Friday, September 29, 2023
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Main Dining Hall

Grab your lunch and join us in the Mess Deck

Please join MMA alumni for a roundtable discussion to discover what helped them to become leaders in their respective industries and for all to network and share thoughts on leadership and decision-making, both technical and behavioral. This will be an informal session and you may “drop-in” as your class schedule allows. Though informal, we do ask you to be courteous as you quietly come and go and ask that you plan to join a table for a minimum of 15 minutes. If time allows, go on to another table!

All students are welcome!

Biographies of Participating Alumni

  • Michael Ames, MMA ‘77 | “Captain Ames” | Major: Nautical Science | Activities: Football | Career: Retired Master at ConocoPhillips Polar TankersBio: 39 years at sea, 26 as Master, Alaska-West Coast, crude oil trade on tankers 35,000 to 265,000 DWTons |  Home: Camden, Maine
  • Larry Burrill, MMA ‘77 | U.S. Navy Captain 1977-2001. Vice-President AMSEC, LLC. 2001-2006. Co-Founder, Owner and President of McKean Defense Group 2006-2021.
  • Chris Charter, MMA ‘00 | “Chris” | Major: Nautical Science (Marine Transportation Operations) | Activities: Sailing team,(Offshore sailing team) Ambulance driver, Fire Squad. I was also a big user of the waterfront and would take out sailboats with friends for the weekend (Belfast/Camden/Cape Rosier) | Career: Currently the Global Head of Operations at Sokana Shipping & Trading Ltd. | Bio: I sailed for 5 years with Polar Tankers (left as a second mate) then moved ashore into commercial operations for foreign flag chemical tankers. I spent 2 years living and working in Denmark and now live in southern CT. | Home: Fairfield, CT 
  • Richard Balzano ‘89 | “Captain” | Major: Engineering | Activities: Sailing team, Basketball team, Club Lacrosse, intermural Floor hockey, SNAME | Career: VP Government Relations and Market Development at Great Lakes Dredge and Dock | Bio: 30 years in the Navy as Special Warfare Combat Craft Officer and Diving Units, Pentagon, 3 combat tours Iraq, Oman, Afghanistan. Presidentially Appointed Deputy Maritime Administrator. CEO Dredging and Marine Construction Industry Trade Association. VP Government Relations and Market Development, Public trade largest dredging and Marine construction company in the U.S. | Home: Arlington, VA
  • Jayne Balzano – Spouse of graduate | Career: Administrative Director for Senator Susan Collins Home: Arlington, VA
  • Charles Lechman ‘65 | “Cal” | Major: Marine EngineeringActivities: Rifle Club, Rifle Team, Rowing Team, Propeller Club, Yacht Club, Shore Patrol, Intramural SportsCareer: Retired Senior Project Manager in Power GenerationBio: Shipped 3 years with Texaco as 3rd Enginer. Worked for General Electric for 34 years in numerous positions, ending up as Senior Project Manager in Power Generation.Home: Harpswell, Maine
  • Chris Mercer ‘88 | “Chris” | Major: Marine Engineering TechnologyActivities: NROTC, SNAME, Cross Country, SCUBA DivingCareer: Senior Vice President, Technical and Industrial Operations at R & P TechnologiesBio: Born into a Navy family and was raised in Japan, Maine, Florida, Hawaii, and Maryland. Received his commission in the U.S. Navy through the Academy’s NROTC Unit. U.S. Navy career spanned 30 years progressing from surface warfare operations in destroyers, to ship maintenance and repair, to ship design and construction and finally into the Pentagon working Department of the Navy policies to accelerate technological innovation. Retired from active duty in June 2018 and joined R&P Technologies. Working with fellow MMA alums, Captain Mercer continues to support U.S. Navy and commercial ship design, construction, repair, and modernization.Home: Waldorf, Maryland
  • Paul “Tad” Whitin ‘98 | “Tad” | Major: Nautical ScienceActivities: Outing Club, Yacht ClubCareer: Pilot in Association of MD Pilots | Bio: 6 years with Seabulk Tankers and 19 years with pilot association.Home: Baltimore, MD
  • Thomas “Tip” Macdonald ‘83“Captain Tip”Major: Nautical Science | Activities: Coached football, was RC and #1 in his class academicallyCareer: Retired Pilot in Association of MD Pilots  | Bio: Captain on product and chemical tankers for American Trading and OMI before becoming a Pilot on the Chesapeake Bay.Home: Castine, ME
  • Jamie Macdonald – spouse and sister of graduate | Career: Curator of the Maritime Museum | Home: Castine, ME
