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.
Mark Crowley and his wife Flo have taken up new residency in Dunnellon, Florida.
The hearty Class of 1958 celebrated their 60th reunion at Homecoming 2018. Making it to campus were John Bitoff, San Francisco; Dick Holt, Greenland, New Hampshire; Russ Myers, Delray Beach, Florida; Frank Tepedino, San Diego, California; Everett Cooper, Lakewood, Washington; and George Richardson, from Westport Island, Maine. Classmate Paul Jacobs was honored with the inaugural Humanitarian Award. His classmates graciously accepted the award in his absence. Frank Tepedino, class agent, reached out and caught up with Walt Seman, who lives with his wife in a retirement community in Venice, Florida. He plays bocce with many of his friends and is enjoying retirement. He is a great grandfather.
The Class of 1959 has a summer reunion scheduled at MMA in Castine June 24-26, 2019. Contact Capt. Tom Kelly, email@example.com, to discuss details.
John Webb ’83 was a dogged competitor on the MMA wrestling team while attending the school as a marine engineering major.
“I was never a great athlete, but I was certainly a determined athlete,” he says.
Webb’s perseverance has defined his success and approach to adversity, and he gives substantial credit to his experience at MMA.
“It was a great fit for me academically and socially,” says Webb, “and it gave me the butt kick I needed at that stage of life.”
Webb is a successful trial lawyer with his own practice in Southern Maine, held in high regard by his peers, “and the kind of guy you want in your corner,” says one classmate.
Although he aspired to be a lawyer from the age of 12, Webb calculated that his best chance was to attend MMA for not only self-discipline, but also leadership and learning ability he would later leverage to succeed at the University of Vermont Law School.
“When I graduated I had a ready-made set of skills, and quickly found a job as a mechanical engineer at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard,” he says.
His work initially focused on steam line piping, but he was drawn by the complexity and capability of the Nimitz class aircraft carriers produced by the yard and worked his way into a multi-disciplined field engineering position that allowed him to travel the world and troubleshoot onboard problems.
“I loved, loved, loved every minute I spent on those carriers,” he says. “They’re a fascinating city that floats on water. And I marvel at how great they operate and are still being built.”
But he was eventually inspired to pursue his law degree,
Commodore Larry Wade sent a photo of the Class of 1964 Mini Muster held on September 28 at DeMillo’s Floating Restaurant in Portland, Maine. There were 40 in attendance, from as far away as Vancouver, Washington, and Nevada! Classes attending: ’60, ’61, ’64, ’65 and ’66. The Class of 1964 has a summer reunion scheduled at MMA in Castine June 17-19, 2019. Contact Larry Wade, firstname.lastname@example.org, to discuss details.
Thanks to classmates and their generous donation of more than $41,000 to the Class of 1967 Regimental Scholarship. Pictured handing the ceremonial check to President Bill Brennan is Frank Famulari ’67.
A Maine heat wave greeted the Class of 1968, but the class was not deterred them from celebrating 50 years during a Summer Reunion on campus in August. Also, many alumni joined festivities during Homecoming 2018.
My major was Marine Science, and having the opportunity to be on the water during college and learn more about boats was exactly the reason I came to MMA.
I founded Marine Mammals of Maine (MMoME) in 2011, a non-profit organization dedicated to marine mammal and sea turtle response, rescue, care, research and education that covers the waters from Kittery to Rockland.
The combination of skills I acquired at MMA has helped me to be more diversified when working with other collaborators on marine mammals research projects. Not only can I do the hands-on animal sampling, for example, but I also know how to drive the boat.
With this work you always have to be both ready to go and up for almost anything. Animals don’t strand when it is convenient for us. Working with live and deceased marine mammals, sometimes scenarios can be unpredictable. We deal with many situations, both on land and at sea.
NOAA declared an Unusual Mortality Event (UME) for a few large whale species that are on the east coast within the last few years. This includes Minke, Humpback and Right whales. Part of our role at Marine Mammals of Maine is to further investigate these mortalities.
This past summer a deceased whale about three miles offshore from Old Orchard was reported to our hotline. We received photos and determined it was a recently deceased Minke whale, so we set about to recover the animal for necropsy and testing since its tissues were still in viable condition for sampling.
We took a small barge out of Portland to its last known coordinates.
Bob Damrell and his First Mate, grandson Aiden, 3½, were preparing to put to sea in Bob’s Dyer 29 to catch some mackerel, and “to work on his bowline and clove hitches, and, in true MMA spirit, get his hands dirty.” Grandfather cleans the head!
Ken Bryant is retired. He and his wife, Norma, moved to Center Barnstead, New Hampshire.
Tim Edwards wrote to let us know he is enjoying semi-retirement in the White Mountain Valley of New Hampshire.
