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Established 1914

SEPTEMBER - NOVEMBER 2020 IN REVIEW Published January 2021

ahee.com | 313.886.4600 | 20139 Mack Avenue, Grosse Pointe Woods

BOSTON | 617.266.1710

MARTHA’S VINEYARD | 508.939.9312



Katie Susko ksusko@gpyc.org

Advertising Director

Kim Towar kim@towar.com

Art Director

Stephanie Lortt stephanie@towar.com


Maureen Gleason Commodore Gary Gonzalez Past Commodore James L. Ramsey Carol Stephenson Katie Susko



Table of Contents


Publisher Towar Productions 19803 Mack Avenue Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236 313.882.0702 www.towar.com


Message from the Past Commodore Welcome Aboard

4-7 8-9

Meet the Commodore


Person of Interest


Labor Day BBQ


Duckhorn Wine Dinner


M1 Concourse Experience


Third Annual Pro Pickleball Showdown


Culinary Creations


Halloween Party


Annual Meeting


Member of the Year Yachtsman of the Year

42 43

Milliken Marina Rendezvous


Grog Shop


Looking Aft


Photographers Martin Chumiecki Thomas Kliber John F. Martin Photography, Inc.



Grosse Pointe Yacht Club Y

Established 1914

788 Lake Shore Road Grosse Pointe Shores, MI 48236 (313) 884-2500 FAX: (313) 884-7956 www.gpyc.org

The Grosse Pointer (USPS 576-940) is published four times a year under contract with the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club. Subscriptions are $75 per year to members. Periodical postage paid at Detroit, Michigan. Postmaster, send address changes to: The Grosse Pointer, 788 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Shores, MI 48236. Grosse Pointe Yacht Club Š2021—all rights reserved. This publication is the property of the GPYC, for member use only. No unauthorized use, sale or dissemination of information herein shall be made for commercial, personal or other purposes, without the written permission of the GPYC.


In 2020, the Club added red and green lights in the Tower for Christmas.

Cover Photo by Thomas Kliber


Our high water mitigation project sealed the seawall around the Clubhouse grounds protecting our historic building from the record high lake levels. We eliminated the flooding in the parking areas and the lower levels of the Clubhouse while we raised our docks and walkways to provide dry access to our Harbor. We installed sump systems to remove any rainwater that might fall inside the newly sealed seawall. All electrical service to the Harbor was raised well above waterline to ensure our safety and uninterrupted service to our slips. Just as important, we installed considerable underground infrastructure for future Harbor renovations. A small investment now that will save us a lot as we phase in the Harbor upgrades. Looking to the future of the Harbor, we increased the monthly set-aside from Capital Dues to the restricted Harbor fund.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to extend our shutdown, causing grave concerns for our Club staff. We wanted to insure we could keep our team together and provide for their wellbeing, so we secured a Payroll Protection Program loan allowing us to provide paychecks and benefits to s I sat down to write my final column our dedicated staff through the disruption. for the Grosse Pointer, I was struck by In recognition of the 10+ million dollars we have how much has happened over the past 12 months. Preparing for a year as Commodore of the invested in the club over the past 8 years, we raised the initiation fees for all classes of membership. The Grosse Pointe Yacht Club brings with it feelings of new structure more accurately reflects the value of excitement and anticipation. You begin the year with certain plans and expectations; but life throws your membership and builds our capital accounts to ensure the future needs of our aging Clubhouse us some curveballs occasionally. To think that we had never heard of a virus called COVID-19 twelve and grounds can be funded. months ago, that we had a lovely Commodore’s Ball, Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we began a normal Christmas with our extended families and a very dedicated strategic planning initiative never worried about masks or distancing all seems called Vision 2026. This is a long-term plan like a hazy memory. Still, this year flew by like they that transcends individual Board members or Commodores, and is critical if we are to drive do as we grow older. And amid all the turmoil, we GPYC into a bright future. Vision 2026 builds accomplished some things that helped move our that roadmap. Past Commodore and Director Jim Club forward.

Morrow helped drive long term strategic planning into each Board meeting. That commitment has now been handed off to the new Board and you can expect to hear more about the Vision in 2021. As I look back, I want to thank all the members for their support over this past year. To all those who served on committees, and especially the chairpersons, I give a heartfelt thank you! I have received many notes of support and some condolences during the year as we fought through COVID, but a Commodore is only as good as his Board and I was supported by the best Board I could ask for. Thanks to all of them. Likewise, I want to thank Aaron and the entire GPYC staff who stepped up in the face of adversity and helped make some lemonade out of lemons. It was an interesting year, and I am honored to have been a part of it.

