2017 BYC Flag Officer Candidates

  • Click here to learn more about the candidates for the Board of Trustees.
  • Click here to download and print an Official Election Ballot (Available September 13, 2017).
  • Return to Election Notice.


 Jim Gibson

Jim GibsonJim has been an active BYC member since joining the club in 2002. Jim’s family and friends have helped him enjoy a wide range of life long boating activities including power boating, sailing and many water oriented activities. He loves and promotes sailboat racing and youth fleet activities, and enjoys cruising throughout the world. Jim has made annual fishing trips in Canadian and American waters, has had boating trips to Desolation Sound regions and the Gulf Islands, river barging in Europe, and sailboat cruising throughout the Pacific, Sea of Cortez and Caribbean. Throughout these varied experiences, Jim has gained a deep appreciation of the benefits of yacht club resources and benefits.

Jim has served on many BYC committees and work groups. He has chaired BYC’s Policy and Planning committee, developing numerous policies and procedures, and hiring essential BYC staff members. He has assisted the Youth Fleet in employment and policy matters, and has been heavily involved in the club’s regattas.

In addition to serving BYC, Jim has served on numerous community boards and advisory groups which, combined with his doctorate degree in educational leadership and executive management experiences, have contributed to his interest in serving in the Club’s leadership positions.

After Jim completed his second year serving on the BYC Board, he served briefly as Fleet Captain, then served on the Bridge as Rear Commodore and most recently as Vice Commodore. Throughout his years of serving our BYC membership, Jim has been active in long range planning and in promoting important club activities and events.

Question Responses
  1. Why do you want to be on the Board of the Bellingham Yacht Club? I want to continue to be a member of the BYC leadership team and look forward to serving as BYC’s 93rd Commodore. I have gained insightful experiences and knowledge that will be useful to our Club. As a current Board member, I have acquired the necessary background and training and have a good understanding of the common elements that create successful Club operations. I have served on many BYC committees and work groups, and have chaired BYC’s Policy and Planning committee. I have assisted in the development of numerous policies and procedures, and have hired essential BYC staff members. I have a special interest in assisting the Youth Fleet continue to grow, and l am excited about expanding potential reciprocal club opportunities. These experiences have given me insight into the management and appeal of serving our membership. As a result, I want to continue to be involved in BYC leadership activities.
  2. What will you bring to the Bellingham Yacht Club if you are elected to the Board for 2017-2018? I participate and enjoy the full spectrum of power boating, sailboat racing competition, and cruising adventures. Due to my deep appreciation of the benefits of our friendly BYC, and our very special surrounding waters, I have been involved in BYC racing events, including participation in regional and local sailboat races, as well as volunteering during many regattas and related events. I currently serve as Vice Commodore, and have served as a Trustee and Rear Commodore. In the past I have served as a volunteer bartender, helping with activities that enhance the maintenance and security of the facility, and have provided assistance with numerous Club events and activities.
  3. What is your vision for the Bellingham Yacht Club for the future? I would you like to see the many cherished traditions and events carried on at the Club, such as the Commodore’s Ball, the Spring Dance, the Tom and Jerry Party, Friday’s at 5, and of course, the exciting Opening Day activities. In the future, I would also like to see expanded boater education opportunities, as well as expanded coordination with the Sea Scouts, the Power Squadron and the Wheel & Keel. In addition to continuing events that we know ‘Pack-the-House,’ and those that are critical activities, I think it is essential to determine the needs and desires of Club members through ongoing discussions and meetings, so that Board members can create visioning and planning documents. These discussions
    and documents will drive meaningful and exciting BYC activities, programs, and events in the future.

Respectfully submitted, Jim Gibson



 Tim Thompson

Tim ThompsonTim has been boating all of his life. It was predestined with his being born in Annapolis, MD. He grew up on the lakes in Minnesota, learned to SCUBA dive after moving to Santa Barbara, lived aboard a sport fisher in San Diego, earned his 100-Ton Master Mariner’s License and landed here in Bellingham after having kids.

Tim joined the BYC in 2012 and has been active in volunteerism through bartending, Club Scrubs, mark boat, PITCH and other opportunities.

Tim has served as a BYC Trustee, Fleet Captain and most recently as Rear Commodore. He has served as the chair of the Membership Committee, and as a member of the Finance Committee.

Tim works remotely at home as a web developer for a medical education corporation and likes the freedom that this allows. His two children enjoy the many benefits of family membership in the BYC.

