About OBC

OBC 2017 Board of Directors

President: Nate Cochran (gro.cbowornull@5102tnediserp)

President 2015-current. Beginning in 2000, I learned to row on the Occoquan for WT Woodson, where I spent most of my high school career in a lightweight four, later rowing the same category at the College of Charleston, SC. I began sculling in 2006 while part of the Charleston Rowing Club; later at the White Rock Boathouse in Dallas, I convinced an acquaintance that she should learn to scull rather than spend her afternoons kayaking—Lisa and I were married 10 months later. A few weeks after we married in 2012 we relocated to Virginia, where we both joined OBC. I was formerly Commodore, though mostly in name, as I still have much to learn about boat repair. I have enjoyed serving as OBC president for the last year. My goal is to promote the understanding that “there is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats"—especially on the Occoquan, a river that deserves a vibrant community.

President 2015-current. Beginning in 2000, I learned to row on the Occoquan for WT Woodson, where I spent most of my high school career in a lightweight four, later rowing the same category at the College of Charleston, SC. I began sculling in 2006 while part of the Charleston Rowing Club; later at the White Rock Boathouse in Dallas, I convinced an acquaintance that she should learn to scull rather than spend her afternoons kayaking—Lisa and I were married 10 months later. A few weeks after we married in 2012 we relocated to Virginia, where we both joined OBC. I was formerly Commodore, though mostly in name, as I still have much to learn about boat repair. I have enjoyed serving as OBC president for the last year. My goal is to promote the understanding that “there is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats”—especially on the Occoquan, a river that deserves a vibrant community.

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Vice President: Emily Hammond (gro.cbowornull@pihsrebmem)

Headshot Hammond 2.10.14

After serving as a member-at-large on the Board this past year, I’d like to do more to contribute to the OBC community, and am running for Vice President. This position’s primary responsibility is membership—particularly orienting new members and verifying their eligibility. I believe my skills and personality are well suited for these responsibilities for several reasons. First, I enjoy meeting new Club members and sharing my enthusiasm for our community and the Occoquan. From the first email contact with a prospective new member to the orientation, as Vice President I would work to ensure that each person felt welcome, free to ask questions, and clear regarding eligibility for membership and the Club’s policies. These initial contacts with the Club are important for conveying the club’s culture and norms—not just the rules but also a sense of the community we enjoy. Second, I have a strong familiarity with our Handbook, having recently worked with other Board members to revise it. Complementing my familiarity with the rules is an ability to be firm, professional, and responsive when interacting with prospective new members. This is especially important given OBC’s competency requirements and the need to ensure that rowers are safe on the water and careful with the equipment at all times. Third, I am dedicated to keeping OBC running smoothly and enhancing its vibrancy. As a member-at-large, I have been an engaged participant and pitched in as needed. For example, I drafted a letter on the Club’s behalf to convey our needs at the Sandy Run site, contributed to our updated Handbook, helped identify new boats for us to purchase this fall, and am in the process of setting up an OBC store with JL Racing. More generally, I am an active member— volunteering at our regattas, attending our membership events, and spending as much time as I can on the Occoquan. Finally, my off-the-water work helps shed light on my capabilities. I am a tenured law professor at George Washington University, where I specialize in regulatory process, environmental law, and energy law. I regularly publish and speak in these fields, but most important to me is what happens in the classroom. According to my students, my teaching style is warm and friendly but with high expectations. There is no need to “overdo it” with OBC members, of course. But I bring my own commitment to high-quality work in every endeavor, a desire to lift others and help them achieve their dreams, and a mind for process and law should it be needed.

 

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Commodore: Mike Dobry  (gro.cbowornull@erodommoc)

Mike Dobry

I’ve been rowing at Sandy Run for 9 years. You’ll see me out in a double with my wife Shafer most of the time. The last two years I have done operations for the Oakton Masters club fixing up boats after the high school gets done with them and dealing with travel logistics. I’ve started to spend more time sculling than sweep rowing now so I enjoy contributing to our great club.

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Secretary: Jocelyn Seng (gro.cbowornull@yraterces)

In 2016, I rediscovered rowing, having been a collegiate rower and always previously under the impression that I was retired from this sport. I also discovered that OBC, on the beautiful Occoquan, is a wonderful organization built on mutual trust, a flexible use-policy and commitment to its rowing members. OBC has an impressive collection of rowing shells, enabling flexible rowing configurations and lots of fun on the water. In addition, I am thrilled to continue to meet and get to know better the other OBC members. Recognizing that this non-profit organization depends on its members, I am motivated to volunteer and leverage my talent, in order to ensure its vitality. My strengths and qualifications include being an enthusiastic rower, appreciative of OBC! I am a composite materials engineer who understands the complexities of rowing equipment. Furthermore, I have decades of broad work experience, with delivering demonstrated talent in vision, strategy, and execution.

In 2016, I rediscovered rowing, having been a collegiate rower and always previously under the impression that I was retired from this sport. I also discovered that OBC, on the beautiful Occoquan, is a wonderful organization built on mutual trust, a flexible use-policy and commitment to its rowing members. OBC has an impressive collection of rowing shells, enabling flexible rowing configurations and lots of fun on the water. In addition, I am thrilled to continue to meet and get to know better the other OBC members. Recognizing that this non-profit organization depends on its members, I am motivated to volunteer and leverage my talent, in order to ensure its vitality.
My strengths and qualifications include being an enthusiastic rower, appreciative of OBC! I am a composite materials engineer who understands the complexities of rowing equipment. Furthermore, I have decades of broad work experience, with delivering demonstrated talent in vision, strategy, and execution.

