Leadership/Board

Our  Board is passionate about  WRA and furthering its development. Each board member brings a diverse set of skills and knowledge to our team.

 

Bob Diehl
Chairman

Rowing Experience: Undefeated collegiate rower at U of W from 1958-1960. Began the WWU rowing program in 1969 and was head coach through 1976. Won several “small college” championships and several of his rowers went on to become nationally prominent, organizing and coaching at other community rowing programs. Inducted into WWU Athletic Hall of Fame. Competitive “masters” rower and has won several regional, national and international titles.

Charlie Hamlin
President

Charlie has been an active and competitive member of the rowing community for nearly four decades. He was a collegiate champion at Harvard, three-time national team member, and a member of the 1968 Olympic team; he is a successful masters oarsman here and in Europe. He has been a board member of the Norwalk River Rowing Association, Upper Thames Rowing Club (UK) and Cambridge Boat Club. 

Charlie’s career includes executive positions at Mercer Management Consulting, Mullen Advertising, National Family Opinion, Insight Express, Van Wagner Media, and Cambridge Water Technology. Charlie most recently served as the varsity boy’s crew coach at Groton School. He is married to Ellen Kennelly, a 10-time winner of the Head of the Charles Regatta and avid rower.

Dave Baker
Treasurer

Dave has been associated with WRA since shortly after its inception 5 years ago and has been a dedicate Board Member for 4 years. In 2017 he began serving as the Treasurer for the club. Dave started rowing at Exeter University some 50 years ago. He has coached at a variety of levels including the boys at The King’s School in Chester and at the Columbus Rowing Club. While rowing for The King’s School OB he was elected as stroke by the other crew members. He has rowed in several events in Britain including two London ‘Head of the River’ regattas, held the week before the Oxford / Cambridge boat race on the same course (but in reverse!). Dave loves being out on Lake Whatcom and enjoys seeing the club grow.

Kate Baehr
Secretary

Kate began rowing in the fall of ‘93 with Seattle University and rowed in college for 2 years. She then bounced around a bit and spent time at the Green Lake, Lake Stevens and Vashon Island boathouses. WRA has been lucky to have had Kate involved with the organization for the past 6 years. Kate currently serves on the board as Secretary and on the Personnel Committee. Whether fresh water or salt, dock or water launch, sweep or skull, port or starboard, she love’s it all.

Paulette Bergh

Paulette started rowing in college at PLU and then continued rowing competitively for another 7 years at the Minneapolis Rowing Club. She later moved to Bellingham and coached WWU Women’s Varsity Crew from 1988-1993. She was elected and served on the board of directors of the United States Rowing Association from 1994 – 1998. She has won multiple National Championships and is in the PLU Athletic Hall of Fame. Paulette loves all types of boating and makes her living on the water as a Licensed Coast Guard Captain. In addition to teaching sailing and yachting, she has been facilitating team building on sailboats for over 10 years. Paulette is especially passionate about rowing and has witnessed the positive influence sport has on so many lives. She both rows and coaches at WRA.

John Fuchs

Enters 21st year as head women's rowing coach at WWU in 2018-19 . Directed Vikings to eight NCAA Division II National Team Championships, winning the national championship in 2017 after seven straight national championships from 2005-11 (varsity eight and varsity four each won six national titles during 2005-11 run, while varsity four placed 1st in 2017 with varsity eight finishing 2nd), runner-up finishes at nationals in 2002, 2003, 2012 and 2018; and third place in 2004, 2014 and 2016.CRCA NCAA II National Coach of the Ye ar in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2017. Led Pocock/CRCA Division II Staff of the Year in 2017. Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Coach of the Year in 2011, 2016 and 2017. Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference Coach of the Year in 2001, 2005, 2007, and 2008. In 1999, directed Viking men's varsity four to third-place at Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships. Competed in men's rowing at WWU for four years (1985-88), earning three letters as member of varsity lightweight eight. Coached former WWU rowers in men's lightweight pair that placed third at Pan American Games Trials in 1995 and mentored men's lightweight four that placed fifth at Olympic Trials in 1996.

Robin Mills
Junior Parent Co-Chair
Dave Nichols

Dave is one of the original founders of Whatcom Rowing Association and has served on the Board of Directors since the clubs inception. Previous to his work with WRA, Dave served on several local boards, including nearly 30 years with Peace Health St. Joseph Hospital and serving as the President of the Bellingham Rotary Club. Dave attended law school at the University of Washington. In 1971 he moved with his family to Bellingham where he practiced law for 13 years before assuming the Whatcom County Superior Court Bench where he served for 20 years. Dave is a WRA rower, through and through, having had no prior rowing experience before the club existed. It was a sport he had always wanted to try and these days you can find him out in a single or double every day the water is smooth.

John Perry
Junior Parent Co-Chair
Sue Rodgers
Safety Committee
Sue learned most of the finer points of rowing while pulling for the scrappy crew team at Georgetown University in the early 1980s. Much of the Potomac River was a Superfund site at that time, so one of the more incentivizing finer points was learning to stay in one's seat. In 1982 and 1983 the GU Women's crew advanced to Collegiate Nationals. The team was blown away by the competition, but by then the motley crew, was hooked on the sport for life; the GU Rowing program has since grown with solid success.
 
With gratitude for the work of the organizers and rowers who came before, Sue joined WRA in 2015; she continues an ongoing effort to relearn the finer points (and to remain in her seat). Sue joined the WRA Board in 2016 to support the program, to help ensure the future of WRA and all that it offers to those of us fortunate enough to row on beautiful Lake Whatcom.
 
When not rowing and/or spending time with family and friends, Sue works as a Nurse Practitioner in the Student Health Center at WWU and is an a occasional volunteer at DVSAS. 
Drew Rosser
Facilities Chair
Katy Smith

Katy Smith started rowing in college at Western Washington University.  She rowed 4 years for WWU, competing at the NCAA National Championships her last 2 years, and named a Division II All American Athlete by the National Rowing Coaching Association in 2002. Katy was the assistant coach of WWU women's crew team in 2003, before moving back to her hometown of Tacoma, WA to pursue graduate school. She returned to Bellingham in 2009 and was thrilled to join WRA when it started in 2011. Though Katy has taken breaks when she was pregnant, she has been a regular member of the early morning master's group. She has been involved with the fund raising efforts of WRA and joined the board in the summer of 2017. Though rowing is her passion, she also enjoys swimming, jogging, and occasionally participating in triathlons. When she is not on the water or at the boathouse, Katy can be found working as a physical therapist at Fyzical Therapy and Balance Center of Bellingham and raising her three children.

Tom Weatherby
Equipment Committee Chair

Tom joined the WRA Board of Directors just three months after the initial public meeting and has been serving ever since. Before moving to Lummi Island full-time in 2011, Tom was a member of the Sammamish Rowing Association. For nearly 11 years he was both a member of the competitive masters and sculling groups. Tom also served on the SRA Safety Committee for 3 years. With a professional background in the medical business, specifically ophthalmology and optometry, we are excited about the depth of experience Tom brings to the table.