Emeryville Yacht Club At the Helm...
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Britta Fjelstrom, Commodore
Britta Fjelstrom joined the yacht club in 2016 and has been a YC board member since 2019. Although a Bay Area native, she didn’t start sailing until after college. Her first sailing experience was a sunset sail in Santa Cruz, CA. She was hooked and immediately signed up for sailing lessons. Within a year she bought a boat to sail and live on. In 2005 she sailed her first boat, an Elite 29, to Puerto Vallarta and then up the Sea of Cortez. Britta has competed in numerous Bay and ocean races and worked for J World as a sailing instructor and charter captain for team-building events. She is a certified Sailing Instructor and Coast Guard Captain. Britta has worked in education for over 20 years. She recently acquired her Yacht Salesperson License and now also works part-time selling boats. After a summer spent cruising the South Pacific, she decided to upgrade to an ocean-going boat and bought a Nantucket Island 38. She lives aboard her boat in Emeryville. When not doing boat projects, Britta enjoys taking the scenic route/getting lost, reading, micro-brew tasting, and playing one of the many instruments she has on board which includes a ukulele and an accordion.
Deanna Landers, Vice Commodore
Deanna Landers and her husband, James, along with their son Ethan moved to Emeryville in 2021 from Colorado, where they were skiers and snowboarders, and also practiced Tae Kwon Do. She had a career in Project Management, building and leading Project Management Offices for IBM and Charter Communications, and led the Project Management Institute professional association as Chair during one of her 6 years on the board. She's the Founder and President of Project Managers Without Borders, currently working with Bay Area schools on Climate Action initiatives, among many others. Today, you can find her working on boat projects or on Emeryville YC cruise outs sailing around the Bay on her catamaran, and adventuring around the Bay Area neighborhoods on hikes, birding walks, and cultural visits. She has served as Vice Commodore of Emeryville YC since August 2021.
Michelle Stephens, Rear Commodore
Michelle Stephens joined the Emeryville YC in 2018 with her husband, YC Director, Myron Stephens. She has served as Rear Commodore since August 2021. Michelle grew up on lake boats with her dad and spent many summers waterskiing on Folsom Lake. Then Myron introduced her to sailboats and sailing when they met in 2007, and she's been sailing ever since. Michelle and Myron sailed on his parents Alberg 30 for several years before buying their Tartan 3700 in 2016. They reside in the Sacramento area, but spend as much time as possible on the Bay with their Frenchie, Bailey, sailing, visiting new harbors, or simply enjoying being on the boat that they consider their second home. Michelle comes from a family of educators and currently teaches kindergarten. Her passion is working with littlest learners, fostering a love of learning and helping to build the foundation for their educational careers. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys working on the Emeryville YC website, crafting, watching movies, and hanging out with family and friends.
Geli Burgin, Treasurer
Geli Burgin joined the Emeryville Yacht Club in 2015, after many years boating, and has served on the YC Board since 2018. She started her boating experience on her parents sailboat, then did a few years of racing on the Bay. Geli got her Captains License and currently owns and lives on a Grand Banks 42 Classic. She has had a career in Operations, Finance and Sales with both large and small companies. Geli is currently a member of the Califonia Yacht Brokers Association. When Geli is not out on the Bay, you will find her playing with her little Boston, Fenway, traveling, going to concerts, games, hanging out with friends, or just relaxing and doing nothing.
Curt Grassman, Port Captain
Curt Grassman joined Emeryville YC with his wife, Marylin, in 2015 and has been on the Board since 2019. Curt's power boating started with a lake/river speedboat in Southern California to two different cabin cruisers in the Delta and SF Bay principally. He presently owns a SeaRay 40ft aft cabin, although he enjoys sailing as well. Curt's father grew up in the twenties and inspired by Charles Lindberg received a pilot's license at age 19. He served in the merchant marine during the depression and joined Curtiss Wright Aeronautical as a machinist and stayed with them for 30 years. He and his brother Robert loved boating, and Curt inherited his interest in boating from both of them. Curt is a lifelong educator, having received initially his Ph.D in US. history from UCLA. He taught for many years a variety of courses at UC Riverside where he also was the campus ombudsman, instructional improvement dean, and academic administrator for several programs over the years. Concurrently Curt was elected four times to the Riverside County Board of Education. In addition to boating, Curt has a wide range of interestes. He wrote a spy novel recently (Tomorrow's Dawn: A Master Spy's Last Mission) based in part upon his experiences as an Army Captain working with intelligence agencies, etc. He also enjoys doing various projects around his home, and cars and boats have always interested him. Most recently he and his wife Marilyn have loved being near their daughter and her husband's four young children and help in any way they can and love attending and supporting their activities. They also enjoy traveling a lot, which he says may be one of the most enriching experiences one may have.