Respectfully submitted, Tim Thompson


 Scott McEniry

Scott McEniryScott has been a life-long sailor, having explored the Salish Sea from the south Sound to Nanaimo. He’s owned sailboats from 11’ to 40’, and currently is the owner of Tullamore, an Atkins 27’ gaff-rigged cutter.

Scott joined the club as an active member in 2012 and became immediately active as a volunteer bartender. Scott became a Board Trustee in 2014, chaired the Bar & Lounge Advisory Committee, served on several other committees and is currently finishing his tenure as Fleet Captain.

Question Responses
  1. Why do you want to be on the Board of the Bellingham Yacht Club? Having served on the Board for the last three years, I’ve experienced firsthand the challenges and rewards that this level of volunteerism brings.  Now finishing my first year on the bridge, I’m excited to meet the challenges the position of Rear Commodore will bring.  I feel that I have several skills I bring to the table that will be of significant value as I embark on the path of moving through the chairs.  I am excited about next year’s board and feel this will be an excellent way to have a substantial and ongoing impact in the long term direction of the club.  I can think of no better way to give back to this club.
  2. What will you bring to the Bellingham Yacht Club if you are elected to the Board for 2017-2018? Through my club volunteer activities, Serving on the board the past 3 years has given me the experience and insight required to advance the longevity and legacy of the Club and its members. I owned and operated a successful fencing club in Bellingham for 15 years, where our success balanced precariously between attracting new members and retaining current members.  This experience will be beneficial in helping the Club, which faces the same dilemma (albeit on a much larger scale).  My professional experience as a bartender has already allowed me to serve the club well, both behind the bar and as chairman of the Bar and Lounge Advisory Committee.  My management experience at Blue Sea Systems over the last 15 years has honed my skills in teamwork, delegation, and management.  I feel these skills are immediately transferable to the position for which I am running.
  3. What is your vision for the Bellingham Yacht Club for the future?
    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.  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.

Respectfully submitted, Scott McEniry


Jonathan Knowles

JonathanKnowlesJonathan joined the club in 2007, and started racing Etchells on BYC Wednesday Nights. He served as Etchells Fleet Captain for 2 years and during the time the fleet had seen its largest turnout. In 2008, his was Elected to the BYC Board, served all 7 years including BYC Commodore in 2015. Over this time, he has served many committees including bar remodel, Bar & Lounge, Youth Feet, Membership, Roster, Policy & Planning and I.T. Currently Jonathan is President of the Bellingham Sailing Foundation and acting Sail Fleet Captain.

Jonathan’s passion for the sea continues from a long legacy of family sailors with his Great Great Great Grandfather Captain Winslow Knowles a merchant captain & Great Great grandfather Captain Josiah Knowles master of the clipper ships Glory of the Seas. His grandfather was a WW2 Nave Commander in the South Pacific and father Joe Knowles, was an avid board and racer in the SF Bay Area. His son Jack races his Laser in the NW Youth Racing Circuit and is on the High School Sailing Team.

His sailing resume includes racing 3 PAC RIM regattas in Victoria BC, Port Stephens AUS and Bellingham, summer cruises with his family in the San Juan and Gulf Islands, numerous local and regional races including SYC Grand Prix and Swiftsure.
Jonathan’s main passion in the club is to keep promoting and building the BYC Youth Sailing Program, as well keeping the Sailing Fleet vibrant and increasing the Cruising Fleet participation.

Question Responses
  1. Why do you want to be on the Board of the Bellingham Yacht Club? I’ve spent most of my 10 years as a BYC member either running or supporting the clubs “on-the-water” activities. I lead the rebuilding of the Youth Sailing program by leveraging past experiences, bringing in new leadership and developing a lasting organizational structure that is now self-supporting. Now with the strong leadership of Youth Fleet Captain Mike Powell and Program Director Gavin Brackett we have solid foundation which sold a record number of Learn to Sail and Youth Racing classes. Additionally, this year we had the largest number of Youth Sailors whose families are now BYC Members.

    I have served as the BYC Sail Fleet Captain for the past two years building a deep organizational committee of key sailors/racers, who all have contributed to a 3-fold growth in our racing program this year.

    Although these programs, along with the BYC Cruising fleet, now have strong foundations, it’s a ongoing challenge to not only maintain, but grow interested in an environment of declining boating activities across the country.

    By serving on the Board, I intend to be a steward and a conduit who will represent the Boating Interests of all BYC Members as well the greater boating community. And, to promote new membership through vibrant BYC boating programs and events.

