Dedicated to those who love and care for Vintage, Classic Boats in America’s Heartland

Message from Chapter President Chuck Gibbs 


Writing these articles for our newsletter gives me time to reflect and focus on the successes and challenges experienced by our club and our love of classic boating in general. This also gives me the pleasure of sharing my thoughts with you about what we can do to improve this experience for ourselves, other members of the club, and future members we need to recruit to sustain our organization.

The successes are many.  As I have mentioned before, hosting two international shows; being twice selected the ACBS Chapter of the Year; having an award-winning first-rate newsletter; along with having representation on the international leadership board all demonstrate our commitment to excellence in ACBS.

The ACBS Executive Director, Dan Gyoerkoe recently announced that he will be attending our Table Rock show in June and asked for an opportunity to speak to our club.  We are excited to have Dan in attendance and encourage everyone to take this opportunity to come meet and get to know Dan.  We must be going good things for ACBS to have Dan ask to participate in our show.

This past month has seen our success at Keels & Wheels in Seabrook Texas. Our members won multiple awards, including Best in Class, and two Best in Show awards as well as having Clay Thompson serve as head judge.  Some of you may not know that this is the second year in a row that our members have brought home Best in Show Awards from Keels & Wheels.  Congratulations to Steve Spinharney and Pete Seitz this year.  Last year’s winner, Dan Diehl, probably would have won again has he decided to have his Riva judged this year.

Our success in growth this year was demonstrated at Lake of the Ozarks, with our participation in a Saturday event at Redhead Marina on May 11th. This first-time event drew 11 in water participants, 10 static displays and 10 outboard motors. Kathy Parker took this opportunity to promote our club applications, and several are expected from this event. Many Mississippi Valley Chapter members also attended this rendezvous.

            As for the challenges, we are not unique in our experience that the number of members who make our club successful, and those charged with the responsibility of making sure everything that needs to be done, gets done for every event, every year, falls on a relatively small group of individuals.  This is partially due to necessity, because not everyone can, or wants to be in charge.

As our club has grown, a major challenge has been to devise and implement policies to promote inclusion and membership participation in all our activities and to promote sustainability.  We are meeting this challenge as a club by appointing committees, rather than just chairpersons for events and other activities, such as the website.  We have also made Bylaw changes to include first and second vice presidents to ensure that club leadership has a known and predictable succession of leadership, rather than a “who wants to be next” approach each year.  Sustainability has also been promoted by recognition of and focus on bringing in a new and younger generation of members.

            The task ahead, or what I am calling the “Call to Duty” is for each of our 163 current members to ask themselves, “What can I do, or what activity can I participate in, to take on a small part of an event, or other activity to help make our club grow and run more effectively?  Each event or activity has a chairperson appointed each year by the Board of Directors to form a committee to work well in advance of established deadlines to get the jobs done.  All you have to do is contact a chairperson for an activity that you are interested in, and volunteer to help.  The more volunteers, the less work there is for everyone. This is a great opportunity to get to know your fellow members better and feel a sense of ownership and accomplishment. Everyone has something to offer, so answer the call, and thank you to all who do so this, and every year. We are just getting started on this boating season.  There is a lot of work and fun ahead, so make your commitment now for just a small amount of your time.

See you on the water.