From the PBC Porch ……

This winter reminds me of that strange guest who just doesn’t seem to know the party is over.  But at least the docks are in (thank you, W&L Crew) and things are starting to pick up down at the Club.  This ‘From the Porch’ is a little on the long side, sorry about that, so make sure your tray table is in the upright and locked position, and we’ll get this thing going.

Following up on my last Porch letter, here’s the remainder of the PBC Civics lesson.  PBC also has four elected Officers, and an elected Captain (and lieutenants to that Captain).   At the Annual Meeting, we elect – from among the Board members – a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.  These positions each have a one-year term.  Since they are elected from among the Board members, the sequence of elections is, first, Board (electing three of nine) and, second, Officers (electing all four). 

The Captain and Lieutenants are elected for one-year terms at the Semi-Annual Meeting in October.  The Captain is often referred to as “Float Captain”, implying that the role is related to only the float, but our governing documents envision a broader function, including safety on the water.  We are fortunate that our current Captain, Chuck Selden, has embraced that safety message (among many other messages), and for years has spearheaded the Club’s efforts to ensure that boats are well lit in darkness. 

That’s it.  The Constitution and Bylaws are findable on the PBC website if you thirst for more.


At the Board meeting last week we recognized the (peaceful) transfer of leadership of three Committees.  I’d like to introduce our new Chairs who have stepped up to lead the Scullers Head of the Potomac, Finance and Membership Committees.  They are Peter Clements, Ross Wilson, and Barb Ryan (yes, relation), respectively.  And with much appreciation and respect – for doing all that you do – we thank the former Chairs of these Committees, Samantha Byrd, Kathy Hughes and Pam Roberts, respectively, each of whom showed us how to Bleed Red in their leadership and execution.   More honors for the outgoing Chairs will be forthcoming at the Annual Meeting.


Speaking of the Annual Meeting, here are the logistics.  The date is Sunday, April 13th.  Festivities start with a social hour at 3:00 p.m., which will include the christening of our new Filippi 4x in the Club fleet, to be named after a beloved and rascally (he would appreciate that) icon of the river, Stuart Law.  For those of you who knew Stuart, I hope this brings a smile to your face.  The meeting will then start at 4:00 p.m., we’ll recognize some great members, vote for Governors and Officers, review the budget that the Board approved for the next Fiscal Year, have a little time for questions, and resume the social right after that.  Hope to see many of you there, and if you haven’t checked out recently, you’ll see the statements of several candidates who have decided to run for a Governor position.  I’m really glad to see this level of enthusiasm and commitment to the Club.


Through the efforts and collaboration of many, who I’d like to recognize at the Annual Meeting, the Potomac River Boathouse Foundation has been officially launched.  This is a new 501(c)(3) organization that is dedicated to preserving our historic Potomac Boat Club house.    The organizing papers have been filed, the IRS is taking a look, and the ‘official’ launch won’t be for several months, but in the meantime we are looking for a few good fundraisers who can help get this off the launch pad with a bang.  If you are that kind of person, please let Gretchen Ellsworth know, at [email protected]., and she will happily get you involved with the PRBF.   This is great stuff, and yes, we do intend to compete with your beloved alma mater(s) for those hard earned dollars that make you and your accountant feel all warm inside.


So there’s just one more little announcement to make.  My stewardship of the ‘From the Porch’ newsletter will come to an end at the Annual Meeting on April 13th, as I am going to hand over the reins of the Club Presidency.  I’ve very much enjoyed the past few years as President of PBC, and have been extremely fortunate to have been given your trust and support in this position.  Working with a great Board, and many, many dedicated members, we’ve done a lot to improve the Club and I feel good about what we have accomplished and where we are today.  But the President position takes a lot of time and energy, and with a job that keeps me traveling (and staying in some spectacular hotels!), I feel that it’s time to move along and let someone else continue the mission.  I thank all of you for your support and encouragement, and with one more year on the Board before the end of my current term, I’ll try to continue to create some change and maybe a little havoc. 

But wait, there’s more!  I’m also aware that our PBC Vice President, Pam Roberts, who for the past several years was a mere heartbeat away from this position, intends to run for President.  Having served with Pam on the Board for many years, and witnessed Pam’s hands-on approach to managing change, understanding and respecting different viewpoints, committing time and effort to many PBC causes, and, quite simply, executing on ideas and making things happen, I think she would make a terrific President of the Club (as well as the second woman President since the esteemed Cindy Cole broke that glass ceiling several years ago), and hope she gets that opportunity. 

Thanks PBC, it’s been a great run, and Bleed Red, Always!!

Row like a Champion, PBC!

Ed Ryan