2017 Annual Report

With over 400 athletes and 11 programs, Capital brings together individuals from all walks of life to enjoy our sport, our river, and our community. From adults and teenagers just learning to row to those competing at the highest levels, our athletes have benefited from 30 years of dedication and investment of time and resources.

As a way of celebrating our club and its programs, members, and activities, we’re happy to release the 2017 Annual Report. We hope that those of you newer to Capital will read it and learn about the myriad opportunities available to you, and that those of you who have been with the club longer will appreciate how far we have come.

In addition to highlighting the club’s activities, the Annual Report also includes a list of donors. We hope that you will peruse the list with gratitude to those who have generously given to the club. And we hope that it will inspire you, as we approach the end of the year, to make a donation to our Fall Fundraising Challenge.

Go Capital!

Nominees for 2019 Board of Directors

Wondering who you should vote for as part of Capital’s Elections? Read the candidate statements to learn more.

Executive Committee

President (1 Candidate)

Lain Wilson
I’m honored to accept the nomination for Capital Rowing Club President.

I’ve been a member of Capital for four years and have served as Club PM Program Co-Representative and Secretary. In both those positions, I’ve had the opportunity to meet people from across the club, to welcome new members, and to represent Capital to the broader public. I have helped to develop a new communications process for PM, created an annual report for the club, and participated in and led working groups to address key questions and processes.

I’m a project manager at a research institute and cultural nonprofit, and I am primarily engaged in coordinating many of our mission-driven initiatives. As President, I hope to bring that expertise to bear in supporting and leading the club as we continue to follow our mission of providing competitive and recreational rowing opportunities for all. I plan to develop a communications strategy and increase the transparency of decision-making processes. I will facilitate more opportunities for member interaction and to build stronger ties between our programs. I will work with other board members to ensure Capital’s long-term sustainability. Finally, I hope to encourage members’ participation and engagement in the club’s operations, providing opportunities for members to learn about the club and find out how they can become future leaders.

I appreciate your consideration, and I hope for your vote.

Secretary (2 Candidates)

Stephanie (Steph) Acerra
Having been on the board for the last two years, I would be honored to serve on the board again, only this time in the position of Secretary. I have been rowing with Capital since 2012 on both the competitive sweep and sculling team. I rowed recreationally in 1997 and 2002–2005, and competitively 1998–2001 and since 2005, so I know and understand both the competitive and recreational rower. As a masters’ rower, I know many of the challenges we face, and as coach at a local high school, I see the needs of both coaches and junior rowers alike. As “Race Czarina,” and a regular trailer driver, I have been involved with many aspects of the competitive teams over the past couple of years. And sitting on the board I have become more familiar with the non-competitive programs out of our boathouse as well. In addition to Capital, I have served as a board member at two previous clubs and for a non-profit organization in Uganda. I feel I am organized and thoughtful in my work, both professionally and with the organizations with which I am involved. I am detail oriented which I believe will lend itself well to the tasks aligned with the Secretary position.

Clara Elias
Hi everyone, I’m Clara, and I’m excited to be nominated for the secretary position. I have been rowing sweep with Capital for five years, two with Club AM and the last three with the competitive program. I have been looking for ways to offer up my time and expertise to help Capital, and I think I’ve found it with the secretary position.

Over the last year I served on both the 30th Anniversary Committee and the working group on the policy around rowing with other clubs. During my time on the working group, I researched 14 different clubs’ policies and compiled the results into a summary document for the club-wide meeting. On the 30th Anniversary Committee, I organized the club history table and Apple Pie Contest. All of it wanted me to devote more time to the club, and made me realize how deeply I care about helping to make Capital vibrant, inclusive, and strong.

I am a trained facilitator, who is good at keeping meetings on track, on time, and productive. I also capture and organizing notes effectively, percolating out next steps and action items so they are easy to find. I used to be a biologist, who studied butterflies, which is where I learned how to be methodical and unbiased in my note taking, unafraid to ask clarifying questions to make sure I fully understand. I’d love to be able to use my skills for the club. I hope you’ll consider me for the position of secretary.

VP of Operations (1 Candidate)

Mike Neumann
After rowing in college at Northwestern University, Mike took a two-decade hiatus from rowing before joining Capital Rowing Club in 2014. Since then, he’s been an active member of the Club PM program, and now serves as Capital’s Vice President of Operations. In his professional career, Mike served as a United States Marine for 12 years, and for the last 9 years he has worked as the Director of Operations for a national security unit at an international research and analysis think tank. He is also proud to have earned the title of “Champion of the Chase” in October 2018.

VP of Membership (1 Candidate)

Andy Rabus
Like an increasing number of people in masters rowing today, I learned as an adult just after graduate school. I stopped by the Potomac to watch Stonewall Regatta. A week later, I had my first learn-to-row session at Thompson’s and was instantly hooked. I quickly came to love the teamwork, camaraderie, strong sense of community, and competition. Nearly 18 years later, I have had the privilege to meet, row and compete with wonderful people around the world including many of you, learn from great coaches, lead a rowing club, run regattas, and share my love for the sport coaching masters and high school rowers. I’ve learned that success for any rowing club hinges on a person’s overall experience with the club, and for those looking to join, what current members say about their experience. Capital has a reputation for a creating a great experience as a community rowing club that provides opportunity to people at all levels and interests. I am running for VP of Membership to continue that tradition and build on the work of those before me to improve our club. We never stand still as rowers, nor should your club. I will always work to make the Capital experience better for you. To that end, I’ll focus on three initiatives as your VP for Membership:

  1. Improve and integrate processes so that each member can have a great Capital experience be it with membership, programs, or off-the-water activities (e.g., socials, volunteer opportunities). I will listen to your concerns and needs and work with the board to advance initiatives that make your experience better. I’ll work with the board to ensure we have a committee that looks across the member experience and spots problem areas and identifies solutions quickly. We’ve taken positive steps already with this year’s strategic planning initiative, but we must keep up the pressure to turn great ideas into reality.  It’s all about building an enduring connection to Capital and fostering a love for the sport.
  2. Attract experienced rowers to Capital through active marketing (e.g., open houses, invitational rows/events, direct outreach, partnerships, summer rowing) to potential members be they masters rowers looking for a new experience, recent college graduates ready to continue their competitive development, or someone looking for their next step in growing as a rower.
  3. Drive participation in programs focused on new rowers working with board members, committees, and coaches to get the word out about the Capital experience and opportunities to learn about this great sport.

