Chapter Stalwarts

Stalwarts - every chapter has a few. You know - the person who is the first to pitch in and the last to quit at the end of the task. It takes a lot of effort by a lot of people to make a chapter successful, but usually there are one or more "quiet stalwarts." They are the backbone of most of the chapters. When nobody else will take on a task, they will. When everyone else has burned out, they keep on plugging. Not once, but time after time, year after year, always giving to share the joy of woodturning. We know how important they are to the chapters, and we'd like to help the chapters recognize them.

Click here to nominate a Stalwart

Marc Sitkin, Cape Cod Woodturners

Marc has been a longtime woodworker and added woodturning to his repertoire.  He moved to Cape Cod after he retired from a successful career as an advertising photographer and graphics designer.  He discovered Cape Cod Woodturners as an outlet for his creative endeavors. Despite his quieter presentation, Marc is a keen observer who gathers information and insights before offering his input.  He organized club demonstrations for several years at an antique tool day with 2-3 club lathes sharing our love of woodturning with the community.  He has offered his expertise in all matters IT and photography at many levels of club activity.  He was the master mind behind a complete overhaul of the club website in 2020, helping other members learn to selectively maintain their own sections while working as the webmaster.  In June 2023, the website won first place in the AAW website contest.  He developed a new newsletter format using Inkscape and taught the newsletter editor to use the new program, elevating the presentation of the club.  Since 2020, he has maintained the gallery of club photographs from our Show and Tell and Coffee Hour presentations.  During the pandemic, he photographed 150+ turnings for a hybrid Show and Sale at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod for an on-line presentation.  He has offered advice and equipment tips on multiple occasions to individuals on photography techniques and editing.  He was a demonstrator in 2023 for the club, wowing everyone with his segmenting demonstration via video with in-person examples and commentary. Marc has enhanced our club in multiple ways and we are pleased to nominate him for the Stalwart Award.

Robin McIntyre, Cape Cod Woodturners, Inc.

Robin has been an especially tireless contributor to the Club and its members ever since she joined.  While serving as Club Secretary for ten years, she compiled the monthly meeting minutes, took pictures of Show and Tell items, published the monthly club newsletter, started a Women in Turning (WIT) group and continues to mentor women who are new to turning. Robin chaired the Lighthouse Project, raising over $1000.00 for Race Point Lighthouse. She captured the Lighthouse Project in an AAW article.  After stepping down as secretary, Robin then assumed the position of Program Chair for two years where she led a committee approach that provided excellent demonstrations and introduced member surveys.  In addition to her Programming Chair responsibilities, Robin stepped in to perform as the Club’s interim secretary for almost a year while the Secretary was out sick.  Robin has also been instrumental in monitoring COVID status in our community to stay current with safety guidelines for keeping our members safe. The combination of Robin’s egoless, welcoming personality, strong turning skills and untiring and creative contributions to the Club have made Robin a stand-out and stalwart asset to the Club. --Denis Casaubon

Greg Peck, Silicon Valley Woodturners, Inc

Greg has been the rock solid pillar of our club in these difficult times.   As Secretary he has arrived early for every meeting to set up his personal AV equipment so we can Zoom our meetings, as well as planning the meeting agenda and handling all photos submitted for Presidents Challenges and Show and Tell.   He is currently involved in developing a new Audio Visual system that anyone in the club will be able to operate.  He has served so faithfully and responsibly on our Board of Directors and been such a constant supporter of our club that nobody noticed he has exceeded term limits for the BOD!  He truly deserves our recognition and thanks for the many things he has done for our club for so long.--Steven Dahout

Clarke Buchanan, Cape Cod Woodturners, Inc.

