Election Now Open for VIPCA Board of Directors 2024

Current Board Directors entering their second year who will serve on the Board again in 2024:
  • Jim Jackson - Day Charter Captain
  • Leah Randall - Day Charter Owner
  • Siboney Trevino, Term Charter Crew
  • Steve Schlosser - Term, Management Company
  • Mike Johnson - Charter Broker
The seats of those current directors ending their two years of service to the Board are available to be filled by the election of newly nominated candidates or by the current Director upon renewed nomination. Please vote having read the supporting letters by nominees:

Nomination for Clearing House Manager (1 Position)

  • Bret van Roden (Yacht Collective)

Nomination for Term Charter Crew (2 Positions)

  • Roger (R.J.) Lipert (BelieveN) Representing Owner Operator
  • Vivianne Swietelsky (Yacht Serena) Representing Term Charter Crew

Nomination for Marine Service Provider (3 Positions)

  • Brian Christiansen (Yachtly)
  • Jay Pennington (Waypoints)
  • Chris Cilliers (Offshore Marine)
Election opens November 1st, 2023 at 12pm noon. Election closes November 31st, 2023 at 12pm noon. The VIPCA Annual General Members Meeting is to be held by Zoom on December 13th, 2023 at 3pm AST / USVI local time (2pm EST). 2024 Board Directors will be announced at the General Members Meeting.
If any members wish simply to offer assistance as a member of a committee, but without officially joining the Board of Directors, that is also an option, just let us know by emailing info@vipca.org.
Please use the form below, reading each of the letters associated, to cast your vote:

Nominate or Self-Nominate VIPCA Directors

  • Only VIPCA Members may vote. Vessel Members may be represented by one vote by the yacht's current crew; Crew Members (individual); Broker Members (one broker from the member brokerage); Bronze, Silver and Gold Vendor Members inclusive.
  • If you are interested personally in having an active role as a member assisting the Board but not in the role of a Director please state your name, contact, area of interest and availability in this box

Letters from Candidates

Bret van Roden

My purpose and motivation to join the board of VIPCA is to make a positive impact on the Virgin Island charter industry with a focus on growth, collaboration, and standardization.

After three and a half years sailing around the world, I chose to drop the hook in St Thomas in 2012, subsequently entering the charter industry as a captain and crew.  Operating numerous vessels as crew until partnering with Yacht Collective and entering the clearing house/management area of the industry in the middle of 2022.  With previous experience operating in executive roles, my background in international business, manufacturing, and finance will be of value to the mission of VIPCA.  I previously started a young gift executives non-profit in the gift and home industry, and have a proven track record of creating and implementing industry changes.

Given the opportunity to implement change; I will put the industry first and focus on rising the tide for all charter vessels, owners, crew, brokers, and service providers.  After traveling the world, I have always believed a virgin island term charter experience is the best vacation product available.  Being a member of the VIPCA board will give me the opportunity to guide the promotion and support the virgin island charter community both nationally and internationally

Roger (R.J.) Lipert.

My name is R.J. Lipert, owner of BelieveN a Leopard 42’ sailing catamaran since 2021.  My wife Leslie and I have been running term charters since the beginning of 2022.  But we have been enjoying USVI and BVI waters since our first bareboat trip in 2006.  I am originally from Lincoln, NE and owned several businesses in the Fire, Safety and Security market.  Over the years, I have enjoyed giving back and have been a member and chaired several organizations including: Member of the Nebraska State Fire Code Appeals Board, Chaired the City of Lincoln Fire Code Task Force, Member of Lincoln Independent Business Association Board, Treasurer of East Lincoln Lodge #210, Captain of the Iron Nobles (Shriner’s Organization) and Member of the Capitol Beach Association Board.  I believe I provided sound ideas and helped continue the good work of these organizations.  I am a positive and detailed person that is easy to get along with.  I would like to give back and be a part of our wonderful community in the USVI’s.   If elected, I think I could help VIPCA continue to do great things in the community for the youth and the boating community.

Vivianne Swietelsky.