At-Large Directors

4 people will be elected to this position

Geoff Brown
I am running for an at-large director position on the board to help the club stay on sound financial footing. I believe that the club is a wonderful mix of beginning rowers, recreational rowers, and competitive rowers with different needs, but a shared goal of participating in a welcoming and fun organization.  I have rowed with Capital since 2009 and was the sculling representative from 2013 to 2016. I have experience in serving on boards and fundraising. I am especially interested in maintaining the equipment we have and seeing to it that we have the funds to constantly purchase new oars and boats.

Peter Courtney
I am excited to be nominated for a Director-at-Large position and I hope you will consider supporting me.  I learned to row in high school at what was then a small club called Sagamore Rowing Club on Long Island.  Kind of like our Juniors program, Sagamore was a club that offered a chance to row to high school students through a club and not through their school.  I then went on to row at the US Naval Academy.

I’ve been with Capital since 2005.  I started out rowing with the Competitive Sweep team, and then transitioned to independent sculling in 2013.  I’ve served as the Comp Men’s team rep and also on the board previously.  I’ve been serving on the current board for a few months on the Finance Committee, filling in for someone who moved away.  And I’m often the guy behind the camera at Capital events.  I occasionally photograph events for Sportgraphics, and enjoy taking and sharing photos of our events as well.  Capital means a lot to me, and my friends from Capital are some of the best friends I have.  It’s also how I met my wife, Ginger. 

After being off the board for a number of years, I decided that I wanted to contribute more to sustaining the club and I believe serving on the board will give me that opportunity.  I know there has been a healthy discussion recently about the direction the club is going in and how best we can serve all the members of Capital while staying true to our mission.  I view many of the issues that are being discussed now as a factor of our success – we have grown the club a great deal with a diverse number of programs, and we have to come together as a Club and come to a consensus on how to best allocate our resources.  I’m not blind to the fact that the Club has evolved a great deal, but I’d like to think my past experience and my familiarity with different programs at Capital can bring a helpful perspective to the discussion.  It may be difficult to please everyone, but I think communication and transparency are important so people feel their voices are being heard.  And I really feel it’s important that we think of ourselves as one Club, and not just a member of a certain program.  I will certainly look for ways to bring people from different programs together.

I hope you will consider supporting me for the Director-at-Large position.

Anne Diggs
I am honored for the opportunity to serve on the Capital Rowing Club Board of Directors and give back to this great community.  Capital is a great organization and as competitive as the best!  As a club we have worked hard to develop obtainable future strategic goals.  I believe that Capital should continue to increase our membership by providing classes for interested /novice athletes, provide clinics for experienced/advanced athletes, continue to increase our relationships with the community, board transparency, maximize use of our equipment, and recruit, develop and retain the coaching staff.

After spending one year as your Director at Large, I now better understand the hard work required to bring rowing opportunities and excellence to our diverse club.  June Marshall and I have made significant progress bringing coaches to Capital, but there is more work to be done. I would like to continue the work we started as your ‘hiring committee’.  Specific initiatives for 2019 include:

  • Streamline and further develop the hiring process.  We learned that there are too many steps in the process, taking 30-45 days to hire a single coach. I believe we can cut this down by half to minimize the disruption when coaches move on.
  • Promote unity and communications among coaches to help share best practices and develop athletes across programs.  Our coaching staff is varied in terms of knowledge and experience.  I’d like to harness those qualities and set up a development program especially for inexperienced coaches – or anyone who would like to learn to coach.  I interviewed many people who wanted to coach but had no experience.  This would be a great opportunity to enhance our staff.
  • Promote coaching excellence at Capital.  Adopt the US Rowing Coach Certification program, to include developing a mentor and training structure so that we can better grow coaches here. I’d work with the Board of Directors to finance US Rowing certification training and the cost of renewing First Aide/CPR certifications.

Going back to our mission, Capital is a “non-profit, educational organization offering rowing instruction for people of all ages, income, and levels of physical ability. Capital Rowing Club offers the benefits of recreational and competitive rowing– discipline, camaraderie, fitness, knowledge of water safety…”  A strong coaching team is essential to accomplishing this mission, which is why it is so important to invest in our coaches for both our recreational and competitive athletes.

Courtney Fratzke
Courtney joined the CRC competitive team in the Fall of 2015 after having relocated to DC for a new job in the Finance industry. She rowed competitively on a Cleveland crew for several years before eventually coming to call the mid-Atlantic region, and the Anacostia river, home. Having served on the CRC Board of Directors in 2018, Courtney hopes to reprise her role as a member of the Finance committee again in 2019. As a person who has had exposure to the inner workings of several boathouses, as well as being a rower keenly interested in cultivating relationships both internal to the ACBA community and further afield with other crews, Courtney hopes to make future contributions of her time and energy to CRC in a meaningful capacity.

Mark Lance
Hey y’all Capital:

I’m honored to be considered for a position on the CRC board. I’ve been rowing at capital almost 8 years now. I started in LTR, went to INR and SAW, and have been with Club AM since the start of my second year. I also took up sculling this year, and have volunteered with CARP, SAW, and LTR this year. Even rowed a few times with PM. So I’m been involved with almost every program at Capital. I had no idea that rowing would become a part of my life, but it is a very big part. While the physical conditions I row with mean I’ll never be the most competitive rower here, I think I can claim to be one of the most enthusiastic and involved.

