Catherine Collins, Executive Director

Catherine Collins has more than two decades of leadership experience in nonprofit fundraising and management and holds an MBA. She has worked for national youth organizations including Outward Bound and City Year and spent a decade helping to strengthen local economies with ACCION USA, a subsidiary of worldwide microfinance leader ACCION International. A native of Massachusetts, Catherine grew up sailing Cape Cod waters. Her passion for the power of sailing ships was sparked by her experience in 1993 as a volunteer educator aboard the sloop Clearwater on New York's Hudson River.

Captain Nate Seward

Nate knows Adventuress better than nearly all of us, having volunteered as a Port Townsend teenager more than a decade ago and subsequently sailing aboard for eight seasons as an Educator/Deckhand, Bosun, Second Mate and Chief Mate. He has worked aboard during multiple winter maintenance seasons including in the roles of Bosun and Rigger. Nate’s passion for education and maritime has taken him to Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, Center for Wooden Boats, Northwest Maritime Center and the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. Nate spent time as crew of the Oliver Hazard Perry in Rhode Island and has most recently been “driving” schooners for the Portland Schooner Company in Portland, Maine. Nate’s commitment to excellence is clear whether he’s leading a volunteer work weekend or helping students experience sailing for the first time in a small boat or on a tall ship such as Adventuress.

Captain Katelinn Shaw

Katelinn first set foot on the Adventuress as a participant on a Fantastic Voyage trip, and yes, it was truly fantastic! She was hooked. At first it was the incredible people that drew her back to the ship, and over time, she became more and more aware of the power and elegance inherent in the ship herself. After graduating from the University of Puget Sound, Katelinn began working on traditional sailing ships of all sizes and has learnt much from the intense navigation of the Great Lakes, the challenge and beauty of the Antarctic and the permanent significance of a circumnavigation. Katelinn says that – “returning to the Adventuress is a way for me to live the expression ‘think globally, act locally’ in a profession that resonates with me. I believe that traditional sailing ships are vitally relevant today: while people need food and shelter to live, we also need inspiration and experiences to be alive.”
So here’s to the horizon—long may we sail to meet it.

Captain Gordon Sims

In addition to serving as Captain on Lady Washington and as Mate and Engineer on the East Coast schooner Ernestina, Gordon has a long history with Sound Experience. Starting in '91, Gordon spent fifteen seasons aboard Adventuress as Watch Leader, Mate, Engineer, and—finally—as one of Adventuress' primary Captains from '02 to '05. Gordon returned to Sound Experience in 2015. He says, "I'm humbled to be coming back. I'm grateful and really looking forward to the opportunity to bring Sound Experience and Adventuress to the world." In his spare time, Gordon, a resident of Indianola, WA, is a member of a singing trio and loves being outdoors. He describes himself as having "a wonder of all things non-human."

Amy Kovacs, Partnership Director

Amy first came aboard Adventuress between '09 and '11 as an Educator/Deckhand and Program Coordinator, then joined the staff team as Program Director in 2015. She recently moved into the Partnership Director position to continue to build and grow our community partnerships. Amy has a Masters in Anthrozoology and has an extensive background in experiential education. She has started an outdoor education program at a newly-formed charter school in Salt Lake City, ran experiential school programs for Mountain Workshop as well as been a staff lead for wilderness therapy programs. At Sound Experience, Amy supports the crew and shipboard community while working with schools and educators to facilitate life-changing programs aboard Adventuress. A Northwest transplant as of September, 2014, Amy loves the Puget Sound region. In addition to her passion for experiential education, Amy likes to bike, canoe, and work on ceramics.

Jenny Huntley, Program Director

A Pacific Northwest native, Jenny is thrilled to be part of the Sound Experience staff! She first came aboard Adventuress for a four day overnight program when she was 12 years old and absolutely loved the entire experience. She discovered Adventuress again and enjoyed two seasons working as the shipboard Program Coordinator in ’16 and ‘17. Jenny graduated from Western Washington University’s Huxley College with a BA in Environmental Education. In her role at Sound Experience, Jenny assists with fundraising, event planning, grant writing, social media, organization of day and overnight programs with schools and educators, and supporting our crew and shipboard community. Jenny has always loved the Salish Sea and is very passionate about orcas, especially our Southern Resident Killer Whales. She and her husband, Jason live in Bellingham and love being near/on the water as much as possible.

Hali Kalae Miller, Development Officer

Hali is a native of the Puget Sound region and has worked with nonprofits for over 15 years. She is committed to supporting organizations that provide creative hands-on learning. At Sound Experience she wrestles technology and streamlines data so that members can spend more time on the water and less time in front of a screen. Hali currently lives in a small house in the woods outside of Port Townsend with her husband, Gregg, and their oversized diffenbachia.