Hall of Fame Award

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Purpose: To recognize and honor a member of the organization whose contributions have promoted the mission, legacy and future of the Chris Craft Commander Club.

Eligibility: Commander Club members who have provided unique contributions to the club and/or contributions to the boating community. Not required to be awarded annually. Honorees are selected by the Executive Committee months before the national rendezvous. The award is a specially designed clock and presented at the rendezvous.

Alarik von Hofsten Hall of Fame 2018  Presented by Chief Commander Lee Dahlen

Video coming soon

The most prestigious recognition & honor the Commander Club can bestow on someone is to induct them into the Commander Club Hall of Fame. We induct someone into the Hall of Fame to recognize and honor a person whose contributions have promoted the mission, legacy and future of the Chris Craft Commander Club. Hall of Fame recipients are chosen by the Executive Committee to recognize the efforts and accomplishments of a member that have gone far beyond what might be considered normal. Our newest member of this elite group also happens to have the most miles under his belt attending club rendezvous, probably in the neighborhood of 27,000 miles! Our recipient clearly lives a long way away from where our rendezvous are held. Alarik von Hofsten lives in Varmdo, Sweden, very close to Stockholm. He joined the club in 2000 and immediately began participating in our message board. He also attended club rendezvous in Bradenton, FL (2004), Michigan City, IN (2005) and Dubuque, IA (2006), where he used his photographic talents to produce really great pictures from these events.

 

Alarik's introduction to Commanders was different than most, having been a sailor most of his adult life. In the late 90's Alarik and his family decided to try powerboats and just happened to stumble across a very nice, just restored 31 Commander for sale. It was, in their opinion pretty expensive so they decided to think it over. During this contemplation period the 31 was sold, and Alarik had already decided the 31 Commander was the boat for them. He found no other 31's in Sweden, so decided to use another of his interests and talents, the Internet, to help find a boat. This was in 1998 and most people were not even using the internet, much less making large boat purchases on the net. After searching for a bit, Alarik found a 31 in Florida for sale that surveyed OK. Inasmuch as he was planning a total professional rehab at a large local shipyard, Alarik purchased the boat sight unseen and had it loaded on a freighter and shipped to Sweden. For the next 2 years the boat had a total (and expensive) rebuild / rehab inside & out. The only thing that remained as purchased was the engine room, as the survey said the engines had just been rebuilt, and they looked like they had. As bad luck would have it however, after launch and one mile on the maiden trial run, one engine threw a connecting rod right through the block. This prompted Alarik to return the boat to the shipyard for 2 new Mercruiser 5.7 fuel injected engines. For all practical purposes, Alarik now had the equivalent of a brand new 31 Commander -- A beautiful interior and cockpit with teak flooring, modern instruments and navigation systems, the exterior was painted with 2 part Interlux Perfection, and now powered with Crusader's latest 5.7's. This certainly is dedication to the Commander line of boats.

 

In 2005 Alarik joined the Executive Committee as Webmaster. His IT and web page design talents made him the perfect fit for this position.   There were three Club "Internet balls in the air" at the time. We had our discussion forum, our main web page, and a membership data base, all at different locations. Alarik was certainly up to the task of keeping everything running nicely, but he realized the complexity of this system severely limited the number of club members who could serve as Webmaster. He almost immediately began investigating ways to consolidate and simplify our disjointed system. There were quite a few alternatives available that would allow us to combine everything in an easy to visit site where our message forum, website, and membership data were all combined. The real selling point for these alternatives was the ease of creation and maintenance. After an intense study period in 2012, Alarik and the EC had selected a hosting company named Ning. Alarik then designed and implemented a timed migration plan that involved all EC members with individual tasks and timelines. Late in 2012 the EC voted to "pull the plug" on our previous complex system and complete the migration. On Feb.4, 2013 Ning went live and all the EC members were a bit nervous as the new system, while extremely easy for a member to use, was indeed different, and sometimes something new will go down in flames. We were actually taking a gamble, and if we lost, the future of the club could be in jeopardy. Alarik though, had faith and vision and he was right! Within a week from introduction to the members we knew we had made and implemented the system of the future for the club. This will serve as Alarik's major and lasting contribution to the club, truly an effort well above and beyond normal.

 Things Alarik is well known for in promoting the club's presence include:

  • Designing and maintaining our previous and current website
  • Influencing the content for our terms of service
  • Writing the help section of the website
  • Creating Commander Club apparel and unique items for our Café Press Dock Shop
  • Creating the limited edition Commander Photo Book in 2014
  • Chairing our annual Photo Contest
  • Creating our annual calendar
  • Chairing elections
  • Writing the online training course for shooting Commander photos http://commanderclub.com/page/shooting-great-commander-photos

 Alarik von Hofsten’s dedication to promoting and preserving the Chris Craft Commander line of pleasure craft and the Chris Craft Commander Club is appreciated and admired.

 Therefore, it is with great celebration that we induct Alarik von Hofsten into the Chris Craft Commander Club Hall of Fame.

