2019-20 BYC Board of Trustees Candidates

  • Click here to learn more about the candidates for the Flag Officers.
  • Click here to download and print an Official Election Ballot (Available September 11, 2019).

Candidates for Trustee were asked to respond to the following items to provide voting members pertinent information about the candidates.

  1. Provide a brief background about yourself.
  2. Why do you wish to run for the position of Trustee of the Bellingham Yacht Club?
  3. What are your goals that you would like to accomplish during your tenure as trustee?.
Sarah Drotning

Sarah Drotning

Ahoy Mates!

My name is Sarah Drotning and I am running for Trustee of the Bellingham Yacht Club. I’ve been a long time member of the club. I have always enjoyed the Club’s warm and inviting atmosphere. I have found that our members are drawn together by a common bond ……the love of boats and water. I hope to serve as Trustee and continue to foster a welcoming environment for individuals and families with shared interests in yachting, traditions, seamanship, and camaraderie.

I grew up sailing and racing on the Finger Lakes, then the Great Lakes and on to oceans. My experience racing and sailing goes back as far as I can remember. I have memories of sailing with my family through calm waters as well as heavy seas and even survived a tornado. I also remember a lot of laughter and the excitement of exploring new ports.

Sailing has always been a part of my life. I currently own a C&C 37 named Meliora. In the past, I’ve raced many buoy races in Bellingham Bay as well as long distance races including a Vic-Maui and a return trip as well. (I should clarify that I race on other peoples boat, I use mine for cruising with friends and family…it’s a lot cheaper… which is why you should vote for me….cause I’m smart that way)

Bellingham Yacht Club has meant a lot to me for so many reasons. When I did more work on my boat myself, I’d come to the club to seek advice from fellow sailbost owners now I just like to come to say hello to friendly and fun people. As a trustee, I’d like to make sure the club is meaningful to a variety of people no matter what their boating experience is or age.

I am at a point where I find myself interested in participating in the Bellingham Yacht Club from a leadership perspective so that I can assist to grow and nurture the Club to provide to others what BYC has provided me over the years.

Sarah Drotning

Samra Baker

Samra Baker

  1. Provide a brief background about yourself:

    I was born in Yakima WA, but moved to Southern California at a young age where I lived until moving to Bellingham in 1993. I have always loved the water, but I was never exposed to boating until I graduated from high school. Once I finished high school, I was fortunate enough to travel to Europe and spend the summer aboard a 111 foot motor yacht. After experiencing yachting on the Mediterranean, I was hooked on boating!

    My first husband was also an avid boater. He owned a beautiful 1929, 85 foot classic motor yacht named Deerleap. For the next 8 years, the Deerleap became our live-aboard home in Marina del Rey CA. Operating the Deerleap and carrying out her restoration became my passion. I became an active board/fleet member in the Classic Yacht Association which supports the preservation and enjoyment of classic yachts. By the age of 26, I became the first female Commodore of the Classic Yacht Association and served two consecutive terms as Commodore of the Southern California Fleet. My first child was raised living aboard Deerleap. After a couple of close calls with our two year old, we made the difficult decision to trade our live-aboard life style for life on dry land raising our growing family.

    Decades went by without a boat in my life until I met and eventually married my (non-boating) husband Dave. My husband knew how much I missed boating and agreed to purchasing a 2000 Bayliner 4788 for me. The only condition my husband had, was that I have to take sole responsibility for operating, maintaining, and cocktail making while we own the boat!

    Occupation: I have been an Operating Room Nurse for 35 years and Registered Nurse First Assistant assisting in Neurosurgery for the last 15 years. I have recently retired as the Administrator of Cascade Outpatient Spine Center, where I oversaw all phases of construction, vendor contracts, purchasing, State and Federal compliance, management of staff and all bookkeeping.

  2. Why do you wish to run for the position of Trustee?

    My husband and I were invited as guests to attend an Opening Day celebration before becoming members. I loved how friendly everyone was and the camaraderie was amazing. We had so much fun, that we submitted our application for membership that night! Since joining the club, I have come to appreciate how lucky we are to have such a wonderful place to come and meet other people with similar interests and a love for boating! It is my desire to continue contributing to the on going success of the Bellingham Yacht Club in any way I can. Since becoming a member, I have enjoyed bartending and volunteering as the Race Committee Boat for the Wednesday night sailboat races.

    If I became a Trustee, I would offer my experience as a Past Commodore of the Classic Yacht Association and Outpatient Surgery Center Administrator. Both roles had many various responsibilities but both positions required me to be organized, open minded, level headed, identify and solve problems, orchestrate the resolution of projects, and demonstrate fair but firm leadership.

  3. What are your goals that you would like to accomplish during your tenure as Trustee?


    • I have many ideas for developing new activities for the club in order to keep the BYC membership active, fun and energetic.
    • To work with the Race Committee (RC) on developing a standardized program for the training and recruitment of existing and new RC Pros.
    • Working with the membership committee on methods to retain and recruit members. I believe the future of our club is with our youth/young adults, so helping with options for increasing membership for this age group is of interest to me.
    • I love learning new things about boating, and would enjoy helping to develop more educational programs to support the educational needs of our club members. I especially have an interest in helping women new to boating learn the basics of boat terminology, operations, and safe handling of a boat while in a safe non-judgmental environment.
    • Provide ideas, solutions and help with the implementation of attaining club financial goals.

Respectfully submitted,
Samra Baker

Dan Wooldridge

Dan Wooldridge

Dan is relatively new to the boating world. Being born in Denver, CO and grew up in South Dakota there wasn’t a lot of boating opportunities. After a 32 year career with a large corporation Dan retired at 55 and went in on a 20’ Bayliner sports boat and fell in love with boating.