Gary Gonzalez



2020 Commodore Gary Gonzalez at 2020’s Memorial Day celebration

A MESSAGE FROM THE PAST COMMODORE L-R: Rear Commodore Jason Grobbel, Melissa Bodmer, 2020 Commodore Gary Gonzalez, Christine Gonzalez, Vice Commodore Gary Marowske, and Kathy Marowske at the 2020 Fleet Review

2020 Commodore Gary Gonzalez and wife Christine Gonzalez

Memorial Day Celebration

L-R: 2020 Commodre Gary Gonzalez, Robert Weiland, Sean Schotthoefer

L-R: Rear Commodore Jason Grobbel, 2020 Commodore Gary Gonzalez, Vice Commodore Gary Marowske 2020 Commodore Gary Gonzalez and wife Christine at the Commodore’s Ball

2020 Commodore Gary Gonzalez and his family at the Commodore’s Ball



2020 Commodore Gary Gonzalez and wife Christine at Santa’s visit to the GPYC

The Gonzalez family


L-R: Melissa Bodmer, Rear Commodore Jason Grobbel, Christine Gonzalez, 2020 Commodore Gary Gonzalez, Kathy Marowske and Vice Commodore Gary Marowske at the Commodore’s Ball

Great Music • Great Food • Great Entertainment

It’s not just a night out, It’s an Experience! The Dirty Dog is following state guidelines and limiting capacity to 50% for the safety of guests & employees.

Kindly call ahead for reservations.


97 Kercheval • Grosse Pointe Farms DirtyDogJazz.com

Welcome Aboard 10


September - November

Keith Abdenour

Ramy Kurdi

Michael Abdenour Jr.

Brandon Batarse (with Maria Koufaeil)

Jack and Joyce Rubino

R. Thomas Vigliotti Jr.


Keeper of the Flame Meet the Commodore: Gary Marowske By Past Commodore James L. Ramsey

Gary Marowske, owner and president of Flame Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical, brings entrepreneurial savvy and a variety of Board experience to the helm as our 88th commodore. He was first elected to the GPYC Board in 1992, served six years, took a break, then was renamed a Director in 2015. He also served on the Boards of the Detroit Athletic Club and the Old Club, and for nine years chaired the Michigan State Waterways Commission. He has most recently served as Advisory Board Chairman of the Michigan Salvation Army. Early in life Gary was an Eagle Scout and last year was named National Eagle Scout of the Year for his support of the organization. The presence of COVID-19, government-imposed shutdowns, high lake levels and necessary capital projects promise to make his year a continuing challenge. But Gary is no stranger to adversity; he has seen difficult times before and dealt with them. Here is the way our new Commodore looks at our club.


2021 Commodore Gary Marowske with wife Kathy Marowske

The Commodore’s boat, Flamebuoyant (pictured third from the right) in MacGregor Bay in the Canadrian North Channel

MEET THE COMMODORE Q. Things are pretty quiet at the Club right now because of the pandemic and the shutdown order. What is going on behind the scenes that we should know about? Is the board still meeting, and how? What are you working on? A. The board is continuing to meet every month by Zoom; so are our key committees. We’ve set three mantras for the year: 1.) professional service at all levels; 2.) a professional appearance – not just our building and furniture and carpeting, but also our staff; and 3.) capital responsibility with the projects we have ahead of us. We’re not taking on anything unless we have the cash. We are not borrowing money, period. I’m sure you noticed when you drove in this morning that there’s a giant crane in front of the building. It’s there to replace the exhaust fans that bring air into the building. Those fans haven’t been working for the last seven to eight years, and it has caused problems in the clubhouse because the air has been forced to come through the windows. The result is we have a $300,000 to $400,000 window replacement bill staring us in the face. We don’t have the funding for that yet, but with the generosity of our members we’ll hopefully get it handled. We are also working on the Spinnaker and Foyer renovation. If you’ve seen the drawings on display, the plan is spectacular. It was done by member Patrick Ahearn, and we have seven contractors bidding on the project. I hope by our January meeting the board will be able to award the contract. The cost will be handled by donations. We have already raised $458,000 for it [as of December 2020], but I suspect the final number will be $800,000 to a million. We are still looking for more donations, but if we don’t get there, we’ll do just the Spinnaker or the Foyer.

Q. What about the Harbor? A. Graham Korneffel is heading a new Strategic Harbor Committee this year, and they will be reporting in with a recommendation for completing the remainder of the renovation. My guess is we will divvy it up into three to five manageable bites and finish it from there. As for the funding, I’m happy to say that capital dues that used to go into the General Fund are now being directed to the Harbor. We’re also taking a few cents from every gallon of fuel we sell and putting it directly into the Harbor Fund. Right now, it’s at about $200,000. Q. You’ve been in office about a month now (at the time of this December interview). Has anything surprised you so far? A. After reclaiming a business that lost five million dollars the year before I bought it back, nothing surprises me. Seriously, we were supposed to have a Commodore’s Ball last weekend but couldn’t because of the governor’s restrictions, so we had Vice Commodore Grobbel and Rear Commodore Fish and their wives over for dinner at our home. We ordered carryout from the Club. Q. You are known at the Club for your fundraising efforts. Will you continue to put the arm on us as commodore? A. (Laughs) I don’t put the arm on anyone; I ask once, and if the answer is no, we don’t ask again. But it is a gift to the Club, and I am proud of the fact that we’ve raised over $3.5 million since we started doing this several years ago. It’s allowed us to do a number of things, big projects, that we couldn’t have done without it.

