MARINERS: Stay in Touch
Share what you’ve been doing with your fellow alumni. Tell us about career changes, latest achievements, hobbies and adventures. Photos welcome. Submit Alumni News or Class Notes Now.
Alvin Miller contacted us and noted, “I’m 92-years-old and retired with my wife in Scottsdale, Arizona. We are currently quarantined with the virus. We are both healthy and enjoy Southwest living. We have lived here for 10 years and previously in the Boston area. I practiced law in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for many years, and much, much earlier I went to sea on tankers sailing coastwise. I was a Navy officer LTJG during Korea (War) aboard the USS Keppler, DDE 765.”
USNS Comfort was proudly undocked in Norfolk, Virginia and docked in New York City by tugs built in Maine at Washburn & Doughty Shipyard, owned by Bruce Doughty. The shipyard is scheduled to launch the ferry MV Richard G. Spear, MMA class of 1943-2, in December, 2020.
Thom Cartledge sent a message that “Things are good at the Cartledge house in (Madison) Connecticut. Miss seeing grandkids — we have 16. Have been an optimist since Graduation in ‘61; no reason not to be. The picture is Susan and I in Morocco last year on a 10 day hike.”
Ariele Fowler ’11 fell in love with Castine early on. Growing up in Oakland, Maine, Fowler spent summers at her family’s camp in Penobscot. “Coming into town was a big deal and seeing the campus made a huge impression on me,” she says. “When the time came to apply to college, MMA just made sense. I applied early decision and didn’t look anywhere else. I was pretty set on what I wanted to do.”
Her determination paid off.
Fowler was accepted into the Ocean Studies department and excelled in the school’s unique, hands-on environment. In 2011, she graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in Marine Biology. With her degree in hand, Fowler quickly set her sights on a new goal. However, rather than pursuing a traditional science career path, Fowler decided to remain on campus to earn an M.S. in International Logistics Management.
“The transition between the two was surprisingly easy,” she remembers. “The thought processes involved in logistics and science are very similar. I learned how to think in my undergraduate program and then applied those logic skills to real-life situations during the graduate program.”
After graduating in 2012, Fowler joined the team at Combustion Components Associates, Inc., an environmental engineering company in Connecticut. “Working in a small, family-run company gave me the chance to gain experience at every level, dealing with inventory systems and shipping product,” she says.
“Some days I was shipping out tiny packages of replacement parts and some days I was negotiating giant duct systems through multiple states. It really gave me a nitty-gritty understanding of what I had learned in class.”
“There are so many nuances to freight management,” she says.
Robert Bartek, from Roswell, Georgia reports, “At 78, I am still working every day (as marine surveyor), semi-retired, I take Sundays off.”
Marlin “Night Train” Lane sent this picture of him and son Joe fly fishing for peacock bass on the Rio Negro River, Amazon jungle, Brazil. Marlin reports that this bucket list item was an “incredible lifetime experience.” Next stop, Bora Bora with the family.
Norman Laskay reports, “… I started writing a blog, which got wrapped into a company newsletter. The monthly blog is mostly on the global marine industry, today’s problems and the greening of the world’s merchant shipping. The newsletter and older articles are at dlsmarine.com/dls-insights. …Marine Survey, hull and cargo, and even the sub area of ship appraisal, can be a goal for graduates who want to work ashore.”
“After 17 years volunteering as relief Chief Engineer with Mercy Ships,” says Pete Johnson, “We are now sailing with some other volunteer organizations, YWAM on the MV Ywam Liberty in Papua New Guinea and more recently with Operation Mobilization doing disaster relief work. I spent some time this spring as First Engineer on the MV Logos Hope, which is in Great Abaco Island with about 200 volunteers assisting in the cleanup from Hurricane Dorian in 2019. Audrey and I have relocated to Charlton, Massachusetts and resting up before volunteering again.”
Sam Rowe is on his third ABS, DNV GL inspection this year. In January and February, he was in Cleveland on the SS Alpena, a Great Lakes cement products carrier, one of the oldest (or the oldest) Lakers still in service. In July, he was aboard an ex-American Export container ship now MARAD Ready Reserve SS Gopher State. Now he finds himself on board the Norwegian LNG ship Arctic Lady in Setubal, Portugal, hopeful to be home by the end of November. Sam says, ”Climbing that gangway ladder umpteen steps every morning is challenging.”
The woods and fields outside Jay Sawyer’s barn-sized Studio JBONE in Warren, Maine are a sculpture garden of metal works, from spheres on the ground and in the air to a navigation-buoy-sized F-bomb.
