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