Clarke is a long-time member of the Club committed to making a positive impact on the members of the Club.  He successfully served as Club President for eight years where he had an enormous yet quiet impact by engaging, mentoring and invigorating other Club members. He contributes wood for raffles at the monthly meetings, plans the Club’s annual picnic and holiday party and coordinates occasional outdoor wood swaps despite Covid. Clarke is a proficient demonstrator, camera operator, sawdust session host and mentor.  He is active with the club serving as the Immediate Past President and managing and distributing bulk supplies for the Club.  Clarke’s persistent inspiration for us all to be better turners and his generosity with his time for other Club members has set him apart as a stalwart member of the Club.--Denis Casaubon

Jim Reese, Emerald Coast Woodturners Guild 

Jim Reese is a current officer and board member of Emerald Coast Woodturners Guild (ECWG). Jim is the epitome of a consummate volunteer. He provides his time, equipment, expertise, and financial support to our guild and literally is the first to offer help and the last to leave. Jim routinely uses his vehicle and trailers to haul wood to give to guild members and hauls our large ECWG owned trailer to special events we attend. He reverted to his previous specialty as a mechanical engineer when he volunteered to make a replacement piano dolly to help move a full-sized lathe during special events. He is our self-nominated photographer and designed our guild flyer and directory. The directory is especially helpful to new members as it provides members pictures and all pertinent contact info. Jim fills an instructor position during our monthly member training days and provides numerous tops for our local Children’s Advocacy Center. It would be hard to imagine our guild without Jim’s leadership and volunteer spirit! ~ Charles J. Chaloupka


Brian Lunt, Greater Vancouver Woodturners Guild

Brian's motto is, "Just get it done." He's the first and last at club meetings for setup. He planned and built our AV system and moderates both in-person and remote meetings and is keeping abreast with the technology needed to implement hybrid meetings. He looks for gaps and magically fills them in and makes it work. For our Turning classes he finds the green wood, cuts up the wood, delivers it to the the class, and spends the entire weekend, in the wings, making sure that the students and instructor are properly equipped - no one asked him to do this - he just knew it needed to be done. He's our communications hub, composing all of our entertaining and informative alerts and notices and personally welcomes each and every new member that joins. When someone needs help, he is the first one to jump in. Rather than ask if he can help, Brian will just be there. The GVWG is a really good club. Brian makes it a GREAT Club! ~ Steve Hansen

Photo: Brian presented Service Award by Steve Fairbairn and Bruce Campbell, February 2019.


James (Jim) Boott Harris, South Plains Woodturners

James (Jim) Boott Harris, was the South Plains Woodturners president about 12 years ago. You will find him sitting in on most board meetings and if you need help at the County Fair trade show booth, First Friday Art Trail table, or Lubbock Arts Festival, Jim will be the first to show up and the last to leave. He also comes to all the classes that run for 3 hours/night and makes cookies for the mentors and students. We have the chance to do a yearly online vote with a local bank for our Community Awards. Jim and a few others really get after the voting and we have received $7,500 in the last three years. ~ Kent Crowell

Photos: Top left - Jim Harris with his big mallet at show and tell. (Photo Credit: Kent Crowell) Top right - Jim Harris helping youth at the YWCA Lubbock. Bottom - Kent Crowell and Jim Harris (in green shirts) accepting Community Awards checks.

John Kelsey, Lancaster Area Woodturners

In addition to the countless contributions John Kelsey has made for AAW and the turning community over decades, he has been the sole force behind the Lancaster Area Woodturners' Weekly Coffee Hour, recently completing its 93rd session. John created the Coffee Hour to support continuing camaraderie in the woodturning community as  COVID hit, and uses Zoom to host - for free - all are welcome - dozens of attendees from literally across the globe. For what he has done, I'm proud to know John and honored to nominate him as a Stalwart. ~ Mike Jungkurth


Kirk Smith, West Tennessee Woodturners

Kirk Smith was one of the founding members of our club in June 2009. It would be difficult to remember a meeting that he did not attend. It would be even more difficult to remember a meeting where he did not play a key role. He has served on the board and as an officer almost if not every year since the beginning. He is one of the first to arrive and last to leave at virtually every meeting. In every cabinet and every corner is some tool or gadget he has built to enhance our meetings. If we have a last minute need for a meeting program Kirk is almost always ready to step in with something. We all owe a big THANK YOU to Kirk.

Roger & Julie Basrak, Chicago Woodturners

Stalwart “a loyal, reliable, and hardworking supporter or participant in an organization or team”.