Sawyer (class of 1983) has created public art installations, including A Spirit of Its Own, a spherical piece made with shear rings welded together at the Portland International Jetport, and another along the Rockland Harbor Trail, made with railroad spikes welded in a sphere. He also has sculptures at homes and estates across New England.
His career evolved from early years working at sea as an engineer to coming ashore and starting a welding fabrication business, which he operated for 18 years.
The welding business increasingly led to projects that were on the creative edge, he says. “Fate had me cross paths with three individuals who all had degrees in sculpture. Each one took note of my raw talents and spoke of the gift I had. I was like a sponge for what they had to offer.”
From his Maine Maritime Academy experience, he learned to “look at a situation with the big picture in mind,” he says. “Turns out life is a bit like a steam plant. Decisions in one area have consequences in another. Procedure is important. With my current projects, I call it ‘opening doors in the right order.’”
Among these projects, he is most passionate about a proposed installation also along the Rockland Harbor Trail, El Faro Salute!, a memorial to the 33 crew aboard the ship lost at sea in 2015,
The class of 1966 held a mini reunion this summer in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. From left to right, Russ Kniehl, Dan Mari, Chuck Mercaldi and Sky Woods. The classmates are all looking forward to the big, Big 55th reunion next summer!
Charles Perry is retired and living in Sterling, Massachusetts.
Calvin Bancroft recently joined Excelerate Energy in the Woodlands, Texas as their Chief Operating Officer. He lives in Spring, Texas.
Father Jeffrey Monroe changed “command” of St. Margaret of Scotland Anglican Church in Conway, New Hampshire in August after 11 years. Monroe split his time between Maine, Conway and a home in Lincoln. He will serve as Canon to the Ordinary (Bishop’s Chief of Staff) in Portland, Maine. He also will continue to serve as chaplain to Post 46, veterans and hospitals. Monroe, who holds the rank of captain in the U.S. Naval Merchant Marine Reserve, was ordained at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Portland in 2002. He and his wife, Linda, live in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and have a son and daughter (an officer in the Merchant Marine) and two grandchildren.
John Niles reports he is retired and lives in South China, Maine.
Ed Gagnon reported to classmates that he retired three years ago and volunteers time to the Association for Facilities Engineering and is the Class Agent for the class of ’78.“The COVID nightmare allowed me to get a lot of projects done around the house and rebuilding my 1979 F150 that I bought new. It still runs great after nearly 42 years (wish I could say the same thing for myself), but it needed a fair amount of work. My wife retired this June from a high school teaching career of about 30 years.” Ed and Nancy live in Francestown, New Hampshire.
John Higgins is an executive with General Electric Corporation. He returned to the US in August 2019 after working seven years internationally in the UK and France. He and his wife Kathleen live in Dover New Hampshire and have a daughter Kimberly, age 18.
Steven Foster will return to the Maine House of Representatives as he won a re-election bid for District 104 (Charleston, Dexter, Exeter, Garland and Stetson). Foster is retired, formerly sailed as engineering officer for 19 years, then worked in maintenance management at Sappi’s Skowhegan Pulp and Paper Mill for another 19 years. He received an associate’s degree in pulp and paper technology from Kennebec Valley Community College in 2002. He and his wife Sharon have three adult children and four grandchildren and live in Dexter.
In early August, George Burns, Cmdr. USCG, retired, climbed Mt. Whitney in California, elevation 14,508 feet. After retiring in 2002, he is a maritime consultant, with most work involving ship safety, security, and environmental audits on the Great Lakes.
Stephen Steinberg of Freeport, New York writes,” I work for National Grid. I am challenged with supporting and guiding contractors who work on the natural gas infrastructure of the company. I am involved in establishing training requirements for utility construction companies and labor unions and to set up employee development programs (as well as creating) policies for safe pipe line management. I have 40 years’ experience in the energy industry.
The MMA marine engineering program gave me a theoretical and hands-on understanding of shipboard systems. Over the years, I came to realize the many tools I had graduated with, which I use to analyze and create solutions when I am confronted with a problem. The Regiment give me the skills to lead other individuals and handle conflict resolution during implication of change management. Thank you, MMA.”
Capt. Kirk Plender of Glen, New Hampshire, reports, “I received this message from Mark Haggerty 82’D, who is a San Francisco Bar Pilot. ‘Some people aren’t adjusting well to social distancing. MMA and going to sea make this a cake walk for us.’ And I completely agree.“
Kurt Kirkland and his wife Rebecca have bought a home in Stockton Springs, moving back to Maine after living in California since 1993. He works for Tosca Services, LLC as a Corporate EHS Manager, and is looking forward to reuniting with old MMA friends!
