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Darren O'Brien | Published on 9/25/2023

“Only three more Commodore Columns to go!” That’s what our illustrious Baggywrinkle editor, Ilona Bell said when reminding me of the Baggywrinkle deadline for October. What a perfect segue to this month’s subject: the 2024 Board of Directors.


It’s typical to have at least a couple of open positions annually. However, as you may know, we have a few more open for next year. Thanks to member volunteers, that number is now three fewer. At the September meeting, Lisa Brandes, who has definitely had her hands more than full this past year as Treasurer and Website Manager, informed me that husband, Rich Brandes, has volunteered to assume the duties of Treasurer next year. “Unless someone else really wants to do it!” she added. A couple of minutes later, Scott Abbey asked if the Rear Commodore position had been filled, which I told him it had not. He then said he was willing to assume that role. Wow, two positions accounted for in the span of mere minutes!


Of course, our current Vice Commodore, Eileen Baratuci, will move up to Commodore next year. I can assure you this club will be in darn good hands in 2024. Next up, current Rear Commodore, Paul Handel, will move into the Vice Commodore role. As a retired medical doctor, you know Paul will bring a steady hand to that position as well. And our wonderful Club Secretary, Diane Elliott, will thankfully stay in that important role for an additional year.


That leaves us to fill the Fleet Captain and one vital Trustee position. (Trustees are typically a two-year commitment.) The Fleet Captain, admirably filled this past year by Wendy Weeks, makes sure all our great cruises are fully organized with Cruise Captains, organizes the Opening Day Boat Parade and Co-Hosts the annual Cruise and Event Planning Meeting. Speaking of Wendy, she has just volunteered to assume the role of Trustee #1—in charge of Reciprocals. That makes three of the five open positions filled!


The final open role is Trustee #2. This person organizes the wonderfully informative and entertaining programs we all enjoy at meetings, as well as overseeing our Watch Crews. Marta Krissovich has been outstanding lining up speakers and organizing watches. Both Wendy and Marta will be able to help new members transition into these roles. Trustee position #3, is the Club Purser, ably filled for the second year running by Rhonda Turner.


Now, any member in good standing can fulfill board roles. That means you! Either volunteer, as Rich and Scott have done, or nominate someone you feel would be a great candidate. Just let me or any current Board member know. Additionally, we could still use a couple of folks to be on the Nominating Committee—short term ending in November. This Committee would keep track of things and communicate with potential Board members. Eventually, the club will vote on approving Board positions at the November meeting.


I will be transitioning to Past Commodore, still attending Board meetings for one more year. For many folks, such as our current Past Commodore, Jim Gorski, and many others before him, being on the Board and “climbing the officer ladder” can take several years. It’s been a whirlwind tour from my perspective, as 2023 marks just two and half years on the Board for me—I came in mid-term due to unforeseen circumstances. I say this to let you know, that no matter how you become a Board member, either starting from a Trustee position on up to Commodore, or you fill a suddenly open Flag Officer Position, it’s all very important and immensely fulfilling work.


And, with so many other caring and committed fellow boaters serving on our Board with you, said work is quite manageable and truly enjoyable, as well. I wouldn’t trade the camaraderie and experience I’ve had for anything. Please keep that in mind if you’re contemplating whether or not to “throw your name into the hat” for 2024.


Commodore Darren, “Always approach the dock at the speed you wish to hit it.”