Roger and Julie Basrak joined the Chicago Woodturners in 2001 and from the beginning jumped right in to help with various projects that “just needed doing”. Roger joined first and they upgraded their membership within just a few months to a family membership. Julie & Roger both chose careers in the education field.  Roger had all the contacts needed to set up demonstrations at various high schools to inspire young woodturners.  Roger’s booming voice was often heard as he announced the latest schedule. Julie became the membership chairperson (with complete support from Roger) back in November, 2010.

When CWT decided to host our first Turn On! Chicago symposium it was no surprise that Roger and Julie volunteered to assist with the planning. After the success of Turn On! Chicago, Roger and Julie were first in line when we formed the educational committee and helped to spearhead our participation in not only high school shop classes at Palatine High School, and Hoffman Estates High School, but also were instrumental in CWT being featured artists for the Highland Park High School Focus on the Arts program and the sister program at Stevenson High School which exposed literally hundreds of teenagers to the art of woodturning through hands on pen turning. Roger ordered the pen kits, prepared blanks and recruited and coordinated the volunteers for all of these events. They were both present and available for set up and tear down for each event.

Roger and Julie didn’t stop there. As membership coordinator, Julie (and Roger) were the first people any visitor saw as they came to the CWT monthly meeting. They spent endless hours preparing nametags, sending renewal notices and reminder notes to those who had somehow dropped off their memberships. Roger and Julie are always available to help when the club held all day demonstrations, club picnics, holiday parties, Empty Bowls events, Pens for Troops events and booth sitting for SOFA Chicago. They literally do it all.

When attending Regional and/or national Symposia you will almost certainly find Julie helping out in some manner or another (registration, instant gallery, acting as a personal guide) and Roger has been known to help out with a video camera or two and even offer chauffer services.

The Chicago Woodturners are very, very thankful to have members as dedicated to promoting the art and craft of woodturning as Roger and Julie Basrak. They represent the true meaning of Salwart and are two of the silent heros that support not just CWT but the woodturning world in general. All of the Chicago Woodturners are happy to nominate Roger and Julie Basrak as club Salwarts.


Dave Arnone, Cape Cod Woodturners

Dave Arnone is a lifelong educator and woodworker who moved to Cape Cod 8 years ago.  He quickly moved into being an active club participant and has morphed into being a true leader in our club on the Board of Directors.   As chair of the nominating committee, he spent countless hours leading his committee in exploring and vetting officers for key positions.  He has created and taught new educational programs to better the skills of members through mentoring and instruction.  Through his efforts, our club has been able to mentor young people in our community who are at risk.  He has turned his personal shop with multiple lathes into a gathering and learning place for member sessions and has a plethora of tools which he generously loans to others to try.  Dave has chaired exhibits of members’ work in the community both for more seasoned and emerging turners.  During the last year with COVID-19, he has become the tech guru for our meeting Zoom sessions, hosting our demonstrations with 3 camera views and all of the production and editing capabilities needed.  He teaches turning at a local cultural center and, as chair of our membership committee, has encouraged many of those students to participate and join our club.  He visits members’ shops and provides guidance in setting up lathes, dust collections systems, and bandsaws.  He opens up his shop to mentor members in their specific turning needs.  Dave never stops looking for ways to add more value to being a member of the club, even when membership already offers so much.  His participation, educational insights, and love of woodturning bring so much to all members of our club.



Don McCloskey, Chicago Woodturners

Don has been an active member of the chapter since 1999 and in 2021 was awarded the status of Lifetime Member for his 20+ years of contributions to the Chicago Woodturners and support of its community outreach activities. Don has been the champion of Pens-for-Troops and has been dedicated to this program where he has collected in excess of 10,000 pens for our troops. He is also a key organizer for Empty bowls, participates in all club community outreach programs, maintained all the tools and lathes owned by the club, has been on the organizing committee for the Turn-on-Chicago symposium since 2008, and is always willing to help with any club related activity. Don is the definition of a Stalwart.

Dave Kaufmann, Montrose Area Woodturners

Dave was one of the founding members of the Montrose Area Woodturners and the first President. Even though he is not the current President, he is very much the heart and soul of the club.  He has open shops on a regular basis and is among the first to offer lessons to anyone who wants to learn. He was one of the driving forces in starting and maintaining our Eagle Head Cane project for veterans and ensures we have enough canes on hand for presentations. Over a year ago, he started our Wig Stand project to produce and present wig stands to cancer patients who have lost their hair.  In a little over one year, we have donated over 150 wig stands in western Colorado. Dave is truly a driving force in making our small group special.