in mind are in sync with what the members are thinking. One of the more immediate projects is a new year-round pizza stand in the Fo’c’sle that has run into all sorts of technical issues. Hopefully it will be ready by spring. Q. Gary, you’ve served on the board twice, more than ten years apart. What brought you back a second time. A. I looked at the Club and the board a few years back and decided they could use my help. As the owner of a company, I value fiscal discipline. With nearly 100 employees, I know the importance of making payroll. Q. What was it like then, in the 1990s, compared to now? A. Well, as you know, we had a lot more money then. And a thousand members. Everything in the world changes, and the Club is different now. At the board level now, we just try to talk about boardlevel things. Strategic planning is very important, to the point where board members make a signed commitment to the plan. Every year, the board does a two-day offsite [meeting] devoted mostly to strategic planning. We’re looking out five to seven years – financials, goals, where we need to be. And with some of the rock stars we now have on staff – Aaron Wagner, Jim DeMasse, Chef Colby, Tony Pry – I’m confident in the future.

Q. When and why did you first visit the Club? A. I can tell you exactly. I was a junior in high school. We lived in Harper Woods. I was running cross-country at Grosse Pointe North. We practiced at the “Shores Hill.” I always loved boats, but I had Right now, we’re conducting a series of focus never been inside the Club before. Someone said groups to see if the down-the-road projects we have “Let’s go,” so we snuck in through the Shores Park.



Keeper of the Flame


North Channel in your boat, Flamebuoyant. Do you have a favorite destination? A. I love McGregor Bay. It’s the most beautiful place – so quiet. There aren’t other boaters there. The place was uncharted until 2003 or 2004, and if Q. As a business owner, what professional you want to get in, you have to start at the entrance skills do you bring to the table? We know your in the morning and go in through the afternoon company, Flame Furnace, a family business, was when the sun is at your back so you can see below sold. Then you bought it back from the owners the water. It takes some doing, maybe two to three and made it work again. Does any of that impact hours, but it’s worth it. There’s a great restaurant the way you govern the Club? How would you there -- the Flat Rock Inn. I’ve led some of our describe your style of management? members in their big boats in – one time with my A. I don’t really run the Yacht Club. It’s really Aaron son Troy steering the boat and me out on the bow (Wagner) who runs the Club. I’m kind of like the looking for rocks. If you can get into McGregor Bay, Crown Prince: I really don’t have a lot of power, you and out of it, without trouble, you’re what I call a know. I’m just the face of things. I don’t get down Level-Five boater. in the weeds because I think that’s the General Manager’s job. My talent, if anything, is dealing Q. How many “Up Norths” with people and knowing how to get along with would you guess you’ve them. I do try to bring my business experience in done? where it’s needed and make sure the right people A. We’ve been under the are put in the right slot. Bluewater Bridge 37 of the past 38 years. Q. Tell us a little about you personally. What do you like to do when you’re not being Q. How would you like Commodore? to be remembered as A. Actually, boating and working. And you know Commodore? my family: we have three grandsons now. I love A. Maybe not remembered at my family, I love my business, I love my church. all. That I just did my job the And we do have a place in the Florida Keys, at best I could and left the place Islamorada, so I fish. I have two buddies down there a little better than I found – Past Com. Ty Totte and Dr. Larry Lloyd – and we it. By that I mean improved co-own a boat named Three Stooges – for obvious member equity, member reasons. Sometimes we really look like Larry, Moe satisfaction, and achieving a and Curly. higher level of service. Q. We know you’re very active in cruising the Q. Wrapping up, what have Someone came up to us and yelled “You don’t belong here!” That was my first experience at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club: getting thrown out.


we not touched on here that you would like to talk about? A. Just the fact that it takes a lot of money to keep this old club running. It seems like there’s always something that needs fixing or replacing. Which is why the continued generosity of our members is so crucial. Right now, we have three big projects staring us in the face: a new transformer that will be relocated outside the building so the high water can’t get to it; a generator that will let us keep the Club open during power outages; and a new Moat Bridge to replace the old one. All these things come in hundred-thousand-dollar increments. The help of our members who contribute to the Foundation is needed and deeply appreciated. Anyway, I think that’s it.


Person of Interest

A closer look at the life of our 2020 Employee of the Year: Executive Chef Colby Newman By Katie Susko

L-R: Lauren Newman, Hudson Newman and Executive Chef Colby Newman at home after winning the 2020 Employee of the Year award


GPYC FEATURE by Katie Susko


ome folks are destined for a certain career path at a young age. Others don’t find out what they love to do until late in life. And then there are some who experience life-altering circumstances that unveil what they truly want to spend their life doing. The latter applies to our Executive Colby Colby Newman. Growing up in Springfield, Missouri, Colby enjoyed a childhood near the water, not unlike where he ended up in Michigan. Colby played basketball for many years and intended on using that passion to become a basketball coach and geography teacher. He was awarded a basketball scholarship at Missouri Valley College, a private liberal arts school in Marshall, Missouri. His path was on track until a final knee injury forced him to leave his scholarship and send him back home to a local university. During that time, another life altering event occurred that shifted Colby’s perspective on his plans. “My roommate and friend had gotten sick very fast and made me realize that life was too short to not do something you love,” Colby remembers. “My friend later had to move to the Mayo Clinic in Houston, Texas. I remember making a call to my Dad that day. He could tell I was upset and looking for some guidance.” Colby describes that he was not terrible at school, but it was definitely something he did not enjoy, making his plans on becoming a teacher less and less appealing. “My dad asked me what I truly wanted to do, and I said cook,” said Colby, who had worked at a small Italian restaurant, Bambino’s, during high school and college, and found that cooking came naturally to him. “Cooking always left me wanting


to learn more. We weighed our options on culinary schools. My dad encouraged me to do what I love and gave me the support to do so.”