 Please join the entire Executive Committee in welcoming our newest Hall of Fame member!

 

Charlene Pike Hall of Fame 2014  Presented by Chief Commander Dick Morland 

The most prestigious recognition & honor the Commander Club can bestow on someone is to induct them into the Commander Club Hall of Fame. We induct someone into the Hall of Fame "To recognize and honor a person whose contributions have promoted the mission, legacy and future of the Chris Craft Commander Club".
This is not an annual award, but is used to recognize & honor the efforts and results generated by a member or members that have risen far beyond the normal. Honorees are selected by the Executive Committee in the months prior to a national rendezvous. The award is a specially designed clock presented at the rendezvous.
In the past, words such as: "Dedicated, organized, collaborative, caring, creative and self assured" have been used to describe this year’s honoree.
With the enthusiastic affirmative vote of 5/6th of the Executive Committee in a clandestine operation of which the honoree knew nothing of and obviously did not have a vote, our newest inductee into the Commander Club Hall of Fame is Charlene Pike! Anybody who knows or has worked with Charlene, will certainly agree that she has earned this award many, many times over. I think each one of you here today met Char when you checked in at registration. She's the primary reason your check-in was easy & pleasant. She's certainly one of the hardest working and nicest people I've ever had the privilege to work with.
Personally, I met Char & hubby David back in late November of 2000. I had a consulting client in Madison Heights, MI and was "batching it" in the Detroit suburbs for about 3 days a week. Friend Scott Anderson set up a small party at Jack's in Saint Clair Shores aboard a Chris Craft boat that was part of the building. Scott invited Char & Dave, club member Jeff Laethem, & myself. Being both a boater and gearhead, I hit it off right away with Char & Dave. Little did I know then how far & to what extent in activity levels being one of Char's co-workers and friends involved!
Char joined the club's Executive Committee in 2005 as Archivist, and has been an integral and important part of club management ever since.
When this club was founded in 1999, management was really simple. Essentially it was a very small group of Commander enthusiasts exchanging e-mails about their Commanders. Today we are over 1550 members. We have considerable funds with which we do things like this very rendezvous. As you might imagine, club management today is way more complex than in the early days. It's very similar to running a small business. There is a saying "The devil is in the details" --- Well, the devil has met his detail match in Char Pike. Every EC member (or rendezvous local host) at one time or another has had their posterior saved by a gentle reminder from Char about some detail or issue.
In her 'real job' as club Archivist, she reads all posts to our forum, decides which have pertinent, archivable information, and creates both an html file with all this information, an index of all posts, and then links the whole thing together. The end result is SuperDisc, the club's main revenue source. A few people know  that this effort involves hundreds of hours. Truly a labor of love from a dedicated member. In addition to this effort, she also keeps and posts the minutes of the Executive Committee meetings on our website so that all who are interested in the inner workings and finances of the club can be fully informed.
In her life away from the Commander Club, Char was an 8th grade Social Studies teacher for 30 years prior to retirement. She also assists in the management of other organizations --- She was the primary force behind new bylaws for the Snomads Snowmobile Club, for which she won the "Trailmaster Award". She also does the data entry for Birmingham Power Squadron's Vessel Safety Check program, although hubby Dave gets the credit for this one :-)
She was also on the Board and served as President of what used to be known as National Middle School Association now known as the Association for Middle Level Education or AMLE and is currently part of the AMLE Foundation. She also served as treasurer of the Michigan Association of Middle School Educators (MAMSE).
Truly a busy & dedicated lady! According to hubby Dave, her real passions are Chris Craft Boats, the Commander Club, and NASCAR! Char will do anything for you as an individual, or the club, as long as you don't ask on a NASCAR day!
Please join the entire Executive Committee in welcoming our newest Hall of Fame member!

Robert Cutchins Hall of Fame 2012

Dedicated, organized, collaborative, caring, creative and self assured are words used as a testimonial for granting Robert Cutchins the Chris Craft Commander Club Hall of Fame Award.

Rob has served the Commander Club since 1999 in many ways: Webmaster, Editor, Founding Member, Public Relations Chair, rendezvous host and Superdisc manufacturer.

As most members of the Commander Club do, Robert Cutchins brought specific talents and vision to the club during its inception in 1999. What arose out of a simple Google search on Chris Craft Commanders by him, led to what we know today as the Commander Club's online presence. It was Todd Heinrich's vision that lead to Robert using his talents in web design and IT to offer up his services in creating an online presence. Starting in 1999 with a small EGroups forum to help spread Todd's word in finding other Commander owners quickly grew into what we know today as Commanderclub.com.

Robert designed the first website, also integrating it with the Yahoo! Groups forum - which still exists today. Seeing a need for archiving this most valuable information contained in the forum discussions, Robert was also instrumental in developing the very first archive disk known as the Glassic library.