Paul Mercer, who was the commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection since January 2016, retired on November 9. Mercer is an engineer who specialized in energy and waste issues in the private sector and was a former professor and administrator at Maine Maritime Academy for many years.
Jon Wing visited the MMA booth at this years’ International WorkBoat Show in New Orleans. He and classmate Steve Walker and many other alumni also attended the annual MMA reception held at the Westin Canal Place, and heard an update on the MARAD training ship initiative.
Pete Kopf retired on September 30 with 44.5 years of U.S. Marine Corps service. He completed 30 years active duty as an infantry and joint staff officer, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. Kopf experienced world-wide deployments, ranging from Arctic climates in Alaska, Iceland and Norway, to jungle/tropic settings in the Philippines, Okinawa, Guam and Thailand, along with the deserts of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, and many more.
He accumulated more than 13 years in overseas assignments and deployments. During Desert Storm he served a year-long tour as Senior Advisor to the 1st Brigade, Royal Saudi Marines. He served two combat tours, one in Iraq (’06) with 7th Marine Regiment in Al Anbar province, and in Afghanistan (’10) with 82d/101st Airborne, and Regional Command East, with operations extending to the Pakistan border. On active duty, he was fortunate to attend six schools to include the Naval War College where he gained a master’s degree in Strategic Studies.
Following military retirement, Kopf was immediately hired as a government service employee (GS-14), serving as Branch Head for Regional Operations, Plans and Policy in the G3/5/7 of Headquarters, Marine Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia. He lives in Virginia Beach with four of his 6 children living in the local area.
Letter to President Brennan from Russ Koehler: “Aloha Billy, I hope this email finds you, Heather and the rest of your ohana doing well! I now live in Hawaii on the Island of Oahu on Kaneohe Bay, one of two barrier reefs in the Hawaii chain. I work at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii as a Regional Site Energy Advisor for Booz Allan Hamilton … I am very proud and honored to let you know I have been selected to join an elite group of International Energy Managers who belong to the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), which is the most highly recognized energy association in the world, as a member of the Energy Managers Hall of Fame. This is a career achievement for me, and I’m sending this to you because I want to recognize the value of the engineering education that I received from MMA.”
Dave Lieberman (left) and Larry Burrill (right) caught up at the tailgate party at Catholic University in November. Burrill is stepping in to assume Class Agent duties while Earle Cianchette assumes the role of chairman of the MMA Board of Trustees.
Larry James and his wife Mary have retired and made St. Petersburg, Florida, their new home.
Capt. John Gazzola sent a photo of MMA alumni attending a Flagship Management social during the recent International WorkBoat Show. Pictured are: Doug Frongillo ’01, Brian Orme ’00, Keith Higginbotham ’00, Nathan Gandy ’92, Eric Smith ‘88, Sherri Hickman ’85, Craig Johnson ’91 (Flagship partner), Ryan Smith ’00, Russell Harriman ’95, Capt. Gazzola and John McDonald ’93.
Dan Demers, an operations control center manager for Virginia International Terminals, Inc., in Norfolk, Virginia, wishes to pass along to his friends, “I am forever grateful for my four years at MMA. Lots of great memories that seem like yesterday, far too many to recount. Although we may have parted down different forks in the road, one thing we will always have is our friendship, which is the greatest gift in life! Stay strong my friends.” Dan and his wife, Jennifer, are the parents of Colin, 20 and Kyle, 17, and live in Virginia Beach.
Eric Smith thrives on high adrenalin adventure and activities. He took a piece of MMA to base camp of Mt. Hood during a summer expedition up the mountain. On November 9, Smith joined Misty Wells on WTAN 1340 in Clearwater, Florida to promote the Tampa Bay Frogman Swim to benefit the Navy SEAL Foundation on January 13, 2019. He has participated in the event the last three years. Smith is president & CEO of Plimsoll Tankers, and the Chief Commercial Officer for Hendry Marine Industries.
David Thoenen is a master with Holwerda Shipcrew and lives with his wife, Lorette Dorreboom, in Friesland, Netherlands.
Peter Michaud is a senior manager for Deloitte Consulting and is living in Madbury, New Hampshire.
A Maine family’s sea-going legacy gathered recently at Homecoming 2018. Three generations at Maine Maritime Academy: Kristian Kibler ’22 (actively learning), Chris Haines ’91, Chief Engineer (actively sailing), Roger Haines ’66, Master Mariner/Senior Panama Canal Pilot (retired).
Class of 1993 was well represented at Homecoming 2018. They celebrated their 25th reunion at campus events and a number gathered at an AirBnb in Castine. Pictured left to right: Eric “EJ” James, Steve Pellegrino, Brett Witham, Richard Slack, Richard Toothaker, Stephen “Jack” Spratt, Mike Tolley and Chad Shimunek. Kneeling, left to right: Kevin Plourde, Chris Riel Daley, Fred Berry.