Kansas City Ballet School. They met through mutual friends and later moved to Amarillo, Texas, where they were married in the botanical gardens.

That strong support, combined with watching how quickly his close friend’s life was altered, inspired Colby and his father to start touring culinary schools a short two weeks later. He decided on Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale Arizona, which gave him the strong foundation he needed to kickstart his dreams.

Amarillo was also where Colby opened his first restaurant, the Happy Plum, with his father who had supported his dreams for so long. This past December, GPYC members had the chance to try Colby’s famous cashew chicken recipe from this restaurant (and boy, was it popular)! Owning a restaurant with family was an “incredible experience” for Colby, but he still desired to learn more about cooking. He moved on to the Amarillo Country Club, where he discovered that the private club environment was the perfect place for him to work.

At the beginning of his career after culinary school, Colby worked in a few restaurants that made him “grow up fast” in the industry. First up was Lidia’s Restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri, a flagship restaurant for Italian Chef Lidia Bastianich. “Lidia’s had the hustle and bustle of a New York City restaurant, so I put my head down and learned as much as I could.”

But Texas wasn’t the end of the line for Colby and Lauren, who by 2017 were expecting their first child when a recruiter called and told him to meet them in Grosse Pointe, Michigan at the GPYC the following weekend. He was sold on the Club almost Through local industry hangouts, he met his future immediately. A seven months-pregnant Lauren flew mentor, Chef John, who convinced him to leave to Michigan a few weeks later to look at houses. Lidia’s and join the team at his new restaurant, Within 30 days, Lauren sold their Texas home, Starker’s, on the Kansas City Plaza. This was a more bought a new house in Michigan, and packed and intimate setting – only 10-15 tables – for Colby to organized their whole move. “As a club Chef wife, she learn the art of experimentation and sourcing local has quickly adapted and always been understanding food. “Chef John had the vision, passion and drive to of my schedule over the years,” said Colby. take the restaurant to an incredible level. His mindset was everything I wanted in a mentor,” Colby said. Leaving their home in Texas and moving to a state “He taught me that with proper technique, food is that neither Colby nor Lauren knew anything about just a canvas. There are no rules!” Although Chef wasn’t easy, but the couple had been wanting to get John has now passed, to this day, Colby credits Chef back towards the Eastern or Midwest United States, John for teaching him the most in the kitchen. with Lauren being from Boston and Colby from Missouri. “Moving to Michigan was the best decision Colby’s time in Kansas City also lead him to meeting for our family,” he asserted. But so far, the family has his wife, Lauren, who danced and taught at the found so many things to love about the state. “The


Chef’s favorite off-duty activity: ice fishing

changing seasons, the Grosse Pointe community, the variety of college and professional sports, and all the family-friendly activities in the area are some of my favorites. Plus, working right on the water is a nice bonus” he said. “We haven’t had the chance to explore much of Michigan, but I know we won’t be disappointed when we do.” Since being at the GPYC, Colby has found himself living out his dreams by building the culinary program he’s always wanted. “The members and employees of the GPYC have really entrusted me with the culinary experience, and I wouldn’t be able to do it without the hard work and dedication from the staff. We are building something unbelievable to

continue the legacy of the GPYC.”

“One day, I would love to own a BBQ smoke house, a coffee house where I would roast my own beans, or And since moving to Michigan, his and Lauren’s son, maybe even a tortilleria,” he said. Hudson, was born. At three years old, he’s a sweet and funny kid with an endless amount of energy, When he’s not at the club, Colby enjoys spending according to his dad. Together, the two enjoy playing time with his family, listening to records, smoking Colby’s old pastime, basketball, reading books, and meats and reading. And occasionally, you can still pretending to be superheroes. Plus, he is obviously find him in a Missouri state of mind – on the lake teaching Hudson the beginnings of cooking. With with a fishing pole in hand. the addition of a step stool next to the kitchen counter, Hudson has been honing his wooden knife skills. Although he’s found his dream job, that doesn’t mean Colby has stopped dreaming of side projects.




Labor Day BBQ

John Moore at the carving station


MEMBER SCENE The Crandall family

Labor Day BBQ

L-R: Luke Ciaramitaro, Rene Ciaramitaro, Dominic Neumann


Dale and Nancy Hohlfeldt

L-R: Bruce Knapp, Rear Commodore Jason Grobbel, Melissa Bodmer, Andy Mac Lachlan, Christine Knapp


Parker Crandall

Saylor Frase

Michelle and Nathan Crandall

Joe and Susan Schmitt





nyone who appreciates fine wine is sure to be familiar with the Duckhorn label. This Napa Valley winery has been producing exceptional wines since their first 800 cases hit the market back in 1978. On a lovely September evening, a group of GPYC members gathered under the stars to sample five of their finest present-day vintages, highlighted by a spectacular Chef Colby dinner. How was that accomplished in this era of COVID shutdowns and restrictions on indoor dining? With a large outdoor tent, limited seating and a huge amount of good luck that the weather turned out to be warm and clear.

