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Introducing -- Commodore Don Mitchell
The Lakewood Yacht Club is pleased to announce Don Mitchell as the new Commodore for 2016. Commodore Mitchell and his wife Marilyn are long-time members of the club. They begin their term as passionate boaters and loyal supporters of sustaining the club as an exclusive haven for recreational yachters.

Mitchell believes in putting club members first and never losing sight of what makes Lakewood one of the top ten yacht clubs in the country. "It's always important to keep in mind that we're in the entertainment business. And that members come here to have fun." Whether the club community is looking for vibrant social connections, a premier youth sailing program, or cruising and racing opportunities, Mitchell advocates for decisions that benefit the club as a whole.

"I want to leave the club better or in as good a shape as I found it. During my time as Commodore, if there's a decision to be made that's good for Lakewood, I'll probably do it. If it's not good for Lakewood, I probably won't do it." That kind of resolve sees inventiveness through to the end. With a firm resolve to build on recent enterprises, Mitchell positions himself to continue improving on developments to the club that are underway. "I intend to stay on course, especially regarding the social elements of the club. If it's not broke, I won't be fixing it."

As a young child, Commodore Mitchell's family relocated to Maracaibo, Venezuela from their farm in Fort Dodge, IA. Picking up a new language came quickly to Mitchell and his three brothers. After five years, the family returned to the United States where Mitchell discovered his two great loves -- sailing and a girl named Marilyn.

"In high school, I was playing football and broke my leg. A buddy of mine carried my books because I was on crutches. Marilyn was carrying books for a girl who had polio. So, we met in the hall. That was 47 years ago."

In the early '60s, Mitchell started sailing with his father. "My dad bought a sailboat in Miami. He and I sailed it all the way down the coast back to Texas. In high school, I got really involved in sailing with my dad."

Seamanship evolved into a full-time career for Mitchell when he joined the Navy as navigator aboard a submarine. "We traveled from Korea, down to Australia, and all through the western Pacific." For four years, Mitchell called the inside of a submarine his home.

Once Mitchell returned from overseas in the post-Vietnam war era, it was time to hustle. "I had kids, so I had to figure out something to do." Reinventing his father's family-owned business, Mitchell started the heavy machinery manufacturing company Mitchell Crane that still thrives today.

When Mitchell joined Lakewood Yacht Club, he and Marilyn didn't know a single club member. "One day, somebody asked me to chair the Cruising Committee. I said it sounded like fun, so I did it. Eventually, someone suggested I run for the Board. And when I ran, I got approved. Then, they asked me if I would be Fleet Captain, and I eventually did." Settling in to the new role of Commodore, the Mitchells have sailed their 42-ft. yacht Coral Caye from Brownsville to the Bahamas, along the Eastern Seaboard, and down the Mississippi. "Lakewood has just become home for us."

With club dining room renovations nearly complete, Mitchell looks forward to balancing member satisfaction with future projects. "Improvements are underway for the front gate entrance and a variety of sheds and piers. But the membership has to be kept happy. That's my goal. If everybody is satisfied, they'll stay."

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Anne Bechard 
Digital Marketing Specialist

I'm thrilled to be a part of Lakewood's marketing team! From an early age, I started showing signs of becoming an auspicious writing geek. Today, I'm a columnist for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Business Insider. I get excited about exploring new ideas, communicating in a creative way, and solving problems that stump me. It's especially thrilling that I get to do all this in a place that personifies one of my greatest loves -- nature and the outdoors. I'm looking forward to growing our digital marketing techniques and meeting your communications needs with excellence!

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2322 Lakewood Yacht Club Drive, Seabrook, TX 77586 | Tel: (281) 474-2511 | Fax (281) 474-3502
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