Pacific Maritime Magazine

Philips Publishing Group

Pacific Maritime Magazine     Alaska Dept of Commerce


Craig Allen

University of Washington School of Law


Professor Allen joined the University of Washington Law School faculty in 1996, following his retirement from the U.S. Coast Guard.  During his Coast Guard career he served on four patrol cutters and in maritime safety, security and stewardship and legal adviser roles.

Professor Allen’s teaching and research interests include maritime and international law, national and homeland security law, and Arctic law and policy. He is on the board of editors of Ocean Development and International Law, the Journal of Navigation and the Journal of Ocean Technology. He is the author of International Law for Seagoing Officers (6th ed. 2014) and Farwell's Rules of the Nautical Road (8th ed. 2005). Professor Allen earned his master’s license in 1987 (oceangoing vessels NMT 1600 tons). He is a member of the National Maritime Security Advisory Committee and a Fellow in the Nautical Institute and the Royal Institute of Navigation.

Professor Allen has been a visiting professor at Yale Law School and the University of Oregon. For the 2011-2012 academic year he served as the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Maritime Studies at the US Coast Guard Academy and the inaugural Fellow in the Academy’s Center for Maritime Policy and Strategy. During the 2006-2007 academic year he served as the Charles H. Stockton Chair in International Law at the U.S. Naval War College.


Nils Andreassen


Institute of the North


Nils Andreassen is the executive director of the Institute of the North. His background in rural and international development, Alaska policy issues and leadership development fits well within the Institute’s mission to inform public policy as it relates to natural resource development, and specifically to result in improved living and economic conditions for northern residents. The Institute has a legacy working on Arctic infrastructure priorities and policies that serve to strengthen and connect northern communities. 

Andreassen has a degree in Peace and Development from the University of Bradford in England and has lived in Anchorage, Alaska since 2002. He is a public member of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission, is on the board of directors for Commonwealth North, Renewable Energy Alaska Project and Alaska World Affairs Council. Andreassen also served on the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission as a commissioner representing international Arctic organizations.


Joshua Berger


State of Washington, Governor’s Maritime Sector Lead


As the governor’s maritime sector lead for the State of Washington, Joshua works as the liaison between maritime industry interests, the governor’s office, legislature and state agencies. As sector lead he focuses on economic development, building public/private partnership, and ensuring a 21st century workforce.  In his role, Joshua has also facilitated the Alaska & Puget Sound Leadership Summit with the goal of relationship building and actionable items for shared economic development opportunities between the two regions. Previously, Joshua served as director of the Washington Maritime Federation and brings extensive maritime industry experience to his position. He earned a master’s degree from Antioch University Seattle in participatory planning. Joshua is also a professional merchant mariner having worked in the towing industry and spent six years as captain of the historic schooner Adventuress.

Richard Brennan




Captain Richard Brennan is the chief of NOAA’s Hydrographic Surveys Division, directing the planning and execution of NOAAs ocean mapping and hydrographic surveying efforts.

Brennan has served with the NOAA Officer Corps for more than 20 years, sailing on nearly every hydrographic ship in the NOAA fleet, conducting surveys across US waters, from the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean to the Gulf of Maine, and from the Oregon coast to Chukchi Cap in the Arctic Ocean. His most recent sea assignment was as the commanding officer of the NOAA ship Rainier, conducting surveys of Alaskan waters.

While ashore, Brennan pursued a master of science degree in ocean engineering at the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, specializing in ocean mapping, acoustics, and tidal error models. Capt. Brennan graduated from the Citadel, in Charleston, South Carolina, with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering.


Helen Brohl


US Committee on the Marine Transportation System  


Helen A. Brohl was appointed as the first executive director of the US Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) in July 2006 by US DOT Secretary Norman Mineta. Working with senior political, military and civilian leaders in the federal government, Ms. Brohl directed the development and Cabinet-level approval of the first-ever National Strategy for the Marine Transportation System to improve the MTS for capacity; safety and security; environmental stewardship; resiliency; and financing.

Ms. Brohl was directly instrumental in the development of the CMTS Strategic Action Plan for Research and Development in the MTS; the CMTS response to the National Ocean Policy; the CMTS National Strategy for E-Navigation; and a marine transportation policy for the US Arctic.

For the previous ten years, Ms. Brohl was the executive director of the US Great Lakes Shipping Association where she worked with NOAA and Congress to build the Great Lakes Water Level Observation Network. She also previously served for six years as the president of the National Association of Maritime Organizations.