Trish Wengenroth, Secretary
Trish Wengenroth joined the Emeryville YC with her husband, Staff Commodore, Chuck, in 2015. She has served on the club Board since 2017. Trish's boating experience started one day while dating Chuck, when he asked, "Do you think it would be cool to live on a boat someday?" Trish's reply was probably sharper than it was meant to be, "Absolutely Not!!" Not to be deterred, Trish and Chuck got married, and he had them living on a boat within 8 years. Since then Trish and Chuck boated the Delta, San Francisco Bay, and now they are in Southeast Alaska, after cruising up the coast during the pandemic. Trish has had a career as a nurse for the past 22 years. In her spare time, Trish says she is busy keeping a husband and 7-month old puppy dog in line. She also enjoyes crafts, including watercolors and calligraphy, which is difficult on a boat, and taking long walks on the dock ... to the transient slip.
Myron Stephens, Director
Myron and his wife, Michelle, joined the Emeryville YC in 2018. Myron has served as Director since 2021. Myron and Michelle split their time between their home in the Sacramento area and their Tartan 3700. Myron has been sailing in the Bay on his parents sailboats, both a catamaran and four monohulls, since he was a child. Myron's dad built his first two boats from scratch and later gutted and rebuilt the Alberg 30 that Myron and Michelle sailed before buying their Tartan. One of Myron's favorite memories is when he was six years old, sailing in the Vancouver Islands with his parents and their Boxer, on their 18' Cape Dory. Myron and Michelle have always had Boxers, but now have a French Bulldog, Bailey, who loves sailing and chewing on the ends of ropes to make sure they are smooth and well maintained. Myron is an art teacher and artist who will be retiring in 2023 and looking forward to focusing on his art and spending more time sailing. When Myron is not sailing or painting, he enjoys playing Chess, cooking, and hanging out with friends and family.
Ward Fulcher, Director
Ward Fulcher and his wife, Cindy Wagner, joined Emeryville YC in 2020. This will be his first year serving as a Board Member. Ward began sailing on a small reservoir near Bakersfield in the early Seventies. The Eighties and Nineties brought extensive race crewing on keelboats in the San Francisco Bay. By the Turn of the Century Ward had been followed home by a Laser, Marbury 14, International Contender, NACRA 5.0 beach cat and a couple of 505s. This led to his becoming an ASA certified Small Boat instructor, and teaching for Oakland Parks and Recreation for a couple of years. In 2003 he bought Sugar Magnolia, a Hunter 29.5, and joined BBYC. With Sugar Magnolia he participated in a number of OYRA races in the Oughts, mostly doublehanded, including Drakes Bay, Half Moon Bay, the LongPac (200 miles offshore) and a few trips around the Rockpile. He failed to finish the Three Bridge Fiasco three years in a row. Currently Sugar Magnolia sees day sailing and cruise-out duties. Ward still grabs a wetsuit and slips his Banshee into the Bay from time to time. In a prior yacht club he served two years as Race Chair, two years as Port Captain and two and a half years as a Director. He also volunteers on the Maintenance Committee for the Alameda Community Sailing Center. Ward recently retired after a 34-year career in commercial lighting. When he is not sailing, Ward enjoys reading, day hikes, and playing Backgammon with Cindy.
Chuck Wengenroth, Staff Commodore
Chuck Wengenroth, along with his wife Trish, YC Secretary, joined Emeryville YC in 2015. Chuck has served on board since 2017. Chuck grew up with the local yacht club fishing with his dad, canoeing in the lake, and sailing prams then lasers in the Sunday regatta. Eventually he turned that into a paying gig with the Coast Guard, then in the Merchant Marine. Chuck has been married to his lovely bride for 14 years, and they are now on an "incredible adventure" working and cruising in Southeast Alaska. Chuck's work in the military, morphing into working in the merchant marine and volunteering on the local ambulance, sparked an interest in the medical field, which led to a switch in careers to nursing. In Chuck's free time, he enjoys sitting in the pilot house in awe of the mountains and sea life surrounding him and Trish. When not relaxing on his boat, Chuck likes meeting new people and hearing about their adventures. He is also trying to read more books.