An email thread among the classmates of 1984 regarding the Annual Fund campaign was initiated by Jamie Hutton (Naples, Florida) and produced numerous reminiscings and a few images. Pictured is Kevin Green in 1980, the day before Indoctrination, and today, proudly displaying his MMA diploma and memorabilia. Kevin is the power plant manager at Providence College, Rhode Island and keeper of the Class of ’84 Facebook page.
Dan Stahl was named Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Longview, Washington by a vote of the port governing body in 2020. Dan served as interim CEO since February and had been the port’s chief operating officer since 2017, His long career in the maritime industry includes being the director of maritime at the Port of Bellingham in northern Washington and the executive director of the Port of Anacortes.
Matthew Baker is Manager HSE for Moran Towing Corporation and lives in New Canaan, Connecticut.
Rory Hersom was hired by General Electric upon graduation to participate in their Field Engineering Program. He spent the next 32 years working at GE in many different capacities: field engineer, factory engineer, repair engineer, contract performance manager, and most recently as the customer service leader supporting customers in New England. His background is steam and gas turbines, generator maintenance, and repair. Retiring from an enjoyable and rewarding career, Rory is now an assistant professor at MMA, teaching steam turbines and power equipment labs.
Eric Herbst started a new position as staff engineering specialist, rotating equipment, turbines, for FM Global in Rhode Island.
Jeff Jordan is a project manager with Martin Energy Group and lives in Frankfort, Michigan.
Rusty Frantz has traded in his surfboard for snow skis, as he moved from California to Jackson, Wyoming. Frantz is the President and CEO of Nextgen Healthcare.
Capt. R. Russell Smith, USN, is Director of Operations, Fleet Cyber Command, Tenth Fleet and lives in Arlington, Virginia. Since its establishment in 2010, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / Tenth Fleet has grown into an operational force composed of more than 14,000 active and reserve sailors and civilians organized into 28 active commands, 40 Cyber Mission Force units, and 27 reserve commands around the globe.
Tim Wood is working as Chief Engineer for the Staten Island Ferry.
Frederick Berry has a message to MMA alumni,” Hello MMA alumni far and wide. This engineer from the class of ‘93 resides in Penobscot, Maine with my wife of 24 years, Darci. I shipped a little, drilled oil a little, wore a Navy uniform here and there and engineered yachts for over 20 years. I’m now working for Navatek LLC having opened our Bangor office in May of 2020. You might see me paddling around the Castine waterfront in the summer as a part-time kayak guide. I’m proud to be a Maine Maritime Academy graduate, love my shipmates, and cherish the memories. We Are Mariners!”
Keith Both, a resident of South Plainfield, New Jersey for more than 20 years, is seeking re-election to his second consecutive term on the South Plainfield Board of Education. Both is currently employed in the transportation and logistics field, serving as a project manager for LPL Projects & Logistics, USA. He is also retired from the US Navy Reserves as a Commander, serving as a Strategic Sealift Officer. Both he and his wife, Michele, a paraprofessional for the district, are parents to four boys. On a local front, he volunteers with the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, Special Olympics, the South Plainfield Junior Baseball Club, and the South Plainfield Wrestling Club. Additionally, the Boths continue to be hosts for the Rutgers Medical Students Pediatric Rotation/Special Education program and run the Buddy Walk of South Plainfield, which has been held annually in October for the past 16 years.
Capt. Tim Long is living in Destrehan, Louisiana and writes, “It is highly unlikely I would be where I am now without Maine Maritime. Please continue to create top tier mariners, a testimony to the academy.”
James Bailey is a senior manager of safety and equipment for Port Contractors, LLC. James, his wife Caitlyn, and Shepherd (age 6) live in Midlothian, Virginia.
Chad Harrison is a maintenance manager for Cogentrix Energy, LLC. He, his wife Danielle, and children Ty (age 15), Macey and Reese (ages 11) live in Saco, Maine.
Ben Strickland is still working for Lockheed Martin Corporation, but now based in Orlando, Florida serving as the International Business Development Principal for Airborne and Surface launched precision-guided weapons systems. He recently relocated from Norfolk, Virginia, where he led domestic and international business development efforts for Aegis fleet readiness and anti-submarine warfare weapons programs. He and his wife Candice celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on July 8th and welcome any fellow alums to stop by when in the area.
