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Past Commodore

Commodore Clark J. Godshall

 COMO Clark Godshall
Clark J. Godshall, Ed D, is immediate past district commodore of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary’s Ninth District Eastern Region, serving from Jan. 1, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2022.

Dr. Godshall, district superintendent for Orleans/Niagara Board of Cooperative Educational Services, has been active with Youngstown, NY, Flotilla as boat crew member, personal watercraft operator, CPR/First Aid provider, instructor, and vessel examiner. He also has served as a district chief of staff, district captain, division commander, and district training officer. He also has served as national deputy director for the public education directorate.

As District Training Officer, Godshall received the Recreational Boating Safety (RBS) Device, recognizing "extraordinary effort" in support of RBS programs and "compiling 120 points (hours) per year for two consecutive years for work in public education, public affairs, vessel safety checks, visitation, and legislative and state outreach."

Commodore Joseph Sopko

 COMO Joseph Sopko
Joseph Sopko, MD, MBA, of Shaker Heights, OH, served as commodore of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary's Ninth District Eastern Region (which stretches from Toledo, Ohio, east to the St. Lawrence Seaway) from Jan. 1, 2019 to Dec. 31, 2020.

Dr. Sopko has been active with North Cleveland Flotilla 16 in a number of roles; among them, boat coxswain, qualification examiner, vessel examiner, instructor, food service specialist, and physician. He has served as district chief of staff, district captain and has held leadership roles on the flotilla and division levels. A specialist in pulmonary and critical care, Dr. Sopko attended medical school at Tufts University and did both his internal medicine residency and pulmonary fellowship at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Commodore Robert Scofield

Robert Scofield of Hammond, NY, served as district commodore for Ninth District, Eastern region from Jan. 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2018.

Commodore Robert Scofield with Rear Admiral June Ryan
Commodore Robert Scofield
with Rear Admiral June Ryan

Joining the Coast Guard Auxiliary in 2003, Scofield has served in various flotilla staff officer positions as well as flotilla commander, division commander and district captain. Prior to being elected commodore, he served as district chief of staff.

Scofield is a retired superintendent of schools for Hammond Central School after serving in that position for 21 years and after being in education for 34 years. He graduated with a bachelor's in education from SUNY Oswego and a master's degree and certificate of advanced standing from St. Lawrence University.

Commodore Edward Monaco

Rear Admiral June Ryan and COMO Ed Monaco
Rear Admiral June Ryan presents Meritorious Service commendation to Commodore Edward Monaco.
Edward Monaco is a past district commodore for the Coast Guard Auxiliary's Ninth District Eastern Region, completing a two-year term at the end of 2016.

He received the Auxiliary Meritorious Service Medal for “demonstrating exceptional character, leadership and vision.” COMO Monaco was cited for inspiring a 12 percent membership growth and overseeing an Auxiliary force that contributed nearly 8,000 hours of direct operational support to Sector Buffalo units, resulting in saving 11 lives and $612,000 in property as well as assisting 108 waterway users. Auxilarists under his leadership conducted more than 6,000 vessel safety checks and marine dealer visits, and taught 750 public education classes. He and his team also “served in many different capacities at the Republican National Convention,” including 324 hours in surface operations, 328 hours in operations/administrative support, and 198 food service hours.

Monaco began his Auxiliary career in 1999 in what was Flotilla 8-1 in Akron, OH, and quickly became division information systems officer, staying in that position for 10 years. He served as commander of Flotilla 8-9, followed by terms as vice commander and commander of Division 8 (now Division 6 as a result of a merger with Division 9 which he helped to orchestrate).

Monaco was elected district captain in 2010 and 2011, and then appointed as district staff officer for communications. He went on to become district chief of staff before being elected district commodore.

Monaco is a registered architect who has operated his own firm in Akron, OH. He graduated from Canon McMillan High School in Canonsburg, PA and attended Penn State University in State College, PA for a year before transferring to Kent State University where he received both bachelor's and master's degrees in architecture. Monaco and his wife, Jodi, reside in Cuyahoga Falls, OH, and have two daughters, Amanda and Lauren.

Commdore Robert Lauer

 Robert Laurer

Robert Lauer is a past district commodore, serving a two-year term that was completed at the end of 2014.

He was awarded the Auxiliary Meritorious Service Medal for “demonstrating exceptional leadership” as district commodore.

In presenting the award on behalf of Ninth Coast Guard District Commander Rear Admiral Fred Midgette, Chief of Prevention Capt. Paul Albertson said Laurer “championed Standardized Auxiliary Boat Operations, which enhanced boat crew proficiency in support of Sector Buffalo operations that were instrumental in saving 10 lives and over $357,000 in property and assisting 120 other waterway users.”

The citation continues: “With focused perseverance, he overcame cross-border challenges and met international partner hosting requirements to conduct cross­ training with the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, greatly improving bi-national Search and Rescue operations. These efforts culminated in joint exercises on eastern Lake Ontario that significantly advanced cross-border interoperability. Demonstrating superb vision, he empowered Auxiliary leaders to deploy creative outreach, which included the inaugural ‘Medical Treatment for Cold Water Immersion’ seminar for first responders at the Central New York boat show. Soon after, the Oswego Fire Department used their seminar training to save a life. This and other outreach greatly enhanced safety among boaters and improved partner capabilities. Commodore Laurer's dedication and devotion to duty are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Auxiliary.”

Commodore Nancy Rudiger

Commodore Rudiger and Admiral ParksCommodore Nancy Rudiger, a past district commodore, served as the assistant national commodore for diversity for a two-year term that ended November 2014.

Before leaving the bridge as Eastern Region commodore, Rudiger was honored (photo at left) by Rear Admiral Michael N. Parks, commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District. He presented Rudiger with the Coast Guard Auxiliary Meritorious Service Medal, citing her for helping to advance the strategic objectives of the Coast Guard's Great Lakes Maritime Strategy. During Rudiger's tenure, the 9th District Auxiliary championed paddlesports safety and instituted the Standardized Auxiliary Boat Operations Training (SABOT) initiative. SABOT is now being implemented at Auxiliary units across the U.S. Rudiger also motivated auxiliarists to perform 18,400 hours of operational support, conduct more than 16,200 vessel safety checks and marine dealer visits, and teach 1,469 public education classes, all of which combined to save 29 lives, assist more than 400 boaters and save more than $2.1 million in property.