MARINERS: Stay in Touch
Share what you’re doing with fellow alumni. Tell us about your life, your latest achievements. Photos welcome. Submit Alumni News or Class Notes Now.
Don MacVane, now 95, retired from lobstering at 90 and immediately began writing. His first published book, Memories that Linger, an anecdotal history of Long Island is available on Amazon. What was life like during the Great Depression and World War II? Was the Greatest Generation really that different from people today? What is it like living on an island in Maine? MacVane lived through much and has lots to say about it all. “They were very trying times, but with the abundance of clams and kindness, Long Islanders seldom went hungry.” Having written a well-loved column called “I Remember” in the Long Island, Maine, newspaper for many, many years, MacVane has taken these snippets of the past and compiled an anecdotal history with a splash of Maine humor.
Four Iowa-class ships, Iowa, New Jersey, Missouri, and Wisconsin, were reactivated and modernized at the direction of the U.S. Congress in 1981, and armed with missiles during the 1980s, as part of the 600-ship Navy initiative. Four scale models of each modernized battleship were also commissioned to be crafted.
Nathaniel Choate had a substantial leadership role in this evolution, responsible for the retrofits and installations during this modernization. Last summer, Choate visited campus and generously donated his USS Iowa (BB-61) model to MMA, along with two beautiful pieces of art depicting the New Jersey (BB-62) in action and her internal framework. The model is proudly displayed in the Wyman House.
Ed. Note: These four battleships were the last battleships commissioned in the U.S. Navy. All older U.S. battleships were decommissioned by 1947. Between the mid-1940s and the early 1990s, the Iowa-class battleships fought in four major U.S. wars. In the Pacific Theater of World War II, they served primarily as fast escorts for Essex-class aircraft carriers and also shelled Japanese positions. During the Korean War, the battleships provided naval gunfire support for United Nations forces, and in 1968, New Jersey shelled Viet Cong and Vietnam People’s Army forces in the Vietnam War. During Operation Desert Storm in 1991, Missouri and Wisconsin fired missiles and 16-inch (406 mm) guns at Iraqi targets.
Daniel Colon reports, “Went to sea on the S/S African Glade and became a second A/E. [I] got married in 1962, came ashore to work as chief engineer on tugboats, and [raised] four sons: a lawyer, a school teacher, and two marine engineers. In 1972, I became a patrolman for District No. 1 M.E.B.A. and retired twenty-eight years later, with thirty-eight years of pension credit. I love retirement.”
Through class agent Larry Wade, the class of 1964 stays in touch regularly via Zoom and emails. Chuck Sherman reminded the group that, “. . . sixty-one years ago on Groundhog Day, Feb 02, 1962, we all crossed the equator together.” Ken Fahrbach then responded to classmates via email with the above image of the occasion.
Robert Bickford is retired and living in Presque Isle, Maine.
Mike Curran, Jerry Markley, John Gaddis, Hector Heath, and Stephen Smith gathered for this picture at the memorial of classmate Clayton Nowell.
Clarence Snyder put out an update to classmates: “On March 10th the group pictured joined a Zoom call to ‘tell lies’ and other sea stories.”
“Tim Plummer, pictured in the upper-left, was visiting Greg Peacock and shared some of his Alaskan experiences. I’m in the center of the top row attempting to take the screen shot. Bob Peacock is in the upper-right, and you might see the cruise liner in his background. He is preparing for another one to stop by Downeast. Bruce Woodman is pictured in the lower-left. Harry Fullerton is pictured in the bottom row center, joining for the first time. Lower-right is Vince Bonsaint joining from Mansfield, Mass.”
“We were together for about an hour. Had more than one laugh. More Father Harvey stories. Stories of the subterranean environment of Portland. Heard about an adventurous weekend in Philadelphia. And an old girlfriend reunion. Learned how to catch fish in Alaska . . . and creative ways to bring the catch aboard. And sometimes there were times it was hard to stand up straight.”
“I proposed the next get together via Zoom for June 9th, at 6 PM. If someone wants another date or time let me know. If you’re wondering about why Zoom, since the beginning of Covid time I’ve had a Zoom account. For the last few years of my GE career, I worked remotely using Webex and in retirement I chair a church council where we meet monthly now both in person and remotely. While I think all of us would like to be face-to-face, Zoom can be a next-best thing. While a little frustrating at times, as Vin found out this time, it is a worthwhile tool.”
