On January 9, a new slate of leaders was welcomed in to the St. Francis Yacht Club Board room to serve alongside returning Directors Medea Bern, Dave Wilson, Jr., Pamela Healy and Maurice Fitzgerald, Jr. as well as Vice Commodore Paul Heineken. Here, we get to know them a bit better as members of our club and community.
theresa BRANDNER, Commodore
I grew up in South Dakota and, after receiving a B.S. in mechanical engineering, moved to Minneapolis where I established a career in the medical device industry, specializing in neurovascular devices. Over the course of working for ten start-ups, I obtained over 40 device approvals worldwide. These days, I enjoy consulting and guest lecturing at Stanford University.
I learned to sail in my 20s, racing on Lake Superior and Lake Minnetonka. I bought my first boat, a Hobie 18, which I still have today. Motivated by my desire to sail year-round, I moved to San Francisco in 1999 and quickly realized that StFYC was the place to be. On my first visit to the Grill Room, I met Pete McCormick relaxing with a cold beer and a Corinthian smile. He told me all about the sailing scene on the Bay and I made my way into the J/105 and J/120 fleets, where someone was always looking for a foredeck. In 2003, I joined the Club, bought the J/105 Walloping Swede, a boat I had crewed on, and began skippering her under the StFYC burgee. It was not for the faint of heart, but it was thrilling and a good way to relax from my day job.
Now, I regularly use the San Francisco Clubhouse, spend summers at Tinsley on my Tiara 36, and race in the J/105 fleet, occasionally with my 4.5-year-old daughter, Odette. Since joining the Club, I have served on 14 committees including Long Range Planning and America’s Cup, and have chaired ten of them, including Finance, Membership and Audit. I was a Director from 2011-2013 and gained thorough knowledge of the inner-workings of the Club and the responsibilities of its leadership. I value the Club traditions and the needs of the membership and look forward to serving as your Commodore.
Ken Glidewell, Rear Commodore
I first joined the St. Francis Yacht Club in 1993 as a Corinthian Crew member. At the time I was racing primarily on J/24s but quickly expanded my sailing resume to include crew positions on several club members’ boats including J/24s, J/35s, J/105s, Melges 24s, Express 37s, Santa Cruz 52s and Knarrs. My enthusiasm for the sport and the lifestyle has only grown. In addition to my racing, I’ve enjoyed several years of Race Committee work, volunteering for our fine Executive Race Committee.
Off the water, I have been involved in many committees over the years. I served on Election, Stag Cruise, New Member Development, House and Commodore’s Ball and also chaired Membership, Long Range Planning, Audit and Fresh Crew. My first time serving in the Board Room was in 2001 as Assistant Secretary and I served as a Director from 2006-2008. All of this involvement has allowed me to experience the yacht club from a variety of vantage points and has helped me gain a full and deep understanding of what it means to be a member here, and what it means to give back.
My wife Ellen Levy and I were married in the Club's Golden Gate Room in 2008 and our son Jake was born in 2009.
Now, I am honored to be following in the footsteps of so many exceptional Commodores before me as I begin my year as your Rear Commodore for 2018. Here’s to a productive year at the Club!
Elizabeth Little, Director
Despite having raced out of and socialized at StFYC for ten years prior, I was taken aback by the transformative gifts of camaraderie and community availed by membership when I joined our Club in 2011. Now, thanks to our exceptional members and staff, StFYC feels like a second family within a second home.
Growing up around lakes in Ontario, Canada, I enjoyed skiboats, canoes and coxing rowing shells…my attempts at dinghy sailing were less than stellar. Upon finishing law school and looking for a way to reengage in a team sport, my StFYC sponsor and former colleague Bob Izmirian invited me to join a beer can race aboard his Olson911S, Jane Doe. Seventeen years later, I am forever grateful for his introduction to the sport that has become a passion, and for the many friendships, life lessons and sweet rides that ensued.
Around the Club, I’ve been fortunate to be involved with Marketing, Women’s Committee, Membership Development, Women’s Fashion Show, Bylaws, Rules & Regs, and as the Assistant Secretary on the Board of Directors. I’ve just begun my second year chairing Membership Committee, and it is a privilege to do so, working alongside a great team. Looking ahead, I’m honored to have been nominated to be a Director, and I look forward to serving our membership.
PAUL CAYARD, Director
I joined St. Francis Yacht Club in 1976 as a junior member. Rex Allen was my sponsor. The Junior program was headed by Don Trask and Packy Davis who mentored us and facilitated our use of some club assets so that we could compete nationally and internationally. This opportunity was formative and largely responsible for the career I have had in sailing.
In 1981, Staff Commodore R.C. Keefe decided to pass the Club’s 6-Metre baton from team Tom Blackaller to the Juniors. I was part of the Juniors who inherited St. Francis VII. In 1983 I skippered St. Francis VIII. I have raced as a crewmember on both St. Francis Yacht Club America’s Cup challenges in 1987 and again in 2000. I have raced around the world twice and competed in many regattas around the world representing St. Francis Yacht Club.
Over the years I have witnessed how these club-wide campaigns in sailing really bring out the best of our club—camaraderie, pride, sportsmanship—and highlight what the St. Francis is all about.
Now, I have joined the Board of Directors in order to give back. Though I have been a longtime member, I feel I have a lot to learn about how our club is run and the important issues that will guide us over the next 90 years. I am humbled and honored to be joining our Board.
Geoff Mulligan, Director
The Club has always been an important part of my life. Though I’ve been a member since 1987, my grandparents, who joined in the 1930s, began bringing me to the Club when I was six. It was my grandfather and his passion for the Club that got me hooked at an early age. One of my favorite memories was going to Tinsley to see the Lighthouse being taken off a barge and moved to where it sits today. I also worked at Tinsley for two summers in high school, when the only dock was the Main Dock.
I bought my first boat, an Ericson 35 sailboat, in 1988. It took me less than a year to figure out my grandfather was doing it right by going directly from point A to B in a powerboat. Since then I’ve owned eleven powerboats ranging in size from 42 to 61 feet, one of which we took from Florida to SF on its own bottom.
My lovely wife of 20 years, Penny, and our four children have cruised in the Bahamas, the BVIs, Mexico, Southern California and, of course, Tinsley, aboard our KEMOSABE.
Over the past four years I have had the privilege to serve on various committees including Finance, Tinsley and Long Range Planning as well as co-chairing the Memorial Day Cruise with Penny. This allowed me to get to know many terrific members and build a solid understanding of how the Club works and how we can ensure a long and stable future. We are the most recognized Yacht Club in the world and must never lose sight of our mission statement. It is a privilege to become a Director and serve the Membership.