Jim Greenwood, Mid Tenn Woodturning Association

Jim has served as a host for our club to use as a meeting place and use his tools and lathes as past president of many years holding the office for our club. He is self taught and has passed his ways of turning on to others.



Les Black and Rod Smith, Cumberland Woodturners of Crossville, Tennessee

The Cumberland Woodturners of Crossville, Tennessee, have honored  with Stalwart Awards in recognition of their extraordinary support of our chapter. During his eleven years of club membership, Les has served as club librarian and treasurer and is one of our four designated mentors. All of our meetings, hands-on workshops, and guest demonstrations are held at Les’s workshop, where he generously shares his lathes, tools, and expertise with the club. A Cumberland Woodturners member since 2004, Rod has served as president and treasurer and is our videographer, webmaster, and a designated mentor. Les and Rod are outstanding ambassadors for our chapter, the AAW, and the art and craft of woodturning. They coach turners at our monthly workshops, serve on our board, and support our community outreach projects. They also volunteer their time and equipment to provide demonstrations at community events. In countless ways, Les and Rod are the grease and the glue of our chapter. It is our great pleasure to honor them with these Stalwart Awards, which they so richly deserve.


Pete Wiens, Tennessee Association of Woodturners (TAW)  

Pete Wiens has been a member of the Tennessee Association of Woodturners (TAW) for over 20 years. Pete shares his love of woodturning by coordinating the Saturday Turn Ins for members who want to enhance their woodturning skills. In addition, Pete has served in several leadership rolls for the TAW including being on the board of directors and the symposium committee. He also demonstrates at the annual craft fairs and encourages those interested in woodturning to join the TAW and the AAW.

Don Hart, First State Woodturners

Don Hart has been an educator and leader at First State Woodturners since it was founded in 2005. He has been willing to demonstrate and show new members how to sharpen tools or how to make his signature miniature turnings. In addition, he helped connect our club with others in the area including the Capital Area Woodturners. It’s great to be able to honor Don as an AAW Stalwart since he always has a smile on his face and a nice looking hat on his head. He has been an AAW member for 25 years!

Paul Omilon, South Saskatchewan Woodturners Guild

Paul is one of the founding members of the South Saskatchewan Woodturners Guild. He is and always has been an integral part of our guild. He has served on the executive for many years, he has provided many demonstrations, teaches turning, and is a great promoter of the guild, the AAW, and woodturning in general. Paul coordinates many activities, group purchases, and sponsorships for the guild. If there is a job to be done, he is always ready to go above and beyond expectations.

Phillip Brown, Montgomery County Woodturners

Phil was the founder of Montgomery County Woodturners (MCW) and his acted as its first president. Over the years, MCW has continued to be very active and successful, with many members attending the demonstrations, critiques, and skill enhancement sessions each month. Phil has arranged exhibitions of members’ work in eight county libraries with display cases for ten years, enriching county residents and bringing attention to the field. Additionally, he was recipient of 2017 Lifetime Impact Award by the County Executive’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities to recognize his contributions to the county’s arts and cultural community.

Byron Rosbrugh, Wilmington Area Woodturners Association

Byron is the very definition of stalwart: "loyal, reliable, hardworking.” He has helmed our chapter a whopping five years out of the 13 our club has been in existence, stepping up to the plate each time no one else would do so. Under his leadership, we’ve grown from 60 to 130 members in under a year. He’s fought tirelessly to build up and protect our reserves. He attends every event, infects everyone with his limitless cheer and energy, and relentlessly sells WAWA. We are deeply indebted to him.

Derek Roff, Enchanted Woodturners, Santa Fe, NM

Derek epitomizes a club stalwart. He helped to found our club 5 years ago and served as our first secretary. He has been a tirelessly dedicated videographer, having missed only one meeting in as many years. He has attended all of our workshops, directs our program committee, frequently participates in "show and tell", and is active on the nominating committee. He frequently offers wise and gentle counsel to the young and the experienced turners.

