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Officers, Staff, and Volunteers

SSCA Board

The SSCA Board of Directors meets the third Tuesday of every month at 4:30pm eastern time.  Members are welcomed to attend the meetings.  Call (754-702-5068) or email Home Base for call-in instructions if you are interested in attending a meeting.

Commodore Kingsley Ross,  President
Member since 2010, Commodore since 2020
Election Nov. 2020 - Term Expires Nov. 2023

Kingsley and his wife Sue circumnavigated the Caribbean in 1992 and 1993.  In 2012, they did a transatlantic crossing to Europe where they remained in those waters until 2018.  Currently, they are in Tallahassee, FL waiting to embark on future cruising exploits.  He has held several leadership positions with his local yacht club, Apalachee Bay Yacht Club, and the American Cancer Society in Florida.  In addition to SSCA, Kingsley is a member of the Ocean Cruising Club.  Besides being SSCA president, he is chair of SSCA’s anchoring and navigation rights committee.

For most of his career, Kingsley worked in and around government agencies where he developed a multi-million-dollar budget for one state agency.  He also served as executive director of a state agency serving people with disabilities and later lobbied both on the state and national levels on their behalf.  Previously, Kingsley served as executive director of a statewide non-profit.  He holds a Masters degree in Sociology. 

During his tenure, Kingsley plans to use his budget expertise and identify ways to increase membership by offering unique and valuable services to support the cruising lifestyle while streamlining operational procedures.

Kingsley Ross

Joan Conover
Commodore Joan Conover,  Vice President
Member since 2005, Commodore since 2009
Election Nov. 2020 - Term Expires Nov. 2023

Joan has been cruising since mid-1995 and has 35,000 cruising miles under her keel having made transatlantic crossings and cruised in the Atlantic, the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific.  She and her family have made multiple passages to the Eastern Caribbean where they presently cruise in season.

Joan currently functions as SSCA’s Cruising Host Coordinator which allows her to be heavily involved in communications with both land and water-based maritime and cruisers worldwide; she in turn collaborates with to communicate pertinent information.  She also serves as SSCA’s Clean Wake Projector Coordinator and in that capacity, she publishes research articles on such initiatives as Sargassum, hurricane relief efforts and Pacific waste issues.  Joan and her husband Greg coordinate SSCA’s presence at the US Sailboat Show each fall in Annapolis and she assists with SSB radios and tracking cruisers during the fall season as well. Joan is also a regular presenter at SSCA Gams.

Due to her active involvement and history of the Association, she would like to see the image of SSCA promoted as a dynamic and forward-thinking organization that helps all cruisers around the world. She believes SSCA does so much that is not known because the collaboration among cruisers is like family and that’s a message that needs to be conveyed to attract younger cruisers to SSCA. 

Joan holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and served 35 years as Senior Engineer Project Manager for a multi-million-dollar US government project.

Commodore Skip Gundlach, Secretary

Member since 2004, Commodore since 2016
Elected Nov. 2018 - Term Expires Nov. 2021

Skip and his wife Lydia have been active cruisers since 2007 and their preferred cruising grounds are the Bahamas with occasional forays on the east coast.  Skip is also active in dozens of cruising-related groups--social media, forums, etc.

He is a college graduate of Marietta College (Marietta, OH--Math, Physics and Chemistry) with 3 national championship gold (and one bronze) rowing medals and an adult-life continuous boater.  In his professional life, Skip was a consultant; his job was finding ways to improve his clients’ businesses by increasing efficiency and profitability.  And, he has expectations of doing the same for SSCA during his tenure while looking for additional ways to increase membership.

Skip Gundlach

Marina Batham
Marina Batham

Commodore Marina Batham, Director

Member since 2016, Commodore since 2020
Appointed March 2020 to fill an unexpired term - Term Expires Nov. 2021

Marina's grandparents, Jack & Ruthie Carstarphen, were founding members of the SSCA, and chartered for many years on their boats, Shellback, and then Maverick, out of St. Thomas, USVI. Then her parents, Teré & Michael Batham, were the next to become Commodores as they cruised aboard their 49' ketch, Sea Quest, for 18 years. Marina is in the enviable position of having grown up knowing and understanding what the SSCA stands for and why it was started in the "old days" of the 50's. She is proud that the organization is still in operation today and looks forward to taking an active role in its future direction.

For the last 20 years, Marina has worked in senior management in the real estate industry, and prior to that, she organized very high-budget conventions all over the world. Marina is a licensed Captain and she has served as the Maui Cruising Station Host for SSCA.