Representing Duckhorn was Monica Wilde, who began by giving the sellout crowd a brief description of the wines she had brought for the evening, including the Decoy Sparkling Brut Cuvee diners were enjoying with Chef ’s Amuse Bouche. A Duckhorn Chardonnay complemented the salad course of Golden Frisee with Duck Confit, Goat Cheese, Slivered Almonds and Lavender Peach Vinaigrette. A Goldeneye Pinot Noir from the Anderson Valley was chosen to accompany Chef ’s Pistachio Crusted Venison. With the main course of Coffee Rubbed Lamb Rack with Black Currant Glaze, Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, Fontina

Polenta and a Roasted Lamb Reduction came a special treat. Two different wines had been selected – a Duckhorn Merlot and a Duckhorn Cabernet Sauvignon, both from Napa Valley – and diners were encouraged to do their own taste testing and share their preferences with the group. As GPYC members have come to expect, Chef Colby and his talented staff successfully met the evening’s challenge: providing a truly memorable dinner for the event’s lucky participants. Thanks are also in order to Monica Wilde for bringing Duckhorn to the party and making this delightful “respite in a world gone mad” possible! Cathy Champion and Maureen Gleason



Matt and Julie Schuetze

Duckhorn representative Monica Wilde

Carol Stephenson and Gillian Best

L-R: Tricia Groustra, Tim Groustra, Tom Stephenson II, Dr. Donn Schroder, and Dave Gillis



M1 Concourse By Katie Susko


ome may know that longtime GPYC member Saylor Frase is also an instructor at M1 Concourse, a 1.5 mile, state-of-the-art road course. Frase, in conversation with General Manager Aaron Wagner, thought GPYC members might enjoy a motorsports event. “Since M1 is completely private and access is “members only”, we thought that providing GPYC members an exclusive event at M1 Concourse would be of value,” said Frase. M1 Concourse is an auto enthusiast’s paradise, and includes the world’s largest community of private garages and a private motorsports club. Members can keep, show and drive their racing vehicles among a group with their same interests in mind. The course was professionally designed with challenging turns and elevation changes, offering GPYC members a real car-racing experience. The schedule for the day started with a reception, then a presentation by Frase on performance driving and the track operations. Next up were the lead follow sessions, where members were lead around the track by Frase and other instructors, helping them to learn the lines of the course and warm up the cars. Once everyone was comfortable behind the wheel, the rest of the afternoon was full of high-speed open lapping on the course. The day ended with a cocktail reception and food. All of the members that attended are eagerly awaiting another day at the race course. Saylor Frase




MEMBER SCENE Greg Gallagher

Jim Athens

Saylor Frase gives a driving presentation



Rear Commodore Jason Grobbel

General Manager Aaron Wagner




Third Annual Pro Pickleball Showdown


The Showdown Continues… Pickleball Showdown: Labor Day 2020 By: Katie Susko Paddletek is the official GPYC pickleball paddle and is a proud sponsor of the Annual Pickleball Showdown.

Pickleball pro Kyle Worthy

This event marked the third year of the Pickleball Showdown. GPYC Racquet Sports Director Dmitri Diakonov and GPYC General Manager Aaron Wagner were accompanied on court by visiting Pickleball pros Nick Hernandez and Kyle Worthy. Pickleball is currently the fastest growing sport in America. Our membership is no exception to this phenomenon as we have seen a dramatic spike in usage on the four championship courts that were installed in 2016 thanks to the many generous donors of the Founders Club. If you are not familiar with the game of pickleball, here is a brief introduction. The sport combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis and while there is a very low barrier to entry, it is an extremely difficult sport to master. Most people who hear about the sport get very confused with the name; and according to the United States Pickleball Association, the explanation is just as confusing! There are two differing opinions about how the name came about. According to founder Joel Pritchard’s wife (Joan), she started calling the game pickleball because, “the combination of different sports reminded me of the pickle boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from leftovers of other boats.” The second theory states that the game was officially named after the Pritchard’s dog Pickles, who would chase the ball and run off with it. No matter how the name came about, the game is addicting and is an extremely healthy way to exercise and socialize with friends and family both indoor and outdoor!