Damon Harmon, Southern Maine Woodturners

Damon founded our club and has worked tirelessly to make it a welcoming and educational place for turners of all levels. He's always been there to lend a helping hand, whether it's through mentoring, help with events, or filling in when our scheduled demonstrator cancels at the last minute. He's inspired all of us to be better turners and better club members.

Jack Reyome, Southern Piedmont Woodturners Inc.

Jack is a mentor and demonstrator. He maintains equipment in our studio and just built portable cabinets for the lathes. Jack tows the trailer and coordinates outside activities. Last year he facilitated a gallery exhibit featuring 70 wood pieces created by members. Jacks military background in avionics has positioned him to create many innovative tools to aid in woodturning. Jack is the "go to" guy when you need something done. He has served many years on our Board and is an asset to our club.

Bill Tatkovski, Susquehanna Woodturners

Bill Tatkovski has been Susquehanna Woodturners’ VP for the last four years and its program director for - well, forever. On top of that, as club librarian, he expanded the chapter’s collection of books and CDs grew to a very respectable size. Bill is always there for both setup and teardown - or with that piece of needed wood. He is always the cheerleader for the turning adventures of others. To the right is Bill pictured on a local TV show promoting the club.

Joel Blazek, Bayou Woodturners

Joel Blazek was elected president of the Bayou Woodturners at an organizational low where he restored it to a friendly professional club that served all its members. Following his tenure as president, Joel continues to support the club unselfishly behind the scenes by holding free beginner classes in his studio, hosting guess turners in his home, directing the setup of meetings, giving demonstrations, and donating wood, and supplies. Joel’s efforts define him as a club stalwart.

Kansas City Woodturners "The Top Guys"

Edd Maxwell, David Burks, Jerry Darter, Virgil Boyd (camera shy) have been a mainstay of KCWT's outside activities for years.  They turn tops for the Deanna Rose Farmstead, The Maker Faire, The Tool Show, and most importantly - they encourage all members to support the top program provides free tops to kids at Children's Hospital.  They challenge all members with their generosity, enthusiasm, and knowledge which they continually share.

Brian Clarry, Tennessee Association of Woodturners

Regional symposium chairperson, Narrow Gate volunteer.

Kay Whitley, South Plains Woodturners

Kay, our social chair for the past 3 years, has spent countless hours ensuring our Christmas party and Chapter picnic have been roaring succcesses. Our great thanks!

Dick Markham, South Plains Woodturners

Dick was one of the founders of our chapter, and in our 8 years of existence Dick has missed only one meeting! He always brings something interesting for our Show & Telll from his treasure trove of turnings, and he assists many members in machinery maintenance issues. His vast databank of knowledge is a valuable asset to our chapter. Jan 2014

Dick Gerard, Central Indiana

Dick was the founder of our local chapter and has been very active since the beginning back in the late 1980s. He has served 2 terms as vice president and 2 terms as president. During those 4 years, he was instrumental in getting several of the "big name" turners to demo for our group. Dick is a major contributor to our award-winning newsletter with his review of DVDs and book. He is always there to volunteer and is among the first to make visitors and new members feel right at home. He regularly donates excess wood and tools for our members.

Jim Hutchinson, Georgia Association of Woodturners

Jim joined the Georgia Association of Woodturners in early 1994 and has been a member since. Throughout the years, he has held various elected positions within the chapter, including two years as president. In addition to his contributions in those positions, Jim has always been ready to volunteer his time, energy, wisdom, and historical knowledge of the chapter whenever and wherever needed. Jim seeks out new members to welcome them to the chapter, and his mild manner and genuine friendliness leave a lasting impression. In the words of one of our members, "I don't know of anyone in the chapter who is better at warm hospitality than Jim.” He is always among the first to volunteer for whatever the chapter may require and routinely suggests ways that he might be of further service to the chapter. Jim’s "come early, stay late, and do whatever needs to be done” attitude has earned him the chapter’s first Quiet Stalwart” award.

