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Tall Ships Races International Ltd Announce New Board Members

September 26, 2019

Tall Ships Races International Limited (TSRIL), the trading company for the charity Sail Training International, are delighted to announce the addition of three new board members who will join the seven strong team to bring further expertise and passion in helping to lead the organisation.

The board of directors of TSRIL is responsible for managing the trading activities of Sail Training International and is responsible for organising The Tall Ships Races and Regattas.

August 2019 has seen the Trustees invite Jan Reier Arends, Bjørg Johnsrud Western, and Jan Van der Burg to join as board members. They will officially start their board roles on September 18th 2019. The TSRIL board is comprised of individuals from the business, maritime, medical, academic and volunteer communities from across the globe. It is the TSRIL board’s role to provide leadership, counsel and guidance in the direction and operation of Sail Training International, as well as, raise awareness of the charity’s mission for promoting international understanding and friendship along with developing young people from across the world.

“I am excited to welcome Jan Reier, Bjørg and Jan to the board of Tall Ships Races International Ltd.

“Each of them brings deep community knowledge, a wealth of experience and a passion for the development of young people with the desire to envision an ambitious international future in order to meet the growing needs of Sail Training International”

Ross MacDonald, Chairman, Tall Ships Races International Ltd

Jan Reier Arends

Jan Reier Arends is both founding member and owner JR Shipping Group, currently responsible for an international commercial operation of over 30 ships. Hailing from the City of Harlingen, The Netherlands, born and raised on a ship, Jan Reier has a diverse maritime heritage beginning his career as a maritime officer and graduating to the position of Captain on various vessels throughout his career. With his comprehensive experience in shipping, offshore industry and renewable energy, Jan Reier is currently an active member of the Maritime Institute, Willem Barentsz Terschelling (NHL).

Since 2017 Jan Reier has also been an advisory board member for Noord Netherlands Offshore Wind (NNOW). Jan Reier was instrumental in bringing The Tall Ships Races to Harlingen in 2014 and again in 2018. On both occasions he was Chairman of ‘Stichting Harlingen Sail’. Jan Reier is delighted that in 2022 Harlingen has once again been selected as a host port for The Tall Ships Races.

Bjørg Johnsrud Western

Bjørg Johnsrud Western resides in Fredrikstad and has held a number of roles within Fredrikstad City Council. In 2003 Bjørg began working closely in managing The Tall Ships Races Fredrikstad, showcasing her expertise when it came to both event and project management and successfully hosting flagship events on an international scale.

Bjørg has an international outlook and has been involved in introducing a number of innovative and collaborative working practices across Northern Europe. With a masters degree in Change Management, Bjørg’s participation on several nonprofit boards along with being chair of various EU steering projects sees her contribute to building and strengthening relationships across key stakeholder networks. Bjørg has sailed as a trainee on various Tall Ship Race legs which has enabled her to gain an invaluable insight and to use her experience and skills to mentor young people and also coach and support peers and colleagues.

Jan G. Van der Burg

Jan G. Van der Burg has been stationed in a number of locations throughout his impressive naval career and is fluent in Dutch, English, German and French. Jan was promoted to Commodore in 2002 and then to the position of chief naval staff. In 2005 to 2008 he became rear-admiral, during which time he also served as the Deputy Director-General of the EU Military staff in Brussels.

With a personal motto of ‘always brace for change’ being evident across Jan’s past. His skills include coaching, policy development, governance process, project management and financial planning, all of which allowed him to add value when he was positioned as Senior Diplomat at the Council of the EU. Following retirement, Jan is still very much active with the private and public sectors where he is consulting across various fields.

Sail Training International is looking forward to welcoming the new TSRIL board members and further their mission of developing young people and to promote international friendship and understanding.

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