2020 Board Candidate: Bill Rubin

I have been rowing out of PBC off and on for over 40 years.  I first came to PBC in the summer of 1976 while working as a summer intern on the Hill and competed for PBC that summer and two others.  I became a Senior Member in 1982, converted to Non-Resident Member status at the end of 1984 when I left DC to live overseas, and then regained my Senior Membership when I returned to DC in 2009.

While my competitive rowing days are largely over, I regularly scull in the late afternoons.  The main reason I’m running is to give a voice to those members who choose to go out on the water in the afternoon and evening.  There are several issues of specific concern to us.  For example, in normal times, we are the ones who interact the most with W-L crews, yet no one who regularly rows in the afternoon currently serves on the W-L Liaison Committee.  We are also the ones who are most affected by the actions of coaches and crews operating out of TBC, as well as the wakes left by their launches.  If elected to the Board, the relationship between PBC and TBC is one of the issues on which I intend to focus.  And, with the restrictions brought on by the pandemic, there is an unmet need for those of us who row in the afternoon and evening to be given meaningful input into the scheduling of shifts.

I recognize that those of us who go out on the water in the afternoon and evening are a distinct minority.  But, many days, we make up 25% or more of outings.  I’m asking for your support so that there is at least one Board member to give voice to our specific concerns.

2020 Board Candidate: Dana Perrone

For ten years I have enjoyed the PBC community as both a competitive and a recreational rower.  Rowing and the club are an essential part of my life.  So, in thanks, I hope to contribute to our club as a member of its Board of Governors. I believe that my experience and my collaborative approach to problem-solving qualify me to help PBC navigate the changes coming our way.  It is in this spirit that I ask for your vote.

I joined PBC in 2010 to row with the competitive Masters Rowing Program (MRP).  Since then I have represented PBC in local and national regattas.  As Treasurer of the MRP and in helping to start the Potomac Scullers, I gained an understanding of the financial and organizational aspects of the club and an appreciation for the logistics of club racing.  On the recreational side, I have been part of the Club Rowing Committee for several years, and so understand the value of the Club fleet and the interests of recreational rowers.  Recently I have worked with Dale Dinion and d’Andre Willis on the Preservation 2.0 committee to develop ideas for renovations to the boathouse.    

My varied professional life started with high school history teaching, moved on to software training and running a software training company with a staff of 75, and an annual budget of $2,000,000, and finally to landscape design which I continue to do part-time.   

We face many challenges, the changes to Water Street and the future Canal construction, among others. I am a “hands-on” person who gets things done.  My semi-retired status allows ample time for Board duties. Thank you for your vote.

2020 Board Candidate: John Froemming

One of the best compliments I received after returning to rowing and racing following a long absence was from Fritz Theyer, who called me a “ born again rower.”  Rowing and PBC have become a sanctuary for which I am truly grateful.  I want to give back, and have started to do so as a supportive teammate of the Sculling Program and a member of PBC’s Diversity and Inclusion Council.

As a Governor I would prioritize the love of rowing.  This is expressed through safeguarding the club so we have a place to row, supporting our racing and other programs, and becoming more inclusive. 

I am an attorney with thirty-five years of experience resolving contentious issues, minimizing and managing risks, and listening to and representing the interests of the 84 lawyers in my group—many of whom have widely differing yet strongly held opinions. In addition to the work at my firm (Jones Day), I have experience as a Board member of the highly successful, 31,000-member Potomac Conservancy, which lends insight on effective ways that a non-profit Board can help its organization realize and exceed its mission and goals. I have also led successful fundraising efforts for my alma mater and other non-profits.  

Having joined the Club in October of 2016, I am keenly aware of how fortunate we are to be able to row at PBC.  We have a responsibility to see that it continues to flourish in the short- and long term and remains an example within the greater rowing community.  We have the community and the foundational tools to make this institution even greater by maximizing the success of our racing team while ensuring that all of our members as well as newcomers to the sport find their connection to rowing.