Ms. Brohl was appointed in 2010 and reappointed in 2014 by the assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works as a commissioner of the US section of the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure, received the Secretary of Transportation Safety Award in November 2015 and was named Woman of the Year in Maritime for Policy by the Organization of American States in April 2016. 

Ms. Brohl has a coastal geology degree from Florida Atlantic University and a master in science degree from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, in Great Lakes Land and Water Use Policy. She is currently an alumni mentor with the John Glenn School of Public Affairs and sits on the board of the Women’s Aquatic Network which she co-founded 30 years ago. She is married and has two grown children.

RADM Mark Butt


US Coast Guard, Thirteenth District


Rear Admiral Mark E. Butt serves as the commander of the Thirteenth Coast Guard District headquartered in Seattle.  He is responsible for all Coast Guard operations throughout the Pacific Northwest which spans across the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana and includes more than 4,400 miles of coastline, 600 miles of inland waterways, and a 125 nautical mile international border with Canada.

Rear Admiral Butt graduated from the US Coast Guard Academy in 1982 and holds a master of science in aeronautical structures from Purdue University.  He reported for flight training at Naval Air Station Pensacola in 1984 and earned his wings as Coast Guard Aviator No. 2397.

Rear Admiral Butt’s command tours include commanding officer of the Coast Guard Group and Air Station Humboldt Bay in Northern California as well as the commanding officer of Air Station Detroit, Michigan.  He served as the first commanding officer of the Asset Project Office (APO) and as the commanding officer of the Surface Forces Logistics Center (SFLC) in Baltimore, Maryland.

In addition to his operational assignments, Rear Admiral Butt served as the chief of the office of Aeronautical Engineering (CG-41), was the director at the Mission Support Integration Office (DCMS-5), served as the assistant commandant for Capability (CG-7), and most recently served as deputy commandant for Operations, Policy, and Capability located at Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, DC.

Capt. Terry Federer


AVTEC-Alaska Maritime Training Center


Captain Federer has been a lifelong mariner. He grew up in Northern Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior and spent much of his youth working in ship yards and marinas.

As a young man, he became a professional mariner and began a career on the water which inevitably brought him to Alaska. Terry followed a traditional hawse pipe, maritime career path, and eventually worked his way up to master.

Terry has worked in different sectors of the maritime industry and on a variety of ships, including tug boats, research ships, ferry ships, and salvage vessels. He currently is the department head of the AVTEC-Alaska Maritime Training Center (AMTC) in Seward, Alaska. AMTC is the largest maritime training school in Alaska and certifies over 800 students a year. AMTC also claims the only USCG approved ice navigation course in the United States. This course has been well attended by industry and federal agencies.

A desk job can be a challenge for a mariner so Terry still spends some time on the water during the summer months working for Major Marine Tours in Seward, Alaska. During the summer he takes 150- 200 passengers out on day excursions to encounter whales and tide water glaciers in the Kenai Fjords National Park.

Terry lives with his wife Rebekka and their two children Alma (6) and Finn (4) in Seward, Alaska. He also has a passion for cooking and holds a degree in foodservice management and culinary arts.


Craig Fleener


Office of the Governor, State of Alaska


Craig is Gwich’in and originally from Fort Yukon, Alaska. He currently serves as the director of state and federal relations and Arctic policy advisor in the office of the governor of the state of Alaska. He resides in Anchorage.

From 2010-2013 he served as the deputy commissioner of game, subsistence, and habitat for the Alaska Department of Fish & Game in Anchorage, Alaska, providing policy oversight on wildlife and subsistence management, representing the Department at the Board of Game, Arctic policy forums, legislative briefings, and outreach. Additionally, he served from 2008-2010 as the director of the Division of Subsistence.

Craig served as the executive director of the Council of Athabascan Tribal Governments until 2007 where he managed health care, education, and natural resources. He was the first director of Natural Resources in Fort Yukon and served as the regional biologist for several years.

He has spent more than 28 years in the military with four years in the US Marine Corps and 24 years in the Alaska National Guard where he continues to serve as a major and the senior intelligence officer with the 176th Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

Craig brings decades of experience conducting research in the Arctic. He’s provided support to search and rescue missions throughout Alaska, served as a permanent participant to the Arctic Council including in-depth work on several of the working groups of the Arctic Council. He has worked on human dimensions issues related to subsistence, climate change, and adaptation in the Arctic and served on numerous boards and commissions such as the Gwich’in Council International, International Porcupine Caribou Board, and the Yukon River Panel.

