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HomeFour Star Commodore Recipients

Four-Star Commodores

 Click on a portrait to learn more about each Four-Star Commodore
Chris Brown - 2011
Halifax River Yacht Club
Dick Coughlin - 2012
Halifax River Yacht Club
Kathy Chanpagne - 2012
Navy Pensacola Yacht Club
Phyllis Seaton - 2013
Fort Walton Yacht Club
 
Charles Smith - 2013
Pensacola Yacht Club
 
Wayne Stewart - 2013
Halifax River Yacht Club
 
John Matthews - 2014
Pensacola Yacht Club
Robert Schwalm - 2014
Platinum Point Yacht Club
      
    Darrell Mashburn - 2015
    Grand Lagoon Yacht Club
           
         Peter Tyson - 2015
         Pelican Yacht Club
         
         Dan Morrison - 2016
         Lauderdale Isles Yacht Club
   
     Robert Furman - 2016
      Stuart Corinthian Yacht Club
       
 
Margaret Yaeger - 2016
Halifax River Yacht Club

Alan McMillan - 2017
Pensacola Yacht Club
 
June-Ann DeGraw - 2017
Pelican Yacht Club
 
Dr. Thomas Reynolds - 2018
Fort Walton Yacht Club
 


Larry Bowyer - 2019
Pensacola Yacht Club


Charles (Skip) Harrington - 2019
Fort Walton Yacht Club


Bonnie Forrest - 2020
Stuart Corinthian 
Yacht Club

Jim Reeves - 2020
Pensacola Yacht Club



David Willbur - 2020
Pelican Yacht Club










 
 
Chris Brown - 2011
Past Commodore Chris Brown never gets the easy jobs.  He's our 'Go-To Guy' whenever the going gets tough.

He was there back in the 1990's when thoughts of building a new clubhouse were just beginning to surface. He was there when the thoughts turned into plans, and the plans into a design. He was there for the ground-breaking, the construction, the move to the new building, and the demolition of the old.  Yes, P/C Brown was always there, willing and able, tackling every task, every problem along the way, never refusing a request for his help. 

During these years he served the Club on the Docks Committee, on the Board of Directors, as Club Secretary, and then in 2005 was elected Rear Commodore.  As Rear Commodore, he was catapulted headlong into a number of unforeseen challenges in the construction of the new clubhouse. Gas tanks were found under the parking lot, one full of fuel, and the soil was found to be contaminated. All had to be removed before construction could continue and all this was in addition to keeping the old clubhouse and docks up and running.

In 2005, the year P/C Brown was elected Vice Commodore, the new clubhouse was  completed--thanks in large part to his involvement in every aspect of the construction. Although his primary responsibility that year was as House Chairman, P/C Brown also made time to serve on the Building Committee and the Docks Committee. In that latter capacity, he led an eager group of volunteers in rebuilding the South dock.  In fact, he spent so much time working at the Club that he jokingly referred to himself as the "Yard Guy." 

Vice Commodore Brown also took charge of 'Demolition Duty' -- working with the numerous companies and individuals required to remove the old clubhouse. The removal created an unusual challenge. Since the clubhouse had been built on pilings over the water, most of the materials had to be removed by barge. V/C Brown worked tirelessly to make all this happen. 

During the demolition, P/C Brown sought to preserve as many "treasures" as possible from the old clubhouse.  He arranged for some of the items to be saved and placed in our Hall of History and for others to be sold. Wisely, he decreed that any lumber that could be reused was to be "cleaned" and stored. He knew it would have a second life in the construction of our new center dock. 

On Nov. 18, 2006, Vice Commodore Brown supervised the closing of the old clubhouse and, seven days later, led the occupancy of the new clubhouse to the cheers and accolades of hundreds of club members. 

In January 2007, P/C Brown took the helm as Commodore. By the end of the month the old clubhouse had been completely removed, but now a new problem emerged from the mucky waters.  Forty thousand cubic yards of debris remained where the old clubhouse had stood, and it had to be removed before the new center dock could be built in that spot. Again, P/C Brown took command. He got the debris cleaned up and assembled a group of volunteers to build the center dock. This demonstration of leadership saved the Club several hundred thousand dollars. In fact, the only work contracted out was the setting of the pilings. Many of the old pilings from under and around the old club were reused.

As a new Commodore with a new and larger clubhouse, Chris faced many challenges. The club now had a swimming pool and a new Tiki Bar, which had to be maintained, staffed, and supplied. More employees were needed in all areas of the club and the monthly bills were much higher than before. Then, as often happens with new structures, there were malfunctions and oversights. Commodore Brown skillfully navigated through them all!  When it was realized that the new clubhouse needed a water softener, our hands-on Commodore, along with a few volunteers, installed the equipment at a considerable savings to the club.

In 2008, with his year as Commodore completed, P/C Brown forged right into his role as Immediate Past Commodore. He was never too busy to discuss anything club-related or to share his wealth of experience gained in more than 10 years of involvement in club activities. But it didn't end with 'talk.' Chris--always the 'Go-To Guy' for anything to be done--volunteered to set the markers for the sail boat racing course, in his boat and at his expense. Later in the year, he assisted the sailors as a committee boat for starting the races. 

The year 2008 also marked the start of his annual Christmas gig. Never one to rest on a pine bough, I/P/C Brown volunteered to take on the chairmanship of the Annual Daytona Beach Christmas Boat Parade and has remained in that position ever since -- ensuring a jolly and colorful event for all. 

To this day, P/C Chris Brown continues to serve the Halifax River Yacht Club through active service on the Docks Committee, the Planning Committee, and by providing a wealth of tribal knowledge to the Flag Officers, Officers, and Directors of the Club. Through his selfless volunteerism and hard work, P/C Chris Brown has set an example for those who follow him. He is a respected member of the Halifax River Commodores Association and the Florida Commodores Association. His spirit, enthusiasm, and integrity are well known both in and out of the club. For these reasons and many more not mentioned, we believe Past Commodore Chris Brown should be considered for the Four Star Commodores Award.

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Richard (Dick) Coughlin - 2012

Ask anyone at the  Halifax  River Yacht Club how they  would  describe Past Commodore Dick  Coughlin and the  reply is unanimous: 'Trustworthy.'  In fact, his reputation is so stellar that he has been appointed to our Credentials Committee every  year since  2007 and has served as its  Chairman four times. Quite an honor!

Dick Coughlin and his First Lady Frieda joined HRYC in 1997 while the old clubhouse was still  in operation.  They soon became an integral part of club life on the Halifax and, within a few  years, Dick was elected to the Board of Directors.  Recognizing his potential, members of the  Club then elected him Rear Commodore in 2004.  Thus began his ascent to the rank of  Commodore in 2006.

These were exceptionally busy years for Coughlin.  Plans were under way for  building a new  clubhouse and he was instrumental in monitoring and coordinating the Building Committees.  He also provided oversight on the entire construction project and was tasked to report its progress to  the membership on a regular basis.

Together with the late P/C Martha Halling, he co-chaired the Interior Design Committee which  was charged with purchasing all the furnishings for the new clubhouse.  He also designed and  constructed the impressive 'Flying Sails Mobile' that hangs from our cupola.

