LIFELONG sailor Tan Thong Meng has been appointed as the Executive Director of the Singapore Sailing Federation (SingaporeSailing) with effect from 11 November 2019, bringing with him almost four decades of sailing experience and involvement with the community in Singapore at all levels.
His appointment to the helm of SingaporeSailing comes after a four-month long search following previous Chief Executive Officer Lim Han Ee’s departure for the private sector.
“I look forward to working closely with (SSF president) Dr Lincoln Chee, stakeholders, and especially the team at SingaporeSailing to drive and remain true to our mission and vision for the development of this sport,” said Thong Meng.
From simple beginnings sailing out of Junior Sailing Club and home of local sailing Changi Sailing Club, Thong Meng, 43, has gone on to sail around the world and head up operations at a leading local marina.
Leaving a teaching job, he raced on board Singapore’s entry “Uniquely Singapore” in the 2005/06 Clipper Around the World Yacht Race. On the 10-month, 25,000 nautical miles (46,000km) circumnavigation sponsored by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) he laid the foundations for a future career in the sailing and marine leisure industry.
The 68ft Clipper race yacht gave Thong Meng the chance to hone his ocean sailing skills, as well as management and people skills as a Watch Leader. Post-race, set on a sailing career, he went full steam ahead to qualify as a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Yachtmaster as well as Yachtmaster Instructor, and is one of the rare sitting RYA Yachtmaster Examiners in Asia.
Prior to joining SingaporeSailing, Thong Meng was the Head of Operations with a local marina, where he spent nine years building Singapore’s only RYA-certified sailing school from the ground up before moving into marina operations and management.
“I hope to be able to contribute to SingaporeSailing from my previous corporate experience, bringing in best practices, while developing long term strategies and a sustainable business model as a key focus,” he said.
Decades of ground level experience in sailing combined with broad commercial experience in the marina industry have given him unique insights into developing business strategies, talent management as well as corporate governance the national sailing body.
“My predecessors have laid a strong foundation in raising the profile of sailing in Singapore and Internationally,” said Thong Meng. “I will continue to work on mastery of the sport, with the hope of placing Singapore on the world sailing pedestal.”