The Finger Lakes Boating Museum recently honored President Mark D. Gearan at the first gathering of its Admirals Club at the Belhurst Castle in Geneva. Gearan and Paul Barrett, publisher of the Finger Lakes Times, both received honorary memberships in the Admirals Club.
During the event, Gearan spoke of the vitality that the museum will add to the greater community for Hobart and William Smith students and alumni.
Gearan, who headed the Peace Corps before accepting the HWS presidency in 1999, is chair of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service and chair of the Talloires Network Steering Committee. He is also a member of the Leadership Council of ServiceNation. He is the past chair of both the Annapolis Group and the National Campus Compact and served as a Board member of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and The Partnership of Public Service.
Locally, Gearan serves on the Board for Jobs for Geneva, Advisory Council to the Happiness House Foundation and the Advisory Councils for the Geneva Community Center and Ontario ARC.
The Democrat and Chronicle noted the significance of the museum in a recent article, which follows.
Democrat and Chronicle
Seneca North: Admirals Club salutes Finger Lakes museum
Neil Chaffie • Elmira Star-Gazette • November 8, 2011
Rochester businessman Al Hetzke, a member of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum, and chairman of the Admirals Club, predicted during a meeting in Geneva that the proposed museum will help the city just as the Antique Boating Museum boosted the fortunes of Clayton on the St. Lawrence River.
The museum is to be built on the site of the Geneva Chamber of Commerce building fronting Seneca Lake.
Hetzke said officials have chosen “a world class location on Seneca Lake.” He was in Geneva for the first gathering of the Admirals Club and to take part in honoring two key supporters of the museum, Paul Barrett, publisher of the Finger Lakes Times, and Mark Gearan, president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Both men received honorary memberships in the Admirals Club.
In a press release, museum president Bill Oben said officials formed the Admirals Club for those desiring to support the ongoing operations of the museum. Annual membership is $l,000.
In the past three months, Oben said, there have been nine boats donated to the museum. More than 100 woodenboats, built locally over the past 100 years, as well as artifacts and reference materials, have been contributed to the museum.
Education and preservation are key elements of the museum’s mission, thus there will be rotating displays, boat rides on the lake, active on-water programs such as sailing, small boat handling, interactive workshops and displays to engage visitors in design, construction and use of boats and boating history.
Meeting with the Admirals Club was David Hanlon of Hanlon Architects in Fairport. He outlined plans for the museum, which has a $2 million state grant arranged through state Sen. Michael F. Nozzolio, R-Fayette.
Seneca BioEnergy, after a three-year effort, is producing grape seed oil and extracts at its plant on the grounds of the former Seneca Army Depot in Romulus.
CEO Michael Coia said his firm also will process vegetable and waste oils to produce biodiesel fuel for local use.
The firm employs 10 people with others to be added.
Seneca BioEnergy is off Route 96 in what is known as the warehouse area.