Working with Volunteers

Working with Volunteers: How our volunteer program validates, vindicates or violates accepted principles of volunteer program administration.

This program will present accepted principles of volunteer program administration and will compare the programs of the sloop Friends Good Will, the Flagship Niagara, the Brig Roald Amundsen, the Spirit of Bermuda, and the Schooner Pioneer.

Claudia Bankert: The Flagship Niagara and The BrigRoald Amundsen
Will contrast the two volunteer programs and the issues of volunteer officers

Captain Simon Colley: The Spirit of Bermuda  
Will discuss risk management and crew training

Captain Richard Dorfman: The Schooner Pioneer 
Will describe the typical land-based volunteer program

Jim Spurr: Sloop Friends Good Will 
Will discuss a program where most crew are volunteers


Jim Spurr 

James Spurr is a Senior Partner with Miller Canfield, a large international law firm with numerous offices throughout the Great Lakes including Toronto, Detroit and Chicago.  He specializes in commercial dispute resolution, construction and is a founding member of the firm’s Marine Law Group. As a volunteer, he serves as President and Chairman of the Board of the Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point, Michigan on Lake Superior and on the Board of the Michigan Maritime Museum, of South Haven, Michigan, which owns and operates the replica square topsail sloop, Friends Good Will.  James chaired the committee of volunteers which conceived of Friends Good Will, researched the historic record, had her designed, built, launched and was in command as her first volunteer Captain when she entered her home port for the first time, in September, 2004.  He holds a USCG 100 Ton Near Coastal License and currently serves as First Officer and Chair of the Museum’s Friends Good Will Committee, while contributing many hours throughout the year assisting in crewing and maintaining the vessel.  The Michigan Maritime Museum and Friends Good Will offers a unique volunteer experience, which the past six years of successful operation suggests holds much merit and potential.

Simon Colley

Simon grew up on the water in Sydney, Australia, and started messing about in boats when he built a Mirror dinghy with his father at age ten.  He has since served aboard 19 sailing vessels over 30m including as First Officer of the sail training vessels, Californian, Bill of Rights, Windeward Bound and Spirit of Massachusetts, as well as the private yachts Orion and  Independence.   He has sailed as Captain of the sail training vessels Tole MourRoseway, and Lettie G Howard, and is currently the Director of Operations and Senior Captain of the three-masted schooner Spirit of Bermuda. Simon holds 3000t Masters licenses in the UK and USA, as well as Bachelors degrees in Marine Biology, and in Secondary Education.  
  He considers himself as much an Educator as a Mariner and has taught high school in Australia and the USA, helping develop the Shackleton School where he led student expeditions to Mexico and South East Asia.  In the sail training industry he has worked (among others) for Sea Education Association and the Ocean Classroom Foundation.  Simon has a ten-year seasonal association with Outward Bound sea programs on East and West coasts of the USA and Canada, as a Lead Instructor, Staff Trainer, Course Director and Program Manager.
  When not at sea he spends his time with his wife, Caitlin, a seasoned tall ship officer who pretends she knows nothing about boats.

Richard Dorfmann
  Richard Dorfman, Master of the Schooner Pioneer since March 2009, volunteered on Clearwater from 1996 – 1999, on Pioneer from 1997 –  2008, and served as Volunteer Coordinator for the Wavertree restoration from Jan 2000 – May 2004 and Nov. 2007 – March 2009. He served as Director of Volunteers for South Street Seaport Museum from Aug. 2000 – Jan 2003. He has worked as a paid member of the relief crew on Pioneer (1999 – 2007), as a Relief Captain for the Pioneer and Tug WO Decker (2006 – 2008), Chief Mate of the Lettie G. Howard (Spring 2005), and has driven launches for the Manhattan Yacht Club and Prospect Park Conservancy in Brooklyn.
  He holds a BA in Theatre Arts from Drew University and a MFA in Stage Design from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He also received training in the Principles and Practices of Volunteer Program Management with the NY Association for Volunteer Administration. He has worked as a Theatrical Lighting Designer, Stage Manager, Architectural Lighting Designer, and Product Designer and has taught Stage Design at Drew University and Architectural Lighting Design at Queens College.

Claudia Bankert

Born and raised on the shores of the North Sea in Cuxhaven, Germany, Claudia Bankert grew up with an appreciation for maritime history and a love for the sea. She has sailed on more than a dozen tall ships over the years including Brig Niagara,  Brig Roald Amundsen,  Barque Statsraad Lehmkuhl,  Ship Christian Radich, Barque Gorch Fock, Schooner Johann Smidt, Schooner Amphritite, Barque Europa, Barque Sagres, various small boats and yachts, and is a crewmember for club races at Edgewater Yacht Club in Cleveland/Ohio. 
  Currently, she lives in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and is on extended leave from the Foreign Service of the Federal Republic of Germany as a Vice Consul.  She has served in diplomatic posts in Marseille, France; Bonn, Germany; Asuncion, Paraguay; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Miami, FL; New York, NY and Berlin, Germany. During her career as a diplomat, Claudia held posts in legal departments, human resources, economics and finance departments and was appointed protocol and event management positions as well as international relations assignments. She is fluent in German, English, Spanish and French.
  Claudia’s current positions include International Ships Liaison for the American Sail Training Association (ASTA), International Fleet Consultant for Great Lakes Marketing Group and International Representative of the German Sail Training vessel Roald Amundsen. She is a trustee of the Flagship Niagara League board, honorary member of the Consular Corps of Cleveland and a member of the Rotary Club of Cleveland. 
  Claudia received ASTA’s 2009 Volunteer of the Year Award and was chosen as the Volunteer of the Year 2008 by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission for her service with the Flagship Niagara League. She was named 2007 Person of the Year, Cuxhaven, Germany, in recognition of work with tall ships events and promotion of international relations through crew exchanges and is the subject of newsletter, newspaper and magazine articles published about her activities.


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