The GPYC’s Pickleball Showdown originated in 2018 when a few GPYC members attended a pickleball tournament in Lansing, Michigan. When they realized they were watching their General Manager compete in the Open Level Singles Championship, they decided the Club needed to leverage this and create some sort of awareness for the benefit of the pickleball area at the Club. Wagner was thrilled to hear this and immediately reached out to Racquet Sports Director Dmitri Diakonov to start planning the first event. Diakonov is also a very high-level player and was eager to promote the Racquet Sports Area at the Club, so it was a perfect match (pun intended). Wagner and Diakonov also happen to be longtime rivals that date back to their tennis days. According to Wagner, “there is nobody in the world I enjoy competing against more than Dmitri. We go head-to-head whether it is tennis, pickleball, table tennis, or paddle tennis and while we share a deep friendship, it gets ugly out there on the court sometimes. I wouldn’t have it any other way!” Each year the two are paired up with a visiting pro pickleball player and they play out a series of matches. This year the field was as good as it gets. The Club was pleased to welcome visiting pickleball pro Kyle Worthy from Brighton, Michigan. Kyle was the youngest of the competitors, but by far the most accomplished as far as tournament results go. Worthy plays at the highest level of pickleball in the Men’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, and Mixed Doubles divisions. He has won many gold medals over the past five years in all three divisions and



Pickleball Showdown:


travels to as many tournaments as his schedule allows. He and Wagner have been both partners and foes on court in tournaments including once in a Men’s Singles Gold Medal Match. The other visiting pickleball pro was Nick Hernandez of Royal Oak, Michigan. Hernandez has also earned several gold and silver medals in top level competition. After a hard-fought series of matches, Wagner extended his undefeated streak to three years! The points were intense and even included several trick shots by the competitors to the crowd’s amusement. Diakonov is eager to seek revenge in 2021 and continue to build the event’s popularity. Both Wagner and Diakonov wanted to send special thanks to GPYC Member Dale Hohlfeldt for being the official event referee. Dale was one of the main reasons the sport has grown so popular on the east side. He has lobbied the local governments to add pickleball courts in the parks and was instrumental in bringing pickleball to the Club. Dale and his wife Nancy play several times a week and their son Jeff is also one of the finest players in the area. Rumor has it, Wagner is hoping to recruit Jeff for the 2021 event.    

Keep an eye out for the 2021 event announcement and save the date. For event sponsorship information, please contact General Manager Aaron Wagner at awagner@gpyc.org.


Tennis Director Dmitri Diakonov

GPYC Members Anthony and Kristy Schena were rooting for their favorite Tennis Director Dmitri from one of the VIP on-court cocktail tables.

MEMBER SCENE Hon. Matthew and Kathleen Rumora

Pickleball Showdown competitors; L-R: Tennis Director Dmitri Diakonov, Nick Hernandez, General Manager Aaron Wagner, Kyle Worthy

General Manager Aaron Wagner



GPYC’s Culinary Creations 32


Kid’s Confection Connection: Snowman Cupcake Kit

Curbside Carryout Specialty: Prime Rib


OVID-19 brought its challenges to restaurants and clubs everywhere, and the GPYC was no exception. With a combination of health department restrictions and families staying home to stay safe, the GPYC culinary team had to get creative so that our members could enjoy our amazing food at home.

vegan chili, New England clam chowder, chicken and mushroom wild rice soup and more. Chef Colby and his team made dinner time a breeze with our Curbside Carryout Service. Taking place Wednesday through Sunday, members could order from the a la carte menu, which included club favorites and special family-sized meals, or choose one of the culinary team’s daily specials. From chicken parmesan to a Saturday night prime rib, the daily specials were quite the hit. But the most popular special by far was the cashew chicken, made with a secret recipe from Chef Colby’s former restaurant back in Amarillo, Texas.

Our Pizza Kits were a hit for the whole family, allowing members to create classic pizzas, monkey bread, pizza rolls or garlic knots! Members posted their delicious creations in the members-only Facebook group. Kid’s Confection Connection Kits also brought families together in the kitchen to create sweet winter-inspired treats! Kids loved the snowman, campfire and Christmas-tree cupcake kits. “Springfield, Missouri, where I grew up, is known for cashew chicken. It was my go-to meal after school Our weekly soup subscriptions kept members warm and basketball practices,” Chef said. “My father and all fall and winter long. Ranging in flavors from I opened our own cashew chicken restaurant, The classic to unique, soup subscriptions came with 1 Happy Plum, to bring fast and fresh Asian takeaway quart of soup for each day of the week, four mini to Texas. I was excited to share this recipe for the first baguettes, crackers and heating instructions. The time with members at the GPYC.” culinary team whipped up dill pickle soup, classic chicken noodle, tomato basil mozzarella, Impossible By Katie Susko



GPYC’s Culinary Creations

Alexander and A.C. Stahl show off their pizza kit creation

Weekly soup subscription


Michael Jozefiak V with his chef’s hat


Andrew, Julia and Kathryn Schaden making pizza

Michael Jozefiak V with a Kid’s Confection Connection kit



Spooktacular Halloween Party Halloween looked a little different this year for everybody, including the GPYC. This year’s Spooktacular Halloween Party was a spooky good time down the all-new Haunted Drive. The fun afternoon included Halloween treat stations, pumpkin decorating & crafts, fire pits with marshmallows to roast, a scavenger hunt and more. The sunny Sunday saw kids and their parents dressed up, sometimes in coordinating costumes!

Halloween Party 36


Clifford and Kelly Houseman with their kids



Matt and Henry O’Laughlin, Jillian Schmuhl



Anna Groustra

Sean Schotthoefer

Wally and Carol Cross


Annual Meeting 12, but some members opted to virtually attend instead.