I’ve been on the board as Club AM rep the last two years and been actively involved in the operations of the club. I very much enjoy working with teammates from across all the programs to make our experience here even better.

This year was challenging for the board as we took on a number of difficult and contentious issues and there is more to do with all of that. But I am proud of the way the club came together and managed the challenges. Going forward, I would like to contribute to a number of priorities. In the short run, we have to stabilize the coaching situation. AM, SAW, and sculling had major challenges this year from a coaching shortage. The current board worked very hard to find folks, and did find great coaches, but I think it is clear that there is a shortage of coaching in the area and we can’t pay enough to draw people to DC just for coaching. We need to start building an internal training and certification program to help members of our club who want to learn to become excellent coaches. I’ve already taken some tentative steps around this and would love to develop this with the board. In addition, I very much want to contribute to the process of making us “one club.” A lot of good work has been done in the last 2 years to break down some of the barriers between programs, but we can do more. 

Longer term: I am committed to working to strengthen not only the rowing experience of the various masters programs, but those that serve our broader DC community – CARP, Juniors, LTR, and our environmental work. These programs provide enormous benefit to the city as a whole, and need our renewed support. Having been a teacher for 30 years and a community organizer for 35, I believe I can contribute to making CRC an even more significant progressive part of the DC landscape.

David Lippold
Hello, my name is David Lippold and I am requesting your support for election to an At-Large Director position with Capital Rowing Club (Capital).

Rowing has been and continues to be a passion of mine ever since rowing for Cornell more than forty years ago (gives you a hint about my age).  Upon graduation from Cornell and moving to the Washington D.C. area I became a member of the Potomac Boat Club where I rowed for several years before making the decision to go inactive and focus on the raising of two children.  I started back rowing competitively about ten years ago in the master program at Rock Creek, transitioned over to the Potomac Boat Club for two years and then joined Capital where I started rowing with the AM program.  For the past three years I have been rowing with the Capital competitive program.

I would be honored to serve on the Capital Board as I would not only bring my passion of rowing to the club but experience of managing a Federal budget of in excess of $34 billion for the Department of Energy.  In addition, I believe that I can benefit Capital from my past experiences of serving as Vice President and Treasurer of the Walt Whitman Crew Boosters, Director of Operations for the Rock Creek, and Treasurer at the Potomac Boat Club (my current term expires in April, 2019 and I do not intend to seek re-election).  For the past seven years I have even managed obtaining and completing the entries of my Massachusetts high school at the Head of the Charles Regatta and have had the pleasure of providing HOCR seats to Capital rowers.  I strongly believe that it is important to support the rowing community and with that in mind I decided to become a US Rowing referee more than eleven years ago.   When I am not rowing in a regatta you will usually find me officiating a regatta.  Through my referee experience I have developed close ties with many of the local area rowing teams as well as rowing officials in the Mid-Atlantic region. 

As I have become more active at Capital over the past years, I have developed a good number of friendships with Capital members.  Every day I am learning more about the Club and its members and with my efforts I plan to do everything possible to maintain Capital’s current outstanding status among area boat clubs and throughout the country.

Jennifer Perkins
I’m honored to be nominated as a board member.  While I’m sensitive to the fact that I’m a newer club member than most of you, my passion for rowing makes me always eager to help on rowing related efforts and would drive me to do the best job I could in this role.

I learned to row in 2013 and it became a huge part of my life in about 5 seconds flat.  Before joining Capital, I served on the board of my last club for two years, handling much of the logistics and organizational needs (e.g. race coordination, clinics, coordination with US Rowing, more).  I have also served as an assistant coach for CUA’s club team.  In my professional life, I’ve worked in the financial services / banking industry for 21 years developing financial products and running large projects. Joining Capital’s comp team is enabling me to pursue a higher level of rowing within myself and if my rowing background and professional skills can help me to “give back,” I’m thrilled to do so.  And, I’ll have fun with everyone while doing it!

Program Representatives

None of the program reps are being contested. Chantel Sheaks (Club Sculling), Jack Battistini (Comp Women), and Joe Tezak (CARP) have agreed to come back so they do not have write ups. We are still seeking reps for SAW and Comp Men. Folks new to the Rep position are below.

Club AM

Maggie Jenkins and Jennifer Dumas
Maggie is originally from the Northern New Jersey area. In 2015, she found her way to Virginia after returning from an overseas tour in the USAF.  After transitioning out of the military and voyaging to the D.C./NoVA area, she began supporting DoD contracts and is now Data Scientist/Systems Engineer. Always wanting to row, she started her journey at Anacostia Community Boathouse with DCSRC for LTR and INR. Now with Capital Rowing Club AM, the team and vibe of the club motivated her to throw her hat in to co-rep. Though new to the club, she is eager to help and learn the many moving parts of CRC and the AM Club program by providing support in every way she can!

Jennifer: I am not a morning person, or a college / high school rower, or any sort of athlete, which is why I love Capital and Club AM.  You’ve accepted me without question, and allowed me to call myself a rower.  I have always been a water spirit and discovered LTR with CRC while storing kayaks at the boathouse.  I joined Club AM knowing that if I waited until “after work” I’d never get out of the office in time to practice.  I’ve seen more sunrises this season than I have in the 40-odd years prior and come to love the Anacostia in the stillness and hush before a “normal” day begins. I’d like nothing more than to help bring this sanity and camaraderie to others. I think my life experiences might help the club, both as a professional fundraiser, environmentalist, and organizational geek.  See you on the river!

