Note: Approximately two weeks after each ACBS Board of Directors meeting, a Town Hall Conference Call will be scheduled to provide an opportunity for ACBS members to learn about the Key Items of Agreement, ask questions, and share their comments.

Thirty members of ACBS participated in the Town Hall Conference Call held Tuesday, October 2nd.

Stan Struble, President along with Rich Lepping, Past President and Dan Gyoerkoe, Executive Director reviewed the key items from the Annual Membership meeting held September 13th in Port Huron, Michigan.

1.     Rich Lepping provided a “State of the State” report. The organization has transitioned into a different governance structure, a process that was started nearly three years ago by the Committee on Growth and Services (COGS). The board size was reduced from 21 to 14 along with a shift in focus from day-to-day operations to policy and strategic initiatives.

2.     Tim Bush gave an overview of the finances of the organization. Operations have lost money the past 4 years. YTD in the current fiscal year, operations are showing a loss of $34k. The financial position of the organization remains good due the performance of the organization’s investment portfolio. This pattern is not likely sustainable over a long period of time.

3.     Dan Gyoerkoe added that a primary responsibility as ED is to provide the board members with as much information as possible, so the board members can make informed decisions. Since 2011, the number of active members has decreased by 829. In today’s dollars that is $45,000 less dues revenue. During the same time frame, expenses continued to increase. The organization is now in a position of asking a smaller number of members to pay more. This pattern is likely not sustainable over a long period of time. A primary goal is to balance the budget and position the organization for growth. Balancing the budget will be achieved by reducing expenses. In April of this year, a part time staff position was eliminated saving the organization approximately $16k. Staff is committed to better control of expenses like postage, printing, etc. The Rudder is the largest expense for the organization costing more than $155,000 in 2017. During the board of directors meeting in June, the board agreed unanimously to issue an RFP for design services for the Rudder with the goal of reducing the cost to publish the magazine. The deadline date for proposals was September 28th. Ten proposals were received. The RFP committee will start the review process immediately.

4.     Stan Struble announced the ACBS Constitution was amended to increase the age to 25 for the Junior Membership.

5.     Stan Struble announced a new boat show scoresheet was adopted this year and the scoresheet was used during this year’s International Boat Show. Dan Nelson from the Bob Speltz Land O’ Lakes chapter will continue to chair the Ad Hoc Committee on Judging with the goal of continuous improvement to ACBS judging program.

6.     Stan Struble announced the officers and directors for the 2019 ACBS Board of Directors.

                           I.          Stan Struble, President (Lake Hopatcong chapter)

                         II.          Rich Lepping, Past President (Glacier Lakes chapter)

                        III.          Tim Bush, Vice President (Northern California/Lake Tahoe chapter)

                       IV.          Jim Mersman, Treasurer (Water Wonderland chapter)

                         V.          Gary Fesperman, Secretary (Blue Ridge chapter)

                       VI.          Cynde Smith, Director (Adirondack chapter)

                     VII.          Walt Stashkiw, Director (North Coast Ohio chapter)

                    VIII.          Rob Cassell, Director (Southern California chapter)

                       IX.          Scott Mason, Director (Pacific Northwest chapter)

                         X.          Stephanie Ryan, Director at Large/Legal Counsel (Chesapeake Bay chapter)

The elected officers and directors above will join directors from the class of 2019:

  • Shannon Knight, Director (Michigan chapter)
  • Don Leutz, Director (Norther California/Lake Tahoe chapter)
  • Bill Root , Director (Sunnyland chapter)
  • Rob Lyons, Director (Michigan chapter)       

7.     Stan Struble announced the recent ACBS International Boat Show was the largest in ACBS history with more than 200 boats on display (in water and on land). Stan thanked the members of the Michigan chapter and the people from the Port Huron community that donated their time and energy in hosting the ACBS International Boat Show. Stan announced the next ACBS board of directors meeting will be held on October 27 at the Wyndham O’Hare Hotel and ACBS members are welcome to attend. This meeting is the annual budget and planning meeting for the organization.

You may contact Dan Gyoerkoe at or 315-686-2628 with questions and/or comments.


  1. It’s disappointing to see the large number of members who have left our ranks. Are exit interviews being administered to try to understand why members are leaving. I recently drove four and a half hours to a show and they didn’t judge my boat which was preregistered and identified on their program. When I followed up on why it wasn’t judged they said they just missed it? Wow I can understand why some may not see value in being a member. How are we understanding Issues affecting members reasons for leaving?

    • The reasons people decide not to renew or cancel their membership covers a broad a range. Many people have sold their boats and no longer have any interest in the hobby, some people are busy with different or new interests, and some people have passed away. New people are joining, but the bad news is that an equal or greater number of existing members are not renewing their memberships. ACBS is not alone. I think it is fair to say, all recreational or hobby activities are seeing a decline in participation. With an older membership, we all know first hand why participation in recreational or hobby activities is declining, younger people do not have the time. I was at a family event last weekend. One of my nieces has two boys, one playing soccer and one playing football this fall. The whole family likes to play golf, but they can’t find the time to fit golf into their packed schedule. You may contact me directly with questions/comments. Dan Gyoerkoe, ACBS ED,

      • Dan thanks for getting back. Are measures in place to assure Judging takes place at shows? Appreciate your insight on reasons members are leaving, in business we saved many employees by Immediately talking with them when they notified us they were leaving. I would appreciate contact information for Dan Nelson Land O Lakes chapter regarding ACBS judging.

        Thanks again.

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