After years of planning, HRYC celebrated the Grand Opening of its new clubhouse on Dec.  4,  2006.  P/C Coughlin has the singular distinction of having served as the last Commodore in the  old clubhouse, and the first Commodore in the new one.  His dedication to the task continued during the following year as he assisted the new Officers and Board of Directors in solving  problems, both large and small, with the new building.

Another major milestone during his year at the helm was the development of a 'New Member  Orientation' program.  In 2007, as Immediate Past Commodore, he took ownership of the  program and has since hosted dozens of orientations for new members, both in scheduled groups and in individual sessions.  The orientations, guided by P/C Coughlin, have grown and  evolved and continue to this day as a model for other clubs.

Since 2001, he has served four terms as director of the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs and three  as Alternate Director.  In 2009 he led HRYC's withdrawal from the International Order of the  Blue Gavel and helped form the Halifax River Commodores Association which eventually was  replaced with a Chapter of the Florida Commodores Association.  He became its  first president  that year and was reelected to a second term the following year.  In his ‘spare time' he has served  on numerous committees including stints as assistant chairman of the Commodore's Cup Race Committee and the Gulfstreamer Race.  He is always there to help whenever needed!

For his unselfish and unwavering service to the Halifax River Yacht Club, the FCYC, the FCA,  and so much more, we are  proud to nominate P/C Richard Coughlin for the 2012  Four-Star Commodore's Award.

Kathy Chanpagne - 2012
The Navy Yacht Club of Pensacola (NYCP) has had the distinct pleasure of having Kathy Champagne serve as Commodore for two consecutive years, 2011 and 2012. Kathy Champagne was thrust into the position of Commodore in December 2010 when no one else would stand up and be nominated for the position. She willingly accepted the election to Commodore and assumed the duties and responsibilities for leading the Navy Yacht Club out of a very difficult situation which had led to few members willing to volunteer for the various positions of leadership and responsibility on the NYCP Bridge. She began her leadership role with only a
minimally occupied Bridge. Kathy Champagne assumed her position as Commodore with little knowledge of the requirements and demands of the NYCP Commodore and with absolutely no experience serving on a yacht club Board of Directors as a Flag Officer. With the help of some very experience advisors who had served as Commodores, she immediately began to organize the Bridge and the membership of the yacht club to work toward unity, cooperation, and mutual respect for differing opinions. Commodore Champagne is a visionary.

As Commodore she gained the immense respect of the Commanding Officer, Naval Air Station, Pensacola (NASP). Her personality and her willingness to negotiate difficult situations and conditions to achieve the best possible position for both the NASP and the Navy Yacht Club proved to be a welcome character trait when dealing with the CO. The NYCP's meeting place is under the direction of the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Director at NAS, Pensacola. He does not report directly to the CO of the base and this situation has off times resulted in NYCP having to endure several negative decisions affecting the continued operation of NYCP. In spite of this situation, Kathy Champagne has been able to elicit the support of the Commanding Officer and
Executive Officer, NASP to, in several cases, overcome the negativity of the MWR Director to the benefit of NYCP. Commodore Champagne conducts regular visits with the CO and continues to receive his support for NYCP events and activities on the base. One positive result is that NYCP has been asked by MWR to host several events at the Navy Marina for personnel on the base.

Commodore Champagne led NYCPs effort in the successful conduct of the US Navy's Centennial of Naval Aviation which was a joint effort of 6 yacht clubs located in the Pensacola Bay Area. She established a major publicity campaign to ensure NYCP was well known in the Navy Community by holding informational programs at the Navy Officer's Club, the Navy Enlisted Club and the Navy Chief Petty Officers Club. The result of this campaign produced several new members of NYCP and greater interest in the competitive sailing program at NASP.

Commodore Champagne's leadership role resulted in many members of NYCP coming forward to volunteer for various committees aimed at improving the overall operations of the club. Commodore Champagne is masterful at getting NYCP members to volunteer. Her motivational skills have resulted in NYCP being recognized in the competitive sailing arena for its "Cookie Brigade" and the availability of Sailing Chips for the competitors. The effects of her leadership style and personality have resulted in the conduct of several NYCP hosted sailing regattas including the Navy Cup and the Bikini Regatta. In fact, it was her effort that led NYCP to winning the Navy Cup in 2011 for the first time in ten years.

As NYCP Commodore, she has the additional responsibility of serving on the Board of Directors for the Gulf Yachting Association which consists of the Commodores of the 33 member yacht clubs located on the Gulf Coast of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. She regularly attends all meetings and can be found discussing mutual yacht club issues with her fellow Commodores. In an association that is primarily led by male Commodores, she is a breath of fresh air.

A recent initiative created solely by Commodore Champagne is the Wounded American Veterans Event (WAVE) which is designed to give wounded veterans a "day on the bay" with their families. They will be treated to sailing and boating activities by the 6 yacht clubs she solicited to support this event. Commodore Champagne has worked tirelessly to ensure the success of this project which will be conducted in September 2012. 

For these and many other reasons, Commodore Kathy Champagne deserves the 4 Star Commodores Award.

 Phyllis Seaton - 2013
We nominate Phyllis Seaton for the Four-Star Commodores Award not for her reaction to  recover from a disaster but for her action to prevent a disaster to her yacht club.

First, one must recognize that Phyllis serves her club in a patriarchal community that has onlyelected one female commodore in its 62 year history. Of course that commodore was Phyllis Seaton. Men have always dominated the leadership and Board positions and given little attention to the qualifications and talent held by women in the Club. This is important to note because too often women are not given a voice or their voice is unheard in a male dominated Club.

When Hurricane Isaac passed nearby in August 2012, Phyllis noted that boats leaving our docks to anchor (a requirement for approaching hurricanes) were inadequately equipped with storm anchors and tackle; that a great many did not leave the docks at all when the order was given; and that there was a general complacency about preparations given that it had been many years since a storm had passed nearby as did Isaac. Following the storm there was much grumbling among the men that all the preparation activity was a waste of time since the storm after all bypassed us. That was a recipe for reinforcing complacency for the future.

After reviewing FWYC's 18 year old Tropical Storm Plans, Phyllis learned that it was terribly  out of date; that it had no provisions for enforcement of evacuation; and that there was a general lack of clarity and checklists needed to understand and execute the plan. So while the men in her Club sat on their hands and grumbled, she raised the alarm and asked for the lead to fix the problem. She surrounded herself with the best professionals that her Club had available to include legal and contract specialist; truly professional sailors who know about anchoring, tackle, chafing and preparing boats for hurricanes; and teams to look at every aspect of preparing the docks, clubhouse and grounds for tropical storms. Her new checklists are comprehensive and her teams assigned. All boaters were brought in to sign new contracts allowing the Commodore to legally enforce evacuation, to receive instruction and demonstration of a storm worthy anchor system, and to answer questions. Phyllis continues to this day to follow-up on plans, checking the Club's "Readiness Kit", identifying boats that may need assistance and keeping all hands alert that we must be prepared for the season.

We are lucky to have a leader like Phyllis, unafraid to challenge our men to a higher standard, take the lead in this important program for our Club. We are better prepared than ever for a tropical storm this hurricane season. Recovery from any tropical storms this season will be demonstrably mitigated by the responsible leadership of Phyllis Seaton.


