Tag Archives: Geneva

Finger Lakes Boating Museum Appoints Exec Director

The Finger Lakes Boating Museum has announced the appointment of Dr. David C. Danahar, a retired college president, as Executive Director of the Boating Museum. Danahar, who now lives in Canandaigua, was President of Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MI, from 2001 to 2011.

“We are delighted to announce the engagement of Dr. Danahar as Executive Director of the Boating Museum,” said William Oben, president of the Museum. &#8220He brings a wealth of valuable knowledge in resource development and organizational administration gained from his extensive academic career.”

The Boating Museum reached agreement with the City of Geneva in the fall of 2009 to establish a permanent home on the Geneva waterfront in association with the city’s Visitor Center. The building, which will be located on the current Geneva Chamber of Commerce site, is being enabled by a $2 million grant provided to the city by state Sen. Michael Nozzolio.

Also named to the staff of the Boating Museum as assistant to the executive director is Bobbi Clifford of Romulus. Clifford is retired after 35 years of teaching in various local school districts, including Geneva, North Rose-Wolcott, Naples, Lyons, Clyde-Savannah and Newark. She coordinated and directed programs for Gifted and Talented Students and Arts-In-Education programs. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association, Inc.

As president of Southwest Minnesota State, Danahar was the chief executive officer of the university responsible for leading the faculty, staff and students in developing and accomplishing the university’s mission.

His administrative experience also includes serving as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Loyola University in New Orleans from 1992-2001, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University in Connecticut from 1985-1992, Director of General Education at the State University of New York at Oswego from 1979-1985 and Acting Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences at the State University of New York at Oswego in 1983 and 1984-1985.

In another development related to the appointment of an executive director, the Boating Museum has engaged Danforth Development of Rochester to lead the creation of a fundraising plan for capital needs for the organization.

The Boating Museum’s collection of more than 100 historic boats and vessels built in the Finger Lakes also includes numerous related artifacts and extensive reference material. Besides the story of boat manufacturing, the Boating Museum also researches and informs on the impact that marine transportation has had on the development of the region.

The collection of boats and artifacts is being moved to a storage facility in the Geneva Enterprise Development Center on North Genesee Street arranged by the Geneva IDA. Portions of the collection will be displayed on a rotating basis within the new facility, which will also feature boat rides on Seneca Lake, active on-water programs including sailing and small boat handling, interactive workshops and displays to engage visitors in the design, construction and use of the boats and boating history materials and programs.

The Boating Museum is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation and was chartered by the New York State Department of Education in 1997 to “research, document, preserve and share the boating history of the Finger Lakes region.”

Geneva Growth Donate $10k to Boating Museum

Geneva Growth, a local economic development agency, has donated $10,000 to the Finger Lakes Boating Museum. In a lakefront ceremony at the future site of the museum, former Geneva Growth President Phil Beckley presented a check for $10,000 to Bill Oben, president of the museum Board of Directors. Also taking part in the ceremony were Vince Scalise of Geneva Growth and Ed Wightman, vice president of the museum board.

“Geneva Growth’s donation represented delivery on a promise made several months ago with the hope that our group’s early show of faith would lead to broader financial support from the community at large,” said Beckley.

Oben said the funds will be used to organize and support the multi-million dollar Preserving Our Boating Heritage campaign to outfit the Museum on the Geneva waterfront.

“We partnered with Geneva Growth in 2009 to bring the Boating Museum to Geneva, and they have provided invaluable support to the Museum during the past three years,” said Oben. “This extremely generous gift is the latest manifestation of their belief in the importance of this project for the City of Geneva.”

The Boating Museum is in partnership with the City of Geneva to establish a permanent home on the Geneva waterfront in association with the Visitor Center. The building, which will be located on the current Chamber of Commerce site, is being enabled by a $2-million grant provided to the city by state Sen. Michael Nozzolio.

“We have believed in the viability of the Boating Museum and its benefit to Geneva from the start,” said Beckley, “and we challenge others to join us in providing funding for the museum’s start up. This is a great achievement as Genevans join together for a waterfront attraction that will bring visitors to the city as well as enhance the lakefront experience for local people.”

Current Geneva Growth President Dave Bunnell said that the organization views its mission as supporting local economic development projects and strives to put its money to work in the community. “We brought the City and the Boating Museum together several years ago and we are now pleased to offer financial support as the project advances,” said Bunnell.

Bunnell noted that Geneva Growth also supports the Museum in another way as three of its members, Beckley, Scalise and himself, serve on the Boating Museum board.

