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District Commander, Clifford Schmidt, gives Wanda Burson the oath of office to be Marco Island Sail and Power Squadron Commander for 2022-2023.


The America’s Boating Club – Marco Island installed its 2022-2023 officers, board and committees at a Change of Watch Ceremony held at the Marco Island Yacht Club on January 12, 2022. This is the 44th Change of Watch transition in the organization’s history and the fourth since the Marco Island Sail and Power Squadron re-branded in 2018 as America’s Boating Club – Marco Island.

“It takes a Squadron, working together, to organize and conduct the courses, services, and fun events that build the boating community of this island paradise,” said Wanda D Burson who was re-installed as the Club’s Commander for the coming year. “We want Marco’s residents to enjoy watersports. We invite all boaters to join us,” Burson said. 

Cliff Schmidt, District 22 Commander, installed the following Bridge Officers at the event: Wanda D Burson, Commander; Gene C Burson, Executive Officer; David A Randall, Administrative Officer; Christopher Frost, Assistant Administrative Officer; Ted H. Reiss, Education Officer; Shelly R Derrough, Secretary; Susan Cole, Assistant Secretary; Jerry J Cole, Treasurer; and Kenneth J Koos, Assistant Treasurer.

Installed with the Bridge were Executive Committee members: Dennis Enstrom, Lee Harkness, Gunars Zikmanis, and Steve Moore.

An additional 18 leaders assumed committee chairs, committee membership and other responsibilities for the year, bringing the total leadership team to 30. 

“Volunteers are the key to the success of America’s Boating Club – Marco Island,” Burson said. “All of the Squadron’s 172 members will contribute time, effort and/or resources this year to make boating fun and safe here. If you want to be a worthwhile part of an active group, this is the place to be.”  

In two weeks, more than 40 members of the Club will work to prepare a party for area guests. The party is a highly successful annual Wine and Hors d’oeuvres fundraiser to support the non-profit’s education program. “It takes teamwork to put on an event like this which makes it fun and builds lasting friendships among Club members,” said Burson.

District 22 Commander, Cliff Schmidt, recognized the success of the squadron. “Marco Island has successfully grown its membership, increasing by 12.4% in 2021,” said Schmidt. “That is good news. The challenge now is to encourage those and all members to be even more active participants in your activities, community service projects and skill development courses,” Schmidt stated.

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Commander Wanda Burson gives the oath of office to her Bridge Officers. (From left): Educational Officer, Ted Reiss; Secretary, Shelly Derrough; Executive Officer, Gene Burson; Administrative Officer, David Randall; Treasurer, Jerry Cole; Assistant Secretary, Susan Cole; Assistant Treasurer, Ken Koos.

Commander Burson, at the conclusion of the installation ceremony, made comments for the coming year. Making boating fun and safe is a key purpose of America’s Boating Club - Marco Island, Burson explained. “Knowledgeable and confident boaters make Marco boating safer for everyone,” she said.

“We offer free vessel safety checks to any boater on the island, outstanding courses to educate boaters and help them develop boating skills, and the Club’s members survey the condition of aids-to-navigation (Markers) to help various government agencies to assure that channels and hazards are properly identified,” said Burson.

The Club organizes numerous boating events and a full schedule of social events for its’ members to have fun and sharpen their boating skills. “This is a boating club, of boaters, for boaters,” Burson stated.

For information about Membership please contact Peggy Reiss at 239/213-8686. For a free Vessel Safety Check contact Ray Rosenberg at 239/877-4206. For information about skill development courses and registration contact Ted Reiss at 239/213-8722. Additional information is available at


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