Ed. note: The class of 1971 and other classes have used Zoom gatherings as a great way to keep in touch. If a class is interested in conducting this type of event, contact email@example.com.
Steve Goulet sailed for forty-one years with Exxon Mobil and is currently co-founder, managing director, and lead mentor at Father’s House Kids (www.fathershousekids.org), a life-changing resource for underserved boys ages 6–18. The majority of the boys are fatherless and nearly all of them benefit from some type of government assistance. Through Father’s House Kids, these boys are taught the value of hard work and are introduced to critical thinking and the importance of building on subjects taught in school. In addition, students visit local companies, engineering firms, construction sites, and industrial companies where training is conducted by professionals. Apprenticeships in the trades are available to those who meet the criteria. The organization is 100% run by volunteers.
In November 2022, Cal Bancroft reports, “After almost fifty years in our industry, it’s time to retire from full-time work. Currently, I am COO/EVP at Excelerate Energy in Texas. We manage/operate ten floating storage regasification units in eight countries, with over 720 seafarers. In 2020, we transitioned all ten vessels from an external 3P service provider to in-house management and, in 2021, we completed our IPO transitioning from a private enterprise to a public company on the NYSE using the symbol EE.”
Richard Card reports, “[I] did a lot of different things in my career. Now enjoying retirement, spending time with my wife, our dog, and gardening.” He and wife Heidi live in Belgrade, Maine.
In the March 27 online edition of The Maritime Executive, the International Association of Maritime and Port Executives (IAMPE) announced its latest class of Maritime Port Executives (MPE) who completed certifications. Captain Jeffrey Monroe taught the course MM, AMPE, which covered in-depth maritime industry and port management topics. MPE graduates also received graduate-level academic and continuing education credits by the IAMPE’s Academic partners that includes Maine Maritime Academy.
Massoud Sarikhani sends, “I have been always thankful to the great MMA with all honorable staff and instructors for what I gained and learned from there which has been much useful in my whole career, being a naval officer. Of course, I will never forget all the good times in MMA. I bow and salute all my greatest classmates from the Bicentennial Class.” Sarikhari and wife, Esmat, live in Irvine, California.
Frank Pride is retired and lives in Redmond, Oregon with his wife, Victoria.
Capt. John Gazzola is working in sales at Laborde Products, Inc., a leading distributor for Mitsubishi marine diesel engines along the U.S. East Coast.
Kirk Plender sent this image taken at the Mt. Washington Hotel after a great day of skiing. Pictured are classmates Plender, Scott Saunders, Curtis Cote, Guy Mossman ’79, and Brian Mossman.
Ken O’Brien has thrown his hat into the election for the 94th district of the Virginia House of Delegates, a newly districted area. Election is November 2023. Check out his webpage at obrienfordelegate.com
Studio JBONE, owned by Jay Sawyer, was recipient of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce Beacon Award, awarded to a person, business, or organization that has attracted significant positive regional or national attention to the Penobscot Bay region. The award was given during the annual Year in Review Awards Gala at the Samoset Resort on February 10, 2023. Studio JBONE was presented the award for its dedicated work on the El Faro Salute! memorial, which is situated along the Rockland Harbor Trail in the South End of the Arts Capital of Maine. More than 250 Chamber member businesses, elected officials, and local community representatives were in attendance.
John “Jake” Jacobs is the Director of Facilities at the Bigelow Laboratory in East Boothbay, Maine. Jacobs attended the Senior Banquet, proud to be with his son Robert, MMA class of 2023. Jacobs lives in Pittston, Maine.
Bill O’Reilly reports, “Classmate connections always come through no matter where you are in the world!”
“I am currently in Japan as the regional operations manager-far east for Noresco, LLC, on the Yokosuka Navy Base. Recently, we had some trouble with water chemistry and couldn’t find the appropriate help in Japan. I reached out to my classmates and Todd “Egga” Anderson ’86 helped me out immediately from the U.S.!”
“This summer I received a call from Doug Lord ’86D (right in photo), saying he was in Yokohama, Japan for ship repairs. Doug is sailing Chief Mate on the SLNC Pax. I went to see Doug with Deb O’Reilly, honorary ’86 grad. Great time had by all . . . sushi and beer might have been included. “The next morning (Saturday) Doug phoned. His ship needed parts in a hurry and couldn’t get them through normal channels. We found the parts and drove them up to Yokohama four hours after Doug called.”