Tom and Becky Edwards, San Diego Woodturners

Tom was awarded a SDW Lifetime Membership Award in 2010 with his wife, Becky. Throughout the years, Tom, as longtime Board member and mentor, has functioned as (1) Resource Chairman - retrieving, preparing, and providing local woods to members. (2) Chair of set-up and management of the SDW demo booth at the SD County Fair each year, whereby members turn tops, etc., to raise money for our Toys for Tots and Wounded Warrior Projects. (3) A leader in our Turn Around for Vets (our Wounded Warrior project), Tom has modified tools and lathe equipment to accomodate the needs of our injured Warriors. (4) Team Edwards also manages our Video Library and lost & found fund. Tom and Becky are an inspiration for all our Woodturning friends.

Richard Booth, Pueblo Woodturners

Richard has been a long time supporter, founder, and mentor of the Pueblo chapter. His contribution has been noted by all.

Bob Black, Chattahoochee Woodturners

Bob has tirelessly and faithfully supported the Chattahoochee Woodturners chapter these past two years. He has served as VP, Programs and Training Chair for this past year. He has encouraged member involvement and learning. He used a committee approach to program planning. During the past two years, he has organized and gotten facilitators for about a dozen all-day workshops. He procured all of the wood required for the workshops and conducted one personally about tool making. He organized a shop tour of a local professional turner whose company provides burial urns. He instituted a program to reward members for teaching and demonstrating by awarding shirts with the chapter logo. He has provided maintenance to the chapter-owned lathes. This coming year he is focusing on membership activities.

Mike Zinser, Tennessee Association of Woodturners

Mike has held several officer positions for the TAW. He is responsible for organizing all the chapter meetings, coordinating the demonstrations and helping out with the monthly Saturday Turn Ins. In addition Mike has spearheaded the annual Christmas Ornament Sale and all the craft fair demonstrations. Other local chapters have benefitted from Mike's experience and expertise. Mike has been a mentor, friend, and teacher for many woodturners throughout the years.

Phil Lapp, Cascade Woodturners

Phil has been a member of Cascade for nearly all of our 20 years. He served on the board several times. As president, Phil is someone I've been able to count on to help throughout the year. He’s come up with a number of innovative ideas for the chapter and agreed step in and help out in many last-minute requests. He contributes lots of wood to both our raffle and auction. He and his wife have generously provided their farm for our annual picnic. Phil is the member who sees that one of more senior members has transportation to and from meetings. On top of it all, Phil has a great sense of humor and has come up with some unique and whimsical contributions to our show & tell.

Jim Hilburger, Western New York Woodturners

Jim is a mentor, guide, and motivator. It is doubtful that any member of the Western New York Woodturners has not benefited from Jim’s hands-on tutelage, demos (too numerous to mention) and his unending infectious enthusiasm for art and craft of wood turning. His generosity toward the members who are willing to learn and lend a helping hand cannot be overlooked either, because it is part and parcel of who he is. Mention Jim’s name to most any member of the four local turning chapters and a couple many miles distant and you will be greeted with a smile and an "Oh yeah! I know Jim." That says more about the man than I could ever articulate here. If the Western New York Woodturners indeed has a heart, Jim Hilburger is a very large part of that heart.

Robert Mitchell, Channel Islands Woodturners

Robert is our videographer, videotaping guests and chapter demos for the past 4 years. He has done a terrific job. He has done this on his own. His service is greatly appreciated.

Judy and Bernie Grange, Channel Islands Woodturners

Judy and Bernie have been our chapter librarians for the past 4 years. They have faithfully carted containers of CDs, videotapes, and books to every monthly chapter meeting. Their service is greatly appreciated.

Ron Lindsay, Channel Islands Woodturners

Ron has been our treasurer and membership coordinator for what seems like forever. In addition, he has been our webmaster for a couple years. His dedicated service to Channel Islands Woodturners is truly appreciated.

Dave Beringer, Turners Anonymous

Dave has always been the man who will do all that is required to make any project a success. Dave tirelessly served two full terms as chairman of our chapter, and when we temporarily lost our newsletter editor, Dave stepped in. When our secretary didn’t show up at a board meeting, Dave stepped in and took the minutes. When Dave’s term as Chairman was up, he stepped in as program chairman and booked top rate demonstrators twice a year and hosted them. When special wood or tools were required, Dave made sure they were on hand when needed. On top of that, at every other meeting Dave arranges programs that keep our members interested. Dave deserves a big pat on the back.