Club PM

Bridget Pooley and Derrick Nursey will bring an unbridled enthusiasm for rowing and all things Club PM to the co-representative position and believe we would be successful in the position by utilizing the resources provided by Capital Rowing Club. You can be most likely to find us chatting up new members of the team, convincing our teammates to row 21,097 meters in the Windy City, or ordering another round at Thursday happy hour. We promise to uphold the legacy established by Mary (and her former co-rep, Lain) with prompt replies, weather warnings, and a balance of providing you with just enough information and not inundating your inboxes. (Though, we can’t promise our erg playlists will be quite as eclectic.)

After consultation with several past Club PM Representatives, CRC members, and each other, we believe that we could satisfactorily execute the fiduciary responsibilities of Club PM Representative, if elected.

Thank you for the consideration and opportunity to not only challenge ourselves, but to further give back to Capital Rowing Club.

Derrick started rowing with Capital Rowing Club’s Learn to Row program and has been a loyal member of Club PM ever since. When he’s not rowing, Derrick works as an environmental graphic designer.
Bridget signed up for the crew team in 2002 as a freshman at Elizabeth Seton High School, and immediately fell in love with the sport. After a couple seasons of rowing, she began coxing full time and ended her high school career at the Stotesbury Cup Regatta in 2006. While an undergrad at Catholic University, she coxed for the men’s team and returned to Seton as an assistant coach. Bridget grew up one block from the Northeast Branch of the Anacostia River and has only rowed for programs headquartered along her home river. Bridget joined Capital Rowing Club in Spring 2018 after a decade-long hiatus from rowing. When she’s not on the water, Bridget works as a strategist for a nonprofit communications consultancy.

Comp Sculling

Gary Dean
Yay!!  I made it!  This will be my first step in becoming like Rob, and I am looking forward to my commensurate improvement in the boat.  I hope the next steps of me losing a lot of weight and gaining a lot of height aren’t as tough….

Social Chair

Jack Battistini

30for30: The Old Boathouse or Down Under the 11th Street Bridge

By: Sarah Dunham, Jeff Loftus, and Jen Ney, collated by Lily Elsner

July 9, 2010 was an important day in Capital’s history – the day that the first Anacostia Community Boathouse, home to our shells, was demolished. For more tenured members of the club, the day marked an end of an era, that newer members cannot recall, as evidence of Capital’s former homes have been erased. For context, from March 1995 until March 2002, Capital found its first independent home under the 11th Street Bridge. From 2002 to July 2010, the club moved next door to 1115 O Street SE. Prior to the first Anacostia Community Boathouse’s demolition, Capital moved to its current home at 1900 M Street SE, in the second Anacostia Community Boathouse.  A few members of the club who recall those good old early days kindly shared those recollections, and many pictures, so that we all can revel in Capital’s history.   

“Before we got access to the old War Department Buildings located at 1115 O Street SE and converted one into a boat storage building and the other into a erg and functional training space,” said Jen Ney, “all Capital had was two fenced-in compounds. We rowed used boats.  Many of our wood racks were built by local Boy Scouts. We had one portable toilet and a small shed for storing tools and cox boxes. We strung lights and our only overhead shelter were the spans of the 11th St Bridge. When you were putting away oars, you had to watch for pooping pigeons hovering above. (Just ask Chris Erling.)” Jeff Loftus also recalled this fine feature of the 11th Street Bridge Boathouse. He and Tom Chaleki applied several coats of marine-grade varnish on the club’s ancient wooden Pocock shells – Jack Barrett and Cliff Johnson in the “dungeon”—the vault/hollow bridge support that was home to Capital’s boats during the winter months and to pigeons year round.

Jen also shared that under the bridge, Model B ergs were stored under a tarp. Erg tests were taken under the bridge with the noise of cars speeding overhead.  Over the winter, we stored our shells inside the bridge abutments. The D.C. Department of Transportation actually allowed us to go inside the massive abutments and store equipment inside the bridge footings. To enter, we had to remove riggers, hunch down and carry boats on your head through a small, narrow door. It was all very primitive but we had fun.

In 2002, the “old” Boathouse was “new digs,” according to Jeff. Built and operated by the Department of War to develop and test amphibious assault craft back in the 1940s, in preparation for D-Day, the building was transferred to D.C. in the mid-century. Then, the D.C. Department of Public Works operated out of the building and stored their private boats and lawnmowers there, when we were invited to the site in 1993 to hold novice classes for adults and kids by OARS (Organization of Anacostia and Sculling).   Jeff shared additional color. “After we gained access to the building, an early item of great discussion and hand-wringing was the bathroom and toilet in the back corner. Fortunately, we has some very able members who were in the Navy who installed a brand new toilet and fixed some of the plumbing. I think it was Sarah Dachos who pulled it off.”

Lots of Capital blood and sweat went into the new Boathouse. Jeff continued, “Steve Vermillion went through 3 hammers building oar racks with wood lying around the site, and bashed his thumb in the process.  He also laid several cobblestones that Bob Day had scavenged from everywhere (probably Princess Street in Old Town) on a wet area in the corner of our outside racks under the bridge. I recall that we had a devil of a time getting the three roll-up doors installed;  Carl Cole came through for us yet again. Carl was our patron saint looking over us back then.”

Sarah Dunham shared a very fond memory from 2002, when Masters Nationals was hosted on the Occoquan, so Capital rowers didn’t need to travel.  “We as a club invited Coach Guennadi Bratichko’s former rowing club from Moscow, Dynamo, to come to Masters Nationals. We had just that summer gotten access to the building, but had not yet moved all our shells into it.  So we hosted a dinner in the new-to-us building for all Capital and Dynamo rowers. It was a great (and somewhat wild) celebration of the new building, masters nationals, and the really neat experience of meeting and hosting the rowers from Dynamo.”

