There is always a risk involved when reporting on the contributions of various individuals to a successful event that one or more people who deserve credit are not recognized.  With apologies in advance to any such folks, here is your humble scrivener’s take on last weekend’s Lobsterfest.  Leadership matters!  Fred recruited his management team, assigned clear objectives, checked in frequently to ensure milestones were met, communicated with them clearly, and then was present virtually every minute both days on the ground dealing with whatever opportunities popped up.  Right out of the Harvard Business School playbook.  President 2.0 contributed in several ways.  He appointed Fred.  He conceived of the sponsorship model which resulted in 26 companies paying a total of $6,500 with a marginal increase in cost of only $650, and he recruited most of the sponsors.  Then he brought wife Melissa and son Max to share the labor burden with the little people while he supervised from on high.

 

While the events of the weekend are fresh in your mind, try to think of anything you personally experienced that could be improved upon, and let Fred know.  No detail is too small.  Our goal should be to improve every facet of the experience every year regardless of the success of this year’s event.  More better, more money, more opportunities for service.  The 2016 edition goes in the book as a wonderful success.

 

 

New Canaan Rotary Club Bulletin [Lobsterfest Edition]        September 24, 2016

 

There is always a risk involved when reporting on the contributions of various individuals to a successful event that one or more people who deserve credit are not recognized.  With apologies in advance to any such folks, here is your humble scrivener’s take on last weekend’s Lobsterfest.  Leadership matters!  Fred recruited his management team, assigned clear objectives, checked in frequently to ensure milestones were met, communicated with them clearly, and then was present virtually every minute both days on the ground dealing with whatever opportunities popped up.  Right out of the Harvard Business School playbook.  President 2.0 contributed in several ways.  He appointed Fred.  He conceived of the sponsorship model which resulted in 26 companies paying a total of $6,500 with a marginal increase in cost of only $650, and he recruited most of the sponsors.  Then he brought wife Melissa and son Max to share the labor burden with the little people while he supervised from on high.

 

Immediate Past Lobstermeister Rob Avery showed up with offspring and brand new super-cool chrome tray dryer and contributed in many venues before squatting on the elder Hobbs’ cleaning corner where he set a new standard for OCD washing, drying and organizing all trays, pots, liners, tops, and utensils.  As with many jobs which lack glamour and appear at the bottom of the organization chart, a critical function which, if not done conscientiously, can result in disaster.  President John Adams made an appearance in a Yankees cap and lent a touch of gravitas to the proceedings.  Ex-President John I, a year removed from his awesome responsibilities, moved seamlessly into a role at the business end of the operation while wife Nancy added to her First Lady bona fides.  Of course no Lobsterfest would be complete without the cry of “Beer and wine!”  Frank was in the house both days.  Fresh from his stint with Alvaro at Stewart’s Market last Saturday, Gentle Ben risked the health of his back with all manner of feats of strength while Betsy tried to work and keep an eye on him at the same time. 

 

B.T. provided both financial oversight and a slightly menacing security presence.  One learns many things while shucking for many hours.  For instance, who knew that Navy enlisted man Richard Brookshire spent his Viet Nam-era tour in Williamsburg, VA making eye glasses for the troops.  During his service there was not a single Viet Cong sighting in the state.  Thank you for your service, Richard.  Scott Cluett was an important  cog in Fred’s machine as he made and distributed the event yard signs, the sponsor signs and put in more hours on the ground than almost anyone.  Program Chair Ken did his normal low-key under-the-radar thing always in the right place with whatever was needed.  Following the inflation of the bouncy castle it was discovered that it had been rode hard and put away wet a year ago, resulting in the discovery of penicillin.  Scott hosed it down and then, in one of the more bizarre moments of the weekend, in an effort to dry it out before the kids arrived  Mike Graf entered the castle with his backpack leaf blower and for the next 15 minutes resembled an Olympic floor exercise gymnast as the combination of the bouncy floor and the jet engine strapped to his back made for some interesting observation.  And then the august Jim Cole arrived with his beach chair to oversee the juvenile activities in the castle.  Although Duncan Chisholm was a member last year, he used a trip to Africa as a cheap excuse to miss the Lobsterfest, so this was his first and he allowed as how he would remember it always.