Other things he is well known for in promoting the club's presence include:

  • developing the first Commander Club apparel (with the assistance of his partner Jamie) 
  • hosting the 2002 Rendezvous in Portsmouth, VA 
  • serving on the original "Board of Governors" as well as the "Executive Committee" until 2011 
  • restoring 3 models of Chris Craft Commanders with his partner Jamie Rolison, including a 1966 27' Express "Bobbie-G"(named after his father who also had a love for Chris Craft boats), a 1968 31' Express "Conference" (now owned by Drew Fitzpatrick and named Tenacious) and finally, since 2004, a 1968 42' DCMY "Command Performance"
  • representing the Commander Club on collaborative projects with other organizations such as the Mariner’s Museum and Boat U.S.

It is no secret to anyone in the Club that Robert has both a passion and a drive to not only see these boats exist, but to see the Club thrive and prosper for future generations to carry on the Commander Club tradition. What you don't know about Robert is that while devoting his time and talents to the Club, he also plays organ for 2 churches every week, holds down a full-time position in the human resources department of a local Norfolk hospital, sits on various civic groups and organizations in his hometown, and also finds the time for local charity work. Top all this off with a close knit family life. He and his partner Jamie now reside in his childhood home in Portsmouth. His mother Helen and sister Kendall live within the same city block.

Robert Cutchins’ dedication to promoting and preserving the Chris Craft Commander line of pleasure craft and the Chris Craft Commander Club is appreciated and admired.

Therefore, it is with great celebration that we induct Robert Cutchins into the Chris Craft Commander Club Hall of Fame.

Dick Morland, 2008

Everyone in the Commander Club knows Dick Morland and has benefited from his keen engineer’s mind and his vast wealth of experience. He is the master problem solver of all time to the CCCC. So many of us have been helped by him over the last ten years that it is no surprise that he is in our Hall of Fame.

Dick is one our founding fathers - his first post to our discussion list was on February 16, 2000, a mere two days after the web discussion forum was kicked off. His post, #40, was to Rob Cutchins and was titled, “Cutchins Can Fix His WebSite But Can Cutchins fix his S.B.Chevy?” From his very first contribution, Dick has been helping, and he has never stopped. He has contributed to our discussion group over 2000 times, and his posts are always informative and his insights spot on.

His help has gone far past internet advice for more than a few of us with phones calls and hands-on help with drivelines, distributors and carburetors. For those wanting to learn and smart enough to listen, Dick has been willing to teach and mentor. He is also a great friend and in the yachting tradition, is known to enjoy spirited debate over a cocktail or two. You better bring your “A” game for both the debate and cocktails.

Dick served on the original Board of Governors, hosted the 2005 National CCCC Rendezvous in Michigan City, co-wrote our bylaws and is the master-mind behind the Super Disk message archive - a key fund raiser that makes it possible for the CCCC to remain dues free for all. With his sainted wife and boating partner of over 47 years, Patty, at his side, Dick has attend every single Commander Club Rendezvous.

Dick and Patty have owned a bunch of boats, most of them Chris-Crafts and have also sailed the Great Lakes. Their beloved 38 Sedan Patty Wagon was arguably the best known boat in the CCCC. For their 47th wedding anniversary they became the proud new owners of the boat of their dreams - "Paddy Wagon", a pristine 1970 47' Commander.

Mr. Morland, on behalf of the Executive Committee and everyone in the CCCC, we say thanks and we salute you.

Jim Wick & Bob Bothum, 2007

These gentlemen used to work for Chris Craft during the Commander years in the 1960-ties through 1980-ties and thus possess an immense amount of knowledge and insight into our beloved boats. They joined the CCCC from the beginning back in 2000 and have since been very generous in sharing their knowledge with needing and curious members.

The presentation of the award was done at the Rendezvous in Algonac August 2007.

Today, the are proprietors of LPX-Sales, a company specialized in supplying spare parts for Chris Crafts of all kinds, and thus an important parts source for many members.

Jim Wick (left) and Bob Bothum (right) also co-hosted the 2004 Rendezvous in their home town Bradenton, Florida.

Club News

Styled In Fiberglass

For your reading pleasure, the latest issue of the Chris-Craft Commander Club's newsletter, Styled In Fiberglass, along with past issues, can you accessed through the link below.

Styled In Fiberglass Issues

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The 2018 Chris-Craft Commander Club National Rendezvous is in the books and it was a great time!!

City of Mentor, Ohio

The city of Mentor, Ohio and the Lawnfield Inn & Suites were wonderful hosts.  A special Thanks to Rob Kneen, the local member sponsor, and Char Pike for the hours of hard work put in organizing and coordinating an amazing weekend. 

The Rendezvous Photo Albums can be accessed through the links below, as well as, under Library, Photo Albums.  We will continue to add links to other albums as they become available. Also below, you will find links to a couple articles written for the local newspaper.

Photo Album 1                 Photo Album 2  

Photo Album 3

Articles:

Chris-Craft Commander Club Celebrates Anniversary in Mentor

Chris-Craft Commander connoisseurs congregate at Mentor Lagoons Marina

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