 Charles Smith - 2013
Dr. Charles F. Smith, Jr., a board certified Orthopedic Surgeon, joined the Pensacola Yacht Club in 1966. His participation in competitive sailboat racing and water borne activities at Pensacola Yacht Club (PYC) led to his being elected Rear Commodore in 1972. However, his medical duties and demands led to his being unable to move up the ladder to Commodore at that time. This did not diminish his commitment to the yacht club.

In 1981, The American Creosote Works, Inc (ACW) in Pensacola, Florida filed for bankruptcy and ceased operations. Their use of pentachlorophenol (PCP) which began in 1950 and steadily increased until they ceased operations resulted in the severe contamination of the plant site with dioxins. The operations of sending process wastewaters into holding ponds located on site produced an environmentally hazardous condition caused by the ponds overflowing after heavy rains. This overflow spilled into local streets and storm drains which ultimately flowed through a drainage ditch located on PYC property ultimately causing dioxin contamination to the property. Site investigations found contamination in the soil, sediment and ground water which was potentially harmful to people. Approximately 8 acres of the 19 acres owned by PYC was affected. In 1983, US Environmental Protection Agency placed the ACW site and all adjacent contaminated sites including the PYC property on the National Priorities List (NPL). It was at this time that Commodore Smith came involved with the cleanup program and project. The contamination led to the loss of use of the PYC property which severely affected the long term
plans developed for the property including the construction of condo type residencies and a marina to be occupied by PYC members. Over 100 monitoring wells were installed throughout the entire PYC property.

Following the listing ofthe site on the NPL, the USEPA, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), the US Corp of Engineers, and the City of Pensacola began working with the community to develop a long-term cleanup plan. Commodore Smith was a central participant in the development of the cleanup plan leading to the EPA conducting a range of community involvement activities aimed at solicitation of community input and to keep the public informed about site activities during the cleanup process.

In 1996, Charles Smith was again elected Rear Commodore and in 1998, he was elected Commodore. It was Commodore Smith's efforts that led to EPA outreach activities which included fact sheets, public notices and information meetings. Commodore Smith worked closely with the Sanders Beach Community Association, which was also a major player in the process, to form the Community Advisory Group in the early 2000s. The implementation of a Five Year Review process by the EPA and FDEP resulted in the protection of people and the environment from site contamination.

Today, as a result of Commodore Smith's continuing efforts and involvement in this project, PYC property and adjacent property are no longer threatened by hazardous contamination. PYC is now able to implement plans to use the property to support youth and adult sailing programs and activities. PYC owes a considerable debt of gratitude to Commodore Charles Smith for his actions and perseverance.

Wayne Stewart -2013
2001

Wayne Stewart joined the Halifax River Yacht Club

2007 and 2008

* Wayne was recruited by Commodore Chris Brown to assist with the demolition of the old clubhouse and construction of the center dock. Many of the members commented that Wayne actually built his own dock and slip that he occupies today.

*  In 2008 Wayne was elected to the Board of Directors.

2009

*  Wayne was elected Secretary.

*  Vice Commodore Masters gave Wayne and Ernie Hickman the task to lead a group to install new electrical wiring, new power pedestals, and new water lines to the South dock.  Ernie Hickman resigned from the project shortly after it began due to time constraints. Wayne assembled a volunteer crew and successfully completed the project in the fall of 2009. In addition to the new utilities, the existing catwalks were lengthened and in some cases totally rebuilt. When completed, the South dock had a new appearance and all the construction was done by the volunteers at a cost far less than that of a contracted price.

* Wayne gathered all the archived records from numerous locations and relocated all the records to a central location. The cost of excessive storage units was eliminated and many old, out of date records were shredded.

*  A member was unable to pay a large bill due to health reasons. Wayne began working with the member and his attorneys to trade a sailboat, a Morgan 33 for the debt. The trade was consummated and the title was transferred in late 2009.

* During the summer of 2009, member Jill Stephens informed Wayne that the property at 344 South Beach Street was in foreclosure and suggested that it might be feasible to pursue the purchase once more. Wayne took the idea to the Planning Committee and the pursuit began to explore the purchase of the property.
 
2010

*  Wayne was elected Rear Commodore.

* Board member Les Levy asked Wayne to let him take the lead on restoring the newly acquired Morgan 33. After getting a commitment from the Board and the Commodears for the funds needed, the restoration of the sail boat began under Wayne's leadership  and overseen by Les Levy. In addition to Les, many members donated time and effort in restoring the boat. P/C Chris Brown overhauled  the engine and members Cal Willard and Tom Bush provided space in their boatyard for the initial work. The work on the boat was to continue for two years.

* Wayne again assembled a group of volunteers and completely demolished  and rebuilt the North Dock complete with new lumber, wiring, new power pedestals, and water lines. All was done by in house labor at a considerable savings versus the contracted price.

*  Member Les Levy informed Wayne that Walt Disney World was redoing all their docks and selling their perfectly good floating docks. After pursuing the feasibility and obtaining Board approval, Wayne purchased  the floating docks from Disney at a price far below the market value. Les Levy arranged the transportation of the floating docks to the Club and Wayne arranged for a crane to lift the units into the water. Wayne contracted with a piling company to set new pilings and assembled a volunteer crew to install the floating docks. Member Pat Adsit compiled a list of hardware to include a ramp for the floating dock in front of the Club and again after obtaining board approval, Wayne ordered the products.

*  After installing the floating docks in front of the club, it was learned that more product was available from Disney. A ramp and more floating docks were acquired. The floating docks were extended north to the firehouse to accommodate  our youth sailing fleet. The installation of the used floating docks was done at a fraction of the cost of building new ones. (The section in front of the club was done for less than $6,000.00.)

* While attending a meeting at the Sarasota Yacht Club, Wayne observed the audiovisual system that the club had installed. The need at HRYC had already been established, so Wayne copied all the numbers of the equipment  and brought the figures to the Board for approval. After obtaining Board approval, Wayne purchased and arranged for the installation of the state of the art audio- visual system installed in the Halifax Room.
 
2011

* Wayne was elected Vice Commodore.

* As Vice Commodore, several projects were inherited. .
The club was in the process of buying new flatware. After examining the contract for the purchase of flatware and checking the prices and availability on the Internet, the contract was cancelled and a new contract was initiated with a different company at a savings of  approximately $4000.00. The same pattern was ordered and a six place setting was purchased rather than the four place setting. The flatware is still in use at the club today.

* The Docks Committee came to the board with a request for $7500.00 to purchase a new steamer. Wayne asked that this request be put on hold until he could investigate the problem with the steamer now in use. After some investigation, it was found that the steamer in use was less than 5 years old and still under warranty. (The original cost of the steamer was $15,000.00.) A contract was initiated with Hobart and the steamer was updated and a five-year service was accomplished at a cost of $4,000.00. A service contract was purchased to prevent an occurrence on other kitchen equipment.

*  Examination of the walk-in cooler and walk-in freezer revealed that an employee had eliminated the safety device to prevent an individual from being locked in the cooler or freezer. The manufacturer was contacted and a repair was initiated to eliminate the potential hazard at minimal cost.

*  Wayne discovered that an employee had given a $12,000.00 glass washer to a vendor without authorization. The glass washer was recovered and returned to the Halifax River Yacht Club.

* Early in the year, Wayne was approached by member Marilynn Sternberg who saw an opportunity to start a Book club at HRYC. Wayne assisted Mrs. Sternberg by working out the logistics of the club and the Halifax River Yacht Club Book Club was formed. The club  continues to meet on the last Tuesday of every month.