Dan joined the club in 2016 at the urging of outgoing commodore Tim Thompson and has enjoyed all the benefits the club has to offer ever since. He started bartending almost right away as a way to meet other members and he really enjoys crafting cocktails. He has also served on the Social committee and the Bar and Lounge committee.

You can find Dan at the club almost every Tuesday playing the guitar or bass in the Tuesday night jam. He is spending a lot of his free time playing music. He looks forward to, hopefully, being a trustee on the board.

Dan Wooldridge

Jack David

Jack David

I grew up of the south shore of Long Island, while attending the New York Institute of Technology I was recruited by the Los Alamos National Laboratory to work projects related to the national security of the United States, after 13 years working at various laboratory sites I was reassigned to work at Boeing on the 777 new airplane program as System Manager responsible for the software and systems that allowed Boeing to design and build its first new airplane without the need of a physical mockup. After Boeing I changed course and ran the production facility for Nordic Tugs. Currently I am a member of a small consulting group developing the air quality management system for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and have my own consulting company that is developing a new platform to support the yachting community.

I have always been fascinated by sailing but never really got into it until I met Sue. When we first met, I said “want to go for a ride on my motorcycle?” Sue’s reply was “Want to going sailing on my family’s sailboat?”. My first sailboat was a 20’ Highlander which I sailed on Long Island Sound, while in school I did have the opportunity to crew on a number of race boats own by my professors. Sailing was put on hold until I finally ended up in the Pacific Northwest where I sailed a Fuji 35 for a few years before taking off to circumnavigate Vancouver Island before heading south down the coast to Mexico where I cruised for 3 years. In December of 2006 Sue and I purchased our dream boat (Hans Christian 33) which we lived aboard in Miami and eventually Bar Harbor ME and now finally Bellingham WA where we became members of the wonderful community known as the Bellingham Yacht Club.

Why run for Trustee?
Becoming a Trustee will give me the opportunity to apply my skills in operational management to the benefit of the Bellingham Yacht Club and provide input for the future direction of the club.

What are my goals that I would like to accomplish during my tenure as trustee?

  • Complete the implementation of the new web site and club management system that was started under the direction from Tim Thompson.
  • Expand our educational programs for both the members of the club and the public.
  • Assist in the development and implementation of a plan to make the club more attractive to younger potential members.
  • Expand our racing program to include more cruiser friendly races (kind of like the duck dodge held on Lake Union)

Rich Sandeen

Rich Sandeen

  1. I am 68 years old, retired, after 25 years providing employment services to businesses and out of work job searchers. Prior to that I have experience in construction, building maintenance and commercial fishing. Whatcom County has been my home since 1973. I crewed on an S2 9.1 “Porky’s Diner”in the 80s and 90s. My wife and I own a 25 ft Ranger Tug “Tutta Bella”. I learned about tides and currents reef netting in the 70s and 80s. I have 10 years experience commercial fishing, 10 years experience crewing and racing in Bellingham and Seattle and 10 years owning recreational boats. In the off boating season we are avid skiers. With 2 recently replaced knees I am anxious for the snow to fly in the mountains.
  2. Becoming a trustee will give me the opportunity to assist in growing the club. From repairs and cleaning, to membership expansion I will enjoy working with other members to keep and grow the club as a vibrant and exciting place to access our water environment, growing membership and community involvement.
  3. As a trustee I will support the board in its work, applying my skills wherever they can be of assistance.
  4. Sorry I cannot attend meet and greet, I am currently on a 42 foot Nordic Tug, have just left Ketchikan for a 2 week cruise back to Bellingham.

    Thanks for considering me for a Trustee Position

    Fair winds and sunny skies

    Respectfully submitted,
    Rich Sandeen

    Diane Caruso

    Diane Caruso

    Hello, my name is Diane Caruso and I am a new member to Bellingham Yacht Club. I am also a new resident to Bellingham. I moved here last year from Huntington Beach CA. I decided to come to Bellingham to be close to family and friends. It is a new chapter in my life.

    About me, I am an avid scuba diver and world traveler. During my down time I like to come to the club and social with a glass of wine or another libation. I work from home and handle complex insurance litigation. I have been doing this for almost 34 years.

    I currently own a Duffy boat and it stays at a dock in Huntington Harbour by my home there. I have always loved being on the water and everything associated with the ocean. I do not have a boat here in Bellingham but I hope to have one by next year. I also intend to take sailing lessons as this is new to me.

    I was a member of the Huntington Harbour Yacht Club and if you ever visit there you will fid my donated brick in the front entry!

    Board Member:
    I want to run for the board so I can try to make a difference and get to know more people in the club and continue to help out. You may have seen me as a bartender or even helping at events. My experience as aboard member includes being Board President of the Sea Harbour HOA where I lived. I was President for 3 of the 4 years I was on the board. Then I moved to Bellingham.

    In the past I have helped my sister in law put on fund raisers for her non -profit group. Also, as an insurance litigator I know how to work with people and complex issues, especially one of money. I know how to put on large events and raise money for organizations.

    Trustee Goals:
    As a trustee I would like to see our reserves increased and that would involve fund raisers and evaluation of our spending and income. As the HOA President I always had to evaluate where our funds where going and was it best spent. There is an understanding of having the money before spending the money.

    I also want to help bring in new membership and try to offer events that would entice people to want to join our club. As a current non boat owner it can be overwhelming for someone and I believe we need more people who want to learn about boating and feel a part of the membership even if they don’t currently own a boat.

    I believe my experience working on a board as well as my desire to continue to make this club a great place to be is why I would be a good addition to the Board of Trustees. Thank you for the taking the time to consider me for this position!