Spike Lobdell, President of NESS, Receives 2016 Robert W. Crawford Achievement Prize

Stonington, CT – Spike Lobdell, founder and president of New England Science & Sailing Foundation (NESS), will receive the National Recreation Foundation's 2016 Robert W. Crawford Achievement Prize in recognition of his service to the youth of New England. Spike will be formally presented with the award on Saturday, November 5, 2016, at a ceremony at Hotel Emma in San Antonio, Texas.
Spike founded NESS in 2004, and since 2008, has been the President and CEO. For over 12 years, Spike has selflessly devoted his time to the development of NESS, one of the most successful community sailing programs in the United States. As a youth, he was encouraged to sail by his father, also an avid sailor. Today, Spike is dedicated to building a community of talented Next Generation sailors and providing access to the water for all students regardless of their abilities or financial means. Spike is a full-time volunteer and has never received a dollar of compensation for his efforts.
NESS is a nonprofit ocean adventure education organization that creatively links a STEM-based education with water-based activities. It engages students in experiential learning that builds confidence, teamwork and leadership skills through sailing, marine science, and adventure sports. The core values of inclusiveness, experimental learning, self-discovery, and stewardship remain Spike's passion in leading NESS today.
Today, NESS is a year-round educational organization that served close to 5,000 students last year. More than half (about 56% or 2,800 children) of these students are from low-income communities and receive scholarships or other financial aid that enables them to participate. In 2015, NESS provided more than $430,000 in such financial assistance and more than $1.4 million since 2008.
In the early years, NESS operated out of an abandoned lobster processing facility in the harbor of Stonington, CT. Today, it operates in seven locations in southeastern New England. It partners with over 100 different schools and organizations that support STEM initiatives (science, technology, engineering, and math) and send their students to NESS's on-the-water classrooms... classrooms without walls.  
Formerly CEO of XL Capital's non-insurance operations, Spike worked at JP Morgan for 27 years in various senior management capacities. He is a past Commodore of the Stonington Harbor Yacht Club where he was one of the founding members. Spike sails a Hinckley Sou'wester 42, Legacy, and races J-24s locally.

* * * 
New England Science & Sailing Foundation, Inc. (NESS), is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) ocean adventure education organization that engages students in experiential learning to build confidence, teamwork, and leadership skills. Marine sciences, adventure sports, and sailing are platforms for inquiry-based learning, transformational personal discovery, teaching respect and responsibility for the sea, and creating connections with the community. NESS operates year-round with families, schools, and organizations to provide high-quality programs that blend an innovative curriculum with exciting ocean adventure activities. For more information, visit www.nessf.org.
National Recreation Foundation (NRF)
Founded in 1965, the National Recreation Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the role of recreation as a positive force in improving the quality of life of youth. The Foundation invests in recreation programs directed at those who are economically, physically or mentally disadvantaged. Based in Lake Forest, Illinois, the Foundation has awarded over $18 million in grants nationally over the past 10 years. The Foundation celebrated 50 years of grant-making in 2015.