Board of Directors
Captain Dan Peretz is a native originally from Tampa who relocated to St. Pete Beach in 1971. Dan began chartering sailboats off the beach near the Don Cesar Resort in 1972 due to his love of the unspoiled beauty in St Pete Beach. As the area grew so did Dan’s sailing charters. In 1986, he opened Dolphin Landings Charter Boat Center centrally located on St. Pete Beach providing over 50 charter vessels in the Tampa Bay Area. Dan sailed extensively throughout his life. One of Dan’s most memorable highlights was when he skippered his yacht in the 1992 America 500. The seven-month cruise with ports of call in the Bahamas, Bermuda, Azores islands, Gibraltar, Africa, and Spain offers great experience and fond memories. Dan is actively involved with multiple community, state, and national associations. He is a past president of the Tall Ship Society and of Skal International Tampa Bay where he currently serves on the board of directors. In 2017 he created the 501(c)(3) nonprofit SOS catering to the seriously health-challenged individuals and their families, taking them sailing on the calm waters.
Nina is a retired Pinellas County educator and a 40-year resident of St. Pete Beach. Nina travels the world, immersing herself in other cultures. She is also an avid native plant gardener. Nina’s husband, Art, was a lifelong sailor who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2010. Captain Dan and Nina began taking Art along with his family and friends sailing after Art’s surgery. They discovered, when Art was at the helm, that he relished this chance to feel like himself again, enjoying sailing and life as he had before. Nina and Art enjoyed a 40-year friendship with Captain Dan. That friendship and these initial trips are what led to the conception of SOS and inspired Captain Dan to offer sailing opportunities to others within the community. Nina continues to be inspired as she serves on the SOS board.
From western Pennsylvania, Terry earned his Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a major in Accounting from Cleveland State University. After graduation, he worked for General Motors. He was at the Arlington National Cemetery after being drafted by the Army. Terry moved to St. Pete Beach in early 1970 where he learned how to sail and become a “transplant with sand in his flip-flops.” He has owned and refurbished commercial properties and several businesses since 1978. Terry’s expertise and resourcefulness in business development make him a key asset to the SOS Board of Directors.
Rick enjoyed growing up in different areas of the country, but it was his move to Florida in 1989 that presented him with unforgettable surroundings he had not yet experienced–the gulf waters and subtropical environment. Life took Rick in many directions and eventually drew him back to the Tampa Bay area, where a friend invited him to be a guest of SOS which lead him to become hooked on sailing. He signed up for classes and learned to sail small boats on the coastal waters. Sailing led him back to Dolphin Landings Charter, where he began volunteer crewing with SOS. Rick’s passion for sailing and his caring personality make working with SOS an obvious choice. Serving as a board member presents a welcome challenge and a worthy cause that allows Rick to continue to help more people and fulfill his newfound passion for sailing. Rick brings a lengthy and versatile technical and mechanical background, which is a welcome addition to SOS.
Tom has been an avid sailor and captain in the St. Petersburg area for 45 years. He combined his passion for sailing with his career in safety and environmental science. “Joining the SOS board has been a natural evolution where I can focus on the health and safety of the community, not just the workers from the industries where I have been employed.”
Tom has traveled through much of the world over the last 38 years seeing how diverse people live. “We all share common concerns and deal with life issues no matter where we live or how much or little money we have.”
“Soothe Our Souls” provides opportunities for all of us, whether to support healing of ourselves or the healing of others. Spending a few hours sailing may not solve all of your problems or those of your loved one, but experiencing the water, the silence of sailing, and the occasional visit of a dolphin or manatee, can give a few minutes of relaxation, laughter, and hope.
Tom and his life partner Lauren have their own sailboat and always love sharing the sailing experiences with others. Friends acquired from their global travels continue to make Tom and Lauren’s house and boat a vacation hot spot.
Director / Admin
Marji is a retired Chemical Engineer, native Floridian, and a long-time sailor. While working with PepsiCo, at Tropicana Orange Juice in Bradenton Florida, she supervised Environmental Operations and worked with employee groups dedicated to supporting people with different abilities/disabilities. Marji was on the Board of Directors of Keep Manatee Beautiful for 4 years, where she served as secretary for one year, and Chairman of Community Awareness Committee for one year. She joined the Board of Directors of Soothe Our Souls in 2019, and is currently serving as Admin/Secretary.
Certified crew member, Kerry Kopasek, moved to St Pete from the Washington, D.C. area to pursue a longer warm weather sailing season. She began crewing for Dolphin Landing Boat Charter in 2018 where she learned about Soothe Our Souls and the wonderful program the organization offers. Because sailing has been a healing aspect of her life in many ways, she is excited to bring her skills in meditation and marketing to the team of volunteers that help run this heart-warming organization. Kerry hopes to enhance the services and grow the reach of SOS while fostering healing through sailing to those who need a respite from the day-to-day stressors that overcoming illness can bring. She asks anyone who knows of SOS to tell at least one new person a week about the organization so the invitation to sail finds those who need it. You can find free meditations by Kerry off the yacht at: www.madeinmeditation.org
As a retired dentist, teacher, and researcher, Tom Dilauro now spends his time and skills to give back to the community one of his ultimate loves, sailing. The water has always been a comfort and source of wonder for Tom. Before moving to Florida, Tom owned sailboats which he raced and cruised on the Hudson River, New York Harbor and Long Island Sound. At one point he was Commodore of a local yacht club. In all of his experience, he found sailing allows a deep breath in our busy world. Tom is grateful to be a part of SOS which focuses on bringing a ‘deep breath’ along with healing moments to those who would not otherwise have access to such a unique sailing experience. Sharing in the calming sails with the silent wind propelling us through the water while watching a smile form on a client's face is the ultimate high.