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Peter Stephens – Photo ACBS.org

We have been hearing the rumors starting last week, and delayed a report because the report was fluid and we did not want to report rumors or create news that maybe was not based on facts. We care for both the ACBS and Peter, Peter is an amazing guy and did an amazing job to boot. Peter pushed for progress, which is tough when an entire entity exists to preserve things. But Peter tried, as did many in the ACBS. The ACBS since Peter had joined as Executive Director has increased membership, and the Board Of Directors has been also pushing for change and progress. We can only imagine that its a tough job to manage change that way, and we applaud Peter and the ACBS for doing so. For many change can not happen fast enough, while others want things to stay the same. Heck we are in a ridiculous election season for all the same reasons. We are at that time in our generations history, where one generation is passing the torch to another. Everyone is right for all the right reasons. But time marches on, and so life goes.

To add to the complexity of the times we live in, beyond the normal generational change, We are at a historic time in history that only happens in centuries, not generations. Like the industrial revolution that changed the planet, heck, the discovery of fire, it’s that dramatic what we are living through. We are now in a communications revolution. We are hopeful that the ACBS can find another person as great to help lead. Our classic boats need a support mechanism, a large focused group of the most passionate to lead and keep our boats and culture alive. It’s so much bigger than a club or society, it’s us, weather you belong to the ACBS or not, it’s you reading this, and I, writing it, and some poor new guy reading this for the first time wondering what all the drama is about one guy retirering from his job. The good news is that Peter is passionate about boats, and cars and life, so we will all be able to see him at events and thank him for a job well done. Thanks Peter, you made a difference. Below is the official announcement from the ACBS.

Official Announcement July 26, 2016
Peter Stephens Retires as ACBS’ First Executive Director

“ACBS President, Jeff Funk, announced the retirement of Executive Director, Peter Stephens, to the Board of Directors Monday night.  “We are grateful for Peter’s tenure and commitment these past three years,” Funk said, “and wish him well, along with his wife Debbie, as he pursues other interests.  Peter was our first Executive Director, and much was accomplished during his time with the organization. The Board of Directors will begin a search for a new ED to continue the growth of this hobby we’re all so passionate about.”

 In addition, Funk announced that current ACBS Board Secretary, Kathy Parker, will assume the day to day activities and has been named Interim Executive Director. Kathy will serve as Interim ED until a successor is appointed.  She will resign her current role as Board Secretary, and those duties will be handed over to Director Gary Fesperman.”

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6 Responses to “BREAKING NEWS – Peter Stephens Retires As ACBS Executive Director.”
    • Gene Porter

      A real class act. Fair winds, following seas, andlots of happy boating

  1. Dennis Mykols

    I came on the ACBS board the year Peter started as the Executive Director. Over the next three years, I got to work with, and know Peter and his wife.
    In my opinion, he faced a huge task, with many goals set for him, with many Board and Chapter officers pulling him from all directions. Being the first in any new position is ground breaking, and stressful.
    After three years of that stress, I think going back to retirement will be a welcome change of pace. Good luck to a good friend, and all around nice guy. Dennis and Ronnie.

    • Dave Nau

      Got a chance to meet and talk to Peter at one of our North Coast Ohio Chapter of ACBS board meetings this past winter. Absolute class act and stand-up guy who had a tough job in a newly created position and did it very, very well.

      All the best to him retirement and hope to see him and thank him in person at a future ACBS event.

  2. Wilson

    From my vantage point it appeared that Peter was doing a wonderful job as ACBS Executive Director and I therefore lament the news of his retirement. It was my good fortune to visit with Peter and Debbie on several occasions and they both manifested a passion for the old boats as well as old cars. I wish them both much happiness as they enbark on a new chapter in their lives.

  3. Jim Mersman

    Okay so I’m a bit behind in my reading of Woody Boater. But I still wanted to post a comment. First, I want to thank Peter for all he’s done to forward the changes of ACBS and the hobby. He does truely love and live it like we all do. Second, I hope that momentum of the changes made to date continue and even accelerate faster. Five years ago many of us on the board of ACBS at that time recognized change was needed and an executive director providing a consistent voice of change was the cornerstone to building a strong foundation for it. Peter and the subsequent boards have started that process and I sincerely hope that the next executive director be selected for thier passion for change also. The hobby is changing as we all age. That point has been articulated here at Woodyboater time and time again by many who are far more articulate than I.

    One thing for me that is at the core of those opinionists is that we all love to have fun using the boats. Wood and fiberglass. Sounds so simple but it’s not happening enough….yet. I hope the hobby continues to embrace change. Thank you Matt for your efforts through this site for change.