Chris Caiazzo won his race for the Maine House of Representatives for District 28, which includes West Scarborough and part of Scarborough proper.
Jeff Patry is the station manager at Granite Shore Power. Jeff lives in York, Maine.
Shawn Snedden is senior director of plant operations at the Milwaukee Brewery of MillerCoors. Shawn and wife Jeannette have three children, TJ , age 18, Avery, 16, and Sydney, 14.
Classmates and class agents for the Class of 1998 are, left to right: Josh Collamer who lives in Silver Spring, Maryland; Jeff Linton of Montclair, Virginia; and Jason Grabelle of Elliott City, Maryland. Great to see them at Homecoming and thanks for hosting the tailgate event at the MMA vs. Catholic University football game in Washington, DC, on November 10.
Christopher Jordan is the New England engineering and sale representative for Sulzer. Jordan is residing in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.
Tom Brown attended the DC tailgate event at Catholic University on November 10. He is a trial attorney with the Department of Justice, Civil Division, Aviation and Admiralty Litigation section. He and his wife Jessica live in Silver Spring, Maryland, with their seven children.
When Ej Martin transitioned from ship to shore, he joined the team at Longroad Energy, a Boston-headquartered renewable energy developer focused on the development and operation of wind and solar energy projects throughout North America, and he assisted in establishing a 24/7 Remote Operations Center in Portland, Maine to take advantage of being able to recruit a strong labor force of MMA alumni. Operations started over a year ago, and the center monitors more than 1.2 GW of solar and wind projects across the country. Joining Martin are MMA alumni Dana Merril ’83, Bill Nichols ’03, Clyde Smith ’10, and Matt Bailey ’12.
On July 14, Crystal (Parker) Maass ‘06 and Emily Maass were married in Portland, Oregon. The wedding was at Mount Tabor Park and the reception at Coopers Hall urban winery. In attendance were Amanda Johnson ’06 and Katherine Clapham ’06. Crystal is a Chief Mate with Polar Tankers of ConocoPhillips and Emily is an attorney with Lane Powell PC. The couple lives in Portland, Oregon, with two spirited little girls, Ruby, age 5, and Chloë, 3.
Raymond Wiggin is an undersea warfare operations analyst at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. He and his wife, Rebecca, live in Eldersburg, Maryland, with their two boys Byron, age 7, and Henry, 5.
Luke and Valerie (White) ’10 Velho welcomed the arrival of Wren Luke Velho on July 14. The Velhos live in Newcastle, Maine. Luke is an engineer for Polar Tankers, Inc.
Rebecca (Allen) Labonte, her husband Zachary, and their two boys Dylan, age 3-1/2, and Gavin, 1-1/2, moved from Florida to Woodstock, Connecticut. Rebecca also received her master’s degree from MMA in 2009 and was recently inducted into the MMA Athletics Hall of Fame.
Tom Carey was back on campus representing his employer at the recent career fair. Carey is a program manager for General Dynamics NASSCO and lives in San Diego, California.
Nicholas Bishop is a chief engineer with Noble Drilling. He and his wife, Sash, live in Windham, Maine.
Curtis Libby is an Instrumentation Manager/Research Engineer at the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center in Orono. He and his wife, Fiona, live in Bangor.
Travis Norwood and Hannah (Chisholm) Norwood ’16 were married this summer. They make their home in Norton, Massachusetts. The Norwoods joined the Bay State alumni tailgate gathering at the Admiral’s Cup football game at Mass Maritime in September.
Sarah Grindle and Henri Levesque (both Class of ’14) have announced their engagement. They will be married August 3, 2019 in Castine. Grindle is enrolled at Kapi’olani Community College, finishing up her final year in the Occupational Therapy Assistant program and Levesque is a marine surveyor for the American Bureau of Shipping. They reside in Kailua, Hawaii.
Bradley DeLawler is an assistant engineer with Bordelon Marine and lives in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.
Johnny Weymouth took to the stage with the band Whoopy Kat during his wedding reception at the Sealight in Sullivan, Maine on September 22. Weymouth married Heather Holt of Ellsworth, Maine. John works for Emera Maine and they reside in Ellsworth.
Molly Marcotte and Rachel Jondle ’17 will be moving to Naval Support Activity Bahrain, home of U.S. 5th Fleet, as project support engineers for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center, working with U.S. Fleet Forces Command and NAVSEA.
Marcotte was a naval architect with the Department of the Navy, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and IMF, Honolulu. Jondle was a Project Support Engineer in Norfolk, Virginia. Both alumnae are employed by Invictus Associates, an engineering firm owned and operated by John “Chip” Callan ’88.
Megan Perkins is a software tester for Code Refinery of Apex, North Carolina, a company delivering custom software used in healthcare, clinical diagnostics and medical devices.
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.