Pride of Baltimore Nonprofit Names New Chairman

Pride II sailing off Annapolis in September. Photo: Charlotte Faraci

There’s a new helmsman at the wheel of the Pride of Baltimore— the nonprofit, that is, not the ship itself.

Pride of Baltimore, Inc., the organization that manages the tall ship Pride of Baltimore II, has named a new chairman of the nonprofit. Jayson Williams is founder, president, and CEO of MD Strategic Consulting, and has been on the board since 2016. Williams has fond memories of the Pride II from when he was a child. He graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Outgoing chairman Captain Eric Nielsen, head of the Association of Maryland Pilots, helped Pride of Baltimore, Inc. through challenging financial times. The ship nearly had to cease operating amidst a budget shortfall. But earlier this year, the State of Maryland committed $500,000 per year to fund Pride II for the next five years.

The nonprofit says the renewed state and local funding helps, but the goal now is to expand partnerships with the business community, foundations, and individuals to secure operating funds each year.

Says Williams, “ “I am looking for dynamic, strategic thinkers to join us as we expand our board of directors and ensure that Pride II continues to sail well into the future. Pride has always represented revitalization, excitement, and goodwill for Baltimore City and the State of Maryland. We look forward to engaging people to remind them of that.”

The Pride of Baltimore II is a reproduction of a Baltimore Clipper, fast, maneuverable vessels that gained fame as privateers during the War of 1812. The Pride II is 30 years old and has educated people in 40 different countries about the Clippers’ history.

-Meg Walburn Viviano