The strong spirit of Capital, regardless of the home of our boats and workouts, was present throughout the life of the club. Sarah also shared a memory which she says “really showcases the resilience of the club and strong leadership when we were rowing from under the bridge (before we had access to the building that became our boathouse for a while).” In 2001, the entire club – not once, but twice – had to pick up its entire operations and move to Bladensburg for a period of time.  The first time was over the summer and there was a creosote spill (caused by construction of those buildings that are now along M Street) that contaminated the area around our docks. While that was being remediated, under Jim Connolly’s leadership we moved all the operations of the club to the boathouse in Bladensburg and ran practices from up there. Later, after September 11, the part of the river where we were rowing was “closed” for a period of time and we again moved all the operations up to Bladensburg.  Can you imagine now needing to move the entire operations of Capital to a different site without missing any water time (yes, the club is bigger now, but we still had multiple programs and a lot of equipment back then)?

While countless stories are left unwritten, these few remind us that while places are special, the people of the club matter most. While we heartily enjoy the tales of past, the boathouses hosted our stories. When asked about the boathouses, Jen mentioned meeting her husband, Ralph, and Jeff mentioned a precious memory of a baby pool in the boathouse and two of his girls (now teenagers) were just toddlers at the time, splashing away.  Steve Vermillion and his toddler son jumped in as well, as did Jim Connolly with Carston. While the Club has seen that bricks, bridges, tarps, and steel can build a boathouse, Capital shows that the crucial element of the boathouse is its people.

30for30: A Spirit of Camaraderie, Competition, and Service

By Jen Ney and Lain Wilson

Participants from across Capital’s programs, along with rowers from DC Strokes, came out this past weekend for the a bioswale cleanup and the annual scrimmage. Rowers from the two clubs competed in mixed lineups in sculling and sweep races and enjoyed a barbeque afterward.

This wouldn’t have been possible without the Boathouse and the spirit of camaraderie, competition, and service fostered by the Anacostia Community Boathouse Association (ACBA). ACBA is an umbrella organization made up of nine member group: four high schools, American University, and four community-based organizations. All nine groups offer rowing and paddling programming and are working to encourage responsible environmental stewardship of the river through increased recreational access and opportunity.  

The first ACBA member to provide rowing opportunities on the Anacostia River was Bob Day and the Organization for Anacostia Rowing and Sculling (OARS) in 1988. OARS’s mission was to establish and nurture the sport of rowing for the benefit of the community, and they introduced students from Anacostia Senior High School and Frederick Douglass Junior High School to the sport. Capital Rowing Club was founded in the same year, but was originally based out of Thompson Boat Center on the Potomac River. Thompson was an overcrowded facility, and Capital required more equipment and space.

In 1995, OARS invited Capital to move its operations over the Anacostia, to a site at 11th and O Streets SE. OARS saw this as a way to increase rowing on the Anacostia, and Capital recognized the excellent growth potential and superior rowing conditions that the Anacostia River presented.

After the move occurred, the membership of Capital worked in partnership with OARS to improve the site, building boat racks and improving the docks underneath the old 11th Street Bridges. Capital adopted the OARS community mission and began offering “learn to row” programs for area residents, with a particular emphasis on reaching out to students in the DC public schools and to people who had not had access to rowing programs previously.

In 2001, the National Capital Area Women’s Paddling Association (NCAWPA) relocated their operations from Thompson to the Anacostia, and along with Capital, OARS, and the Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS), helped to found ACBA. In 2002, the District of Columbia began to lease parts of the 11th and O Street site to ACBA, recognizing more formally the value of nonmotorized recreation on the Anacostia to the community and to the environmental restoration of the river.

ACBA’s programs and membership continued to grow and, in 2004, ACBA added American University Crew, Bishop Ireton High School, and DC Strokes Rowing Club. In 2010, ACBA moved to its present home at 1900 M Street SE, where it continues to offer access to the river for 9 different clubs and nearly 1,000 rowers and paddlers.

Learn more about the Anacostia Community Boathouse Association on their website, and watch out for future posts about the history of Capital and ACBA over the past 30 years.

2018 Nominees for Board of Directors

Wondering who you should vote for as part of Capital’s Elections? Read the candidate statements to learn more.

Executive Committee

VP of Resources (1 Candidate)

James Mauro
I am honored to be considered for the VP of Resources Position for a second term keeping track of Capital’s finances.   I joined Capital five years ago via LTR and have enjoyed my time as part of the organization joining a number of different programs.

VP of Operations (1 Candidate)

Mike Neumann
I’m honored to be nominated to serve as the Vice President of Operations for Capital’s 2018 Board of Directors.  I’ve learned a lot from Gretchen and the Club’s other “ops experts” since I joined Capital in 2014.  In addition to actively supporting the Club’s operations activities, I have years of experience in rowing and in my career that have prepared me to take on this new level of responsibility at Capital.  In particular, I rowed for three years in college and was an active member of the student-run club where I led or contributed to a wide variety of activities, including maintaining and repairing boats and equipment.  I also have served on the boards of non-profit organizations for the last 15 years, including as an at-large member on Capital’s Board in 2017.  In my professional career, I served as a U.S. Marine Corps officer for 12 years, and for the last 8 years I’ve worked as the Director of Operations for a national security unit at an international research and analysis think tank.

Keeping all of Capital’s boats on the water in good working condition requires a real team effort, and I’ll continue to build on the example that Gretchen set during her tenure by working with the program reps, board members and especially the Club’s ops experts to help ensure problems are identified, needs are communicated, supplies and replacement parts are purchased, and repairs are made as quickly as possible.  If elected as the VP of Operations, I look forward to continuing to work with Kirsten and the rest of the Capital Board as we continue to build on the great foundation put in place by many, many Capital leaders and members over nearly 30 years.

VP of Membership (1 Candidate)

Toni Kerns
I am honored to be considered for the Membership VP Position. I have learned a lot over the course of the year and hope to apply those lessons in the coming term.