2020 Board Candidate: James Nelson

Dear PBC: 

My name is James Nelson and I am seeking your vote in this year’s election to the Board of Governors. Having served on the Board for the last 3 years, I have learned more than I could imagine about what matters most to all of you and how to execute on those visions. Serving on the Board is a humbling and challenging experience, but most of all rewarding. 

My goal is to ensure our Club’s continued welfare and prosperity while empowering all members to bring their ideas and contributions forward. And my confidence in my ability to continue leading our Club in the right direction is what compels me to seek your vote.

Together, we have navigated a number of significant and complex issues over the last 3 years: 

  • Evaluating our relationship with Washington & Liberty, wherein both parties took direct action to achieve a more symbiotic relationship
  • Establishing sustainable funding for the High Performance Program Director position which supports our Junior, U23 and Olympic program pursuits
  • Adopting more environmentally-friendly methods of maintaining our docks and facilities
  • Responding rapidly to the challenges of operating our Club in the midst of a global pandemic
  • Attempting to comprehend emails from the listserv

None of these feats were possible without our collective cooperation, and as your Governor I pledge to continue this spirit of teamwork as we address future challenges. 

We celebrated 150 years of existence this year. Here’s to another 150 years and beyond!

2020 Board Candidate: Steve Titus

PBC:

My name is Steve Titus and I am asking for your consideration to elect me to the Board of Governors.  For those who don’t know me, I’ve been active at PBC since 2002 with a ten year gap.  I first came to PBC in spring of ‘02 rowing in the Open Sculling development program under Matt Madigan, Ken Dreyfuss and Cam Kiosoglous.  All three coaches had a significant impact on me as an athlete and in my professional and personal life.  When I moved from DC for work in 2005, I didn’t know if I would ever return and I certainly missed PBC the minute I left. I feel many members can relate to the career timeline as well as the roots PBC instills.  Although I left I stayed connected to the sport.  I coached for Loyola Academy in Chicago and was a member at Fairmount on the Schuylkill. I moved back in 2014, returned to PBC through the Men’s Sweep in 2015 and since then continue to scull independently. 

My goal is to form deep roots at PBC and ensure its longevity for current and future members, including my 2 sons.  In my return I’ve engaged in a few areas, facilitating the Kinderscull program and began to work with the Race Committee pre – COVID to provide support to the Juniors.  As we all know the Club has many areas of focus. The areas I believe I can absolutely bring the most value to, and that I am most passionate about, are Capital Programs and Finance.  Additionally, I have the ability to be objective, balanced, and to understand the viewpoints of all stakeholders.  I’m undoubtedly passionate about PBC and will bring that passion to my role on the Board.  Please consider me in your vote.

Respectfully,

Steve Titus

2020 Board Candidate: Pam Roberts

I have been a member of Potomac Boat Club since 1985, back when there were potholes and trolley tracks on Water Street.  There have been many changes since then.  I rowed on the women’s sweep team of the 1980s and then the master’s women’s sweep team.  I have been primarily sculling for the last 20 years – mostly in my single – so that I can row a little later! 

In addition to actively rowing, I have participated in many facets of PBC governance: I served as Chair of the Membership Committee (2009-2013); on the Board of Governors from 2007-2016, including serving as both President and Vice President.  As President, I worked to prevent the construction of a “permanent floating pavilion” in the river by the Kennedy Center.  I currently serve as the club liaison to W-L High School.  

PBC faces critical challenges.  External developments in the neighborhood will drastically change how we operate, and there are internal pressures and competing priorities that will require hard decisions.  Our sport has grown tremendously but the available resources on the Potomac River have essentially stayed the same.  PBC is being pulled in many different directions and will need a strong Board of Governors to guide the club through this period. 

Change is important and inevitable.  But I believe it is important to learn from the past as we make decisions for the future.  My long tenure as a member, experience as a Governor, and my overall contributions as a volunteer have provided me with the insight to help guide PBC through this critical time.  Those that know me will tell you that I am willing to listen and hear people out.  This is important as PBC faces unprecedented challenges.  It is for these reasons that I ask for your vote.