* Wayne chaired the Planning Committee and saw the purchase of the property at 344 South Beach come to fruition. Once the closing was eminent, the Planning Committee set up a time line. The first item was getting a contractor to demolish the existing ''pink" building.  A contractor was found that was interested in salvaging some of the interior of 344 and gave HRYC a bid substantially lower than the competitors; the second item was to efficiently use the remaining buildings on the property. An office building at 346 South Beach Street was the first utilized. Wayne coordinated the cleaning of the roof and painting of the building after water and electricity had been restored to the building. Partitions on the inside were removed, the interior painted, and the carpets cleaned. A chain link storage area with gate was installed on the south side of the building for secure storage for equipment and building materials. Volunteers and employees did all this.  A new air conditioning system was installed by Past Commodore Chris Brown. A member donated a refrigerator and the dishwa her was repaired. Upon completion, all offsite storage was placed in 346 and the lease on the storage facilities terminated.

*  The repair of the "Boathouse", 342 South Beach Street was begun next. Again, Wayne gathered a volunteer crew and began removing all the old wiring, plumbing and debris left in the building. The interior stair was removed due to rot and termite damage. The lower floor was now able to be used to store all the smaller sail boats and equipment. A workbench was installed to use by boaters for small repairs.

*  A volunteer crew was again called on to clean the entire lot after 344 had been demolished  and hauled off. Tree trimming, weed and vine removal, along with mowing was accomplished by volunteers.

*  As chair of the House Committee the year  created numerous challenges because of the absence of a chef and the termination of the manager. Even though Neil Dobson stepped up to help navigate the holiday season, food quality and consistency continued to be a problem. The shuffle of some employees in the kitchen provided a temporary fix, but little improvement of quality and consistency was recognized. A more hands on approach was required of the Vice Commodore.

2012

* Wayne was elected Commodore. The beginning of 2012 brought many challenges.

*  Due to the departure of the Club Manager, a large sum of money in the amount of $57,500.00 was owed for his severance pay. The year started with a $57,500.00 deficit. A huge pill to swallow.

*  In addition, the club had no Chef and the interim Club Manager asked that he be replaced as soon as a replacement  could be found. During the first six months of 2012, Wayne, with board approval, accepted the challenge of running the club with no General Manager. The interim manager was still not willing to accept the job full time.

* A Chef Search committee went to work and a Chef was hired. The newly hired chef had an excellent resume, but after just a few weeks, he was found to have few leadership qualities and his cooking skills were nil. Again the committee went back to the drawing board and it was summer before a chef was hired. With the
 
help of the Interim manager, Wayne was able to move some key people into various jobs to staff the scheduled  events.

*  Early in the year, Wayne determined the need for a new website and began the search for a vendor for the website for HRYC. After several months of searching and looking at various options, Wayne presented the options to the board and it was agreed to purchase the website powered by Jonas. The new website was a good fit for HRYC because all of the accounting and point of sale for the club was already being supplied by Jonas. Wayne signed the contract and the work began. The new website was scheduled to be up and running by September  of 2012, but by the end of the year, due to numerous  delays the website was still not in service.

*  Early in 2012, Wayne asked P/C Paul Adamek to help form a Kayak Club. The board had already allocated the funds and all that was needed was Kayaks.  Paul agreed and the foundation for the club began to form. Paul purchased four new kayaks and members Bruce Stevens and Dave Huff both donated one each. The Kayak Club was up and running. The club meets the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00PM and has scheduled outings. Beginners and experienced kayakers are now both enjoying the club.

*  The work on the newly acquired property continued. Termites were discovered in the "Boathouse". A contract for tenting the building had to be obtained before going any further. After the tenting was completed, Wayne solicited bids for repairing and replacing the roof. With the help of Board Member, Mike Underwood, the work was completed and a metal roof was installed to match the clubhouse.

*  Once more, Wayne organized a work crew and with the help of member Don Chester, the work crew and a carpenter, demolished  and rebuilt the outside stair.

* Bids were obtained on the repair to the inside of the building and work began making the second floor available for storage. Shelving was purchased  and installed. The seasonal decorations and proprietary documents were moved to the building prior to the end of the year.

*  Moving this material to the "Boathouse" from 346 now made that building available for events. Partitions were removed from 346, carpeting cleaned, and the building was made available for small parties and meetings.

*  In the Summer, a search Committee led by vice Commodore  Mike McQuarrie selected a candidate for General Manager. The committee voted to hire Mr. John Connors. Mr. Connors had little experience in managing a private club and Wayne had to devote much of his time to training and familiarizing the new GM with the Halifax River Yacht Club. Interim Manager Neil Dobson again stepped up and agreed to assist with the transition and familiarization.
 
*  During the same visit, while having dinner with the Sarasota Yacht Club Commodore, Wayne inquired about their valet parking. Commodore Kay Goodman furnished Wayne with all the details. The details were so impressive that Wayne brought the details back to the board. After obtaining board approval, Wayne was able to negotiate a contract locally with the valet parking company we now use. The valet parking has proved to be a huge factor in getting our older members to evening events.

* During the year, the elevators hydraulic motors failed numerous times at a considerable cost to the Harifax River Yacht Club. The elevator company insisted on installing new motors when a failure occurred which did not produce the reliability necessary for the cost of the new motor. Wayne found a reliable company in Orlando to simply overhaul the motors at an expense considerably less than a new motor. Although the rebuilt motors last as long as the new ones, problems still existed. After some research,  Wayne discovered a company in Titusville that specialized in elevator motors and they agreed to examine one of our motors to attempt to determine the cause of the failures. After examination of the motor, the repairman explained that the motor did not have a thermal cutout switch installed, which was the cause of the motors burning up. The thermal switch would shut the motor off prior to damage being done. Thermal switches were installed on all the elevator motors including a spare motor that had been acquired. The thermal switches have improved the reliability of the elevators and breakdowns  are now seldom. With the spare motor on hand, the repair time is much improved should a breakdown occur. A breakdown  has not occurred in several years.

*  In July of 2010, Wayne began organizing the Halifax Chapter of the Florida Commodores Association. Wayne signed up every past commodore from the year 2000 thru 2009 with the exception of Dan Redner who had passed away, In addition, he signed up all the sitting flag officers and many of their wives. In October, Wayne presented the Chapter application to FCA Commodore Ron Richards and PC Rich Oakley at the FCA fall meeting at the Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club. The members recruited at HRYC for FCA put the year old organization over the 200 member goal.

Note: The Halifax River Yacht Club Chapter has grown to one of the largest and more active chapters in the Florida Commodores Association today.

* As Rear Commodore, Wayne found the agreement between the club and boat owners to be completely inadequate. The agreement  was rewritten and is in use today.

*  Negotiations to purchase the property at 344 Beach Street continued throughout the year.
 
*  Wayne was approached by the Power Squadron to use 346 f.or classes. An agreement  was negotiated and the Power Squadron agreed to furnish the room with table, chairs, and a wide screen television for class room activities. The equipment (including two storage cabinets) is to belong to the club after five years.