  • Christopher Owsianiecki ‘98 | “Mr. Owsianiecki” | Major: Marine Engineering Operations | Activities: 1998 Class President | Career: Maritime Security Specialist/Surface Warfare Officer at Maritime Administration/US NavyBio: Graduated, sat for license, commissioned MMR (SSO), went active duty qualifying Surface Warfare (4 years transferring to reserves). Then, sailed for MSC on my Third Engineer’s license (3.5 years). Then worked on the railroad for Amtrak and MARC. Performed additional active duty and drill to present and employed at MARAD since 2015.Home: Baltimore-Washington Metro Area
  • William Mahoney ‘56 | “Mr. Mahoney” | Major: Marine Engineering Activities: Sailing and a lot of studying!Career: Retired Ships Engineer (Tellis, Tanabatta, Fidelio, Faust) from AMO Wilhelmsen/Wallenious WWBio: USN Wasp (CVS- 18) MPA, USS Windham County (LST -1170) Engineering & DCA Officer and OOD underway Officer. General Electric Power Generation Sales Manager. AMO 20 years all oceans many ships. | Home: Southwest Harbor, ME
  • Ed Harmes ‘64 | “Ed” | Major: Marine Transportation | Activities: Football, Debate, Sailing | Career: Retired from USCGBio: 23 years at USCG and 20 years in private securityHome: Georgetown, TX 
  • Jeffery Reidel ‘86 | “Jeff” | Major: Marine Engineering Activities: APO, Club Ice Hockey, NROTC | Career: CEO at R&P Technologies | Bio:Served 27 years in the USN as a Surface Warfare and Engineering Duty Officer. A Major Program Manager for 2 shipbuilding programs. Joined R&P Technologies in 2013.Home: Stafford, VA
  • Steve Pellegrino ‘93 | “Steve”Major: Nautical Science | Activities: Football, Sailing | Career: Pilot for Saint Lawrence Seaway Pilots AssocBio: Started sailing once out of school.Home: Bangor, ME
  • Bill Full ‘76“Captain Full”Major: Marine TransportationActivities: Sailing, both summer sailing and varsity, Ski Club, Midshipman CO TV STATE OF MAINECareer: Retired Captain at Exxon and retired Sales Manager at East Coast Yacht SalesBio: Retired 23 years Exxon 23 years East Coast Yacht Sales.Home: Cumberland, ME
  • Ryan Reed ‘96 | “Mr. Reed” | Major: Marine Engineering TechnologyActivities: Men’s soccer team, RA | Career: President and CEO of Lincoln Maine FCU | Bio: Shipped for a while after graduation, before transitioning shoreside in the power generation industry. After a 19-year career, I took a chance on an opportunity that presented itself in the financial services sector. | Home: Endfield, ME
  • LCDR Zara-Anne Farrar ‘13, ‘19 | “Zara”Major: IBL and online master’s programActivities: ROTC, RACareer: Navy Legislative Liaison | Bio: SWO who laterally transferred to the Human Resource Community | Home: Washington, DC area
  • Randolf Powers ‘78 | “Randy”Major: Marine EngineeringActivities: lieutenant adjutantCareer: Retired Manager of Executive Compensation at Exxon/Mobil Bio: 40 years with ExxonMobil in over 10 onshore assignments after serving in their fleet for about a year in 1980. Retired as an executive of the company working directly with the CEO and Board of Directors.Home: Dallas, TX 
  • Brian Bickford ‘78 | “Brian”Major: Marine EngineeringActivities: GolfCareer: Retired Director of Marine Maintenance and DrydockingBio: Progressed through the engine room to Chief Engineer, went ashore as a Port Engineer advancing to Director of Marine Maintenance and Drydocking responsible for the day-to-day maintenance and dry docking of Company assets.Home: New Ipswich, NH
  • Hunter Friend ‘78E | “Hunter”| Major: Marine Engineering | Activities: Football & Broom hockey | Career: Retired Chief Engineer | Bio: Thirty-six years working on tugs, Casino vessels and Dredges. | Home: Palm Harbor, FL
  • Carl Webster ‘93 | “Carl”Major: Marine Engineering TechnologyActivities: Worked for the athletic deptCareer: Plant Engineer at Texas Instruments |Bio: I started shipping on oil response, then vessels and tugboats before ending up at Delta queen steamboat company for seven years, then came ashore. I worked ashore in papermills, power generation, and now, the semi-conductor industry.Home: Westbrook, ME
  • Paul Whitin ’71 | “Captain Whitin” | Major: Nautical Science | Activities: Football, Men’s Cross Country, Sailing | Career: Pilot for the Maryland Pilots Association | Home: Monkton, MD
  • Michael Tolley ‘93 | “Captain Tolley” | Major: Nautical Science | Activities: Cross Country | Career: Columbia River Bar Pilot at MJ Tolley Navigation, LLC | Bio: Spent 9 years at Sea Lift first as a Chief Officer and then Captain. Moved to Liberty Maritime as a Captain before starting his own company in 2016. | Home: Astoria, OR

Brought to you by Advancement, Alumni Association, and the Regimental Staff.