2014 BYC Board of Trustees Candidates

Click here to learn more about the candidates for the Flag Officers.

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Candidate Questions

We asked the each of the candidates to submit a short bio and answer the following three questions:

  1. What do you feel are the Club’s greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  2. What are your experiences (both inside and outside the Club) that will benefit the position for which you are running?
  3. Where would you like to see the club going over the next 4 years?

Tom Childs

No information submitted.


Tom Day

TomDay

I have been an active member of the BYC for the last 3 years and also have many family members that are part of this wonderful club. My wife and I own and operate a boat building company here in Bellingham and are active boaters as well. I have been building boats for the past 25+ years. We volunteer ourselves and our boat to BYC events at Inati bay and at the club house. Because we have a landing craft, we are able to haul equipment and people to BYC sponsored events. I have been on a number of Inati beach clean and maintenance trips as well.

  1. The clubs greatest strengths are the wonderful community from which it draws its members and the great location that we call home. We also have a great diversity of members with a wide variety of boating styles and backgrounds. The weakness that I can see is that after a big member drive there are many new members recruited and in short time I never see them again…I would like to find out why and do my part to encourage longevity of membership.
  2. I am a people person and a business person; both are needed in such a position.
  3. In the next 4 years I would like to see the club become more family oriented with activities and events for all ages. If someone is raised in a happy and healthy environment, such as the BYC, They will not need recruiting when they become adults, they will be members by default with the desire to raise their children in the same environment that they cherished as children.

Thank you for your consideration.

Tom Day


Rick Lauresn

RickLaursen

I moved to and grew up on Shaw island in 1991 which, surrounded by 120 people island wide, gives one an immediate sense of community. I was somewhat fortunate to grow up with a father who was significantly older, 61 when I was born to be exact, giving one another unique way to grow up to say the least.  In fact I hadn’t really gotten to know or become of my own generation a whole lot until moving to Bellingham in June of ’06.  While I’ve been boating and flying since before I was born, I didn’t actually get into sailing proper until 4 and a half years ago, upon which myself, and best friend went full-on into it. Between the two of us over the six months that followed we had moved up to our fourth boat. Since then I haven’t slowed down. After really getting involved with racing in May of 2012 on Blackfoot and getting on practically every boat I can for more experience, and moving up from a 26 foot live-aboard to a 30 footer, I have participated in almost every race in the area at least once and have been a regular addict to the Wednesday and Thursday night racing scene as well.  As for the club, it’s been one of the best things to happen to me. I’ve been lucky enough to do and help out with things around the racing scene, enjoy helping out where I can around the club, help with things like the remodel some, the Buccaneers Cruise and treasure hunt, and see the fruits of that labor.


 

I have been thinking of joining the board for a while now and have thought if I ever were to get on I think my motto would be; “For the love of people, of boating, and for the greater good” if you’re not doing it for those reasons I believe you may be doing it for the wrong reasons. 

  1. The clubs greatest strengths I’ve seen are the membership, and specifically the people that are involved who know what they’re doing, and are actively helping, willing, and working to make things happen for everyone and get things done. When help is needed-people are there.
  2. I have done a lot of volunteering at the Upfront theater, and Heritage Flight Museum before coming to the club and in doing so have seen what happens when people work together for the same goal, and what can happen if they don’t. I have seen how things don’t need to become complicated to get done, among other things.  I have a strong distaste for politics and politicians and believe things can be accomplished in better ways. I have been told I carry a “balanced and neutral way of looking at things” and I believe my motto and attitude will help benefit the club and intentions are in the right place.
  3.  

  4. In coming years for starters I would love to see the Wednesday night fleet grow, back closer to what it used to be, the membership grow, and be a part of helping things get done efficiently, and be a part of maintaining and improving for the future.