*  Due to repairs to the retention wall in the marina, the foundation of the pool was found to be washing out and eroding the fill under the pool. With the help of the club contractor and board member Mike Underwood, a course of action for repairs to the foundation of the pool was determined. Due to determining the limit of the liability for the city of Daytona, the project was delayed several times and the repairs extended well into summer and caused the pool to be closed for a long period of time. The closing also eroded the attendance at the pool and Tiki Bar during the summer. Extra entertainment was scheduled to compensate for the loss of the pool.

*  The year was the year for the Gulfstreamer Daytona to Charleston race. The race was held, but not without drama. Several key people resigned just prior to the race and Wayne had to step in and get new volunteers in place. The race came off without a hitch administratively, but a strong Atlantic storm disrupted the racers in route. Only three boats were able to finish the race due to bad weather.

*  A need for new placemats was determined and with the help of Digital Press, Wayne designed two new patterns that are in use at the club today. One features the clubhouse as a theme and the other, the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs featuring all the flags in the Council. Digital Press donated the time the graphic artist spent with Wayne and only charged the club for the printing.

"'  The existing dock between the North and Center Docks was unsafe and barely usable. With the allocation of money from the board and working with member Pat Adsit, Wayne demolished the old dock and replaced it with a floating dock. New pilings were put in place, a finger docks built, and a ramp was installed that was purchased from Disney at a bargain price. Water and an electrical pedestal were also installed. The project was finished with volunteer labor from the club at very little expense to the club.

 John Matthews - 2014
While Commodore, in 2003, John Matthews was largely responsible for the addition to PYC's ballroom that was started in 2003 and completed in 2004.  Initially it was not universally accepted by the membership and it took considerable communication skills and salesmanship on his part to get the project approved. Since the addition was completed it greatly enhanced PYC's ability to hold large functions.  There is an easily deployable partition that was built into the design giving PYC the flexibility to hold two smaller functions simultaneously or just accommodate a smaller event.  When Hurricane Ivan struck Pensacola in September of 2004, PYC suffered very little damage to the clubhouse.  For well over a year PYC was the only place that was capable of holding major events.  Today PYC's Events Manager estimates that more that 50% of the Club's business would be lost without the additional space.  PYC can now easily accommodate a 300 plate function with the additional ballroom.  There are very few places in Pensacola that can support that kind of event especially with the spectacular view that PYC has the great fortune to have.

In 2004 Commodore Jim Lee had to fire the general manager.  As Commodore Lee was serving concurrently as President of the Gulf Breeze Rotary (110 members) plus working for an insurance company, he was very pressed for time.  Commodore  Matthews put his membership on hold and became the interim General Manager of PYC until a replacement was found.

Commodore  Matthews has been responsible for getting PYC and our sister clubs great visibility in our community.  When Navy Yacht Club Past Commodore Kathy Champagne originated the Wounded American Veterans Event (W.A.V.E), Commodore  Matthews was an enthusiastic supporter from the beginning.   He was instrumental in its success and championed its cause everywhere. He developed a great rapport with the Mayor of Pensacola and the NAS Pensacola Commanding Officer.  It has brought not only good publicity for PYC but also for all of the other participating clubs.  His involvement has shown the Pensacola community a compassionate side of yacht clubs.

John has been and continues to be a cheerleading,  committed, supporter of all things yachting in all of its iterations.   He was on the Board of the Gulf Yachting Association for four years becoming Commodore of the GYA in 2011.  From 2004 to 2008 he was in the IOBG.  In 2008, he became one of the founding members of the Florida Commodores Association ultimately becoming its Commodore in 2012.  He is a yachtsman in every sense.

Commodore Matthews is happy to fill any need that PYC requires.  John has stepped up when no one else has. It is fair to say that many functions whether it was yachting or social would not have happened unless he volunteered to help. Over a period of decades John has been a Principle Race Officer, Race Committee Manager, Regatta Chairman for large regattas such as the USODA.  He was editor of PYC's newsletter the "Jib Sheet" for seven years.  When PYC lost its signal boat to hurricane Ivan, he found one in Texas and brought it back to Pensacola. John has been a great asset to all of us that have followed in his footsteps as Commodore at PYC.


 Robert Schwalm - 2014
The Board of Director of the Platinum Point Yacht Club has voted to nominate Robert F. Schwalm, PPYC Commodore from 2002 - 2003, for the Four Star Commodore Award for his outstanding services to the yacht club over a period of years and especially during the building expansion and renovation which took place during the spring, summer and fall of 2004.  Robert (Bob) spearheaded the expansion and renovation program and gained membership approval while Commodore.  Then, during the year in which Bob was Immediate Past Commodore, he supervised the expansion and renovation of the facility, working with the architect, the builder, the interior designer, and the finance committee to see the project to completion.

Work began in May, 2004, and any and all members of the PPYC community at that time report that Bob was present every day, supervising, directing, and verifying that the construction was occurring in an orderly and proper fashion.  Bob was aware of every detail of the construction, and ensured that the expansion and renovation were being accomplished in such a way that a foundation was being set for possible future additions.  This was evidenced in that, when new projects were considered in the following years, Commodores first called upon Bob to determine if future plans were feasible.

In the spring of 2004, the club house was emptied and furnishings were stored in preparation for the enclosure of the existing front porch and side veranda to enlarge the facility so that many more square feet would be under air conditioning and available for greater attendance at club functions.  Unfortunately, in August of 2004,  Hurricane Charley hit Punta Gorda. However, the building was relatively open at that time, and therefore, the damage as a result of the hurricane was minimal - some roof damage and some water damage.  However, because of the Hurricane, the building project was somewhat delayed. Nevertheless, the project was sufficiently complete to allow for a Grand Opening of the improved facility in November of 2004.

Bob continues to serve the PPYC community to this day, and his name appears in report after report throughout the years. He has served on other Long Range Planning Committees under a number of different commodores in the ensuing years, and again, recently, when the present Commodore re-instated the Forward Planning Committee, she called upon Bob, once again, to join the committee and to assist in their mission to report to the Board of Directors "strategy for orderly and responsible growth of PPYC". Bob was chosen for his historical understanding of the membership and the facility and for his progressive views and ability to work with seasoned and newer members.

All organizations have special characteristics, and I personally have found Bob's understanding of the PPYC community from a historical background to be of invaluable assistance to me as the present Commodore.  His forward-looking and progressive approach to our orderly growth continues to aid us in our plans for the future. We are proud of the beneficial assistance which Bob Schwalm has made to the PPYC community. We thank him for his service and look forward to his Involvement in PPYC activities for many years to come.  For his past and continuing service to PPYC, we highly recommend Robert F. Schwalm for the Four Star Commodore Award.

 Darrell Mashburn - 2015
In September 2004, Hurricane Ivan came barreling through Pensacola, FL with devastating results. The clubhouse, our docks, most member's boats as well as some of the member's homes were damaged or destroyed in just a few hours.

In the aftermath, members gathered around a standing campfire and pondered what to do now. Commodore Mashburn purchased a canvas canopy and rented a temporary kitchen trailer to provide meals. Some members had lost or they had serious damage to their homes and this provided some relief.  The club grounds gave the members a gathering point to console one another, to grieve, and to get motivated again to rebuild their lives.  Commodore Darrell Mashburn stepped up to the plate, pulled the group together and began the almost impossible process of rebuilding the clubhouse and docks.