 

President-Elect Valerie put in long hours as she prepared for next year’s edition.  Her big takeaway may have been to re-appoint Fred.  Time will tell.  Eric  performed “the tray miracle” by delivering “the last tray” to be washed over 100 times.  Alex delivered the only organic desserts of the weekend.  A suggestion for next year might be to coat the plums in icing like a Scotch egg.  There are several indispensible [not deplorable] people without whom a Lobsterfest is almost unimaginable.  Scott Hobbs, a former Lobstermeister in his own right, is one such.  His generosity in transporting and storing the gear for the year is irreplaceable.  His knowledge of the requirements is unparalleled and the time he invests is admirable.  David Hurwitt experienced his first Fest and enhanced his growing reputation as the Club photographer.  Another of the Indispensibles is Leo.  He provides the tent and supervises its installation and removal, he is a bundle of directed energy, and a diligent worker.  We miss the long-time contribution of daughters Melissa and Jessica.  And then there is the Kerchoff family.  Faith, with some help from Margo and Hazel, ran a seamless dessert operation over both days.  John had to bear the brunt of the cooking duties as fellow veteran Joe Rucci was on injured reserve.  Son Andy stepped up as usual and with high-priced second year phenom Mike Graf turning in a worthy follow-up to his rookie year the cooking crew met the challenge.  Rookie Lisa Lynne was filmed by Two breaking yet another gender barrier as she was allowed at the cutters’ table.  The Mediterranean men members sighed as yet another male bastion bit the dust.

 

More stories from the shuckers include Magoo’s tale from his time in Ethiopia when he was taken to a hill by a local where the man explained to George that this hill was the mass grave where he and all his friends had been machine-gunned and bulldozed before he was able, though grievously wounded, to role out of the hole and down a hill to [relative] safety.  Magoo!!  Ethiopia!!  Who knew?   Sandy Graf not only did yeoman’s [yeowoman’s?] work, but was responsible for attracting her husband who, as has already been reported, contributed in many ways.  Joe Rucci may want to play hurt if he wants to protect his cooker’s slot.  Another former Chair who makes the Indispensible list is David Rucci.  He works hard, smart and long, can do any job, and does it all with a smile.  His family also show up.  Joe Rucci, looking suspiciously like Ahab, made good on his intention to supervise the shuckers before retiring to Norholt Drive.  Two of his supervisees, Santella and Sisson, continued their contest to see who is the oldest and most faithful Lobsterfest worker.  Both set a high standard.  Brock not only arrived to work, but brought his kids who never stopped.  When the festivities start to deteriorate we can always wheel out Keith to elevate the mood and add a little class to our efforts.  It doesn’t hurt if Debra is on his arm.  Marty, and his trusty sidekick Ben, was the utility man, ably filling in wherever he was needed and raising the morale wherever he landed.  Chris Snyder, a practitioner of the dismal science, was a happy addition to the congenial band of shuckers.  President Harry Truman once stated that in the future he wanted only one-armed economists so he never again had to hear, “on one hand this; on the other hand that.” 

 

Rich Townsend found many venues where he felt competent and clearly made a contribution, but he added a line to his C.V. when he became versed in the cleaning, drying and distributing of trays.  Just in case this hedge fund thing doesn’t work out.  Bill Walbert worked long hours at the cutting table where, having donned the long black rubber apron, he appeared to have been re-located from his beloved Masonic Temple.  What can one say about the Wilkinsons?  Amy did a spectacular job of developing and monitoring the Internet-based shift sign-up system.  Then she worked all the hours and made sure that every station was manned [womanned?] by the right number and type of worker all the time.  And Bruce shows up for every Rotary activity with a smile and a can-do attitude.  Finally, the SLOBs and their parents appeared and filled in very nicely.  One of them, Christian, literally packed the entire truck as the clean-up crew broke down and cleaned up the site and delivered the gear to the tailgate. 

 

While the events of the weekend are fresh in your mind, try to think of anything you personally experienced that could be improved upon, and let Fred know.  No detail is too small.  Our goal should be to improve every facet of the experience every year regardless of the success of this year’s event.  More better, more money, more opportunities for service.  The 2016 edition goes in the book as a wonderful success.

 

Tony Robbins