For those that do not know me, I joined Capitol three and half years ago and quickly found my love of rowing and my amazing rowing family.  I am excited about the prospect to serve on the board for another year to support our rowing community. One of the things I appreciate about the club is how active the members are in growing and supporting the organization and welcoming new people into the mix. I think it is important to continue to build an inclusive community. Our membership has a diverse set of interests all with valuable contributions to make to Capital whether you are a young or old, new or seasoned, competitive or occasional rower.  It is important to use our members’ passions and our club resources to give back to the community. I understand the importance of balancing each of these assets in order to provide the greatest value to all of us. For the folks that know me, I am not afraid to ask questions and talk through issues.  I will be open, honest, and happy to listen and talk with anyone in the club. Cheers

Secretary (2 Candidates)

Clara Elias
I am great at taking and organizing notes and identifying next steps or action items that are identified. Once a scientist, my default is outline form for notes with an executive summary so people can skim meeting notes easily and get a sense of what was talked about. I’m also a trained facilitator with four years of experience building consensus, which is a fancy way to say that I’m good at keeping meetings on track, on time, and productive. I hope you’ll consider me for position of secretary.

Lain Wilson
I’ve been a member of Capital Rowing Club since 2015, with both Clubs AM and PM. At practices and regattas, during volunteer opportunities and social get-togethers, I’ve been lucky to meet a large part of the club’s membership. As PM co-rep with Mary McMenamin this last year, I was introduced to the board and its responsibilities, all while growing the regular communications with the program.

I am running for Secretary for two reasons. One is to continue the good work that past secretaries have done in recording the minutes from board meetings and in maintaining the club’s records. The other is to help grow our relationships with the community through outreach to businesses and the public at large. I would like to do this by assembling an annual report, working with Georgia to enrich web content and develop a social-media strategy, and putting together a list of contacts for press releases.

At-Large (12 Candidates, Vote for 4)

Stephanie Acerra
Having been on the board for the last year, I would be honored to serve on the board again. I have been rowing with Capital since 2012 on both the competitive sweep and sculling team. I rowed recreationally in 1997 and 2002-2005, and competitively 1998-2001, and since 2005, so I know and understand both the competitive and recreational rower. As a masters’ rower, I know many of the challenges we face, and as coach at a local high school, I see the needs of both coaches and junior rowers alike. As “Race Czarina,” and a regular trailer driver, I have been involved with many aspects of the competitive teams over the past year. And sitting on the board I have become more familiar with the non-competitive programs out of our boathouse as well. In addition to Capital, I have served as a board member at two previous clubs and for a non-profit organization in Uganda. I hope to continue to serve the Capital membership as a Director at Large.

Jacqueline Battistini
Having been serving as a non-voting board member I have attended board meetings and gotten to know current serving members. I have become more informed about the long and short term goals of the club as well as the challenges we face. Helping current and future board members and the club as a whole overcome our challenges to meet and exceed our goals would be a welcome privilege. I am sure I can assist as we all continue to grow this organization.

Kate Beukenkamp
Hi Capital!  This year I stepped away from rowing to take on a new professional challenge but continue to work behind the scenes as one of your At-Large representatives.  As lead of the Finance Committee, the VP of Resources and I, as well as committed group of Board members, have been working on a few long-term initiatives.  As highlights, at the opening of the year, we successfully worked with the Board to responsibly purchase several new boats (as well as sell other equipment) as part of developing a multi-year plan aimed at maintaining a high-quality fleet across programs.  Additionally, we began tackling the development of best practice internal controls to bring added financial structure and qualify Capital to seek new funding opportunities in the future.  This work is ongoing.  While I haven’t been able to see as many people on the water or around the boathouse this past year, I would like to remain involved as an At-Large representative and see this valuable work to completion.  

In last year’s statement I included a bit more detail about my qualifications and interest in serving on the Board – for newcomers the quick summary is that I’ve been a member of Capital for over five years, have rowed with several programs and enjoyed each one.  As a day job, I practice corporate and securities law at a firm in DC and, during this year’s hiatus, look forward to running into rowing friends around town!

Anne Diggs
I am excited for the opportunity to serve on the Capital Rowing Club Board of Directors and give back to this great community.  With my retirement from the US Navy, I have the opportunity to dedicate time to the Board. Capital Rowing Club is a great organization and as competitive as the best!  While I have just five years of rowing experience, I’m a quick learner and love the sport.  I believe that Capital should continue to increase our membership by providing classes for interested /novice rowers, provide clinics for experienced/advanced rowers, increase our relationships with the community, and improve our equipment.  We already do most of this, but I would work with the board to strengthen these objectives as club goals and help make them a reality.  I’m also interested in applying my career in medicine to support and improve our safety programs.  These ideas take active fund raising, a solid plan, and participation to accomplish.  If elected I would apply my best efforts on your behalf, and ask all of you to assist as one club.  Thank you for your consideration!

Lily Elsner
It is with great excitement and enthusiasm that I ask for your vote to become an At-Large Director on CRC’s Board of Directors.

I learned the fundamentals of rowing while I was a student at Wellesley College, and from there, I learned to erg out my frustrations over the last three years while working at a big law firm in New York City. However, it is only recently that rowing has become a central part of my life.  When I moved to DC this spring, I finally “Learned To Row” with Andy and Nicole. On the water this summer, with keen direction from Brandon and the Club PM coaches, I learned the beauty and subtlety of rowing as a team. One of the greatest moments of my entire year has been wearing a Capital jersey while racing in the women’s novice 8 at HOTA. As I continue to develop my skills at the oar, it is with Capital that I want to become more involved in the DC rowing community.

While I may not be the most seasoned rower, I believe that my professional skills would be a valuable contribution to the Club.  My job allows for flexible work hours and I have ample free time outside of work to devote to as many projects as the Club needs. Highly responsive to email, I would prioritize Capital correspondence over all others. As a project manager supporting the Board of Directors at a publicly traded financial institution, my bread and butter is technical writing and communications, and spotting and solving operational and logistical challenges of running an organization.  I want to contribute these skills towards furthering Capital’s mission.