Scott McEniry

ScottMcEniry

Scott has been a member since 2012 and serves the club primarily behind the bar, where his 15+ years as a professional bartender can best be utilized. He has also been active on the Youth Sailing Committee. He is a life-long cruising sailor, having explored the Salish Sea from the South Sound to Nanaimo. He currently sails a 1946 Owens 40 Cutter, and has owned several sailboats from 12’ to 40’. Professionally Scott has held several jobs in the marine industry, including maintenance/installation, sailing instructor, yacht broker, and is currently employed as a Sales Engineer for Blue Sea Systems. He is looking forward to finding other avenues where he can serve the club.

  1. I feel the greatest strength of the club is bringing people together from all walks of life who share a passion for the water, and giving them the opportunity of creating a sustaining community that is truly greater than the sum of its parts. I think the greatest weakness we face is building and sustaining a broad membership base that can withstand the attrition brought about when life changes result in members moving on to other interests.
  2. I owned and operated a successful fencing club in Bellingham for the last 15 years, where our success balanced precariously on retaining a membership base. I feel this experience will be beneficial in helping the Club, which is facing the same dilemma (albeit on a much larger scale). My fifteen years of experience as a bartender has already allowed me to serve the club well behind the bar. I’ve worked at Blue Sea Systems for the last 15 years, and my position involves a tremendous amount of teamwork, delegation, and management. I feel these skills are immediately transferrable to the position for which I am running.
  3. I would like to see the Club continue to grow its membership while offering more benefits to its members. The first helps ensure the longevity of the Club over time, while the second will do much towards lowering the rate of membership attrition. The marine industry as whole is experiencing a similar phenomenon: 7 out of 10 new boat owners leave the sport after 3 years. Creating programs and benefits that increase the interest and excitement of being involved on the water will not only keep membership fresh and alive for existing members, but will do much towards retaining newer members as their initial interest wanes.

Scott McEniry


Mike Powell

A new member to the BYC and recent a transplant to Bellingham, I came to sailing late. I started cruising in the Caribbean but jumped to spending two months on “UHURU” an Oyster 62, as part of an expedition sailing from the Falklands across Drakes passage to Antarctica then back around the Horn and up through Patagonia. By then, sailing had its hooks in me and I returned to Bellingham ready to embrace the sailing life. I now race Lasers, Melges 24s and distance/offshore events having completed Round the County and Swiftsure as crew. My family and I still enjoy cruising and just returned from two weeks in Desolation Sound.

I got involved with the BYC Youth Fleet when I saw how well my own two kids, Sean and Emma, did in the Learn-to-Sail program. I am now the Youth Fleet Captain and in my first year I have overseen an expansion of the Learn-to-Sail program, a re-introduction of the Youth Race Team and an ongoing fundraising campaign to help support improved youth sailing in Bellingham

  1. BYC’s greatest strength is its support from its members. When the call to help goes out, people show up.

    As for BYC’s greatest weakness, I feel we can do a better job at nurturing new sailors at both the family/youth level to recruiting new boats and skippers to the race fleet.

  2. . Within the BYC, my experience this year as Youth Fleet Captain has just shown me what a talented sincere group of people I have got to work with around youth sailing. It has also highlighted how much more we could do to make the sailing experience in the area better. We have incredible potential here.

    My experience outside the BYC has been as a small business owner and photographer. My travels as a photographer have shown me how the best sporting events in the world are run and packaged. Being around world-class athletes all my life has shown me not only what dedication it takes to be successful at something, but how much positive influence good coaching and mentoring has on our youth.

  3. . It’s no secret that my interest lies in the sailing aspect of our club. I would like to see the Learn-to-Sail program expand in the number of classes it offers with improved facilities. I feel that we should explore ways of getting more local kids who are maybe unfamiliar with sailing into our program. I would also like to see an expansion of our youth race team, to a point that our more competitive youth sailors have access to race all season and have access to an improved fleet of dinghies.

Mike Powell


Mark Schmerler

MarkSchmerler

I joined the Club when I moved to Bellingham approximately four years ago, and I am currently a Trustee and member of the Finance and Policy and Planning Committees.

