VI State Apprenticeship Council (VISAC) is hosting an Employer Forum: Growing Talent Through Apprenticeship

The Department of Labor-Office of Apprenticeship in partnership with VI State Apprenticeship Council (VISAC) is hosting an Employer Forum: Growing Talent Through Apprenticeship.
We invite you to join VIPCA Director Oriel Blake who shall serve as panelist, and learn more about our commitment to Registered Apprenticeships and how these unique work-based training programs make a difference in our community.
Date: January 12, 2023
Time: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Location: The Ritz Carlton, St. Thomas VI
(A light lunch will be provided)
The event will feature Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) sponsors in the Virgin Islands and attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about the benefits of Registered Apprenticeship.
The benefits of Registered Apprenticeship are substantial for both job seekers and job creators. These “earn as you learn” models enable employers to fill open jobs, improve productivity and profitability, and reduce turnover while providing the American workforce with pathways to start new careers and acquire the skills needed for good jobs.

Calling All USVI-based Captains!

VIPCA & VICS are scoping an exciting USVI Coastal Guide that will highlight natural and historical sites on USVI coastlines. We seek help from local captains that would be willing to take a photographer around the USVI in January to photograph bays of cultural and natural significance. We anticipate 3 days for STT/STJ/Water/Hassel and 2-3 days for St. Croix. We offer a stipend for captain + fuel costs and will credit your business/boat in the Guide. Please let us know if you can help & which island!

VIPCA is Hiring an Assistant Executive Director!

Assistant Executive Director, The Virgin Island Professional Charter Association

LOCATION: St. Thomas, USVI  |  POSITION TYPE: Salary  |  EMPLOYMENT TYPE: Full  |  POSTED: 12/15/2022

The Virgin Island Professional Charter Association (VIPCA) is the territory’s 501(c)(6) non-profit marine association, whose purpose is to preserve, protect and promote the charter yacht sector of the U.S. Virgin Islands marine industry and the businesses that sustain them.

VIPCA’s mission is multi-faceted and includes offering membership benefits such as access to health and hull P&I insurance; sharing pertinent and timely industry updates and information; producing a Marine Directory of marine vendors and services; promoting USVI marine charter tourism; liaising with USVI, BVI and PR to assist in cooperative efforts; seeking relevant official rulings from Customs and Border Protection (CBP); developing USVI marine infrastructure, including moorings; providing compliance guidance for mariners and vessels; and providing marine vocational training for USVI youth under VIPCA’s charity, the Marine Rebuild Fund.

VIPCA’s headquarters is located in the four-time award winning “Superyacht Marina of the Year”, Yacht Haven Grande Marina, in St. Thomas, USVI.   The Assistant Executive Director is a dynamic job requiring flexibility and a self-starter attitude. As Assistant Executive Director you will be involved with the members of the organization directly, assist with the coordination of yacht shows and member events which will require you to be personable and organized, and you will oversee the maintenance of VIPCA moorings throughout the Territory.

Responsibilities |

The Assistant Executive Director will:  

  • Work with the Executive Director to coordinate and supervise daily operations
  • Oversee the management of the Mooring project (including creation and oversight of a mooring project maintenance and repair schedule)
  • Maintain scheduling of events, meetings, and the annual calendar
  • Represent the organization when needed at government meetings and other events
  • Fulfill duties as assigned by the Executive Director or the Board of Directors
  • Collaborate closely with Executive Director to ensure organization events run smoothly, while daily operations are maintained
  • Assist in developing and implementing plans and goals for the organization, as directed by the Board of Directors
  • Act as a proxy for the Executive Director as needed in his or her absence
  • Collaborate with the Executive Director to sustain, promote, and grow programs and services
  • Create a variety of reports and submit them to the Executive Director and/or Board of Directors
  • Draft and maintain organizational proposals and communication, ensuring compliance with applicable local, state, and federal laws

Knowledge | Skills | Abilities

Although not required, knowledge of the following would be helpful:

  • The mission, leadership needs, and planning requirements of VIPCA
  • The marine industry and sectors within that VIPCA represents
  • The term-charter industry, day charters, and yachting
  • Accurate and appropriate information helping members’ charter vessels operate within national, local and harbor regulations


