied history and served as the Dinghy Secretary (Instructor Manager) of Edinburgh University Sailing Club from 2015-16, and spent a year abroad studying politics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he trained with the varsity sailing team. Matt came to New York to explore a new city and to save up for law school in the fall, and in his spare time, enjoys getting outdoors, cooking, learning to play the guitar, and of course, sailing.

Aidan McLaverty

Sailing Educator
My sailing career began in a little Optimist in Kinsale, on the south coast of Ireland. The competitive aspect of sailing grabbed my interest early on and he spent much of my formative years chasing international competition in various classes and formats. I managed to graduate college with a student yachting world championship and sailor of the year award. Since then, I have focused much more on teaching and have enjoyed trying to develop sailing programs in Australia, America, and here at home in Ireland. Hopefully I can bring something new to the table and in turn, learn something myself from all the staff and students at HRCS

Will Nodvik

Sailing Educator

Will spent most of his time on the water in Southern California sailing, surfing, and diving. He sailed out of LA Harbor and raced with his high school team up and down the California coast. Will has coached youth dinghies and raced PHRF and one design with his program. During his gap year he worked at an entertainment start-up focused on getting kids excited about STEM + art (STEAM), while racing with a Farr 40 team on the West Coast. Outside of sailing, will studies Computer Engineering at NYU and dabbles in surfboard shaping.


Russell Jacobs

Sailing Educator

Russell is a Brooklyn-raised nature guy and a lifelong sailor. A hiker, fisherman, and devoted Mets fan, he spends his time outside—surf-casting from local beaches, exploring nearby waterways and forests, and writing about the ecological history of his home city. He taught sailing on the Great South Bay from a young age, and is thrilled to be at HRCS, working on New York Harbor. He hopes that by passing along what he knows he’ll help other New Yorkers get in touch with their natural surroundings.


Chris Duda

Sailing Educator

Spencer Merlis

Sailing Educator

Fursey McCormack

Sailing Educator

Fursey was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. His family was blessed with a summer home on Long Island where he grew up sailing and instructing sailing on Gardiner's Bay and Long Island Sound, while journeying to Block Island and Rhode Island. He and his family have remained active sailors through the years.

Fursey stumbled upon HRCS while looking for a sailing outfit in NYC to go sailing with his brother. Discovering a job opening, he dropped quality time with the brother in favor of gainful employment.

Fursey has a BA in Anthropology from Fordham University and an MSc in Maritime Archaeology from the University of Southampton in England. Notwithstanding all those years of costly education he became a middle school teacher and currently teaches social studies in Bushwick.