Honorary Directors

Joe Gerace

Joseph Gerace, Past Chairman of the Board (Founder) - Educated at Lakewood High School in Lakewood, NY, Denison University, and Albany Law School, Joe Gerace practiced law in Justice Robert H. Jackson's home town of Jamestown, New York, for 23 years. A Navy veteran of World War II, he was assigned to the USS Haven and participated in the atomic bomb tests at Bikini after the end of the war. He served as Town Supervisor of the Town of Busti, New York, and was elected as Chautauqua County’s first County Executive. He was appointed Commissioner of the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets and directed and organized the Office of Rural Affairs and Office of Mandate Review. He was elected as New York State Supreme Court Justice, retiring in 2003. Following retirement, he was appointed as a Judicial Hearing Officer, a post he currently holds. Joe is a strong supporter for the development of high school and adaptive rowing programs. He is enthusiastically looking forward to the day when our area high school students will compete on Chautauqua Lake against high schoolers from other parts of the country.

Eric Larson

Eric A. Larson (Founder) - Eric graduated from Jamestown High School and rowed for four years at Princeton University, one year on the freshman heavyweight crew and three years on the varsity heavyweight crew. He competed at the Eastern Sprints four times, and the IRA National Championship Regatta three times.

Stephen Odrzywolski

Stephen E. Odrzywolski (Founder) - Steve has proudly served as the head coach of the high school competitive program. For the past few years he has worked continuously to expand the team and improve their results. He got his start in rowing at the University at Buffalo where he rowed for the Varsity Men's Crew team. While there, he also served the team as vice president. Through the CLRA, he became a certified US Rowing coach and hopes to help re-kindle the exciting sport of rowing and is proud to be a part of this great organization!

Kevin Sixbey_1

Kevin S. Sixbey,  (Past President & Founder) - Kevin is a certified USRowing coach, with experience coaching both novice and experienced collegiate and adult rowers. In addition he was privileged, while a rower at Baldwin-Wallace College, near Cleveland OH, to assist in coaching visually impaired rowers. He rowed for three years on Baldwin-Wallce Crew, a club he formed as a sophomore at the college. He quickly worked his way from the novice boat, to the varsity boat, and ultimately assisted with coaching in Cleveland. While rowing for BW he represented the college on the Board of Directors of the Cleveland Rowing Foundation (formerly Western Reserve Rowing Foundation). He has enjoyed his rowing experiences and enthusiastic about the revival of rowing on Chautauqua Lake  a popular and extremely enjoyable activity for the area.

Lee Stein

Leon Stein, Past Chairman of the Board (Founder) - Lee was first introduced to rowing about twenty years ago. He is fortunate to be able row a recreational single shell on Chautauqua Lake spring, summer and fall and on the Banana River Melbourne, FL in the winter. Rowing is his favorite form of exercise being a full body workout in an environment that beats the gym. During his time on the board Lee worked hard to reintroduce rowing as a sport and recreational activity to people of all ages in Chautauqua County.

Gretchen Elwel

Gretchen Elwel - Gretchen started rowing more than ten years ago with SUNY Geneseo as a freshman, and continued rowing with them all four years of school. She was also Vice President of the Geneseo Crew her junior year. While attending graduate school at Binghamton University, she coached the Binghamton University Women's Novice Crew for two years. During the summer of 2006, she joined the CLRA as the Head Coach. And, after a long row and getting caught in the rain, she likes pina coladas.


William Wright Jr. - Bill has been boating on Chautauqua lake for his entire life and is excited to see the sport of competitive rowing return to the lake.  As an early board member, Bill helped establish the organizational structure of the CLRA, including obtaining the 501 c 3 status.  Bill has been actively rowing since the Club's purchase of three single sculls in 2012, and a family-owned scull in 2013.  He loves the early morning rows, and has rowed on the river every month except February.