Charles Schaff started a career in the oil and gas industry, working for Arethusa Offshore as a roustabout. Through two mergers and two company changes, he worked a range of positions such as ballast control operator, jackup rig mover, 2nd A/E motor, assistant driller, drilling operations engineer and rig manager. These positions started in the Gulf of Mexico and later involved resident assignments in Canada, Dubai, India, Jakarta and Australia. In 2006, he joined Chevron as a field drilling engineer, drilling deepwater Gulf of Mexico exploration and appraisal wells. Then he moved into a drilling engineer role in Houston, onto resident assignments in Kuwait (3 yrs) and Australia (5.5 yrs) in engineering, and project manager roles. In early 2018, he moved back to Houston as a senior drilling superintendent in the Mid-Continent Business Unit supporting four rigs, drilling unconventional horizontal shale wells in West Texas and New Mexico. In late 2020, he decided he wanted to live in Maine more than he wanted to keep drilling oil and gas wells, so now he is in the process of having his 2A/E Motor and 3A/E Steam licenses reinstated with plans to return to sea.
Rob Coty was named project manager at ND Paper in Old Town, Maine.
Wes Pooler, vice president, support services with Southern Maine Healthcare, Biddeford, writes, “The COVID response has been challenging, but it’s been nice to play an active role in combatting it. Hospital Facilities and Engineering departments nationwide have been instrumental in creating and maintaining safe environments for employees and patients. We’ve all literally transformed areas of our hospitals to treat COVID patients specifically. Projects have been planned and executed in days as opposed to weeks and months. Interestingly, it almost feels like normal operations now. I know there are a handful of alumni working in hospitals around Maine. I only know of one out-of-state, although I’m sure there are plenty of others. As you know, marine engineers and power engineers transition very well into healthcare support services. I think I might be the only “deckie.”
Richard Damon is an EHS Specialist for Calpine Corporation, Texas. He and his wife Heidi live in Baytown, Texas with their children Alyssa (19), Richard, Jr. (17), and Jaren (1).
Ross Gordon, living in Longueil, Quebec, Canada, writes, “…thankful for the alumni connections who took on a summer student in 1999 and I have been able to continue on with Fednav ever since. Today, working in Montreal as Manager, Marine Services for Canada’s largest bulk shipping company alongside fellow alumnus Capt. Guy Fortin, 1990, (Maritime Management).”
Brent Berg has a new position as sales director for the Port of Vancouver (Washington) USA.
Bart Clendenin was featured in the article, “A Mission of Missile Defense” in the People of Saltchuk company magazine, highlighting the hard-working people dedicated to making Saltchuk companies the best in their industries. Clendenin was sailing as Chief Mate on the SS Pacific Tracker when the vessel was activated for missions for the Missile Defense Agency. He began his career with TOTE Services in 2005 and is a 2019 Saltchuk Safety Award finalist. He lives in Tennessee with his wife Jennifer and sons Blake and Noah.
Michael Dunn is an engineer for the Military Sealift Command and resides in Norfolk, Virginia.
Arinjit Roy was a panelist during a “How Has and Will COVID-19 Impact the Commercial Marine Industry?” webinar hosted by Workboat on May 6, 2020. Roy serves as ABS Vice President for North America Regional Business Development, responsible for strategic planning and client development. He started with ABS as a surveyor and held many different positions over the years including Divisional Lead Offshore Surveyor, Pacific, Assistant Country Manager, Korea, Operations Manager, Northern Pacific Region and most recently, Director, Tankers, managing the ABS
business strategy and coordination efforts in this sector. Prior to joining ABS, he worked various roles in the Oil and Gas, Shipyard and Power Generation industries. He completed his MBA from Nicholls State University.
Shannon Fitzpatrick Kaminski is a senior category manager for Abbott Laboratories. She, her husband Richard and daughter Colleen (Coco), age 5, live in Grayslake, Illinois.
Zachary Stevenson is the President of C.H. Stevenson, Inc., and lives in Livermore Falls, Maine.
Merrell Gopsill sends, “Greetings Mariners. I hope you all are well! (I was during) 2005-2012 Active Duty Submariner and Naval Diver. Served aboard USS Virginia completing an overseas deployment. I worked for Siemens/Westinghouse as Field Service Engineer and Project Manager from 2012 to 2018. Quick run with Georgia Pacific till my family and I decided to rejoin the Navy ranks full-time, deployed again to Africa. Now back in the PacNorWest at Submarine Group 9. I reside in the Seattle area with wife Sara, Jack (age 5), Katherine (age 3), Liz (age 2), and Cider, the lab. Please look us up if you are in the area. It’s always great to see folks from MMA.”
