When Charles “Chuck” Borkoski first moved to Chatham in 2005 he lived within walking distance of the fish pier and he walked down there a lot.
“The fishing aspect of being here in Chatham really resonated with me,” he says. “I always enjoyed seeing the guys out there.”
So it only made sense that when he heard about the Fishermen’s Alliance he was interested. And that interest grew as he heard more about the organization’s work. Commercial fishermen are buffeted by a lot: Mother Nature, climate change, variable markets, the lack of a steady paycheck, markets, regulations - the list goes on.
“There are just so many roadblocks to success for fishermen,” says Borkoski, adding that growing up in a farming community on Long Island he felt some empathy.
The Fishermen’s Alliance can’t do much about the weather, but it can help the fleet in regards to policy, advocacy, and marketing and that is what hooked Borkoski.
Borkoski is a people person, retired as Vice President from McLaughlin & Moran, Rhode Island’s premiere beverage distributor and a third-generation company. He serves his Alma Mater, Providence College, on a number of boards and committees, including its President’s Council and the Student Affairs Committee. He is also a member of the Chatham Men’s Club and a Meals on Wheels volunteer.
A 1971 graduate of the college he gives back by working with matters affecting the quality of student life, and his communication skills are valuable in his interaction with the college administration, and maintaining a close relationship with faculty, student leaders, and student organizations. They also serve him well as a board member here.
Chuck, and his wife Leslie live a bit further from the pier now, but they, and their daughter Jenna, who currently resides in Boston, still stop by.
“They are very hardworking, risking their lives every day. More so than farmers ever did,” Borkoski says.