Membership - American Sail Training Association

board bios

Dan Stetson

President and CEO of the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, CA since June of 2005.  Prior to that Chief Operating Officer since 1992.  Responsible for operational management of award winning programs in marine science and maritime history.  Programs service approximately 100,000 students annually.  Oversee all operations in Dana Point, Cleveland National Forest and Catalina Island.  The Institute operates the brig Pilgrim, the schooner Spirit of Dana Point and its floating laboratory, the R/V Sea Explorer.  The paid staff consists of more than 120 people with 400 volunteers and a budget of more than $9.1 million. 

Mr. Stetson worked as the Oil Spill Crisis Manager for the Law Firm of Pillsbury Madison & Sutro, Los Angeles, CA. In January 1991, the largest oil spill in the history of Los Angeles closed the harbor and devastated numerous businesses.  More than two thousand vessels were covered with oil.  In his capacity as Crisis Manager, Mr. Stetson designed and implemented a comprehensive disaster compensation plan for private and commercial concerns.  He managed combined adjuster and office staff of more than thirty.  He discovered and exposed a third party liability cover-up attemp, provided expert witness testimony in Criminal Court and played a pivotal role in the client’s recovery of damages.  Mr. Stetson developed a compensation risk management model for future spills and rescued and reversed what was a public relations disaster.

Mr. Stetson worked his way through college as part-time sailing instructor.  Upon graduating, he started own sailboat charter/school in Ventura as franchise operation.  He relocated to Newport Beach in a corporate merger and advanced to vice president and general manager.  Under his watch, the operation grew to be the largest charter management company on the West Coast with operations in San Diego, Newport Beach, Marina del Rey, Ventura and Mammoth.  Mr. Stetson's cope of responsibilities included management of marinas and commercial properties (retail, office, restaurant and ski condos), a charter fleet of over 70 boats, sailing schools at all locations and a membership based sailing association with ongoing educational activities.

Mr. Stetson is a graduate of California State University at Fullerton with a Bachelor of Arts in English and an M.B.A from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He is a licensed Master, US Coast Guard (100 tons), Captain of Pilgrim and R/V Sea Explorer, and served in the United States Coast Guard Reserve.

He is married to Roxanne and together they enjoy tennis, scuba diving and sailing.

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