As a youth I raced scow type boats throughout the Midwest. My summer job in high school and college was as a sailing / racing instructor for the Lake Calhoun Yacht Club in Minneapolis, MN. For the past Twelve years I have been cruising British Columbia and Alaska on my boat The BunkHouse.
Prior to moving here, I lived in Minneapolis, and was President of G&K Services, Inc. (an international, industrial laundry and garment manufacturing company). I worked there for 28 years, and participated in the growth of the company from $6M to $1 B in revenues.

Upon retiring I moved to Sequim, and was the volunteer President of the Sunland Golf and Country Club for four years. I helped the golf club re-examine their focus to better deal with today’s changing times.

  1. All clubs today face challenges and the challenges are similar in nature. We need to capitalize on our strengths and work on our weakness.

    BYC has many strengths:

    • Our Physical Club House
    • Strong Volunteer Membership Commitments
    • Programs that Engage a Wide Membership Group
    • Youth Sailing Programs

    Weaknesses/Opportunities need to be addressed:

    • New Membership and Retention
    • Aging Membership
    • Future Financial Issues
    • Continuity of Direction and Strategic Planning

    All clubs today face challenges and the challenges are similar in nature. We need to focus on our weaknesses and capitalize on our strengths.

  2. (Editor)Nothing submitted…
  3. Strong membership programs, growing youth sailing, listening to our membership, financial responsibility, continuity of direction, and a long term vision for the club will ensure long term future successes for the BYC.

Mark Schmerler


Dale Serbousek

No information submitted.


Tim Thompson

timthompson

Was born in Annapolis, Maryland but grew up in the Twin Cities boating on the lakes in Minnesota. Graduated from UW-Madison and moved to Santa Barbara to get away from the winter. After getting certified in SCUBA in Santa Barbara I fell in love with the Channel Islands and hanging around the marina there showed me the ways of salt water boating.

After two years I was transferred to San Diego and had come to the conclusion that “everyone in Southern California must live on a boat at some point”, so I bought a 40’ sportfisher and proceeded to live aboard for 7 years. Of all the live-aboards on my dock at the marina, I’m still in touch with most of them, even after 15 years. It really shows the power of the boating community and the camaraderie that inevitably comes from those participating in it.

During this time in San Diego I was able to take coursework and testing to obtain my USCG 50 Ton Master License. This process brought my boating experiences to a new level and garnered me a much appreciation for those who choose to spend time on the water.

Arriving in Bellingham I was drawn to the waterfront and in September 2012 volunteered for the PITCH race committee boat with Bob Snowball and company so that I could learn about the Club and see if it was a direction I wanted to take. Needless to say, I joined the Club in December of that year and have had a great time ever since.

I signed up to be a bartender in January last year and I truly think everyone should do this for a time when first part of the Club. It’s a wonderful way to not only volunteer, but give you a chance to meet virtually everyone in the Club. The opportunity has certainly helped me immensely as I’ve worked through meeting my new family. My boys and I have volunteered during the semi-annual Club Scrubs each time they’re held, and I helped with both the demolition and construction of the Ward Room remodel.

I look forward to serving the Club and its membership in some form for many years to come.

  1. I think that the Club’s greatest strength, not to sound cliché, is its people. The juxtaposition between the new members and the legacy of the club makes it an exciting place to be. Seeing the commitment to the youth of the club is really what brought me here. Hearing all of the stories makes it fun to hang out every week. I’ve dreamed of the opportunities for my kids that I would have loved when I was growing up. The myriad variations on the sailing theme make it so that kids can participate virtually every day of the week during the summer if they choose. The Ward Room remodel will prove to be a great gathering place for the kids and I’m looking forward to the time when it’s full of families on a regular basis.