In becoming a Director at-large, I hope to continue to grow the fantastic work that the current board is doing. For example, I would love to help complete the Board’s safety sub-committee’s update of the safety manuals.  Moreover, as a pair of fresh eyes, I see several opportunities for communication enhancement, including new member on-boarding, communication of boat house rules and best practices, and formalization of documentation of our regatta planning both as a record and for distribution to volunteers. This summer I have enjoyed working with current board members to document our shared knowledge, and I think that continuing to do so will allow Capital many more glorious years to come. I would be honored to contribute to the work of the Club and to serve you all in 2018. Many thanks for your consideration.

Clara Elias
I would bring to the board a strong background in non-profit program management. For the last five years I have worked for local non-profits and for local government in the DC area to clean up our waterways. This experience taught me how to find and successfully apply for funding from local and federal sources, manage program budgets, how to run and manage volunteer programs, and how to best conduct community outreach in and around the Anacostia River. I am excited to apply my skills and knowledge to help CRC’s programs grow. I have been with Capital for four years, rowing with Club AM and the Comp Team for two years apiece.

Rick Evans
Hi, my name is Rick Evans. Few of you know me because I’m new to the Capital Rowing Club. In fact, I’m new to rowing as I just started this year. But I’m not new to the rowing culture. My son rowed at UC San Diego and as a rowing parent, became involved in supporting team activities. My bucket list includes rowing in a pair with my son at the San Diego Crew Classic. It would be great to see Capital compete in that regatta. It’s well run and you get to see collegiate teams like Cal, Stanford and two or three teams from the EARC, like Harvard, Yale, Navy, etc., compete.

In my short time rowing, I’ve participated in the Capital Sprints as an opponent and in the Head of the Anacostia as a Capital rower. I’ve also rowed in the Head of the Potomac and the Occoquan Chase. I like the Capital Way! You are very well organized and everyone seems to pitch in to get things done.

The other thing I like most about the Capital Way is how you’ve organized and executed your program. It’s working. I’ve seen several recent graduates of the INR program move into the club program and their technique is pretty solid. The idea of being able to try out for the competitive team gives those with higher aspirations an opportunity to do more.

The bottom line is that the CRC leadership team has done a remarkable job. Operations, recruitment, execution, camaraderie are all top notch. A shout out to the current and past board members for doing such an outstanding job.

My potential contributions to the CRC board are simple. I can offer fresh eyes and ideas to an established club. Some of you have been rowing long enough that most of it is second nature to you. For the less experienced rowers, rowing is one of the most challenging and frustrating things you can try to accomplish. As a relatively new rower, I am still experiencing the frustration. As an engineer, I have experience leading and working with large, diverse groups of people with competing outcomes. I’m confident that if I were assigned a project, that I’d be able to accomplish it. Finally, I’m all in on rowing. The people are fun to be around. And whatever we do as a club, it has to be a fun place to be. Where else can you go and find one person talking and four or eight others listening without interruption.

Thanks for your consideration.

Courtney Fratzke
As a current member of the women’s competitive sweep team and a former member of a competitive rowing team in a different city, I believe I can bring a unique skill set and perspective to the Capital Rowing Club Board of Directors. I have been on the CRC competitive sweeps team for 2.5 years and have enjoyed becoming acquainted with not only a number of the wonderful people who are both current and former members, but also the club as it’s own complex entity. Previously, I rowed with Western Reserve Rowing Association (WRRA) in Cleveland, at first in the Learn-to-Row program, then on the competitive team equivalent, called the Masters team, there. In total, I rowed for Western Reserve for about 5 years, and value to this day both the skills and friendships forged there. Part of the unique perspective I believe I can contribute to CRC is knowledge gleaned from having experienced the inner-workings of another successful rowing program, both at the introductory and competitive levels. Professionally, I have been in the Finance industry for 18 years with a focus on fixed income bond trading and issuance. Base knowledge of accounting procedure, the basics of bond knowledge, risk management, and the development of internal controls in basic financial systems all comprise a rudimentary sampling of some skills I have developed throughout my career. Additionally, I have background in basic marketing and communication skills through educational training, contributions to my previous rowing club, and as a facet of my professional experience. Whether I am awarded the opportunity to bring new perspective to the Board of Directors on rowing, finance, communication, or other subjects; I am honored by my nomination for the role of Board Member At-Large and look forward to having the opportunity to serve Capital Rowing Club as a whole.

Lindsay Goldberg
Hello Capital! I’m honored to be considered for a director at-large position. After spending the past two years (and two months) with Capital (LTR, INR, and Club PM), and focusing primarily on mastering (?) the skill of rowing, it has come time to start focusing on how I can give back to the club, the greater rowing community, and the local neighborhoods. To that end, if elected, I hope to focus on celebrating what Capital has achieved these past 30 years while at the same time thinking about how we can become more unified as a club (and potentially more unified as a rowing community in DC). I also hope to focus on how we as a club can give back to the neighborhood, which not only includes introducing youth to our juniors program (and to rowing in general), but also volunteering in the neighborhood (at non-rowing related events) and working with local organizations that aim to protect and clean up the Anacostia. As a director at-large, I’d be happy to tackle whatever projects the board deems necessary, drawing on my professional skills, dedication to the club, and willingness to listen to any and all perspectives. Thank you!

