Willy was born and grew up in a tiny potato farming town in northern Maine a long way from the ocean. While attending Bowdoin College (much closer to the ocean) he began messing around in boats. Willy eventually went to sea with his young family, taking two multi-year sailing trips—to the Caribbean, Central America and across the Atlantic to Europe.
Willy keeps his sailing to Maine these days when he’s not busy running a national media campaign to change the way Americans view hunger in our country. One of his daughters has already followed in his wake, however—buying a 40 year old sloop and taking a year after high school to sail solo to the Bahamas and around to the west coast of Florida to go to college.
Willy was a founding board member of Tall Ships Portland because he knows the confidence and perspective he gained from spending time at sea and wants to help as many young people as possible have that same opportunity.