All-Female Commodore Leadership Makes History at Local Yacht Club

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Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club’s new Commodores for 2020 (left to right): Vice Commodore Rhonda Tolar, Commodore Ginny Lombardi, and Rear Commodore Kari Konapelsky.
— Photo by Jeff Granbery of Granbery Studios ©

All three top commodore positions at a local yacht club will be held by women this year, officials announced last week.

“(It’s) a unique, perhaps even unprecedented moment in yacht club leadership in Southern California and beyond,” Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club officials noted in a Jan. 2 press release. “There have only been five female Commodores of BCYC in its 60-year history.”

At the helm for 2020 is Newport Beach resident Commodore Ginny Lombardi, who has been an active member of Bahia Corinthian since 2006.

In her position, Lombardi will act as the chief executive officer of the Club and will be responsible for the overall general supervision, direction and control of the business and officers of BCYC, the message explains.

“My goal is to support the mission and purpose of BCYC, and to reinforce its reputation as the ‘friendliest club on the bay,’” Lombardi said in a prepared statement. “Our goal in 2020 is to continue providing members and their guests the best possible experience a private yacht club can impart.”

She is honored by the vote of confidence from the BCYC members and directors, Lombardi added. She also thanked outgoing Commodore Steve Moffitt.

“The transition is moving forward smoothly and inclusively,” she said.

Second in command is Vice Commodore Rhonda Tolar, another local resident, who joined BCYC in 1999.

In her new leadership role, Tolar will be the next in line should there be an absence or disability of the sitting Commodore, BCYC officials explained in the press release.

Tolar will serve as liaison between the Board of Directors and water-based committees and activities. She will chair the Steering Committee and act as liaison between the board and Club personnel in conjunction with the Club’s human resources functions.

“Each of us brings unique skill sets and personality to our new roles’” Tolar said in a prepared statement. “The three of us have worked closely for years in various leadership roles and capacities at BCYC. Not only are we friends and colleagues, I consider us like family. We care deeply about the Club and each other, we communicate well and we have our eye on the big picture to keep the Club vibrant and thriving. It’s going to be a fun year!”

Rounding out the three top leadership positions is Rear Commodore Kari Konapelsky of Dana Point, who joined BCYC in 2007.

In her new role, Konapelsky will assist Lombardi and Tolar in the discharge of their respective duties, and will officiate in their absence when necessary, officials explained in the announcement. She will act as liaison between the Board of Directors and land-based communities and activities.

“I am truly honored to serve beside these brilliant, strong and dedicated women,” Konapelsky said in a prepared statement.

For more information, call (949) 644-9530 or visit

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