He has a master of arts degree, graduating with honors, in intelligence studies from American Public University where in 2013 he wrote a thesis on “US Arctic Policy; A Race for the Arctic”. He graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1999 with a BS in natural resources management.


Paul Fuhs


North Slope Port Authority


Paul Fuhs is the former mayor of Dutch Harbor, Alaska.  During his time in the Aleutians he was the owner of the company Aleutian Explosives and a commercial diver specializing in port construction, emergency response and the use of explosives underwater.

He served as Alaska’s commissioner of commerce and economic development for Wally Hickel.  He is currently president of the board of the Marine Exchange of Alaska which provides vessel tracking services for the Coast of Alaska, executive director of the North Slope Port Authority and also works as a maritime consultant specializing in Arctic port development, emergency response, and Northern Sea Route development.


Matt Ganley


Bering Straits Native Corporation


Matt Ganley has worked for Bering Straits Native Corporation (BSNC) and Bering Straits Foundation (BSF) since 1993.  He now serves as vice president, media and external affairs, after working as VP, land and resources, executive VP of Bering Straits Foundation, and staff anthropologist for Bering Straits Foundation.  During his career with BSNC and BSF he has worked in cultural resource related issues (repatriation, site documentation and preservation), resource development, renewable energy projects (geothermal), land claims transfers and special federal legislation related to the corporation’s ANCSA land entitlement.  Since 2010 he has been working on behalf of the corporation to secure the transfer of Point Spencer, and is currently evaluating and advocating for sustainable port systems development in the American Arctic.


Mark Gleason


Washington Maritime Federation


Mark H. Gleason is the director of the Washington Maritime Federation, bringing over 20 years of maritime experience to the job. Prior to this Mark was most recently the executive director of the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers representing crab fishermen in the Bering Sea. He has also worked as a government affairs representative for a Seattle-based fishing company, as a Sea Grant Fellow in the US Senate, and a commercial fisherman in Alaska, Washington, and California.


John Hakala


US Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship


 John P. Hakala is the Alaska State director for the US Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship.  He is responsible for developing plans and partnerships that connect industry, labor, and education to the public workforce system. John works directly with businesses to develop apprenticeship training programs for their employees, and coordinates services with other federal and state agencies and intermediary organizations. John is a lifelong Alaskan who completed a labor-management sponsored electrical apprenticeship and earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Alaska Pacific University.


Bruce Harland


Crowley Marine Services


Mr. Harland has business unit responsibility for contract services in Alaska, the US West Coast and International Arctic markets. Crowley provides ship assist and escort services, salvage and oil spill response equipment, contract towing services, Arctic transportation services, naval architecture and marine engineering services, logistics and project management services. Harland joined the company in 1984 as operations supervisor in Anchorage, AK and has held progressive management positions throughout the Crowley organization in Alaska, Seattle, WA and Houston, TX. Harland was awarded the Thomas Crowley Award in 1995. Mr. Harland is a graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy and received an MBA degree from Seattle University.


Capt. Benjamin Hawkins


US Coast Guard


Captain Hawkins currently heads the Office of Design and Engineering Standards in the Commercial Regulations and Standards Directorate at Coast Guard Headquarters. Together, with a diverse, inter-disciplinary engineering staff, he is responsible for the development, promulgation and implementation of design and construction standards for commercial vessels, offshore structures and shipboard equipment.  Working both nationally and internationally with the goal of enhancing maritime safety and environmental protection through standards development, Captain Hawkins and his staff engage a wide variety of stakeholders including IMO member states, classification societies, industry associations and the maritime industry itself.

Captain Hawkins has a master’s degree from the University of Michigan in naval architecture and marine engineering as well as a master’s degree from the Naval War College in national security and strategic studies.  Previous assignments with the Coast Guard have included tours at the Marine Safety Center and Coast Guard Headquarters while his field assignments have ranged from New York to Alaska, where he served as the commanding officer of Marine Safety Unit Valdez. 

