May 7, 2018
Port Norris, NJ
Bayshore Center at Bivalve Appoints New Director
The Board of Directors for the Bayshore Center at Bivalve (BCB) has appointed Brian Keenan as its new Executive Director. Keenan has been serving as the organization’s interim director for the last year as the organization has worked on its new strategic plan.
“We are delighted that Brian has agreed to come aboard permanently. Over the last 12 months his entrepreneurial spirt and keen financial sense has been a good match for our mission driven organization. His efforts have helped begin to lay the ground work for another 30 years of successes.” says Mark Showers, BCB’s board president.
Prior to BCB, Keenan served as the president of Build with Purpose, an organization he founded in 2003. The organization uses real estate to promote positive social change by taking vacant land and buildings and repurposing them. Build with Purpose worked on the development of over 50 schools and over 500 units of affordable housing. The organization’s innovative work included the conversion of a mobile home park to a resident owned community, the conversion of a convent to an affordable senior care community and the redevelopment of a vacant church to veterans’ housing.
“BCB is one of the most interesting organizations I have come across and the AJ Meerwald is beautiful” said Keenan. “Meghan Wren, the former Executive Director and BCB founder, has left an amazing platform upon which to build. I don’t think I could have done what she did, raising the Meerwald out of the mud which was almost super human! Of course, she did not do that alone. So many people made it possible – the board, staff, volunteers and donors. I look forward to working with them to chart BCB’s future course. Since I have come to BCB, a quote by Thich Nhat Hanh has come to my mind repeatedly, ‘If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.’ I am keenly aware that if it where not for Meghan, the board, staff, volunteers and donors I would not be here today.”
Keenan holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from St. Peter’s University and a Bachelor of Social Work from Molloy College. He was honored by NJBiz with its 40 Under 40 award and the Veritas Medal from Molloy College for his work seeking truth through service to others. He serves on the board of Build with Purpose and Building Communities as well as on the advisory board of the Arch Dioceses of Newark Catholic Urban School’s Partnership.
The BCB is a working water front museum dedicated to environmental education and the history of the Delaware Bay region. The organization owns and operates the historic Schooner the AJ Meerwald, a sailing classroom and vehicle to enjoy the area waterways. The museum, located in the historic shipping sheds in Bivalve, NJ, is the AJ Meerwald’s home port. For more information about BCB go to bayshorecenter.org or call 856 785-2060.
The Bayshore Center at Bivalve the nonprofit owner and operator of the AJ Meerwald announced that the historic 1928 Delaware Bay Oyster Schooner and New Jersey’s Official Tall Ship has a new captain. “We are delighted Captain Johann Steinke will be joining us for our 2018 sailing season” said Mark Showers, Board President of the Bayshore Center.
Born in Canada, Captain Steinke was raised in Fresno, California, far from the ocean. He got into sailing and tall ships after seeing the movie “Master and Commander”. From that point on, he wanted to learn more about old wooden sailing ships and their history. Since then he has worked and lived on many different tall ships over the last 12 years, ranging from schooners and square riggers, to an epic journey on a replica Viking warship. He has also recently published a children’s book called, “The Greatest Captain in the World” which he says, “is most definitely not an autobiography”.
“My wife and I are excited about the move east and sailing the waters in and around New Jersey” said Captain Steinke adding “the AJ Meerwald is a beautiful ship”. Captain Steinke takes the helm of the AJ Meerwald at an exciting time. The ninety-year-old ship is undergoing major improvements including a new engine and generator thanks to the generous support of the David Rutherford Estate. Mr. Rutherford, a local Cape May resident and philanthropist pasted away last year and left the Bayshore Center at Bivalve a sizable bequest. “Without the generous support of David Rutherford and so many other people the AJ Meerwald would not be what she is today” said Showers.