    As to areas for improvement, I would love to see greater participation during non-event times. I think that the Club is a fabulous place to socialize and unwind from a day and the more faces the better. I would also like to see a game plan for developing the Ward Room into a focal point for BYC youth and families to not only include the movies and options with the multi-media system, but also some continued boating and sailing experiences throughout the year.

  2. I come from a background of leadership positions. I spent my years in college as a resident assistant in my dorm, and continued in real estate management and development where I operated with up to 200 employees. As a leadership example, and somewhat self-serving endeavor while living on the docks in San Diego Bay, I was stuck for Thanksgiving without my closest friends and family. Since this was during my first few months as a live-aboard I didn’t know many people, and not wanting to cook the entire dinner for just myself I went around and knocked on boats on the dock to see who had Thanksgiving plans. Introductions and ideas followed and needless to say, after some planning, we ended up with 24 feet of table on the dock filled with 3 turkeys, 2 hams, and all the trimmings for 40 people. I’ve remained friends with them ever since. Sometimes leadership only requires extending a hand.
  3. I’ve seen a lot of excitement in the club over the past 2 years of my involvement and I would love to see that continue. I see the club in 4 years to have an active, year-round youth boating program that emphasizes the kids but caters to families. I’ve found with my own family that if other families with kids show up on a regular basis, my children are excited to spend time at the Club. It’s an opportunity for kids, and adults, all over the county to socialize and get to know one another. I see the Club continuing to grow as efforts to increase membership continue and word-of-mouth flows through the community. I would also like to see the Club continue to adopt causes that benefit our waterways and boating activities. But mostly the Club is a social one and I love that I can arrive and enjoy boating-minded company any time we’re open.

Tim Thompson


Christine Wright

ChristineWright

Christine has been a member of BYC since 2013 and has served BYC by volunteering in club scrub, Fridays @ 5 and as a member of the finance committee. She has participated joyfully in Opening Day, The Boat Show Bus, Tie-One-On, the Lighted Boat Parade (sans boat), Tom & Jerry Night, several of the 2014 cruising events and many evenings laughing with friends old and new at the club. She was introduced to the salt water by her Dad on many fishing excursions and joined the insanity of boat ownership July 2009. She and her husband have enjoyed cruising the San Juans and Gulf Coast on Just Wright, a 38’ Bayliner. Professionally, Christine is a CPA with an MBA thrown in for good measure. She owns several small businesses and is currently the Chief Financial Officer of La Belle Associates, Inc.

  1. The Club’s greatest strengths are those members who welcome new faces, those members that serve silently behind the scenes and those members that serve vocally. Having a beautiful facility that is well maintained for current and future generations is the second most significant strength. The greatest weakness is a lack of long-term planning for the preservation of the facility that is considered so vital that it is not subject to the periodic change of Flag Officers and Trustees.
  2. I am a Certified Public Accountant with a Masters in Business Administration. I own several successful small businesses and am currently the Chief Financial Officer of La Belle Associates, Inc. I also recently completed a term as a Board Member for the Community Boating Center. I know how to listen to and how to bring a group of unique individuals to a consensus with action items resulting in an agreed upon outcome. I am not afraid to be wrong nor to have my ‘idea’ be disregarded by a group.
  3. Over the next 4 years I would like to see the Club financially stable with an actionable plan to maintain the facility. I would like to see a managed membership growth plan for the club which incudes social activities for every age group. Cross-studies show that people join clubs for the facility and stay for social reasons. We need to provide an attractive facility for current and future memberships. We need to focus on those activities that foster friendships within the club in order to increase membership renewals. Activities need to touch all ages with a focus on sailing events for adults and juniors as well as cruising events to further strengthen friendships. Finally, their needs to be a plan to bring food back into the club so that our members can maintain their social contacts throughout the long winter months when our boats are tied at the docks.

I regret that I will be unable to attend the Meet the Candidates Night on September 10th. We will be out on our boat enjoying the last gasp of summer for 2 weeks.

Christine Wright