Director has spent many years working around race boats and has always loved them.
What do you do? I am the executive director of the Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum [in Kent]. We are the nation’s only museum dedicated exclusively to powerboat racing. Unlike many museums, all of our artifacts are restored to running condition, and we use them frequently. So aside from the administrative and fundraising tasks that most museum directors do, I also spend a lot of time driving race boats.
How did you get that job? I’ve spent many years working around race boats and have always loved them. I started volunteering for the museum in the early 1990s. They didn’t have a director, so I offered to take on the job. I told the board that if I couldn’t figure out a way to raise money, they didn’t have to pay me.
What’s a typical day like? The beautiful part about my job is that there is never a typical day. On Tuesday, I might be dressed in a suit and tie, talking to a wealthy benefactor about a major donation. Wednesday will see me giving tours to busloads of first-graders. Thursday and Fridays, I’ll be elbow deep in a motor, and on Saturday and Sunday, I get to drive a 130 mph raceboat.
What’s the best part of the job? The best part of my job is the people that I get to work with. I’ve met most of my childhood heroes and many of the region’s most successful businessmen. Most important, I get to work with an amazing group of volunteers who put in thousands of hours restoring our boats out of pure love of the sport. Being able to work every day with people who love what they are doing is priceless!
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What surprises people about your job? The thing that I hear the most is, “You actually get paid to do this! Wow, you are the luckiest guy in the world!” (Which might be true!) But what most people don’t realize is that it takes a huge amount of money to run the museum, and I spend all day, every day, 365 days a year trying to raise money.