“Deb and I have two children and two new grandchildren and counting (on the grandchildren that is).”
After almost 32 years with Foss Maritime Company, Capt. Paul Gallagher switched coasts to become the director of ship operations for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
John Sewall retired from Exxon Mobil in February 2023. He and wife Leslie live in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
Jay Hackett (right) and girlfriend, Helene, were spending some time in the Bahamas on their forty-two–foot Sabre No Rush when they ran into Phil Doller ’91 (left), director of the Bimini Bay Marina.
Jim Michalski started a new position as vice president, regional logistics at Zim American Integrated Shipping Services Co.
Matt Evans is the northeast sales representative for Patagonia. Evans lives in Chatham, Massachusetts.
Mark Higgins, former director of the Maine State Ferry Service, joined the Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority as the organization’s first chief operating officer. He assumed his duties in April.
Joshua M. Smith researches American maritime history, and his first published book, Borderland Smuggling: Patriots, Loyalists, and Illicit Trade in the Northeast, 1783–1820, won the John Lyman Award in American Maritime History in 2007. His book, Making Maine: Statehood and the War of 1812, was published by the University of Massachusetts Press in 2022. He lives with his family on Long Island, where he is the Director of the American Merchant Marine Museum in Kings Point, New York
Brett Witham (front, 3th from the left), deputy general counsel, JAX Mice, clinical and research services, was in Japan last fall and celebrated JAX’s one-year anniversary in Japan. Their role is supporting the global biomedical community.
Captain William “Bill” Perkins retired from the U.S. Navy after an illustrious twenty-eight-year career. Perkins’ last duty station was as Commanding Officer, Naval Air Facility, El Centro. He returned to his former command as a spectator and posts, “2023’s NAFEC Airshow also marked the occasion of the first-ever Blue Angels female jet demonstration pilot, Lt. Amanda Lee, flying left wing in the Diamond in her first airshow as a Blue Angel. She did everyone proud and it was great to meet up with her in the O-club later on for a quick chat about her journey so far.” Perkins lives in the Phoenix area and works as Operations Manager for Amazon.
BJ Cloutier shipped for five years in merchant marines immediately following graduation. He currently is employed by NAVSEA at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, as a non-nuclear chief test engineer. July 2023 will mark his twenty-fourth year of federal service. Cloutier says, “Awesome place to work. Looking forward to having many MMA grads join our team!” He and wife, April, live in South Portland and have two sons, Jack (21) and Seth (18).
Brian Coxson was promoted to Captain for PSA Airlines in December 2022. Coxson, a retired naval aviator, and wife, Susan, live in Hermon, Maine.
Capt. Jason Smith posted, ”It was a true honor to represent the U.S. Coast Guard at this year’s ESPN Armed Forces Bowl, the Bowl for the Brave, where I had the opportunity to engage with those of all ages who serve our country. At this event, I, and other service representatives, gave the oath of enlistment to almost 200 new recruits, heard inspiring “never quit” remarks from Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills, an Iraq and Afghanistan wounded warrior, and met with WWII veterans who fought in both Pacific and Atlantic theaters.” After an outstanding thirty-year “mission” in the United States Coast Guard, Capt. Smith, Sector Commander, Houston-Galveston, will be retiring later this summer.
Linette Buzza Casey is the head of Americas Sales, Electrification, Automation and Digitalization, for Siemens Energy, Inc. She attended the Alumni Association gathering during the International WorkBoat Show in New Orleans in December 2022 and was an alumni panelist during Commandant’s Time in February 2023.
David Wilson is the senior director of facilities and workplace planning at QSC, a globally recognized leader in the design, engineering, and manufacturing of award-winning solutions and services.
Joshua Fields assumed the duties of executive officer of supervisor of shipbuilding at Bath Iron Works in December 2022.
Joshua Atwood has accepted the role of CCP platform manager at GE Power Gas Power, covering 7F/GTx 60 Hz, effective in March 2023. Atwood’s most recent role was technical leader – CCP Engineering Services. Atwood has been with GE since 2005. Before that, he worked at Calpine Corporation commissioning industrial gas turbines. He was raised in an area of Maine as far east as you can go before entering Nova Scotia, Canada. In his spare time, Atwood enjoys backpacking, boating, and hands-on projects around the house. He is located in Greenville, South Carolina, along with his wife, Christy, and children Rhyan, Gray, and Peyton.