Were it not for Darrell's endless and tireless efforts...The club may not have survived as a yacht club. He helped arrange for loans and, contracts to facilitate the rebuild process. The new Grand Lagoon Yacht Club clubhouse was dedicated in 2005.  He was responsible during these difficult times for the retention of existing members and actually grew the membership numbers while rebuilding the clubhouse.

Many members who lived through these tough times are stil1 members today which is a reflection of what one man's leadership and drive can accomplish. Hopefully we can honor him by presenting him with the 2015 Four Star Commodore Award from the Florida Commodores Association.


 Peter Tyson - 2015
Peter was Commodore of the Pelican Yacht Club in 2012.  Prior to that he served on the Board of Directors for six years.  He served on the Fleet Committee, Finance Committee, House Committee and Building & Grounds Committee.  He worked with his Vice Commodore to refinance the mortgage on the club - saving tens of thousands of dollars.

Because of his extensive fishing background Peter was asked to become chairman of the Pelican Yacht Club Invitational Billfish Tournament in 2008 - It is the biggest single money maker for the club each year and the premier billfish tournament on the east coast, hosting some of the best teams and boats from around the State, country, and the world.  Internationally acclaimed artists such as Don Ray, Guy Harvey, and Carey Chen have produced unique artwork exclusively for the tournament invitations, shirts, and awards  in the past several years.

Peter started the Pelican Rod & Reel Club in 2012 to generate interest in fishing and provide a learning experience as well as a competitive or purely social atmosphere amongst the members.

He developed a unique "Angling Guide" based on the famous Miami Beach Rod & Reel Club and has given numerous clinics on knot tying, bait rigging, and handling various classes of tackle including fly, spin, plug, and general divisions.  He produces a color newsletter for the club called The Tackler with fishing news for members, catch results, and reports on angling regulations, and outings.   He has organized four international fishing trips to Baja, Mexico,
which he attended with several club members.

When Peter is not working at his marine and aviation insurance company, he also volunteers at the Smithsonian  Marine Station -for special events, and has skippered their research vessel when needed.  He was one of the founding members of the "Friends of the Smithsonian  Marine Station."

He also volunteers at McKee Botanical Gardens at Christmastime constructing and running a large (G) scale model railroad with three levels of trains and over 200' of track, complete with village, farm, vehicles, and people. The display takes about 200 hours to set up, not counting the six nights it is open to the public and the tear down time.

 Dan Morrison - 2016

We, the Board of Directors at Lauderdale Isles Yacht Club, unanimously voted for Commodore Dan Morrison, who gave three years of his life to be the commodore of the Yacht Club.  Commodore Dan Morrison was elected Commodore in 2012 when the club was in big trouble.  It was in its 58th year of existence, it was not going to make it 60 years. The club was even put on the market for sale.  Dan was the key figure in turning the club around so we could celebrate its 60th year.  We are now up and solvent and running, he managed to take the club through some terrible times.  He is still an active member and on the Board of Directors.  He is also is the go between for the Yacht Club and the local civic association.  He set a good example for the next incoming commodores.  He’s always there to help and advice. 

He’s been known to do special things for the club, such as put on his diving gear and fix all the cracks on the bottom of the pool, he’s even done that for a club member’s sinking boat.  He is still working very hard to keep the club up and going.

Commodore Dan Morrison, has a lovely wife Sophie, and two children that live on the Isles, only two streets away from the club.  Commodore Dan Morrison is always there! We as the Board of Directors couldn’t have thought of anybody else but Commodore Dan Morrison who is more deserving of this award!  If it wasn’t for Dan Morrison and his dedication to the Yacht club, it probably wouldn’t be here today!

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 Robert Furman - 2016
Since the Stuart Corinthian Yacht Club is a member-awned Club, we rely on members quite a bit for upkeep of the Club, as well as other projects as they come up.

On behalf of SCYC, I am submitting a nomination for our Past Commodore Robert Furman for the2015 Four Star Commodore Award.

Since becoming Commodore In 2012, Bob has contributed greatly to our Club's needs; not only financially, but more .so through his 'blood, sweat and tears'.

Here are some highlights:

Our Food and Beverage Manager said that a walk-in cooler would be a great asset to our kitchen. After Board approval, Bob spearheaded getting a platform built in our storage area off the kitchen to accommodate the cooler. He spent many man-hours designing and building the platform (along with several other members),and researching what kind of cooler would best accommodate our needs, where we could buy it and, after a two-month time frame we had a new walk-in cooler up and running. Even though we had purchased a cooler, it needed some modifications, which Bob took upon himself to complete.

Our Club has 26 boat slips along with two heads with parking lot access. One of the members mentioned that the heads were in sad shape, and that we should consider refurbishing them.  Bob undertook the job of renovating these two facilities. He installed new vanities, new plumbing, repaired the doors and installed combination door locks. He had to re-do the siding on the building around the doors. One small mishap with this project; while cutting the siding with his saws-all, he found a water pipe which he very neatly cut thru.  But in the spirit of Bob, it didn't deter him- he fixed the pipe and completed the project.

Bob lives fairly close to the Club, and his name is on the top of the list for the Alarm Company to call. He unselfishly shows up to investigate each call,any time- day or night.

Bob was instrumental in doing appliance renovations in our kitchen. With this project, he went out and bought a welding unit and taught himself how to weld, so tnat he could repair the stainless steel tables and fryolator. Now, our Chef calls Bob "Mr Kitchen Repair",and when anything goes wrong with any appliances or plumbing, Bob gets the call.

Along with being Commodore, Bob was Vice and Rear He was also House- three times! He is still "house at heart".  Our Food and Beverage Manager still thinks he is our House Chair!

Over the years, Bob has installed and maintained our Sound System, our WiFi, has installed close-Circuit cameras for monitoring various areas Inside and outside of our club. Other members will make adjustments now and then, but  Bob is our go-to man to make sure everything is working properly.

Along with WiFi in the Club, Bob installed repeaters on the docks so that members would have WiFi on their boats. To accomplish this, numerous times Bob would be in the crawlspace under the Club, drilling holes in concrete,and running wires.

Recently, our Club went through a major renovation, and our Commodore figured that we needed a new Sound System. Who do you think he went to, to accomplish this task?   Bob, of course. Also during this project, the  architect designed a recessed area in the wall to accommodate our 70" TV. After completion of the renovation and trying to install the TV,it was found that the recess was too small. Once again, Bob. took on the task to modify what the carpenters had built, and got the TV installed. Most of this work had to be done on a 10ft ladder. I have to admit that Bob had the wherewithal! to enlist the help of some younger members to lift the TV up and in place.

Bob was also instrumental in wiring our Board Room and purchasing- with his money- (Go To Meeting) software, so that Board members who are traveling could participate in the Directors meetings remotely.

During one Club event our Air Conditioning System failed. Bob left his dinner on the table, went home and to another member's house to get two industrial-size fans. During this time, he managed to call our A/C people to find out what he could look for to remedy the problem, which he did- and received a great round of applause from all the members present.

At another point, our  Chef was greeted with water coming thru the ceiling in the kitchen. Bob happened to be at the Club. He immediately found a tall ladder, opened up the tiles in the ceiling, climbed thru the opening (Bob is not a little guy),found that one of the AC's condensation pans was overflowing with water. Bob went down the ladder, found our wet/dry vac, went back up and started vacuuming up the water  Bob found the main shutoff, called our A/C contractor; waited for them to come, and fixed the problem.