Matt Lauer


Foss Maritime


Michael Lauer has been with Foss Maritime Company for eight years serving in various roles within the company. In his current role of director of project services, Mr. Lauer leads the project teams that manage the marine transportation projects that Foss performs. This new group was formed by Mr. Lauer in 2015, bringing together both the various project managers within Foss plus the project controllers. The Project Services group utilizes the fundamentals of project management to build upon Foss’ significant expertise performing marine transports around the globe. Mr. Lauer has been the project manager on various projects within Foss including the Shell Alaskan offshore exploration, various heavy lift transportation projects and unique service offerings such as Foss ship management contract of a mobile offshore installation. In his previous role as director of business development, he administered sales in marine transportation and harbor towage services, including providing consultation for engineering services, guided proposal development and estimating on all major projects. He oversees the operational structure and the systems/controls that ensure project execution is in accordance with both the contract and Foss HSQE policies and procedures.

Prior to working at Foss, Mr. Lauer spent six years at Bechtel working in construction management and civil field engineering. Currently, he holds a project management certification from PMI, and he formerly held a professional engineering license in the State of California. He has a bachelor of science in civil engineering from Oregon State University as well as a MBA from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.


Dermot Loughnane


Tactical Marine Solutions


Dermot Loughnane has the experience of 14 years at sea combined with 20 years in shore positions in the shipping industry and the marine operations of oil and gas companies. He is a Master Mariner, and holds both a MBA and a post graduate diploma in shipping management (DMS). Dermot’s executive experience includes a position as managing director of Teekay Australia and CEO of Skaugen PetroTrans, a ship lightering company. Earlier he managed the marine department of Petro Canada.

For the Arctic he has a background in Arctic operations both from the sea as an ice pilot and from the management of ice class ships ashore.

Presently he runs Tactical Marine Solutions (TMS), a company specializing in commercial and operational ship management. TMS also comprises a consultancy specializing in shipping feasibility for the Arctic and improving the operational performance of shipping companies.

He is a past board member of the Australian Shipowners Association, Australian Maritime Defense Council and Shipping Australia and chair of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.


Marc Luiken


Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities


Marc Luiken serves as the commissioner for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.  He brings extensive executive management experience in the transportation field to this position.  Under his direction, the department is responsible for the planning, design and construction, as well as the maintenance and operation of Alaska’s transportation system, public buildings and facilities. 

He previously served as the department’s commissioner from December 2010 to October 2012; a position he took after serving as DOT’s deputy commissioner for aviation. Most recently, Commissioner Luiken was employed as a project manager and performance coach with RLG International, supporting the oil industry in Alaska with ConocoPhillips and BP Exploration Alaska.  

Prior to his public service to the State of Alaska, Luiken served 29 years with the US Air Force, retiring June 1, 2010 as the vice commander of the 11th Air Force.  His career as an Air Force fighter pilot spanned the globe with multiple assignments in the United Kingdom and Germany, and an assignment in Japan.  He is a combat veteran with service in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Southern Watch, Operation Joint Forge and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Commissioner Luiken holds a bachelor’s degree in human factor’s engineering from the US Air Force Academy; a master’s degree in management from Troy State University and a master’s degree in strategic studies from Air University in Alabama.  He is a certified member of the American Association of Airport Executives and a member of the Air Force Association.

He lives in Anchorage with his wife Suzanne.  They have five children; each of whom are Alaska residents.

Dennis McDonnell


Alaska Coach Tours


Dennis McDonnell, a 28-year tourism veteran, has worked in several sectors of the visitor industry. He spent 10 years at Princess Tours in various capacities including motorcoach maintenance, cruise ship operations, and Fairbanks division manager. He spent 7 years as director of flightseeing at Era Helicopters before leaving to start Alaska Coach Tours, providing motorcoach tours through Southeast Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, where he is president and majority owner. He has served on various tourism related boards, including the Dalton Highway advisory board, and is currently on the Alaska Tourism Marketing Board and is the incoming chair for the Alaska Tourism Industry Association board of directors.


Sen. Lesil McGuire


Alaska State Senate


Senator Lesil McGuire grew up in the same district that she now represents in the Alaska State Legislature.  Senator McGuire graduated from Willamette University with an undergraduate degree in speech communication and political science. Following her undergraduate studies, Senator McGuire went on to work in Washington DC for two years as a legislative and press aide for United States Senator Ted Stevens. She subsequently obtained her juris doctorate from Willamette University College of Law while clerking in the United States Attorney’s Office in Oregon. Her law degree was put to use when she came back to Alaska and worked for the firm of Birch, Horton, Bittner & Cherot.

