Mirror Mirror: How your volunteer program represents your organization
Richard Dorfman, South Street Seaport Museum
Shannon McKenzie, Mystic Seaport Museum
Marann Fengler, Los Angeles Maritime Institute
Jeff Loman, Maritime Museum of San Diego
How you recruit, assign, train and employ volunteers says a lot about your organization. How you identify your mission very often defines the criteria by which you choose the type of person you envision as an ideal volunteer. Conversely, the public’s perception of your organization’s goals, methods, ethics, etc. may lead them to or away from your door.
Richard Dorfman, Master of the Schooner Pioneer since March 2009, volunteered on Clearwater from 1996 –1999, on Pioneer from 1997- 2009, 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 motor vessels for the Manhattan Yacht Club, Classic Harbor Line and the Prospect Park Conservancy in Brooklyn. He has sailed as a guest crew member on the Elissa and Eagle, and raced a sandbagger at the 2002 Wooden Boat show in Rockland. He holds a BA in Theatre Arts from DrewUniversity and a MFA in Stage Design from NYUTischSchool 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. In 2010, he chaired a panel on working with volunteers for the Tall Ships America national and Eastern regional conferences.
Shannon McKenzie has worked at Mystic Seaport in the Watercraft Preservation and Programs department for seven years. In this capacity, she coordinates, among other things, the Schooner BRILLIANT program, the operation of the National Historic Landmark SABINO, access to the collection of ~500 boats in storage, and the voyage planning for the Charles. W. Morgan. Prior to Mystic Seaport, Shannon worked for Sea Education Association on board the vessels, then as the Marine Operations Coordinator, hiring crew and arranging port logistics.
Marann Fengler grew up in Southern California, fueled by an innate need for movement and an aversion to gravity. These drives led her to gymnastics, diving, soccer, and various other sports until she finally settled on figure skating. The decision sparked a long career, both as a competitive amateur and as a professional performer and coach. She is a double gold medalist who competed at the highest level of the sport and still teaches three afternoons a week. She had always been drawn to tall ships, but when she saw the film Master and Commander in 2004, she knew she had to sail. She began as a volunteer on the brigantines Irving and Exy Johnson, and has gone on to work on vessels such as Virginia and Lynx. She has sailed on a total of fourteen boats, has been volunteer, paid deckhand, mate, and currently spends too much time at a desk as Volunteer Coordinator for the Los Angeles Maritime Institute. She believes strongly, passionately, and from first-hand experience in the power of our magnificent vessels to change lives. Her aim is to share sail training and its ideals with youth of all ages for as long as she can have the privilege of doing so.
One day in the early 1990’s while standing on a San Diego beach Jeff Loman saw the Star of India sailing by on the horizon and decided right then he wanted to get involved someday. He began volunteering with the crew in 1995 and has been a volunteer, dues paying member and/or staff member of the Maritime Member of San Diego ever since. Most recently, for the last five years he has been the Volunteer Coordinator and Group Tour Coordinator.