  2. What will you bring to the Bellingham Yacht Club if you are elected to the Board for 2017-2018? I will bring to the BYC Board seven years of past Board experience including Commodore in 2015, Past Youth Fleet Captain, Past Etchells Fleet Captain, two years Sail Fleet Captain and serving/chairing on numerous committees including Finance, Bar & Lounge, Membership, IT, Policy & Planning and Building & House. I can offer legacy and history to keep the Board on a consistent course. And finally, I bring an enthusiastic deep passion of boating which is rooted current and a legacy of family mariners.
  3. What is your vision for the Bellingham Yacht Club for the future? I envision a yacht club whose membership base is primary comprised of those with boating interests. A membership in support of BYC’s mission statement which covers all facets of boating; power, cruising, reciprocal, youth sailing, racing & boating education. To promote a membership from all social economic statuses, who are vested in a volunteer yacht club. A club that offers its membership boating related resources such as a clubhouse, meeting spaces, outstations and guest docks, but also forward-looking resources such as dinghy storage, dry moorage and launching facilities. All these resources offer benefit and drive membership.

Respectfully submitted, Jonathan Knowles

Shaun Thompson

Jim GibsonShaun has been on the water all of his life. It starts with his dad teaching him to SCUBA drive at the age of 12, followed by owning his first boat at the age of 16. He was born in Virginia, moving up and down the east coast unit age of 8 when his family settled in Gig Harbor, WA.

Shaun joined the BYC in May 2011 and has been active in volunteerism through Club Scrubs, hosting the Buccaneers Cruise, serving as Chairperson of the membership, social and Financial Management Review committees this year plus serving on other committees in the past.
Shaun is currently serving as a BYC Trustee, owns a racing sail boat and is out every Wednesday night.

Shaun works for Pape Machinery Inc as the Rental Manager cover rentals of large construction and forestry equipment from Hwy 18 north to the Canadian border. He and his wife Ginger can be found at the BYC most evenings.

Question Responses
  1. Why do you want to be on the Board of the Bellingham Yacht Club? I believe that a volunteer organization such as the BYC must have volunteers to make it work. When I joined I knew there would be times my BYC community would need me to volunteer my time. I have volunteered in many ways over the last six years. Most recently I took an appointment to the Board of Trustees in the summer of 2016 to fulfill a first year Trustee position left vacant when the current Trustee had to resign due to personal reasons. Taking on this responsibility has shown me the many tasks that need to be handled every year to keep our great club running smoothly. This is the period in my life where I have the time and energy to give back to the BYC and this is the reason I am running for Fleet Captain and with your support I plan to continue serving for the next five years.
  2. What will you bring to the Bellingham Yacht Club if you are elected to the Board for 2017-2018? In my work life, I have run a sales territory and currently a rental department which involves all aspects of business from generating revenue, collecting payments, paying invoices, and handling misunderstandings with customers. The skills I have gained over the last 20 years in my business translate to a skill set that will enable me to make sound business decisions for the BYC. I also have served on a home owners association board which dealt with similar issues the BYC Board deals with monthly. In addition to my business skills, I bring a warm and accepting personality to the BYC and love to have fun. If you have attend a cruise or party I have hosted you know the facts, if you haven’t, ask one of your fellow BYC members who have attended. While the business of the club needs to be handled the reason we are here is for friendship, fun, entertainment, and most of all boating. I have the ability to help keeping all this happening!
  3. What is your vision for the Bellingham Yacht Club for the future?
    One of the reason I wish to be Fleet Capitan now is I really like the direction the current board of Trustee has been steering the BYC and I am proud of work we have done. We have invested in youth sailing by hiring a full-time director to help grow the program. We have purchased a club boat to help with club events such as racing, regatta’s, and cruises, such as the Buccaneers cruise and Commodore picnic. We also invested in the most valuable asset, our beautiful building. We also hired a full-time facility manager. My vision is to help our facility manager increase the rental usage of our club and kitchen space, thus increasing our revenues to keep our dues low, remodel the bathrooms down stairs, upgrade our heating and cooling system and continue to maintain our building. I foresee a Yacht Club with more member involvement and volunteerism. I have met many amazing and wonderful people in our membership and I will encourage them to show off their skill by finding the best way for them to put in their time to volunteer, whether by hosting or co-hosting a future event or utilizing their talents in another way.

Respectfully submitted, Shaun Thompson