Senator McGuire began her work in the Alaska State Legislature as counsel for the House Judiciary Committee.  At age 29 she was elected to the state House. In 2006, she was elected to the Senate.


Senator McGuire currently serves as the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the co-chair of the Arctic Policy Committee.  She served as the co-chair of the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission.


She was honored to be selected for such prestigious recognitions as the vice-president and president-elect of Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER), where she created and is the former chair of the Arctic Caucus, and chair of the Council of State Governments-WEST in 2007/08. She was a Henry Toll Fellow in 2003. From 2000 to 2003 she served as the Anchorage Caucus chair.  She has served on boards for American Diabetes Association, Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, Covenant House, Anchorage Republican Woman’s Club, Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, Civil Air Patrol, Traumatic Brain Injury Foundation, Fraternal Order of the Alaska State Troopers, and Special Olympics.


Dennis McDonnell


Calista Corporation


As the workforce and shareholder development supervisor at the Calista Corporation, Brenda Pacarro is both dedicated and committed to helping the shareholders and descendants of Calista have access to training and education. She began her career at Calista in March 2010 with her current duties to manage the workforce development programs which include their successful summer internship program, apprenticeship program and mentorship program. Calista Corporation currently has 30+ subsidiaries and is one of Alaska’s 13 regional corporations formed under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, with 13,000 shareholders and encompasses 56 villages. Her goal is to grow as an individual to help Calista fulfill its vision statement: An Alaska native corporation that is the standard for economic success and corporate responsibility.

Brenda Pacarro is a Yup’ik and Athabascan descendant who was born and raised in Alaska. She is a 2015 graduate of the Alaska Native Executive Leadership Program at the Alaska Pacific University and an alumni of Leadership Anchorage.

Aside from serving the shareholders and descendants of Calista, she was appointed to the AVTEC statewide advisory board. AVTEC is an accredited postsecondary vocational and technical training center located in Seward. This role as an advisory board member is important in the growth and future economic development to the region and state. In addition, Brenda was recently elected to serve on the board of directors for her village corporation, The Kuskokwim Corporation, that belongs to over 3,000 shareholders.


Michael Perkinson


Guggenheim Partners


Mr. Perkinson joined Guggenheim in 2012 as the chief of staff to the global chief investment officer. As such, he has day-to-day responsibility to managing the office of the CIO and directing the staff. He has a 25-year track record of proven management and leadership ability from his role as a United States naval officer, a US diplomat and a partner in a consultancy focused on providing strategic advisory services to business operating in emerging markets. He has lived and worked in Europe, the Middle East and was, for five years, a diplomat assigned in the People’s Republic of China. He has been an advisor to several Western intelligence services. Most recently, he was a partner with Veracity Worldwide, LLC, where he founded the China practice.

Mr. Perkinson received his BA in political science from The American University, studied Chinese politics at the Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies and earned an MS in finance from Johns Hopkins University. He is a native of Newport, Rhode Island, lives in Santa Monica, California and speaks Mandarin.


Scott Pattison


Northwest Seaport Alliance


Scott Pattison was born and raised in Seattle. Four days after graduating high school, Scott moved to Kotzebue, Alaska where he worked seasonally on tugs and barges supplying coastal villages and delivering equipment for major projects throughout Alaska’s Arctic in order to fund attendance at the University of Washington, where he earned a BA in economics and an MBA.

Between 1975 and 1992, Scott was employed in the maritime industry’s private sector. During this span, he lived in Kotzebue, Nome, Juneau, Ketchikan and Seattle, and traveled extensively throughout Alaska. He began his career in operations, followed by management positions in operations, marketing and administration with Crowley, Northland, Alaska Marine Lines, Lynden Incorporated and Sea-Land Service.

From 1992 until 2015, Scott was with the Port of Seattle where, among other responsibilities, he built and maintained the Port’s ties with Alaska, including the Arctic. Scott has negotiated multiple lease agreements with ocean carriers that serve Alaska, including a lease at Terminal 5 to support exploratory operations in Alaska’s Arctic. In 2015 Scott was selected to join the Northwest Seaport Alliance on behalf of the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, where his focus is on business development in the domestic cargo sector.

Scott is married and has a daughter and son.