My name is Vivianne, Chef Vivi, and I am seeking a VIPCA Term Charter Crew Board Position because I believe that my experience in the industry and my enthusiasm for connecting and helping businesses and individuals in my community will be of service to you. I am the Owner and Chef of S/V Yacht Serena, a 63’ Beneteau Oceanis Yacht. I operate Serena Yacht Charters, LLC with my partner, Captain Hugh O’Brien, with whom I have been working as Chef on crewed term charters for several years. In addition to being a Yacht Chef, I have been involved in the Hospitality Industry for many years. My experience includes owning the Miami catering firm, Truffles Catering, Pastry Chef, Private Chef to HNWI, extensive event planning. My background is international, and I have lived and worked all over the world, both growing up and for other careers (real estate, fashion, home accessories import). I am an excellent communicator, fluent in 5 languages, and a firm believer in the power of networking, giving back, and helping others in my industry. I have previous experience sitting on both professional and charitable organization boards and look forward to serving and helping my fellow VIPCA members.

Brian Christiansen.

As a Marine Service Provider to the charter yacht industry operating in the US Virgin Islands, I seek a board position with VIPCA. I believe it is important to support the members of the organization as a provider who will work together with all entities comprising the marine industry in the Virgin Islands.

As a managing Captain in the term charter industry as well as greater global tourism communities, I understand the implications for touristic industries to remain compliant with regulations, train members and to have a united representative voice.

Now, as a founding member of Yachtly, a financial technology company specifically built for the yacht charter industry, I continue to support all the constituents of an industry I love by staying involved. This is an ever-changing industry, and as technology and trends change, I plan to contribute pertinent insights toward the betterment of all its members.

I am passionate about the charter yacht industry and its contributions to the Virgin Islands economy, community and society. I am committed to working with the other members of the Board to ensure that VIPCA remains a strong and effective advocate for the industry and its reputation locally, nationally and internationally.

Chris Cilliers.

I believe I would be an excellent fit for the VIPCA (Virgin Islands Professional Charter Association) board member position due to my extensive experience in the maritime and tourism industries, my commitment to sustainable practices, and my dedication to promoting the interests of charter boat operators in the Virgin Islands.

With a background in marine biology and a decade of experience working on charter vessels in the region, I have developed a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities that our local charter industry faces. This firsthand experience equips me with valuable insights into the industry's needs and the ability to make informed decisions that benefit its stakeholders.

Moreover, I am passionate about sustainable tourism and the preservation of our beautiful natural resources. I am committed to promoting environmentally responsible practices within the charter industry, which aligns with VIPCA's mission to foster responsible marine tourism.

I also possess strong leadership and communication skills, essential for effective board membership. I am eager to collaborate with fellow board members to advance the interests of charter boat operators, enhance the quality of service in the Virgin Islands, and contribute to the organization's growth and prosperity.

In summary, my background, experience, commitment to sustainability, and strong interpersonal skills make me a well-rounded candidate for a VIPCA board member, and I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to serve and contribute to the success of the organization.

Jay Pennington.

As a current member of the board and a 15-year veteran of the charter industry, I am tapping to continue serving the industry.

Board Directors shall be provided options of Committees to serve upon, selecting two each of which one they chair:
  • Vendor Committee
  • Day Charter Committee
  • Term Charter Committee
  • Charter Yacht Show Committee
  • Manufacturer Yacht Show Committee
  • Government Committee
  • Insurance Committee
  • VI Youth Marine Training Committee
  • Marine Environment and Community / Project Green Flag Committee
  • Moorings Committee
  • Budget and Finance Committee
  • Ethics Committee
See this link to read: The Articles of Incorporation
See this link to read: The By Laws

VIPCA members please bring anything you wish to see addressed by VIPCA to our board of directors' attention by emailing board@VIPCA.org

Current Board Directors 2023 are:

  • President: Peter Pieschel - 2nd Term, Marine Service Provider
  • Vice President: Jim Jackson - 1st Term , Day Charter Captain
  • Secretary: Siboney Trevino, 1st Term, Term Charter Crew
  • Treasurer - Steve Schlosser - 1st Term, Management Company
  • Chris Cilliers - 2nd term, Marine Service Provider
  • Kara Hubert - 2nd term, Term Charter Crew
  • Jennifer Augspurger - 2nd term, Term Owner
  • Casey Grimes - 2nd term, Clearinghouse
  • Jay Pennington - 2nd term, Bareboat Charter
  • Mike Johnson - 1st Term, Charter Broker
  • Leah Randall - 1st Term, Day Charter Owner