June Marshall
I have been a member of Capital Rowing Club (CRC) since the summer of 2013.  I participated in the Learn to Row program, matriculated through INR and have been rowing with Club PM since 2014.  I have been an active member of the club throughout the years and have raced locally, as well as at Masters Nationals.  I have not only been an active volunteer internally with Learn to Row, at Cap Sprints and HOTA, but at community outreach events such as National Learn to Row Day and the Anacostia River Festival.  One of the hallmarks of CRC is its diversity and inclusiveness in providing quality rowing experiences for all who want to learn.  I would like to serve as an At-Large board member to help continue to strengthen that commitment.  As the need for strategic planning for CRC and its programs is upon us with the changing landscape of the Anacostia River area, Navy Yard and the 11th Street Bridge Park, I would like to provide my experience in the real estate practice area to aid in those discussions and plans.  I have represented non-profit organizations and served on non-profit boards, so I understand the amount of time, energy and involvement needed to help an organization run smoothly and would like to give back to CRC as an At Large board member.  Thank you for your consideration and I would appreciate your vote!

Nadege Nouviale
Originally from France, I moved to the Nation’s Capital in 1993. I started rowing with Capital when I enrolled in LTR-2011 … I was hooked! I moved to Intermediate and thanks to coach Bob Brady quickly joined Club PM. I also enjoyed outings with SAW for a while. I became a full-fledged a sculler few years ago and truly enjoy navigating upstream, and getting stuck in a tree, under the rail bridge, and on a sand bar.  I even rowed with my oars mounted on backwards oarlocks. Jokes aside, I love being on the water, enjoy the wild life we get to watch, and am lucky to row with a group of passionate, caring and dedicated individuals. I am happy and grateful that a good bunch of them became part of my life outside the boathouse.

During the day, I am a World Bank employee working mostly in knowledge management and organization of large scale events. If elected, I would love to bring my organizational skills to CRC. I am methodical and detailed oriented, I am especially interested in supporting/working with Membership, an area where I think Capital could benefit the most from my range of skills.

A special Merci to Dominique for bringing me to Capital!

Caitlin Toynbee
I am a candidate for an At-Large board position with CRC and am writing to ask for your support. I believe that my experience as a rower, combined with my professional background will allow me to serve the club well in this capacity.

I’ve been rowing since 2010, and with Club PM for five of those, and have enjoyed every minute of it. For several years I’ve served on the Capital fundraising committee, and hope to serve in a more formal capacity.  I believe Capital’s strength resides in its variety of participants, programs, and supporters, and that long term success will rest on our ability to meet the needs of everyone. I hope to bring a variety of thoughts, suggestions, and ideas from members and make them happen.

Professionally, my career has been in nonprofit management and fundraising. I’ve managed board relations, led giving campaigns, and juggled the demands of programs needing funding. I’ve served in formal roles with several nonprofits boards over the years. I currently manage a fundraising program, raising more than $12 million a year for the Human Rights Campaign.

I have been given an opportunity to serve Capital in a new form and would like to give back in a significant way to the Club.  I believe my expertise and experience will allow me to serve the Club in the position a Director-at-Large. Thank you in advance for your consideration of my nomination.

Social Chair (1 Candidate)

Jacqueline Battistini

I have served one year as social chair and am very excited about the upcoming Gala. I would love the opportunity to serve another year as social chair for the club. This would give me the ability to continue building on our momentum from this year and hopefully have even more successful events in the future!

Club Representatives

Club AM: Mark Lance
I am running for re-election as ClubAM rep because clearly I have the guts to do so. (You hear that Donald? Guts I say. I don’t need no stinking endorsement!) Also I have an IQ.

My goals for the second term: Maintaining current levels of ClubAm representation at the US Olympic trials in both rowing and modern pentathlon; finding new loopholes in US rowing rules so we can win with a catamaran shell or something (worked for the Americas Cup); breeding a live tiny dinosaur from DNA preserved in amber to replace the tiny plastic dinosaur that rode with us to glory in Diamond State; splicing gecko dna into said dinosaur so that it can grip the bow of our boat with sticky little dinosaur toes and distract other rowers; redesigning the capital kit so that all rowers look as good as Martin. (Granted, the last one is a stretch.)

Oh, and running communications, checking who has paid for stuff, fixing broken equipment, nagging about chores, making the best breakfast items, and showing up to board meetings.

Club Sculling: Chantel Sheaks
Over the years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of scullers at Capital, and the needs have grown accordingly.  As Sculling Representative, I will continue to improve Capital sculling for all experience levels by working with the Board to improve the fleet, responding to coaching needs at all levels, and working with rack space holders.  As we grow, it is important to express our changes and needs to the Board so that we can strive to have a positive experience for all, regardless of experience level or program.  

Comp Sculling: TBD

Club PM: Mary McMenamin
The same as last year, but maybe with fewer emails. Maybe.

Comp Men – Craig McKay
All ya’ll better start thinking who be the rep for the following year.  All that is required is patience, thick skin, and good email skills…. and knowing how to count rowers at 5:20 a.m.  This is a big deal as a miscount can result in SEVERAL minutes of “dialog” and confusion in boating lineups!  Plus just as important is remembering whose turn it is to cox and whose turn is it for the mixed boat, i.e. Men or Women…. something I need to do a better job of this year.  Also, a wife or significant other who is very good at tracking seat fees comes in quite handy.  Cat herding skills also are also needed for getting regatta availability from all ya’ll.  For this year, my focus will be more team camaraderie.  Face it, most of us are grumpy in the morning and then run off to work and family immediately after practice never having time to socialize with each other.  So I think we need to be a bit more proactive in social gatherings.  This will also help us to be more engaging with new coxswains so we don’t lose them after one practice.  A big goal I personally have for this year is to muster a boat for the San Diego Crew Classic.  Need eight committed guys for the 2000 meter race in March.  Game!?  Thanks for the support this year, and here’s to 2018 being the best ever!  

Comp Women: Jacqueline Battistini
This is my third year as a member of the comp team, and I would be happy to serve as the team’s rep. I am diplomatic, organized, firm and fair. I am always willing to listen and help others, and will continue to earn the team’s respect as a dependable and helpful leader.