  • Experience in Operations Management
  • Outstanding communication and public speaking skills
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to prioritize and delegate tasks
  • Ability to create and present ideas and budgets in a variety of formats
  • Ability to maintain confidential records
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite, Asana and related software


  • To maintain good working relations with Executive Director, Board of Director members, and the members of VIPCA
  • To be personable and represent VIPCA in a positive manner among the community
  • Prolonged periods sitting at a desk and working on a computer
  • Able to lift at least 15 pounds at one time

Preferred Experience:

  • Candidates with marine experience, especially those who have experience working in the charter industry and/or hold captain licenses will be given priority
  • Experience as an Assistant Director or an Administrative Assistant a bonus, but not required.
  • Work with nonprofits, government agencies, and/or board of director experience is preferred
  • Graphic design and social media skills


Commensurate with qualifications and experience based around full-time exempt salaried (W-2) management position $46,000/year.   While normal office hours will be 9 am to 5 pm, there may be times during the year when work will be required on weekends or in the evenings.

  • Probationary period: four (4) months
  • Health insurance with $3,000 deductible: paid by employer after 4 month probation period.
  • Personal Leave days: 21 days (includes vacation, sick leave and personal leave)

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter and resume to BOARD@VIPCA.ORG with “Assistant Executive Director” in the subject line.   Resumes (including references) should be submitted no later than January 15, 2023.

Thank you RapierMed for your continued support of our youth programs

RapierMed Donates $25,000 to the Marine Rebuild Fund for Junior Sailing Camp Training

Annual Members Meeting and Party

Thank you all whom attended our Annual Members Meeting & Holiday Party at the Box Bar last night, we had a super turn out of member. Thank you especially to the Board Members whom attended and for their year round work: Peter Pieschel, Chris Cilliers, Casey Grimes, Collin Steyn, and returning founding director Steve Schlosser.

VIPCA served as panelist at Workforce Summit Thursday 29th Sept 2022

VIPCA’s serving on the Workforce Development board is a privilege, and Executive Director Oriel Blake was grateful to be a panelist at the Governor’s Workforce Summit. Having the chance to engage with job seekers and professionals with an interest in the Marine Industry is an important part of VIPCA – Virgin Islands Professional Charter Association‘s work.

We have two exciting upcoming Webinars, attend one or both by signing up:

We have two exciting upcoming Webinars, attend one or both by signing up:

Travel Medical Insurance: What you need to know for 2022 (June 9th, 1pm AST)

The world looks vastly different today from two years ago. On June 9th, Rick Bagnall will be presenting on Travel Medical Insurance and the evolving market. Rick will be joined by special guest Kevin Leys, travel insurance head underwriter, and they will deep dive into key industry points including Cancel for Any Reason, Travel Medical, Travel Evacuation, Coordination of Care, Claims and more. Not a VIPCA member yet? Join now for immediate and future access to membership benefits.

VIPCA Shore-based Health Insurance: New to 2022 (June 22nd, 1pm AST)

In February 2022, the VIPCA health insurance coverage was extended to shore-based active members. In this webinar, Rick Bagnall will discuss the insurance program highlights. This health insurance program is underwritten by CIGNA and managed by the insurance specialist at Gowrie Group. CIGNA provides global benefits and assistance services to millions of members in almost every country of the world. This health insurance plan brings VIPCA members the products they need, backed by the service they deserve. Not a VIPCA member yet? Register for the webinar to learn more before joining with a personal membership!

Shore-based health insurance access for active VIPCA members.

The Gowrie Group, a leading marine insurance agency that manages the comprehensive crew health insurance and yacht insurance programs offered to active members of the Virgin Islands Professional Charter Association (VIPCA), is pleased to announce that starting February 1, 2022, coverage will be extended to shore-based active VIPCA members.


Gowrie Group Extends Health Insurance to Shore-based VIPCA Members

National Park Service seeks public input on Caneel Bay

Release Date: January 18, 2022

Contact: Nigel Fields, 340-776-6201 ext. 431

National Park Service seeks public input on Caneel Bay redevelopment options

ST. JOHN, U.S. Virgin Islands—The National Park Service (NPS) today released an initial set of

concepts that could guide the redevelopment of Caneel Bay at Virgin Islands National Park. The

public is invited to provide input on the concepts for 30 days beginning Jan. 18.