Starting the ball rolling to raise seed money for the museum were contributions totaling $15,000 from members of the Museum’s Board of Directors. The Finger Lakes Times, Hobart and William Smith Colleges and the Geneva IDA all have donated in-kind contributions valued at $10,000. The Geneva Business Improvement District has also committed $10,000 predicated on the Museum first meeting a fundraising goal set by BID.

Joanne Wisor, IDA Chair, commented, “The FLBM inventory of classic, locally built vessels is in temporary storage at the Geneva Enterprise Development Center (the old American Can building on North Genesee Street) until its new quarters on the lakefront are ready. The board of the Geneva IDA, which owns the GEDC, has offered the space at no cost to the FLBM to help ensure the Museum’s successful location in the City of Geneva.&#8221

The Boating Museum has assembled a collection of more than 100 wooden boats built in the Finger Lakes over the past 100 years, as well as numerous related artifacts and extensive reference material.

Portions of the collection will be displayed on a rotating basis within the new facility, but President Oben emphasized that there will be a lot more to the museum than viewing boats because education, restoration and preservation are the key elements of the museum’s mission. Also featured will be boat rides on Seneca Lake, active on-water programs including sailing and small boat handling, interactive workshops and displays to engage visitors in the design and construction of boats and boating history materials and programs.

The Boating Museum is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation and was chartered by the New York State Department of Education in 1997 to “research, document, preserve and share the boating history of the Finger Lakes region.”

Additional information about the Boating Museum may be found on its website.

Photo: Phil Beckley (second from left), former president of Geneva Growth, presents a check for $10,000 to Bill Oben, president of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum. Also participating were Vince Scalise (left) of Geneva Growth, and Ed Wightman, (right) vice president of the Museum. The presentation took place alongside the marker commemorating the location of the Fay & Bowen Engine Company, which built wooden boats in Geneva from 1904 to 1929.

Rochester Businessman Joins Boating Museum Board

Rochester businessman Allyn E. Hetzke Sr. has joined the Board of Directors of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum. Hetzke, who is active in the Antique and Classic Boat Society in Clayton on the St. Lawrence River, is married with four children and 13 grandchildren and lives in Spencerport.

The boating museum reached agreement with the City of Geneva in the fall of 2009 to establish a permanent home on the Geneva waterfront in association with a Visitor Center. The building, which will be located on the current Geneva Chamber of Commerce site, is being enabled by a $2 million grant provided to the city by state Sen. Michael Nozzolio. Construction is expected to start this spring.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of this project,” said Hetzke. “If the site is correctly developed it should be a world class museum. It should be spectacular for the City of Geneva.”

Hetzke started his company, Unitrac, in 1974 as a metal brokerage company and in the mid-‘80s formed Unitrac Energy Management Systems specializing in energy efficient lighting applications. IlluminFx, a division of Unitrac, provided the color-changing LED system used to light the Cradle of Champions sculpture unveiled during Super Bowl Week near the site of the game. The unveiling was covered on ESPN.

The Rochester Business Journal recently reported that the steel statue in Fort Worth, Texas, weight seven tons and is 16 feet high. It is shaped like the state of Texas and honors the strength and legacy of high school football in the state and those who later played in the National Football League.

Before starting his own business, Hetzke worked for Eastman Kodak Co., Community Savings Bank and Home Life Insurance Co. He former First Rochester Co. in 1971 and incorporated the company into First Rochester Security Corp. in 1972.

Hetzke purchased Burke Steel Serviceenters, Inc. in 1973 and sold the company to Mallard Lakes in 1977. He formed Unitrac in 1974.

He is a 1960 graduate of SUNY at Delhi with an AAS degree in business management. His hobby is restoring old boats and he is a member of the Rochester Curling Club as well as the Rochester Business Alliance.

The boating museum has assembled a collection of more than 100 wooden boats built in the Finger Lakes over the past 100 years, as well as numerous related artifacts and extensive reference material. The collection is stored in the Geneva Enterprise Development Center on North Genesee Street arranged by the Geneva IDA and in Yates County.

Portions of the collection will be displayed on a rotating basis within the new facility, but President Bill Oben emphasized that there will be a lot more to the museum than viewing boats because education, restoration and preservation are the key elements of the museum’s mission.

Also featured will be boat rides on Seneca Lake, active on-water programs including sailing and small boat handling, interactive workshops and displays to engage visitors in the design and construction of boats and boating history materials and programs.

