Meet: Frank Hopkinson, Board Member
Frank Hopkinson grew up in Philadelphia, but spent time on the Eastern Shore with his family on a regular basis: he grew up sailing and racing, and has been sailing on the Chesapeake Bay since he was young. Frank has always enjoyed his time here, and has especially fond memories of visiting relatives and spending time with family.
When he began restoring an antique boat in 2008, he quickly realized that his garage was not the ideal workshop. When a friend suggested that he contact the Museum, he quickly reached out. He was able to volunteer in the boatyard, and spent three years finishing the restoration. Frank jokes that he would be at the Museum for eight hours, and only work on his boat for two. “There were so many guests that would come in and ask questions about what I was doing, what the boatyard was doing. It was great to see so many people so interested in Chesapeake boatbuilding.”
Frank is incredibly happy with the Museum’s visibility in the community. The reputation is continuing to grow with good publicity, and it is well situated within the public’s vision. He sees the Museum as central to preserving the history, culture, and environment of the Chesapeake Bay. “It’s a broad operation, and it does a great job.”
Since his first connection to the Museum was through the boatyard, it’s no surprised that this is his favorite part of the Museum. What appeals to him is how open and inviting the boatyard is, and how our volunteers and staff encourage people to come in. “They always makes time for guests. That’s not a common thing to find, in a day when most places make people stay behind ‘the line.’”
As for the Museum’s biggest strength, Frank is very proud of the Museum for its role as an economic driver in St. Michaels and Talbot County. CBMM fills its role of bringing people to the area, creating increased economic activity year after year. The Museum is a living institution: it has running boats, watermen, and a working boatyard. It personifies the local color and character of an ever-changing region.
Frank and his wife, Jane, support the Museum year after year because they enjoy it so much. He jokes that he is not good at retiring, and CBMM gives him the opportunity to be involved. Frank’s greatest strength is his versatility. He is always happy to fill in whatever roles that he can, and he is readily available whenever needed.
Frank couldn’t imagine a scenario in which the Museum would go away. “It’s a key part of the Chesapeake Bay, and St. Michaels as well.”
CBMM would like to thank Frank for his time and dedication to the Museum!