Bob is always available. Whether it be to chauffeur a member who cannot drive anymore, as an EMT, or just about anything else that anyone from the Club needs help with.

I can go on and on, but I think the Four Star Committee gets the idea.

Margaret Yaeger - 2016
"Member Satisfaction is Job 1." That was the guiding principle in 2015 as Margaret Yaeger took the helm of Halifax River Yacht Club as its 104th Commodore, and only the second female in the Club's 120-year history to serve in that position.
At the time, the Club was suffering a dangerous decline in membership due largely to member dissatisfaction with food and beverage. As one of her early actions, Commodore Yaeger appointed an Ad Hoc Committee to dissect the problem and find solutions. She tasked it to locate a top-notch consulting firm to assess the Club's operations, identify methods to turn the Club around and set it on a viable pathway to a successful future
.
While its first effort was largely unsuccessful, in the early Fall the committee came to the Board of Directors with a winning proposal. It had identified a firm specializing in private clubs that could conduct a comprehensive strategic assessment of the club. Commodore Yaeger and the Board approved, and by early December the assessment work was completed. The consultants were adamant about what the Club needed immediately: first, a new General Manager with strong credentials and second, a dedicated Membership Director. Commodore Yaeger convinced the Board of the need to act swiftly and, with the Board's support, she removed the existing manager. She then held interviews that quickly produced two well qualified individuals, one to take over management of Club operations, the other to spearhead an energized membership drive. Her brave action led the way to a resurgence of satisfaction among both members and staff. Today, membership is increasing dramatically, staff morale is at an all-time high, and food and beverage quality has improved significantly.
While the operations issue was certainly the highest priority during her tenure, Commodore Yaeger also spent many hours reviewing club policies and was surprised to find that several important ones were missing. She set about writing policies on Conflict of Interest, Document Retention and Destruction, and Whistle blower Protection, all of which were adopted by the Board of Directors.
After the Chairman of the Planning Committee resigned, Commodore Yaeger stepped in to continue the development of a Club strategic plan that she had begun while serving as Vice Commodore. She led her committee to produce a Club mission statement that reads: "We are a friendly community encompassing nautical, educational, social and dining activities in an affordable, comfortable, environment that enables participation." The Board approved the mission statement in September 2015.
As the Club moved forward to 2016, it became obvious that the massive changes undertaken by Commodore Yaeger were instrumental in preparing the way for true "Member Satisfaction" in the future. At the end of her term, Commodore Yaeger told the incoming 2016 Commodore: "I promised that I would hand you a better club at the end of my term than the one I inherited, and I believe I've done that."
For her foresight and dedication to making difficult changes, the Florida Commodores Association, Halifax River Yacht Club Chapter, is pleased to nominate Immediate Past Commodore Margaret Yaeger for the 2016 Four Star Commodore Award.

 Alan McMillan - 2017

Past Commodore McMillan served Pensacola Yacht Club with distinction first as Rear Commodore then as Vice Commodore before taking over full leadership of the Club in 2011. During his tenure as Commodore he undertook the refinancing of the Club with full approval of the membership, negotiated with the City and Environmental Protection Agency for the complete removal of a superfund drainage ditch that had traversed our property for over 50 years, and hosted the US Navy's Centennial Celebration of Naval Aviation, just to name a few accomplishments that year.


He served again as Commodore in 2015 and 2016 during which the remediation of the ditch was fulfilled, membership blossomed, and a massive rebuild and upgrade of our marina were all initiated. His leadership skills and abilities in assembling the right teams for the various missions and guiding them with good judgment and vision were exemplary. In addition to a sharp rise in membership and placing the Club on sound financial footing, Club morale soared and remains high substantially because of the renewed trust members have in Pensacola Yacht Club  leadership these days.


While he was serving Pensacola Yacht Club, Past Commodore McMillan was also serving the broader community. He served as President of his homeowners' association and was Vice Chair of the Restore Committee, an elite body established to evaluate and make recommendations to the County Commission about how to allocate millions of dollars to be paid to the County by British Petroleum.


We cannot think of a more worthy candidate to receive this high honor than Past Commodore Alan McMillan.

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June-Ann DeGraw - 2017

Growing up on Lake Erie, in Ohio yacht clubs, June-Ann DeGraw learned to appreciate yachting traditions at a very early age. Her father, P/C Otto Roger Fox showed her by example the importance of keeping these customs alive.

Upon moving to Fort Pierce, she joined the Pelican Yacht Club in September 2004, between Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne. As a new member DeGraw volunteered for any committee that needed her help. The General Manager suggested that she join the Entertainment Committee and attended her first meeting in October. Her biggest surprise came when she found out that PYC did not have any yachting traditions.

At this first meeting, the Chairman asked everyone to make a suggestion for an event. As the members gave their ideas, she was confused that none fell under the heading of yachting traditions. There was also no discussion about the upcoming 60th anniversary of the club. DeGraw made a few suggestions and so it started. The 60th Anniversary dinner/dance, was the first event she chaired in March of 2006. It was an enormous success, it was a total sellout.
In November 2006 DeGraw was elected to the Board of Directors and given the position of Entertainment Chairman. This opened the door for her to bring in the traditions she grew up with. The following are a few of the traditions she started at PYC:
• Formal Change of Watch
• Grand March of Past Commodores
• Formal Opening Flag Ceremonies (Incorporating the Sea Scout Ship)
• Blessing of the Fleet
• Pass and Review
• The Robert Gladwin Memorial Award (Member of the Year Award)
• Memorial Day Ceremony
• Sundowner Ceremony
• Bermuda New Year's Eve
• The Boat Hop
• The Tropical Cocktail Contest
• Getting the club's cannon back into service.
• Adding the Fleet Captain to the list of Flag Officers

DeGraw's years on the Bridge and the Board of Directors were marked with many small to large events and issues. Her year as Rear Commodore started with the release of the General Manager. She filled in at the Club's front office in the absence of a GM to help the Assistant Manager. Then again during the first quarter of her year as commodore, the GM resigned. Again, DeGraw stepped into the role of acting General Manager for 3 months while the Bridge located our current GM.

Her time on the Board was challenging with financial issues, membership decline, mandated government upgrades and infrastructure emergencies. With the hiring of the two General Managers in 2009 and 2011, the Board was able to turn the financial situation around. At the end of her year as commodore, the club saw a profit for the first time in many years.

At the completion of DeGraw's term as Commodore she moved her focus to the club's Sea Scout Ship. The Ship has a long and outstanding history that has bonded it to the Pelican Yacht Club. With her extensive training and experience in Scouting she was the perfect person to step up and assist the Ship. Under her guidance the Ship has grown. The Scouts are now involved with the Navy Seal Museum, trips to the Keys and through Lake Okeechobee, participation in local and state wide events and advancing in the Sea Scout program. DeGraw continues on as the Chairman and Institutional Representative of the Ship.

As a Past Commodore, DeGraw continues to be active in the club. She started the New Member Campus Tour as a way to introduce the club and all of our facilities to our new members. She welcomes both old and new members to the tour. It has proven to be a very successful monthly event.

Her love of the Pelican is evident to everyone every time she walks into the Pelican.

