President’s Log

Propeller Club 2013-2014 President Jim Gillen

Jim Gillen, President of the Propeller Club of the United States – Port of Jacksonville 2013-2014

Time flies when you’re having fun, so these past few months have been a blur since our change of command function.

The club is financially strong, and will be completing payments this month for our Student scholarship commitments as well as starting a new commitment to fully fund a scholarship in perpetuity.

We kicked off the season with our Sun’s game event, it was a blast as well as a victory, and the fireworks display was awesome. There were plenty of Burgers and dogs, popcorn, sodas, a few adult beverages, as well as lots of raffle prizes to go around. Unfortunately, no one won a car, maybe next year!!!

We followed that up with our Member/Guest Social at the Pilot Station, a beautiful night of great food catered by the Fish Company, plenty to drink, lots of camaraderie, and a chance to say thank you to over 20 of our past presidents.

Finally, we held what has become our signature event of the year, our third annual Pirate Party fundraiser for the Safe Harbor Boy’s home and Maritime Academy. A more beautiful night would not have been possible, great weather, perfect venue (Pilot Station of course), and 150 friends joining together for a great cause. The band, Mr. Natural, never disappoints.

As always, many thanks to Tammy Emerson, who chaired the event committee, Margaret Reasoner who championed the raffle and her band of pirates that ran the bar, Patty Harris who championed donations and drink ticket sales, and all who spent countless hours in preparation to insure everyone had a great time. We would also like to thank the Tarot card reader, raffle organizers, and of course our chef extraordinaire Reed Emerson, who’s BBQ skills are par to none. Thanks to all the workers, organizers, donors for making this event a success and to Capt. Allan for doing some of the heavy lifting, you’re all the best. Please make sure you visit the Photos page on our site to view photos from the Pirate Party, taken by Jeff Price and Bill Coppedge.

We raised $7,000 for Safe Harbor in addition to a lot of donations, including supplies, food, sodas, juices, desserts, etc. They were very grateful.

I attended the International Club convention in Washington, DC in October, which unfortunately coincided with the government shutdown. While many of the speakers were no shows, the organizers did a good job of managing the meetings and it was quite informative. With over 208 active members, we are one of the largest clubs in the organization. The Jones Act continues to be attacked, most recently the MSP program, and we all need to keep the pressure on our legislators to protect it. You will soon be receiving the first of what we expect to be more regular newsletters from Headquarters, so you can see what you dues are doing in DC to protect our industry.

Our next two events are the CEO Dinner, with speaker Chris Dombalis of Trailerbridge, at the University Club on Nov. 14, followed by our annual Holiday Party at the Hyatt on Dec. 13.

Please come out and join us as the Holidays approach, so we can share some good times together, and celebrate a successful 2013.

Best Regards,
Jim Gillen