Nathan LaChance started a new position in February 2023 as supply chain manager for Aroma Joe’s.
Unable to attend ceremonies during Homecoming 2022 because of his shipping schedule, Chief Mate Brian Enos was presented the MMA Alumni Association Humanitarian Award at morning formation in November 2022. He was recognized for his role as chief mate aboard the American Pride in an at-sea rescue of three people fifty miles west of Tampa, Florida. Enos addressed the Regiment of Midshipmen following the presentation.
Since graduating from MMA, Austin Leackfeldt has spent most of his professional career working offshore on everything from offshore supply vessels and research boats to semi-submersible drilling rigs and, eventually, advanced sixth generation drill ships. He recently came ashore as the Engineering and Maintenance Manager for Rand-Whitney Containerboard in Montville, Connecticut.
Colleen Peters is the product manager of EM Medium & Deep Multibeam Systems and Seafloor Information Systems at Kongsberg Maritime out of Warwick, Rhode Island.
Casey Clark is the general manager at Jenkins Restorations. She lives in Midlothian, Virginia, with her husband, James, and daughter, Grace.
Max Brogli has been promoted to director, project management office at Mitsubishi Power Americas.
Ken Brown, a twelve-year Navy nuclear veteran, started a new position as a consultant with Boston Consulting Group, a company focused on major maintenance cycles and change management.
Curtis Libby is an instrumentation engineer for Beta Technologies in South Burlington, Vermont. He, wife, Fiona, and daughter, Sophie, live in Stowe, Vermont.
Heather Santana was a member of the Women of Distinction panel on March 22. She served in the Marine Corps for six years in California, Afghanistan, and Virginia. Santana left the Marine Corps in 2018 at the rank of Captain and joined a consulting firm that assisted clients such as the Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2021 she earned an MA in Non-Governmental Organization Management from Johns Hopkins University and has worked in operations for nonprofits ever since. Santana lives in Massachusetts with her husband of eleven years, Edwin ’12, and their four children.
Josh Shaw (left) was in Seward, Alaska in the shipyard on our five-year dry docking. “Lo and behold, Chris Moore ’18 saw a sunset photo I posted on Facebook, immediately recognized the shipyard, . . . and reached out to make the connection. We visited for a little bit and shared what we’ve been up to over the years. That’s what I love the most about being an MMA alum . . . there are connections to be made all around the world.” Shaw is still with Chouest in their U.S. government division. “The scenery will be different, as I’ll now be traveling all around the world.”
Kari Jones was a participant in the recent Women of Distinction panel held March 22. She works for Sappi North America in South Portland as a logistics engineer. As a supply chain lead, her main responsibilities include managing a team that oversees the U.S. exports and European imports. Outside of work, Jones continues to play basketball and spend time with her friends and family in Portland, Maine, all while spoiling her dog, Tilly.
Caissie (Nevala) Roberts and husband, Isaiah ’10, welcomed Parker Eliza Roberts on January 5, 2023. The Roberts are also parents to Lincoln, six, and Archer, two, and live in Marshfield, Maine. As owner of the Sew Fetch Dog Company, started seven years ago, Roberts now employs four people year-round. Sew Fetch dog collars, harnesses and more are sold in over 150 U.S. locations, as well as in Canada, Spain, Italy, France, and the UK, with customers from as far away as Australia, Japan, South Korea. Roberts took time from her busy parenting and business schedule to participate in the MMA Women of Distinction panel held on campus in March. Isaiah worked for Diamond Offshore and is the owner-operator of the Picket Hill Land Services, a growing construction company.
Genevieve Black was on campus as a panelist in the recent Women of Distinction program. She received her MS in Sustainable Natural Resource Management from Unity College in 2018 and has been teaching in Maine for six years, currently at Belfast Area High School.
Black holds a passion for fisheries science, the lobster industry, and most things under the waves. She is very excited to be included in the mission on marine-themed, cross-disciplinary education.
Andi (Flannery) St. Pierre was promoted to director, North American/European Union head of procurement delivery systems and services at Merck KGaA, a vibrant science and technology company of Darmstadt, Germany. She lives in Savannah, Georgia.
In November 2022, Adam Weymouth started as assistant engineer at Kirby Offshore Marine.