2020 Board Candidate: Peter Clements

My name is Peter Clements, and I’ve been at PBC since 2011. Chances are, I’ve fitted you in a PBC blazer, directed a SHOP you raced in, recruited you to an erg challenge or triathlon, helped start a program you’ve joined, or negotiated funding that kept something important to you alive. I’m asking for your vote for the Board.

I will help PBC build a culture of greater inclusiveness, openness, and communication – continuing website improvements, increased news alerts, a more transparent board that encourages member participation and meeting attendance. All members, no matter what your interests are, need to be respected – and need to feel respected. I will represent every one of you, regardless of why you’re here (I’d like to learn!) We have to build a stronger, more welcoming community that people want to be part of, stay part of, and work hard to preserve. I strongly, adamantly believe that there’s no one way to be a member. If you’re here, you’re an equal and valued part of the club.

We need to be ready for the next 150 years. Dealing with COVID-19 has revealed the need to update and improve our financial planning to anticipate exigent circumstances, and how much more we can do to support and work with the Potomac River Boathouse Foundation to keep our (literal!) foundations strong. We need to be prepared for hard times with strong fundraising and a capital reserve… but we also need to prevent hard times, and that’s not just with money, that’s investment in our fleet and programs, supporting our Float Captains, SafeSport compliance, and community-focused policy all around.

I’m passionate about this club and want to understand your thoughts, ideas, and concerns. Please reach out with any questions ([email protected]), and I hope to earn your vote.

2020 Board Candidate: Nick Woodfield

My arrival at PBC 2.5 years ago following a 20-year hiatus from rowing challenged me physically and mentally and stretched me beyond what I thought possible. I yearn for morning rows, competition that pushes me to be the best rower and teammate possible, and shared experience and camaraderie. The Club makes me a better person, and so I ask for your vote as a candidate for Governor.

I am the Erg Tsar and take pride in maintaining PBC’s 33 ergs, as well as the star and bright red ramps that Bill Kostoff and I poured our hearts into refinishing last year. I researched and wrote about Club members who gave their lives in World War I and II. And in my outside life in the last few decades I have:

  • got married and raised two children in DC;
  • helped build a law firm employing 45 people and serve as its general counsel; and
  • convinced DC to renovate our neighborhood park and implement safety measures at our local public elementary school.

PBC faces many short- and long-term challenges, and navigating the shoals of change will be critical in the coming years. I learned through experience that struggle and change, while exhausting and terrifying, can lead to the best parts of your life and make you a better person.

People want to be respected and their opinions to be thoughtfully considered, and the Club’s destiny lies in attracting new members who will maintain its high rowing standards while broadening the membership base the way our predecessors did when they voted to include women and people of color – dramatic decisions that were unambiguously the right thing to do. If you elect me as a Governor, I will employ the same thoughtful, informed, and respectful decision-making to guide PBC into its next 150 years. 

2020 Board Candidate: Tolsun Waddle

My name is Tolsun Waddle, and I am asking for your vote to serve on the Board of Governors.

PBC’s most valuable asset is our members. Each member has a voice worth listening to, because we are PBC. I’ve asked and listened to what’s important to you, and I want to bring your viewpoints to the Board so PBC can be an even better place for its members. As the Women’s Sweep coach, I have helped make spaces better by championing diversity and inclusion initiatives. Thoughtful, carefully-implemented initiatives can have powerful effects on organizations, and I believe the work I have done to help grow women’s rowing at PBC makes me qualified to be a steward of our Club.

I’ve spent the past 15 years of my legal career advising thousands of nonprofits, focusing on corporate governance best practices. PBC faces threats from the aqueduct development and limitations on its fundraising abilities. As an attorney focused on tax issues and government relations, I can help safeguard PBC’s next 150 years through strong community outreach and a modest re-thinking of the Club’s fundraising model. Doing so will help safeguard our physical position on the river and open revenue streams to bolster our financial position.

Because of my qualifications to serve on the Board and my vision for PBC’s future, I ask for your vote. I want to hear more about what you value about PBC and where we can improve, so I also ask for your thoughts and questions – please contact me at [email protected]. If you elect me to the Board, my door will always be open to hear your feedback and talk about how to build on PBC’s past and strengthen its future.