“We developed a preliminary range of options that prioritize the protection of resources and

expand public access to Caneel Bay,” said Virgin Islands National Park Superintendent Nigel

Fields. “Civic engagement is an important part of the redevelopment process. We look forward to

receiving the public’s feedback as we work together to create the best possible future for Caneel


While the Caneel Bay retained use estate (RUE) will remain in place until its expiration on

September 30, 2023, the NPS began planning for the Caneel Bay redevelopment last fall. The goals

of the redevelopment plan are to ensure the preservation and protection of natural, cultural and

marine resources, provide for economic development opportunities through commercial

services, maximize operational efficiencies, and ensure compliance with law, regulation and


In line with these objectives, four preliminary redevelopment options are proposed for the public

to comment on, including:

– Alternative A— The NPS preliminary proposed action balances enhanced public

access, recreational opportunities, resource protection and park operational efficiency,

while re-establishing a world-class overnight experience at a luxury resort. Additionally,

the concept calls for a mid-range overnight experience at Hawksnest Beach separate from

the resort, and the NPS would provide space for an organization to design, fund,

construct, and operate a community destination, such as an amphitheater, museum or

cultural center.

— more —

– Alternative B offers a similar management approach to Alternative A, except the resort

area is expanded and a mid-range overnight experience and public access at Hawksnest

Beach is removed.

– Alternative C includes all resort zone elements identified in Alternative A, and the resort

zone is similar to that of the historic boundaries of the Caneel Bay RUE. No visitor

services would be provided at the site for non-resort guests, and the NPS would not

provide a community space at the Caneel Bay area.

– No-Action Alternative assumes sole management by the NPS upon expiration of the RUE

in 2023. The NPS would not issue any permit, lease or concession contract. The NPS

would minimally restore the site to allow for safe access by visitors through existing roads

and trails, including safe access to beaches.

Additional information about the proposed redevelopment options can be found at and will be discussed at the public

engagement meetings.

NPS will hold a virtual public meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. AST. Members of the

public can attend the virtual event or submit written comments by visiting

Written comments may also be hand-delivered or mailed to the park headquarters at:

Caneel Bay Redevelopment and Management Plan

c/o Superintendent Nigel Fields

1300 Cruz Bay Creek

St. John, VI 00830

About Caneel Bay: Caneel Bay currently operates under a retained use estate (RUE), a unique

arrangement crafted by Laurance S. Rockefeller in 1983, setting aside the 150-acre resort for

independent operation and management within Virgin Islands National Park without NPS

oversight. The NPS expects to assume full responsibility for the property when the RUE expires on

September 30, 2023. The resort was severely damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 and

remains mostly closed. In addition to long being an economic driver on the island, Caneel Bay is also

an important cultural and historical site and the location of the 1733 Akwamu Slave Rebellion, one

of the first sustained revolts of enslaved people in the Americas. Current information about the NPS