Gabby Wells reports, “After completion of a Master’s program from MMA (2017), I joined SeaRiver Maritime (ExxonMobil Subsidiary) as a Third Mate, Unlimited, until sale of the SeaRiver fleet. After the sale, I moved to Houston to work for SeaRiver in the office as a Marine Coordinator, handling operations for our Chemical and Basestocks chartered fleet. Fast forward to now, I am currently the Americas bulk liquid marine advisor at ExxonMobil serving the chemicals business. I reside in Spring, Texas with my fiancé and our two dogs! I look forward to meeting all the alumni in the Texas area, hoping to build a strong alumni network halfway across the country.”
Elliott Casey was promoted to plant manager at Win-Waste Innovations at the Saugus, Massachusetts facility.
Greg Duff is an operational excellence manager at Wanzek Construction, Inc., a leading general construction contractor and clean energy services company located in Pisgah Forest, North Carolina.
Andrew Richardson started a new position as distributed generation project manager at Versant Power. Richardson lives in Bradley, Maine.
Morgan (Maxwell) Gilson was recently on campus as a member of the Women of Distinction panel. Gilson works at Idexx as a QC analyst. Outside of her professional life, she married her college sweetheart, adopted her sassy husky, and enjoys being on the water, reading, and woodworking. She and husband, Tyler ’17, live in Windham, Maine.
Kati Burdet was a participant on the Women of Distinction panel on March 22. She began her career with FieldCore in July of 2018 as a generator specialist cross trained as a mechanical gas turbine field engineer. Though she loved that job, she decided to pursue opportunities with less travel and entered the renewable industry. During her time in the renewable industry, she gained experience as a solar technician, project manager, and eventually execution segment leader. In November of 2022 she chose to take some time away from industry to enjoy family, friends, and life and is now currently exploring the many opportunities that an MMA degree can offer her.
Zach Littlefield is working as an engineer for Boston Towing and Transportation.
Upon graduating from MMA, Chris Moore sailed as AB tankerman and second mate for Crowley. In 2020, Moore moved shore side and is working for Crowley Fuels LLC as the petroleum cargo supervisor for Marine Operations in the Western Alaska Division.
Lila Eldridge was recently on campus participating in the Women of Distinction Panel. She started with Crowley Petroleum Services in December 2021 where she was placed on the ATB Liberty 750-3 to fulfill a permanent third mate billet. She gained a lot of knowledge, moving multiple clean-grade petroleum products in the Gulf of Mexico and was promoted to second mate in November 2022. When not at sea, she can be found at home with her dog, Schaefer, and her fiancé, Sam. She enjoys hiking, ice fishing, and riding her horses.
Seamus Meyer is sailing as a second assistant engineer with Transocean.
Kyla Desmarais is associate proposal manager at TRC Companies, Inc., a global firm providing environmentally focused and digitally powered solutions, guiding projects from concept to completion.
Amanda Holewiak received her MBA from University of Southern New Hampshire in 2021 and is the manager of Commodity Management & Sourcing at Raytheon Intelligence & Space, one of four businesses that form Raytheon Technologies.
Lilah Chaar is now a customer onboarding specialist for SailPlan, marine emissions optimization platform. SailPlan monitors, reports, and reduces maritime emissions using real-time data. Chaar lives in Ellsworth, Maine.
Kristen Gier participated in the on-campus Women of Distinction panel on March 22. She currently holds a 2 A/E motors licenses and sails with NOAA. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling to Europe, hiking, and trying new foods.
Mary (Martin) Pfieff is working as a third mate for Hornbeck Offshore. She and husband, Robert ’21, live in Ravenel, South Carolina.
Avae Trainer participated in the on-campus Women of Distinction panel on March 22. She currently works on the Energy Team of Siemens Industry, Inc., as a sales executive in Total Energy Management Performance Contracting. Trainer bought a house in Scarborough in May of ’21 and has enjoyed DIY renovation projects.
Sawyer Watson is sailing as a mate with Northstar Marine and lives in Lisbon, Maine.
Jack Frazier is third officer aboard the Thomas G. Thompson, a 274-foot research vessel owned by the and operated by the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington. [See the article “Eric King’s Ocean Adventures” earlier in this issue for another mention of this vessel and alumnus Eric King ’90. —Ed.]
Andrew Haining is an asset management professional at Cianbro.
Share what you’re doing with fellow alumni. Tell us about your life, your latest achievements. Photos welcome. Submit Alumni News or Class Notes Now.