Commodore Joy Carey, Director & Corresponding Secretary

Member since 1991, Commodore since 2003
Elected Nov. 2019 - Term Expires Nov. 2022

Joy and her husband Jim built their first boat in 1978 and cruised with their infant daughter along the west coast of the US, into Canada, and back down to Mexico.  In 1991, they purchased Kelaerin and sailed down the coast, through the canal to Florida.  They later cruised to Puerto Rico and back to Florida before crossing the Atlantic in 2002 to circumnavigate eastabouts.  They are still actively cruising the west coast and are preparing to go to Mexico this fall. 

 Joy holds a BA degree in Special Education from San Diego State University and previously taught high school in Florida and served as a newspaper columnist.  She has submitted articles to the Commodores’ Bulletin and is currently submitting articles to Cruising World and other magazines.  She has plans to publish a book soon.

By serving on the SSCA Board of Directors, Joy would like to see more involvement on the US west coast and in Mexico.  She had the honor to meet Ruth Carstarphen, one of SSCA’s founders, in 1991; Ruth came over and introduced herself when she saw the SSCA burgee flying in San Diego.  Joy also had the opportunity to meet Ruth’s daughter, Tere Batham, on several occasions while cruising overseas.    She hopes to see SSCA regain its inclusive reputation so that thousands of cruisers on the Pacific coast can be more involved.

Joy Carey
Joy Carey

Jeff Gower

Commodore Jeff Gower, Director

Member since 1995, Commodore since 2020
Elected Nov. 2018 - Term Expires Nov. 2021

While stationed in Coronado and living aboard their Westsail 32, Calypso, Jeff and his wife Wendy became SSCA members. They found a group of like-minded, self sufficient sailors who forged not only a love for the sea but the cruising way of life. Lots of water has passed under their keel since then and Calypso still remains home. After retiring from the Navy, they cruised from Texas to the Chesapeake with their 13-year old daughter. Settling in Morehead City, NC, Jeff taught high school for 10 years.


Since 2010, they have cruised the Exumas, both Florida coasts, and the Chesapeake. They've remained active in SSCA over the years by volunteering at the Melbourne Gam, writing articles for the Commodores' Bulletin and participating in SSU webinars. Being a realist, Jeff understands that a position on the board is no easy job especially in today’s world where organizations have declining membership and participation and his hope is to bring fresh ideas to the table while maintaining the traditions of the organization as a board member.


Associate Frederick Channell, Director
Member Since 2018
Elected Nov. 2019-Term Expires Nov. 2022

While a long-term observer, Fred is a relatively new member of SSCA but an active professional and recreational mariner.  He is employed as captain of a research vessel for Cornell University.  In that capacity, Fred spends approximately 150 days a year at sea, primarily along the offshore east coast of the United States; although, he has worked extensively in the Arctic, Patagonia, Africa, and the Gulf of Mexico.  Having been a mariner all his life, Fred holds a BS degree in Marina Biology and a USCG 100T Masters Certificate.  Prior to his tenure at Cornell, Fred was a commercial fisherman in Maine for 15 years and an administrator for government social programs for five years.

Currently, he is preparing his personal sailboat, Willow, for extended cruising once he retires in approximately 24 months.  During the interim, he and his wife Mary cruise on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.  

Fred hopes to bring a fresh, outsider’s perspective to the organization.  Having been involved with online sailing forums personally and professionally, Fred is in touch with the pulse of the cruising community. He is concerned that the cruising community is aging and he wants to see greater engagement among upcoming cruiser generations.  While recognizing that the cruising community is diverse in experience and interests, Fred advocates strongly communicating the core interests of long-range, long-term cruising, both to those who are actively ocean cruising and those who have a genuine desire to do so.

Frederick Channell
Frederick Channell

Karen Nettles
Karen Nettles

Karen Nettles – Member Services Coordinator

Karen became SSCA’s member services coordinator in July of 2017 when KFR Services acquired the management agreement with SSCA.  Although she has no cruising experience, she is quickly learning about cruising having served as member services coordinator for another boating association prior to coming onboard at SSCA.

Karen enjoys being around the water as she grew up in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, which is home to numerous beaches and rivers, including the ACE Basin, one of the largest wetland ecosystems on the Atlantic coast.  

Karen has over 15 years of association management experience that includes planning and executing events, implementing and administering programs and services, corresponding with members and overseeing general administrative procedures.   While serving as executive assistant for a professional trade association, she also handled various administrative duties for a non-profit foundation. She holds a BA degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of South Carolina.  Karen enjoys reading, cooking and being outdoors.

500 Oakbrook Lane
Summerville, SC 29485
Phone: (754) 702-5068