The boating museum is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation and was chartered by the New York State Department of Education in 1997 to “research, document, preserve and share the boating history of the Finger Lakes region.”

Additional information about the boating museum may be found on its website.

Boat Museum Artifacts on Display in Geneva Storefront

Thanks to the generosity of Geneva retailer Joe Fragnoli, the Finger Lakes Boating Museum now has a museum display in place in downtown Geneva. Several artifacts along with some materials representative of the Boating Museum’s collection are now on display in the storefront windows at 430 Exchange St.

The Boating Museum and the City of Geneva reached agreement last fall on locating the Boating Museum and Visitor Center on the Geneva waterfront where the Chamber of Commerce building now stands.

Bill Oben, president of the Boating Museum, said the southern window is set up with a display of antique fishing gear of the type used in the Finger Lakes region during the first part of the last century. Central to this display is an elegant rowboat built in 1940 by noted Dresden boat builder Seymour Smith.

Smith is believed to have built more than 30 boats between 1920 and 1940. In later years he subordinated boatbuilding to his lifelong hobby of carving duck decoys, which are highly prized by collectors today. The display also includes several vintage photos related to trout fishing during that era.

The display in the northern window illustrates this year’s Boating Museum theme of “Sailing in the Finger Lakes.” In addition to a Penn Yan “Captain Kid” sailboat marketed for children in the1930s, the display contains scale models of some of the most popular one-design sailboats competitively sailed in the Finger Lakes during the past century. These include replicas of the Star, Comet, Lightning and Snipe, all built to 1/12th scale. Full-size examples of these famous sailing craft reside in the Boating Museum’s collection, and will be on display on the Seneca Lake waterfront at the annual Boat Show July 24-25 during Geneva’s Cruisin’ Weekend.

“We are grateful to Joe for lending the use of this space,” said Oben. “We plan to use it to display other artifacts and ephemera from the Boating Museum’s collection on a rotational basis while it is available to us, or until our permanent home on the lakefront is ready.”

Finger Lakes Museum Selects Keuka Lake Site

On Thursday, the Finger Lakes Cultural & Natural History Museum Board of Trustees adopted a resolution to select Keuka Lake State Park in Yates County as the future home of the Finger Lakes Museum. The vote was unanimous with one abstention.

After nearly a year of evaluating 19 sites that were originally submitted, the Site Selection Committee, under the direction of chairman Don Naetzker, recommended two sites for the Board’s consideration: Seneca Lake State Park in and adjacent to the City of Geneva, and Keuka Lake State Park near Branchport.

The idea to create a museum to showcase the cultural heritage and ecological history of the 9,000 square-­mile Finger Lakes Region was first floated in a Life in the Finger Lakes magazine article by John Adamski in March 2008.

After enlisting ConsultEcon Inc., a Boston­based market research firm in March, it was determined that the project is viable at either site although for different reasons. Board president, John Adamski added, “While the Seneca Lake site has significant advantages like a central location, the Board determined that the Keuka Lake site more closely met the requirements that were originally established in the Strategic Plan, especially as they relate to natural history programming.”

Among the advantages that he said tipped the scales in favor of the Keuka Lake site are the following:

• There is 700 feet of intimate lakefront with a level, sandy beach.

• The natural history element of the project is predicted to draw the most visitors. The rolling, hilly terrain, ravines, brook, woods, and areas of natural succession that exist there are ideal for wildlife exhibits in natural habitats.

• Several hundred acres of land are available for wildlife habitats and interpretive use—now or in the future.

• A 350­-car paved parking lot already exists.

• Keuka College has offered to add Museum Sciences to its curriculum
and become a partner in the educational aspect of the Museum.

• Yates County and Keuka­area business leaders have pledged over $2 million in start-up funding.

In addition, Adamski said, “The Branchport Elementary School, which is presently vacant, has been purchased by the Finger Lakes Visitors Association for use as the Museum’s base of operation during the project’s start-up phases. The building will provide 15,000 square­ feet for business offices and initial programming as well as storage for the acquisition of artifacts and collections.” Its 13­-acre site provides navigable water access to Keuka Lake.

He also stated, “Finger Lakes State Parks and the Finger Lakes Museum Project will undertake a joint master plan for the entire 620­acre park. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation has been very cooperative and enthused over the proposal and we look forward to working with them to bring the project to fruition.”

Although the Museum will be built on lands leased from Finger Lakes State Parks, it will remain a privately­-owned and mostly privately­-funded not­-for­-profit educational institution.