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Treasurer: Phil Hoyle (moc.liamgnull@rerusaertcbowor)

I served OBC as Treasurer last year and am running again. I look forward to serving the club as Treasurer again this year. I first joined OBC while in High School in 1995. I rowed on the Occoquan in High School for West Springfield. I rowed on the West Coast in college at the University of Washington.

OBC Treasurer since 2016.  I first joined OBC while in High School in 1995. I rowed on the Occoquan in High School for West Springfield. I rowed on the West Coast in college at the University of Washington.

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Communications Director: Molly Field
(moc.liamgnull@dleiftyllom / gro.cbowornull@snoitacinummoc)

I’ve been an OBC member since 2012 and have served as HOTO packet registrar (I like to call it ‘Packet Maven’) since 2014.  I was 2016 HOTO co-director with Jay Tennent (below) and I had a blast despite the many days of hard work to prepare for and execute the event. As Communications Director, I am responsible for keeping the site updated and the members informed. I enjoyed last year serving as CD and this year I plan to grow the occasional newsletter, OBC Backsplash. My husband of 23 years, Dan, and I are parents of three boys: Connor who is a rising sophomore at George Mason University; Donovan who is a rising junior at Robinson Secondary and Ian who is a rising eighth grader also at Robinson. Our two dogs: Murphy and Charlie keep us laughing and walking; and our two cats keep us employed. I am also a local yoga instructor to adults and children, and writer. I scull when I can, and when I can’t I imagine I am. I hail from a long lineage of rowers in my family of origin but it hasn’t taken hold on my kids yet… Sometimes (when I’m not on a yoga mat and am on the soccer sidelines watching my boys) I have a big mouth… my parents said I’dve made an excellent coxswain…

 

Members at Large (bios are provided by candidates):

Bob Spousta

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Bob brings a breadth of knowledge to the Board as an active competitor, an active coach with many levels of the sport and extensive regatta management expertise. He is an active member of the Sandy Run Rowing Community…….always willing to assist/help out wherever needed. Bob is working “part-time” and does have time to assist on projects than benefit OBC and the entirety of the rowing community. He is committed to the OBC mission of “giving back” much to help our sport grow and prosper. He is also a strong advocate of doing whatever we can to share the waters of the Occoquan in a respectful way and to protect the Occoquan environs from unnecessary degradation.

 

Lisa Cochran

I started learning to row Fall of 2011 with a friend of mine in Dallas. 10 months later, I got married to that friend and we moved from Texas to Virginia two weeks after our wedding. Now we have a toddler and are trying to teach him to swim so we can put him in a Coxswain seat while we row. So the moral of the story is . . . be careful who you row with in a double! I love the Occoquan, and I hope to row on it for many years. Besides working and raising our son Winston, I make art as much as possible.

I started learning to row Fall of 2011 with a friend of mine in Dallas. 10 months later, I got married to that friend and we moved from Texas to Virginia two weeks after our wedding. Now we have a toddler and are trying to teach him to swim so we can put him in a Coxswain seat while we row. So the moral of the story is . . . be careful who you row with in a double! I love the Occoquan, and I hope to row on it for many years. Besides working and raising our son Winston, I make art as much as possible.

 

Mark Brown

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Clint Spooner

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In my previous life, I was a patent attorney in private practice specializing in the electronic and aerospace arts and retired in 2014. I have been a member of OBC since 2000 and, since retirement, have been a member of the Board. I regularly row between 1000 and 1700 miles each season and can be found out and about on the Occoquan under most conditions. In addition to rowing, I have worked with Mark Brown in building the high school launch dock (twelve 10 x 20 foot sections that OBC uses as a launch and recovery dock at the HOTO). I am also part of the Bob Spousta quick response team for helping VASRA put in and take out the fully buoyed race course. I have joined other OBC members in running the OMS regatta (starting platforms and dockmaster) and HOTO regatta (hill traffic coordinator). I have also run the successful OBC sponsored Julia Shew Memorial Scholarship fund distribution for the last two years (after Cyndy’s departure). I am convinced that, for the most part, OBC should continue to follow the tried and true Occoquan Boat Club traditions that have worked well since Rick Evans first started the club. This is primarily a sculling club for rowers although there seem to be plenty of opportunities for social interaction as well. We all have to do our part in keeping this wonderful opportunity available for other rowers.

 

Ralph Bell

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Jay Tennent

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I’m back! I started rowing in Alexandria in Summer 1970, and haven’t missed a year since. Old Dominion Boat Club, Hammond High School, T.C. Williams High School, University of Virginia, San Diego (Mission Bay) and finally OBC (1984). Coached women’s crews at both UVA and GMU. OBC Board Member beginning in 1986, Vice President in 1988, President 1989-2000, HOTO Chairman 1990-2000. Resigned the as Prez in 2001 to join the cavalry as a Civil War reenactor (Black Horse Troop). Still rowing (with Marena and Bill Weinberg), still riding (on Jack and Luna). Rejoined the Board in 2017. Somewhere in there I fit in the U.S. Navy (destroyer officer), a career at Lockheed Martin, and 10 years as a 911 Dispatcher for Fairfax County. My son Alan works at Google in Palo Alto CA; daughter Ashley is a ceramic artist in Clifton. What a ride!

 

The Board’s term runs from April 1 to March 31. Board meetings are held once a month and are open to all dues-paying members of OBC.

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