RYA Cymru Wales is very saddened to announce the passing of Chief Executive Phil Braden too early in life following a period of illness. He leaves behind his wife Deborah and two young daughters.
Phil (58) took over the helm of Welsh boating in February 2016, after a top-level career as a global telecoms executive. He was a lifelong sailor and a former Commodore of Llandudno Sailing Club.
One of his biggest continuing initiatives will be the All Afloat charity which he initiated and launched to help provide boating opportunities for disadvantaged young people throughout Wales, equipping them with life skills to transform lives. It was launched in May 2017 and will be a significant legacy of Phil’s time in charge.
He said at the time: “All Afloat’s vision is to transform lives through the power of boating. We provide those from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity not just to try boating, but also a pathway to become proficient and make it into a lifelong passion.”
After initial funding from RYA Cymru Wales, the charity raised money to provide hundreds of first time experience sessions and certified hundreds of young sailors through RYA recognised training centres and affiliated clubs.
Phil combined top-level business expertise with a love of the sport of sailing, especially on the North Wales coast, after himself taking up the sport as a child.
He was an electronics engineer in the telecoms industry – in 2008 he was voted one of the 50 most influential people in European Media by Cable and Satellite Magazine.
He has been a Chief Executive or Chief Technical Officer for various companies in Hong Kong, the United States, the Middle East, Italy and the Netherlands, but for much of that time he kept a base in North Wales where he continued his love of sailing.
As a director of TVConwy for the past 4 years, Phil was committed to reflecting the growth and development of the county, the region and its people. Offering a platform for local students to air material and a place for them to gain real-world work experience TVConwy has always been really supportive of RYA Cymru Wales and All Afloat.
RYA Cymru Wales Chairman and All Afloat Trustee, Mike Butterfield, said: “A man of vision and immense talent with the confidence to simplify procedures, Phil had a heart that touched all he met.
“Phil was renowned for developing out-of-the-box visions like All Afloat, and Proposal Rhyl, a revitalisation of the marine lake, for Sailability, and securing external partner funding of over £40K. We hope to deliver on Phil’s legacy by fulfilling the promise of these projects.”