redevelopment of Caneel Bay is available at

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s

423 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and

create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at, and on Facebook,

Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

VIPCA Work 2021 Synopsis

Jan 6: Meeting with Department of Labour Apprenticeship Executive to discuss expansion of the VIPCA Marine Apprenticeship
Jan 8: Meeting with Governor’s Legal Counsel to discuss direction of the yacht charter industry with VISA Waiver investigation during COVID pandemic to enable foreign crews to temporarily work a USVI-only charter
Jan 12: O.Blake gave birth to Indigo Blake!
The March 2: Presentation given by VIPCA to Bluetide Puerto Rico Inc. in collaboration with Tetra Tech for U.S. Virgin Islands contribution to the “Blue Economy Strategic Implementation Plan for the U.S. Caribbean”
March 2&18: Meeting with VI Port Authority to discuss both the usage of waterfront for a Spring Yacht Show and continued refurbishment of Charlotte Amalie’s Waterfront for charter vessel docking year-round
March 4: VIPCA Testifies in Legislature on the new Minor Water Permit for 200 Moorings. The Committee of the Whole vote favourably.
March 9: Oriel Blake presents on Marine Industry and Youth training initiatives at Rotary Club
April 4: VIPCA launches U.S. Virgin Islands investigation for “Social Assessment of Sargassum in the Caribbean” responding to a research initiative by the University of Rhode Island
April 13 & 16: VIPCA meets with various Government departments exploring funding sources for the proposal received for a VI Shipyard to be proposed for WICO.
May 4: Meeting with the Commissioner of DPNR and each Director of Division of Coastal Zone Management, Fish and Wildlife and Enforcement meet with VIPCA to discuss nature of regulating U.S. Virgin Islands coastal waters with regards to mooring and anchoring
May 6: Contract & Industry Standard Committee Meetings get underway
May 25: VIPCA secures a grant to run 2022 VIPCA Junior Marine Apprenticeship to operate between charter yachts and a program out of the St. Thomas Yacht Club on hobbies and optimists
June 9: VIPCA Meets with Property and Procurement to explore options for funding of My Brothers Workshop – Marine through Disaster funding
June 28 – August 5: VIPCA Marine Apprenticeship five-week intensive captains training for Virgin Islands Youth:
• Swimming
• Discover Scuba Diving
• 5-day practical & theory sailing course at St Thomas Yacht Club
• 7-day sail and power-boat operation with passengers including seamanship, upkeep and customer service with Cruz Bay Watersports
• Various sail training days onboard power and sailing vessels
• Technical skill and proficiency in marine systems and mechanics
• US Coast Guard – half-a-day at the MSD
• 5-day STCW Basic Training (Standards of Training and Certification of Watch-keeping) worth $1200 per student.
A mentorship and scholarship program follows these apprentices to careers as captains and crew with VIPCA’s continued support of their careers being made successful in the Marine Industry
uly 19: VIPCA meets with Stacey Plaskett’s office to provide Congress Woman Plaskett orientation of current state of the marine charter industry with areas for attention within Congress
Initiation of negotiation with the Department of Health for COVID-19 protocol implementation for Government approval of the USVI Charter Yacht Show Approval
USVI Charter Yacht Show Sponsorship liaison with all sponsors
August 19: VIPCA Meets with NOAA for a discussion on Marine Economy Data in the USVI
August 26: VIPCA chairs Marine Task Force meeting with the Governor of the Virgin Islands and his chief of staff
September 1st: Virgin Islands Shipyard meeting with WICO Board Director
September 17th: Full day meeting with DPNR and Coastal Zone Management regarding mooring placements throughout the territory
September 22nd: Meeting with Department of Heath “Mitigation Huddle” with order given for a vaccinated-only event for USVI Charter Yacht Show. Various meetings with Yacht Show Committee succeeded
September 23rd: Meeting with CYBA for their AGM to be hosted in USVI
September 24th: USVI Yacht Charter Promo video commissioned by VIPCA. Meeting with the Department of Tourism Assistant Commissioner and Director of Media for funding approval.
October 15, 19 & 24: VIPCA speaks with Commissioner of Her Majesty’s Customs, British Virgin Islands discussing new licensing requirements
October 16: VIPCA raises concern with USVI Government and a conference with the BVI Ministries relevant to marine issues
October 6: Craig Harms presents as panelist representing VIPCA in St. Croix at the Governor’s Workforce Summit 2021 presenting issues of Marine recruitment in the territory
October 7: Oriel Blake presents as panelist in St.Thomas at the Governor’s Workforce Summit 2021 presenting issues of Marine recruitment in the territory and offering training solutions
October 29: Meeting with Raquel Berry-Benjamin, Commissioner of the Department of Education to further the “Vision” of Marine Training
November 7-10: USVI Charter Yacht Show
November 7: Albert Bryan Jr. Governor of the Virgin Islands visits yacht show and makes opening remarks including VIP guests The Honorable Alani Henneman, Asst. Commissioner of the Department of Tourism; Lisa Hamilton, President of the Hotel and Tourism Association,
November 11: The Governor’s Office invites VIPCA to contribute current concerns with chartering in BVI with the new BVI legislation, requirements, enforcement and processes for an intergovernmental meeting between representatives of the USVI government and the BVI government, to discuss Marine Industry and Tourism concerns
November 15: Government inter-island meeting was held offering potential for follow-up meetings and discussions with VIPCA’s direct participation