Anthony Scafidi is safety Coordinator and Production Assistant at Runtal North America, Ward Hill, Massachusetts. He and wife Kristie live in Kingston, New Hampshire with children Dominic (age 10) Logan (age 8) and MacKenzie (age 6).
Michael Harrington is a Subsea supervisor for Transocean and lives in Newcastle, Maine.
Nicole McKenna Walsh is a sonographer at Maine Medical Center. She is married to Capt. Jasper Walsh ’06. They and their son Nathaniel (age 1) live in South Portland, Maine.
Kurt Pullman graduated with a BS in Marine Transportation Operations and completed his MS at MMA in 2011. Pullman sailed on his license until 2016 and then transitioned shoreside, where he now works for New England’s largest electric utility. Pullman is responsible for one of the company’s electric control rooms and has the privilege of working alongside many fellow MMA alumni. Outside of work, Pullman sits on the Board of Directors for the Manchester Young Professionals and enjoys volunteering in his community. He is also the Class Agent for the class of 2010 and is always looking for new ways to engage alumni and give back to the Academy.
Samantha Goda is living in Lusby, Maryland and recently started as Operation Shift Supervisor after receiving her Senior Reactor Operator License at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant.
Samuel Brown is a second mate for Transocean. He bought a home in Scarborough, Maine and has been drilling exploratory wells with Transocean for Shell in the Bay of Campeche, Gulf of Mexico.
Andrew Pulk is a consultant with Strategic Maintenance Solutions and is living in Lewiston, Maine.
Andrew Harrison is a captain of a pilot boat for Charleston Harbor Pilots and lives in Charleston, South Carolina.
Sean O’Connor boarded a vessel in January and expected to be home in April, but the pandemic left him unable to leave ship and dockside in Singapore for months. “Aside from walking on the docks a few hundred feet, I haven’t been ashore since I made a 3 a.m. Walmart run in Jacksonville, Florida, in early February.” Being stuck had its tense moments, but there was good camaraderie, reported a May 27, 2020 Portland Press Herald article. “We… hoped it would be a temporary arrangement.” Upon finally making it home in mid-June, O’Connor celebrated with a multi-day canoe trip with his family.
Zachary Radcliffe is a manager at General Dynamics, Bath Iron Works and lives in Durham, Maine.
Molly Marcotte is a Project Manager for Washburn & Doughty Associates, Inc. and lives in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. One of the vessels Molly oversees is the MV Richard G. Spear, a ferry under construction named after the MMA alumnus, Class of 43-2, a long time Maine State Ferry Service captain and manager. A founder of Washburn and Doughty is Bruce Doughty, MMA class of 1961. (See 1961 for update.)
Greg Duff is a field operations manager for Wanzek Construction and lives in Fort Myers, Florida.
Lauren McKenna is an aquaculture technician working for Muscongus Bay Aquaculture, Inc. and lives in Durham, Maine.
Christopher Grindle, an EMT in Bucksport, Maine, was on the front page of the Bucksport Enterprise in March 2020 displaying protective gear he wears on calls during the COVID–19 pandemic.
Olivia Hupper is Logistics Coordinator for Sappi North America and resides in Portland, Maine.
Class of 2018 members were seen posted on the Lewiston Sun Journal site with photo caption “Like Old Times.” Classmates laugh after Tom Therriault, left, of Monmouth used his “engineering skills” to get his snowmobile to start on Sabattus Pond on Friday, January 17, 2020. From left, Therriault, Tanner Littlefield of Newport, Jeremy Poisson of Saco, Jimmy Rose of Michigan. Josh Daigle and Zack Littlefield graduated together and have not had a chance to connect until the ice fishing outing. The friends work on ships and oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, Miami, Trinidad, San Francisco and on the Great Lakes. “This all came together last minute,” Daigle said.
Brandon St. Germain sent us images of his travels in neighboring Southwest states. St. Germain sails as a third assistant engineer with Transocean and lives in Houston, Texas.
Dylan Gooch sent this image from the M/V Commander, saying MMA is well represented. From left to right, Dan Mahoney ’97, Rheann Dionne ‘20 Dylan Gooch ’20, Renaissance Lyman ’21, and Henry Knott ’10. Photo credit: Dan Mahoney.
Share what you’ve been doing with your fellow alumni. Tell us about career changes, latest achievements, hobbies and adventures. Photos welcome. Submit Alumni News or Class Notes Now.