Happy New Year, Everyone!  Hard to believe it’s 2019.  When I was a kid, my Dad used to project out to the year 1980 as the time when various things on our family to-do list would get done.  He was effectively saying the thing in question was not going to get handled, at least not by him, in the foreseeable future.  We should, instead, just think of this as one of those things to get done sometime way out in the future – like 1980 (this was happening in the 1960’s mainly.)  1980 seemed like a faraway, futuristic, never-to-be-achieved time.  Then we all thought the year 2000 was going to be a big watershed moment. And now it’s 2019! Wow!

Speaking of things to get done in the current year, we have a new Board of Directors for the Club, and I’m happy to be our primary spokesman, your Commodore.  (Kind of like the 1980 thing, that “Commodore” title still seems a bit futuristic and unreal, but I suppose I’ll get used to it.)  I’d like this year of 2019 to be a year in which Shilshole Bay Yacht Club makes some noticeable moves forward.  Specifically, I’ve set out three goals that will be my main focus this year:

– Increase Club membership, and do so by developing membership programs that can serve us beyond just 2019

– Ensure the financial viability of our Club

– Install modern systems (online vs. paper) that will improve various processes, increase efficiency, and improve communication

SBYC is an incredible group of people.  In our relatively few years as members, my wife, Julie, and I have been hugely gratified by the friendships we’ve built with people who have incredible life stories to tell, including many boating adventures as well as other chapters in their lives.  The people are the thing, augmented by our common love affair with the water and boating.  But, to keep our club alive and moving forward, we need to bring in new members – people who share our enthusiasm for boating and living life to the fullest, who can help us sustain and grow the SBYC community.  At the Board level, we will be working on new ways to tell our Club Story and attract more members to join us.  But, this is a task that everyone can participate in.  When you encounter good people at the dock or in your daily lives, who have a boating component in their lives (or perhaps have a strong desire to get into boating) tell them about SBYC, what you’ve gotten out of being a member, and invite them to come check us out.

While we are by no means in financial difficulty as an entity, our regular expenses have been increasing.  Many annual costs – like insurance, event costs, and even our mailbox fees – have gone up, some by quite a bit.  While we want to keep our club dues, race fees, and special event fees as reasonable as possible, we also need to sustain our club’s financial status and our ability to fund programs we believe are important to our core mission.  We just concluded our January Board Meeting and Budget Review for the 2019 Budget.  Decisions on a few budget-related proposals will be finalized at the February Board Meeting.

Hopefully, you have noticed that our website has been re-done in the last 18 months.  As well, we’ve begun taking credit card payments at our monthly dinners.  Kudos and huge thanks to AJ Mallory for spearheading many of these changes.  There are more modern systems we can employ that will help us do things easier/faster/better, like using our website to securely host club info and allow members to update their information online.  AJ Mallory, Ben Lobaugh, and I are planning a number of things in this direction.  We will update in upcoming issues of the Rudderpost. If you have input or want to know more, give us a call.

LB Day and Rubie Johnson overcame a very significant challenge in 2018 by getting the IRS to reinstate our non-profit organization status (along with clearing up some tax issues as well.)  Many hours of work by these two members need recognition and our thanks – it was quite an effort.  Thanks to their work, we can move forward now without this issue eating up our time and attention.

Let us know what you think, about these goals and anything else that you feel needs our attention.  Think about this question – “If you could make one change to how things happen at SBYC, what would that be?”  When you have an answer to that one, let us know.  “Us” in this case could be a board member you know well and have confidence in, or the whole Board if you’d like to communicate your thoughts to the whole group, or call/email me, as I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts and input.

Be sure to post a copy of this year’s Cruise Events where you can easily refer to it as you put your 2019 plans on your calendar.  Patricia Shannon-Garvey has quite a line-up ready to go, so let’s see as many club members as possible at these fun events. And if you haven’t attended a monthly Dinner Meeting in a while, please join us at IVAR’s Salmon House on the third Tuesday of the month.  AJ Mallory, our Vice Commodore, is securing some excellent speakers for those dinners – and it’s a great time to talk and catch up on the things we’re all doing.

2019!  Let’s make it a fun, fantastic year for all of us at Shilshole Bay Yacht Club!