Graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1979, Tom served 29 years as a U.S. Marine Corps Officer. During his career he held numerous command and leadership billets, senior staff positions, and earned a Master of Arts in National Strategy and Policy at the U.S. Naval War College. After retiring from the military in 2008, he worked as a defense analyst and Director of Operations for a defense consulting firm. In September 2014, he left that job to fully concentrate his time and energy toward directing Tidewater Wooden Boat Workshop (TWBW). Tom has over 20 years' experience teaching and mentoring youth while coaching youth athletics and at TWBW. Previous nonprofit experience includes serving five years on the board of directors of his community civic league, three of those as president, and as a board member of the Virginia Marine Trades Asscociation. . He has spent the past eight summers completing wooden boatbuilding course work at the Wooden Boat School in Brooklin, Maine. Tom is certified in the nationally recognized "Building to Teach" methodology, developed by the Alexandria Seaport Foundation to teach math through woodworking and boatbuilding, and he is a member of the Teaching With Small Boats Alliance (TWSBA). Through his involvement in TWSBA, Tom personally experienced the tremendous, positive impact a boatbuilding program can have on the lives of underprivileged youth, and he founded Tidewater Wooden Boat Workshop to bring those benefits to the Hampton Roads community.
Graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1983 with a mathematics degree, John served 21 years as a U.S. Marine Corps Infantry Officer. During his career he held numerous command and leadership billets, senior staff positions, and is a member of the Department of Defense Acquisition Workforce.
Since retiring in 2004, he has worked in the defense industry as a government civilian as well as a defense contractor. John has over 16 years' experience teaching and mentoring youth while coaching youth athletics and serving as the volunteer athletic director at a private school in New Jersey. He is a certified USA Volleyball referee at the junior level.
John and his family recently relocated to the Virginia Beach area after spending 16 years in central New Jersey. He is an avid wood worker and welcomes the opportunity to teach STEM skills through building wooden boats with youngsters.
Life-long sailor and boating enthusiast, Jay brings a wealth of ocean sailing and program management experience to the workshop. He grew up working on and restoring sail and power boats, starting with a complete rebuild of a Nova Scotia styled lobster boat when he was a high school student. Prior to graduation from Villanova University, Jay worked summers as a sailing instructor and then as a yard worker at Norwood Chris Craft (the former George Lawley Shipyard) in Boston, MA. In the summer of 2019, he completed his latest project, building an Oxford Shell II rowing shell.
A career U.S. Navy officer, and recently retired U.S. Coast Guard senior intelligence civilian, Jay also competes as navigator and tactician in a variety of ocean races around the world. He has completed 12 Bermuda Races, The Fastnet and Middle Sea Races in Europe, two Sydney Hobart Races, the Caribbean 600, Marblehead to Halifax, FT Lauderdale to Key West, and numerous races along the U.S. East Coast. He is an expert celestial navigator, licensed amateur radio operator (General class), and is a USCG licensed Master of 100 ton motor and sail vessels. Jay is also involved with the Hampton Roads rowing community, coaching at Catholic High School and Hampton Roads Rowing Club. He still rows competitively in sculling and sweep boats.
Ivania began her love of nonprofit work when she was just 16 years old as a volunteer at women's shelters, soup kitchens, food banks and hospitals. By the time she graduated high school in Toronto, Canada, she had completed over 1000 hours of volunteer work. She went on to work and travel throughout Asia, settling in South Korea where she attended the University of Seoul's Korean Language and Culture program. After moving to the U.S. ten years ago, Ivania earned an Associates degree in healthcare administration and worked for several healthcare companies in Hawaii and Virginia. Before joining TWBW she served as the data manager for the Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at The Up Center.