2021 Commodore Gary Marowske

The 2020 Annual Meeting Was a Celebratory Night Despite the Pandemic By: Susan Hughes


he Annual Meeting is open to all members and is a great way to be better informed about Club initiatives and the state of the Club. Like the rest of 2020, this traditional event looked a little different this year. The event was still held in the Ballroom on the evening of November


Commodore Gonzalez’ message addressed the challenges the Club faced this year. “We navigated through uncharted waters this past year,” he said. “While much of our world changed, the Club walked a very narrow line, and we were able to keep the membership engaged by providing new, high-quality services along with most of the amenities we love.” Gonzalez recognized the staff, Past Commodores, Committee Chairs and the membership at large for their support through such an unprecedented time. A special thanks was given to the 2020 Board of Directors. “I was challenged by their critical thinking; I was supported by their tremendous talents and I was honored to work with them,” he said. Lastly, Gonzalez thanked his wife and family for their support. Part of the meeting agenda is to recognize members who passed away over the past year: Bettejean Ahee, Elizabeth A. Eger, Joseph F. Jeannette, Dan V. Kachadourian, Arthur Linzell, Manuel J. Moroun, Roland J. Rinke, Jacquelyn R. Stieler, and John H. Williams M.D. Members were recognized for reaching honorary membership classifications

over the past year. Active Seniors were Patrick S. Connelly, Allan D. Hart, John E. Metropoulos, Salvatore V. Militello, Past Commodore Mary Treder Lang, Michael A. Tusa and Past Commodore William C. Vogel. Active Senior 50’s are Clark V. Stevens and Past Commodore Ronald A. Schaupeter. Senior Socials are Patrick A. Moran, William M. Packer III and Frances Tyler. Life members are Eugenia Di Sante, Peggy Touscany and Eugene J. Vyletel. Past Commodore Gonzalez recognized Past Commodore Jim Morrow for being a driving force on the Board for the past four years. Morrow is retiring from the Board of Directors and was complimented for his focus on making the Club better for future generations. His passion for the Junior Sailing Program, his vision and planning of the Marine Activity Center and involvement in the Boat Sharing Program set him apart for his dedication to the GPYC. Congratulations were in order for William Turner who was awarded Yachtsman of the Year. David Schaden and his son Thomas were awarded Members of the Year. See page 42-43 to learn more about the honorees. In closing, Amy Krueger Malow and Joseph Backer Jr. were appointed as new directors to the GPYC Board of Directors.


Secretary Robert Weiland

Joseph Backer Jr

Past Commodore Ted Smith

Past Commodore Gary Gonzalez with 2020 Employee of the Year: Executive Chef Colby Newman



Wayne Wegner and Michael Meda

L-R: 2021 Commodore Gary Marowske, Past Commodore Ronald Schaupeter, Vice Commodore Jason Grobbel


L-R: 2021 Commodore Gary Marowske, Frances Tyler, Vice Commodore Jason Grobbel

Annual Meeting




2020 Member of the Year

Adapted from speech by Secretary Robert Weiland


he Distinguished Member of the Year award was established in 1990 by the GPYC officers and Board of Directors in order to recognize a members outstanding and meritorious service to the club. In 2020, it was given to two members, David Schaden and Thomas Schaden, for their remarkable efforts in rescuing a fellow member.

The Schaden’s boarded the ski boat to try to figure out how to safely get Geoff out of the water. Geoff was exhausted, cold and in a great deal of pain. The Schaden’s ended up standing on the swim platform to submerge it enough to lift Geoff out of the water and into the boat. The process was repeated to get Tischbein from the ski boat into his own boat.

Then, the family headed back to the Club where an ambulance was coordinated. Tischbein required immediate surgery that day. Congratulations to the 2020 Members of the Year David and Thomas Schaden!

In July of 2020, the Schaden’s were asleep on their boat and were woken up by their phones buzzing from texts. They were alerted that a family friend and fellow GPYC member, Geoff Tischbein, was injured out on the water. David scurried to get dressed and woke up his son, Thomas. They immediately spotted the Tischbein’s ski boat in the distance, which was taking advantage of the calm water to bare foot ski in Muskamoot Bay. The Schaden’s grabbed a center console to head out to help. Upon arrival they could see Tischbein floating by the back of the ski boat with his wife Patti on the platform holding onto him. They learned he had been in the water for 45 minutes. Patti had kept him calm but could not get Geoff out of the water. Geoff, an avid bare foot skier, had been skiing backwards and had fallen hard at a very fast speed. He had injured his shoulder, but no one knew how badly. Any movement to help him out of the water was obviously causing him a tremendous amount of pain. 


L-R: Secretary Robert Weiland, David Schaden, Thomas Schaden, 2021 Commodore Gary Marowske


2020 Yachtsman of the Year Adapted from speech by William Dillon


or 2020, the award for Yachtsmen of the Year was given to William Turner, a member who has worked tirelessly to improve the Junior Sailing Program and help propel the entire GPYC Sailing program to the premier program in the Midwest. Turner has been the Sailing Chair from 2018-2020, and will be chair again in 2021. In 2020 alone, the program’s attendance grew from 70 to 180 kids and teens under his leadership. Turner has promoted and supported two USODA Opi Regattas as well as the integration for high school sailing programs. He also worked closely with Wally and the GPYC Sailing staff to bring top instructors to the Club, which attracted even more young sailors to our club.