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Dr. Thomas Reynolds - 2018

Past Commodore Tom Reynolds has been the "go to guy" at FWYC since he joined in 2001. Every time there is a job to do members look to Dr. Tom to get it done.

Subsequent to his tour as Commodore he has guided the club as a Director (5 years), as Chairman of the Five-Year Planning Committee (4 years) and as a member of the Finance Committee (6 years). Dr. Tom was instrumental in setting up sinking funds for club house replacement and another for dock repair to help ensure that funds will be in place if disaster strikes. Because of his foresight, when the docks were damaged in recent storms, funds were available to quickly repair the damage. 

In addition, he has led or participated in numerous adhoc committees such as fundraising, self-help projects, race committees and social events to include the recent Statewide FCA General Membership Meeting. Dr. Tom is responsible for FWYC obtaining the Florida "Clean Marina" designation, a distinction in which the club takes pride and is a constant reminder to the community of our commitment to a clean environment.

Dr. Tom continued to serve the club as our Director to the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs for four years, traveling the state at his own expense to represent our club. His leadership ability was immediately recognized, and he serves as the FCYC Communications Director and was made a member of the Governing Board of FCYC. As such he helped block legislation that would mandate higher ethanol in marine fuel and restrict anchoring rights on our own Crab Island in the Choctawhatchee Bay, directly benefiting our members.

Past Commodore Reynolds is a Founding Member of the FCA and has served as Fleet Captain, Rear Commodore, Vice Commodore and then Commodore in 2010 and 2011. He also serves our club and the broader sailing community as an organizing member and Treasurer (2015-2018) of the Florida Commodores Association Foundation.

He brings distinction to our club by performing community service as a member of the Institute of Senior Professionals at the Northwest Florida State University, he serves on the Waste Management Advisory Committee for Okaloosa County, the Emergency Management Advisory Committee, and has been a member of the Children in Crisis Advisory Committee.

Nationally, he is a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society and Vice-president of Finance for the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and has served in that capacity for five (5) years. He was General Chairman of the Electronic Components Technical Conference, an international, annual event sponsored by IEEE. These national distinctions attest to Dr. Tom's leadership and life of service while bringing distinction to our club.

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Larry Bowyer - 2019

Past Commodore Larry Bowyer participated in the creation of the Pensacola Yacht Club East Marina during the year 2018.  Commodore
Boyer is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Florida.  He designed the marina, obtained all government permits required
for construction, invited contractor bids, selected contractors, coordinated and oversaw all construction of the East Marina.  Total cost
of the construction was $1.35M. 

Had the yacht club contracted a consulting engineering firm to accomplish the work Commodore Boyer accomplished the fee would have
been in excess of $135,000.  Commodore Boyer accomplished the task free to the Pensacola Yacht Club.  The magnificent result speaks
for itself. 

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Charles (Skip) Harrington - 2019

Past Commodore Skip Harrington has served the Fort Walton Yacht Club for two decades.  He was Commodore in 2003 following his service as Vice Commodore and as a Director. Subsequent to his tour as Commodore he established the New Member Welcoming Committee and New Member Orientation.  As a result, he had a significant and positive effect on recruiting and retention.  He has chaired that committee since 2005 and continues today.  Our membership increased from 283 full dues paying members to 316.  Skip personally welcomes each new member and family, introducing them to current members and our staff.  He shows them the facilities, makes them aware of the many benefits of membership and sees that new member pictures and biographies are posted on the bulletin board so members can greet them by name. His efforts help ensure that new members feel welcome and stay in the club. 

Skip and Barbara have stalwartly supported our highly successful racing program since 2006 with their active participation on race committees.  For thirteen years they have been there every Wednesday evening, rain or shine, in the heat or cold running the Wednesday Fun Races.  In addition, they serve as race officials for the many regattas our club hosts, and often volunteered their boat as Race Committee Boat. 

As chair of the Election Committee the last 16 years, Skip has overseen ballot preparation, distribution, collection and counting for the election of club officers.  He leads a team of ten people to accomplish this important work. 

Skip continued to serve as a Director (2005-2006) and was recruited to serve a second term as Commodore in 2012, bringing his calm competent and inclusive leadership to the club once again.  It was in 2012 that he led our club's preparation for Hurricane Isaac whose path we were in.  Because of that preparation the club and its boats were spared any significant damage. 

Skip led our club's well received Sundown Ceremony program for many years and is still a very active participant, often as the event's speaker.  These solemn ceremonies are held to recognize the greatness of America on national holidays and are well attended. 

He is one of three trustees of the FWYC Building Trust Fund and to honor his long-term service to our club a trophy was established in his name to recognize others who have made significant contributions. 

Skip retired from the U.S. Air Force as a Colonel where he flew fighters in Korea, Japan, Germany, and Southeast Asia.  In his second career he taught history at the Admiral Farragut Academy in Tom's River N.J.  In addition to his service to our club and our nation, Skip's leadership abilities are recognized by the Men's Golf Association at the Shalimar Point Golf Club.  He has been President since 2002 and leads the planning and execution of the association's regularly held tournaments. 

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Bonnie Forrest - 2020

Past Commodore Forrest’s service is said to illustrate her intelligence, knowledge, compassion and insight during two separate terms.  She employed her knowledge of the insurance business to guide the club through the damage created by 2 hurricanes disasters and a hailstorm, and designed an insurance program that allowed the club to secure needed funds for rebuilding.

You can count on Bonnie and her husband to always be on the scene to help at every event whether it's in the club kitchen or the Boardroom.  Following her service on multiple club committees and fundraisers, where she put her professional managerial skills to work, P/C Forrest agreed to serve a second term in 2018-2019 in order to navigate through a difficult time for SCYC. P/C Forrest has been President of the club's FCA chapter a number of times during her two separate terms as Commodore.

It is her loyalty, clear thinking, and positive leadership style that makes her the perfect choice to take the helm and lead the club in numerous positions as she continues to volunteer her time to SCYC. 

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Jim Reeves - 2020

Past Commodore Reeves applied his skills of membership building and fund raising in the community to the benefit of Pensacola Yacht Club.  Under his leadership, membership doubled and now there is a waiting list to become a member of PYC.  He also was responsible for helping to develop a financial plan that encompassed massive capital infusion enabling PYC to modernize the marina with a major reduction in debt.  During all of thefforts, Jim out performed expectations just like he has long before his service on the Board of Pensacola Yacht Club.  

P/C Reeves remains supportive of PYC after having served as a Board of Director, Vice Commodore, and Commodore.  He currently is remaining active with the Board as emeritus and attends every meeting in supportive and helpful fashion. He also serves as a Trustee on the PYC Satori Foundation where his contributions have been extraordinary as well.


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David Willbur - 2020

Past Commodore David Willbur joined Pelican Yacht Club in 1996 and immediately became involved in club leadership serving on the Board of Directors in 2000, where he accepted the chairmanship of many of the club’s standing committees.  During this period, David started the Employee Safety Committee where he had employees from each department represented.

In 2012, P/C Willbur stepped into the position of Vice Commodore where he applied his many skills to help put PYC on strong financial footing.  P/C Willbur continued to work on fiscal responsibility during his term as Commodore. In 2020, he again was on the Board of Directors where as chairman, he was able to negotiate a loan into a grant and worked on the By-Laws Committee with the goal of revamping the club's by-laws with the club's attorney.

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