Chuck Desiderio ’68
Boatman / Green Lake Crew
An impactful leader is not only someone who encourages others to push beyond their capabilities, they also challenge themselves to think differently, serve others, and try new things. As a student at Bishop Montgomery, Chuck Desiderio ’68 was an all-league and all-area pitcher for the baseball team and was an integral part of the 1967 CIF champion team. He also served on the Pep Club and the Block M Club, groups that provided service to the school as part of their mission. He went on to pitch at Cal State Los Angeles and is an avid baseball fan. After moving to Seattle many years ago, Desiderio was looking for a way to socialize and try something different, so he made his way over to Green Lake Crew (GLC) on a rainy day. For the last 30+ years, he has been with GLC as a rower and coach and currently serves as their boatman. In his role at Green Lake, he makes sure the fleet is in top condition for the high school and adult rowers in the program. In 2018, he received the Carl Lovstead Award for “significant lifelong commitment to youth rowing.” Desiderio is a humble leader who has quietly impacted the lives of rowers at GLC and throughout the Pacific Northwest by helping to make the sport of rowing accessible to young people.
What do you think is the most important quality that a leader, no matter the role, should have?
“A good leader, in conjunction with the group, should set a clear goal along with a reasonable way to attain it. This helps everyone be involved and feel part of going forward.”
How do you try to inspire the rowers in the program? What qualities do you try to cultivate in them?
“Athletes are normally not very inspired by my rigging and repairing the rowing shells; what I try to instill in them is to take care of the equipment and to stay with the program at least through the season in order to give themselves a chance to find out if this is for them.”
What leadership qualities did you learn as a student at Bishop Montgomery? Who were some leaders at BMHS who helped you become who you are today?
“The leadership we learned at Bishop is basic and stays with us – show up on time, be prepared, commit to the group, be willing to do extra, and embrace the process as the finished product may take awhile. Let me add that learning and leadership lasts a lifetime. We were fortunate in the 60’s to be around a teriffic staff, faculty and fellow students. The coaches, and Coach Marv Wood in particular (Chuck’s baseball coach at BMHS), left a lasting impression, and it says a lot that many of us have kept in touch over the years. Go Knights. Stay healthy and safe.”