L-R: 2021 Commodore Gary Marowske, William Turner, William Dillon

Turner recently added a 47 Jeanneau sailboat to his family to travel the Great Lakes. Congratulations to Yachtsman of the Year William Turner!


27602 Harper Avenue • St. Clair Shores, MI 48081 1 block South of 11 Mile www.greatlakesbattery.com




Milliken Rendezvous By Maureen Gleason


he always popular end of summer rendezvous was enjoyed by both boaters and non-boaters alike on a beautiful, sunny fall weekend! The gathering took place at Milliken Marina in downtown Detroit from September 1820. About 18 members arrived by boat, and more came by car, on Friday evening to enjoy a dockside cocktail and potluck party and camaraderie with fellow members and friends. Detroit was explored in various ways on Saturday. Some went biking and walking through Eastern Market, others went on a pedal pub bar crawl of Midtown, and some ended up relaxing on their boats in the sun. The Saturday dinner was catered by Slows Bar BQ and a twoman duet provided live music. The GPYC’s own Bartender Mike & Joe Hooge greeted both boaters and cyclists who rode from the Club with the Mike’s Signature Bloody Mary Bar on Sunday morning.



L-R: Bernard Cornillie, Food & Beverage Director Joe Hooge, Irene Cornillie, Bartender Mike



Grog Shop Winter Products


ue to COVID-19, the Grog Shop adapted to make shopping easier, safer and convenient in our online store. We also started offering many Grab N’ Go options to choose from for lunch and dinner, since indoor dining at the Club was restricted. Some of the member’s favorite options are the turkey club wrap, chicken caesar salad, and the yogurt granola parfait. The Grog Shop is fully stocked with winter attire, including the classic GPYC sweatshirt, one of our best sellers. You can make an appointment to shop in person by contacting Grog Shop Manager Jennifer Benoit at jbenoit@ gpyc.org, or shop in our online store at grogshop.gpyc.org





Surprising people, places and events from our past.

A pier without peer


t was long and narrow, made of wood and stretched over a thousand feet into Lake St. Clair. It was a dock, yes; but more than that, it was a structure that helped inspire the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club. The Grosse Pointe Shores Municipal Pier was the brainchild of Shores Mayor George Osius, who had presided over the village since it was founded four years earlier, in 1911. (See LOOKING AFT in the June-August 2020 issue of the Grosse Pointer.) As first mayor of the new municipality, Osius aspired to make his tiny community more than a collection of ribbon farms and summer homes. To do that, he needed to attract new kinds of residents -- everyday homeowners who would settle the area in numbers, pay taxes, make Grosse Pointe Shores prosperous and develop it into a pleasant bedroom community to the industrialized city of Detroit. A suburb, of sorts, before anyone knew what the word meant. The enterprising mayor recognized

that Grosse Pointe Shores needed some kind of distinguishing feature, an attraction that would make out-of-towners want to stop there and look around. But how to do that in 1915? Grosse Pointe Shores was an unknown entity. There was no radio or television then to promote the place, and about the only way to reach it was by trolley or horse and buggy. The answer, Osius hoped, was the water – in the form of passenger ships like Tashmoo, Greyhound and Frank E. Kirby that carried hundreds of Detroiters on weekend excursions onto the lake and up the St. Clair River. If a dock could be constructed far out into the lake where the water was deep enough for the steamers to stop and tie up, passengers would invariably wander ashore and discover Grosse Pointe Shores. The pier would also give Shores residents access to the lake. Mayor Osius sold his plan to the Shores Village Council and the pier was built. Over time, it stretched a quarter mile into the lake and was the Shores’ most striking manmade feature.

History is far from the minds of those who walk the route today, but the remnants of our past are there. It is recorded that when workers were building the seawall of the Harbor more than ninety years ago, they encountered a “dolphin” (a bundle of pilings cabled together to form one really big piling) that served to anchor the east end of the municipal pier. Those pilings were so firmly rooted in the lakebed, the builders elected to run the steel seawall around the obstacle, rather than remove it. The “bulge” in the East Wall caused by the tenacious Shores Pier is visible today. It’s a silent but enduring reminder of the pier that shaped our history.

The idea of the pier as a real estate marketing tool was far-fetched, and there is little evidence that many steamers actually stopped there. But the dock did attract the attention of boaters who were members of the newly formed Grosse Pointe Yacht Club. The club had no presence on the lake back then; but by renting space along the pier, GPYC boaters had a year-round place where they could tie up their craft and congregate. The location of the pier coincided with an older, smaller dock at Vernier’s Roadhouse. (See LOOKING AFT in the Jan. 2020 issue of the Grosse Pointer.) The Vernier property would eventually


become part of the footprint for the new GPYC Clubhouse and Harbor in 1929, and the path of the municipal pier would mark the southern boundary of the Harbor. When the Harbor expanded south decades later, the path dissected the Club property and now forms the main walkway to the lift-bridge and East Wall.

By Past Commodore James L. Ramsey

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