2022 VIPCA Board of Directors

  • President: Erika Boruff, SY Viramar – Term Charter Crew
  • Vice-President: Peter Pieschel, Paradise Yacht Management' – Marine Service Provider
  • Secretary: Collin Steyn, &Beyond Charters – Management Company
  • Treasurer: Jen Augspurger, SY Starfish – Term Owner Operator
  • Kevin Jonas, Mainsail Yacht Charters – Charter Broker
  • Kristie Weiss, Stormy Pirate Boat Charters – Day Charter Owner
  • Jim Jackson, Jamann Sailing Adventures- Day Charter Captain
  • Casey Grimes, Yacht Collective - Clearing House
  • Kara Hubert, SY Easir– Day - Term Charter Crew
  • Jay Pennington, CYOA - Bareboat Charter
  • Chris Cilliers, Offshore Marine- Marine Service Provider

Executive Director: Oriel Blake (Captain 200t / RYA Yachtmaster Instructor / MCA Ocean YM / PADI Instructor)

2021 VIPCA Board of Directors

  • President: Clearing House (Charter Caribe), Dare Blankenhorn
  • Vice President: Crew (S/V Viramar), Erika Boruff
  • Secretary: Marine Service Provider (Multitech VI), Peter Pieschel
  • Treasurer: Owner-operator Crew (S/V Starfish), Sam Augspurger
  • Management Company (&Beyond Charters), Collin Steyn
  • Owner (Island Hoppin), Wally Wallace
  • Day Charter Business (Stormy Pirates), Kristie Weiss
  • Day Charter Business (Jamann Sailing Adventures), Jim Jackson
  • Charter Broker (Mainsail Charters), Kevin Jonas
  • Vendor (Paradise Yacht Mgt), Hank Hampton
  • Crew (S/V Sea Esta), Kristi Marquart

Executive Director: Oriel Blake (Captain 200t / RYA Yachtmaster Instructor / MCA Ocean YM / PADI Instructor)

2020 VIPCA Board of Directors

  • President: Clearing House (Charter Caribe), Dare Blankenhorn
  • Vice President: Crew (S/V Viramar), Erika Boruff
  • Secretary: Management Company (Paradise Yacht Mgt), Hank Hampton
  • Treasurer: Crew (S/V Sea Esta), Kristi Marquart
  • Day Charter Business (Over the Line Charters), Garth Hudson
  • Charter Broker (Carefree Yacht Charters), Lynne Campbell
  • Marine Service Provider (Multitech VI), Peter Pieschel
  • Owner-operator Crew (S/V Starfish), Jen Augspurger

Executive Director: Oriel Blake (MCA/RYA Yachtmaster Instructor & PADI Instructor)

2019 VIPCA Board of Directors

  • President: Owner-operator Crew (S/V Starfish), Jen Augspurger
  • Management Company (Paradise Yacht Mgt), Steve Schlosser
  • Clearing House (Charter Caribe), Dare Blankenhorn
  • Term Crew (S/V Island Hoppin), Jamie and Susannah Deehan
  • Term Crew (S/V Xenia 50), Jade Lech
  • Day Charter Business (Over the Line Charters), Garth Hudson
  • Charter Broker (Carefree Yacht Charters), Lynne Campbell
  • Marine Service Provider.... pending

Executive Director: Oriel Blake (MCA/RYA Yachtmaster Instructor & PADI Instructor)

2018 VIPCA Board of Directors

  • President: Term Crew (S/V Pisces), Travis Krueger
  • Secretary: Management Company (Paradise Yacht Mgt), Steve Schlosser
  • Treasurer: Clearing House (Charter Caribe), Dare Blankenhorn
  • Term Crew (S/V Dreamsong), Erin Furnas
  • Term Crew (S/V Xenia 50), Jade Lech
  • Day Crew (S/V Sweet Pea), Pat Kosick
  • Owner-operator Crew (S/V Starfish), Jen Augspurger
  • Charter Broker (CYBA), Jessica Jones
  • Marine Service Provider (Puerto Del Rey), Jorge Gonzalez

Executive Director: Oriel Blake (MCA/RYA Yachtmaster Instructor & PADI Instructor)

2017 VIPCA Board of Directors

  • President: Donna Romasco
  • Secretary: Jen Augspurger
  • Treasurer: Dare Blankenhorn
  • Directors: Ellen Stewart, Wiley Sharpe, Steve Schlosser, Brie Beatty, Carrie Fisher

Executive Director: Oriel Blake (MCA/RYA Yachtmaster Instructor & PADI Instructor)

Founding Members 2016, without whom VIPCA would not exist!

  • Steve Schlosser
  • Dare Blankenhorn
  • Hank Hampton