Peter Philips

Philips Publishing Group


Peter is the president of Philips Publishing Group, publishers of trade journals for the maritime and transportation industries. In the years since Philips Publishing was founded by Peter’s father in 1983, the company has grown to become the largest maritime and transportation publishing house on the West Coast. Titles include Pacific Maritime Magazine, aimed at West Coast commercial vessel and terminal operators, FOGHORN, the official publication of the Passenger Vessel Association, Clipper Vacations Magazine, published for Seattle’s Clipper Navigation, Catalina Express Magazine, published for Catalina Express, Pacific Fisheries Review and Fishermen’s News, the oldest commercial fishing publication on the Pacific Coast.

In addition to publishing trade journals, Philips Publishing also specializes in creative design services for the maritime and transportation industries, with clients across the country. Peter is the immediate past president of the Seattle Marine Business Coalition, which represents the interests of marine industrial land users. Peter is past president of the Port of Seattle Chapter of the Propeller Club, and past regional vice president, West Coast, of the International Propeller Club. Peter has a BA in history from Whitman College, and has been employed in the maritime publishing field since 1985.


George Roe

University of Alaska at Fairbanks


George Roe is the program manager at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks for the Arctic Remote Energy Networks Academy (ARENA).  As part of the research faculty at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, he is affiliated with the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) and the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration (ACUASI).  His work at ACEP focuses on adaptation and integration of energy grid technologies, working in conjunction with industry, utilities, federal agencies and communities. He is a co-investigator and member of the Alaska Center for Microgrid Technologies Commercialization leadership team.  George’s efforts at ACUASI emphasize advanced energy systems for unmanned systems and their remote bases, and inter-regional collaborations to explore advanced system applications.  His research interests also address the energy and system developments needed to enable sustainable marine operations related to the evolving potential for greater traffic along northern sea routes.  With bachelor and master of science degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington, George’s experience base includes 35 years in engineering and management capacities at Boeing.  He worked in research and development for a range of aerospace energy subsystem technologies, in roles that emphasized engagement of multiple organizations within the company, teaming with both prime contractor and subsystem suppliers, and acquisition and management of government research and development contracts.



Seattle Maritime Academy


Sarah’s maritime career started in 1989 as a cadet at Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) which is also the Texas Maritime Academy. After earning a bachelor’s degree in marine sciences and an unlimited tonnage third mate’s license from the US Coast Guard, she enjoyed working in various parts of the maritime community. Her sailing endeavors included work on supply boats, tugs, landing crafts, high speed catamarans, seismic and fisheries research vessels from the South Pacific Ocean to the Bering Sea. One of her shoreside adventures included being the assistant scientific support coordinator for the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii and Oceania with NOAA HAZMAT providing scientific support during oil or hazardous material spill incidents to the USCG or US EPA. Her introduction to commercial shoreside operations began with Foss Maritime Company in the health and safety department.  In December 2007, she earned a master’s degree from the Leadership Institute of Seattle in leadership and organizational development. She continued her career as a regulatory training manager for Crowley Maritime Corporation on the Gulf and East Coasts. Sarah stepped away from the maritime industry for a couple of years doing leadership and organizational development. She moved back to Seattle and into the fishing industry as a safety manager for Coastal Villages Region Fund. She has most recently taken the helm as the director of the Seattle Maritime Academy.

Hugh Short

Pt Capital


Hugh Short has led over $650 million in transactions closed on debt and equity and is responsible for over $500 million in investments in oil, gas, real estate, mining and Alaska infrastructure.

Prior to co-founding Pt Capital, Hugh was president and CEO of Alaska Growth Capital BIDCO (AGC), a subsidiary of Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC), a privately held corporation that was organized under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. During his tenure as the CEO of AGC, Hugh and his team were responsible for deploying approximately $300 million of alternative debt products to small and middle market companies, with the vast majority of them operating in Alaska. When Hugh left AGC at the end of 2012, AGC’s $180 million portfolio was performing very well, with delinquencies lower than 5%, which is extraordinary for this asset class. During his tenure at AGC, Hugh also started and managed an investment-banking unit, which raised over $100 million of capital for the deployment of broadband in the Arctic and also advised on several significant Arctic M&A transactions.


In 2015, Governor Bill Walker appointed Hugh to the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) board of directors to develop an Alaska liquefied natural gas project. Alaska Governor Sean Parnell appointed Hugh to the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA, $1.16 billion in assets) and the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA, $1.18 billion in assets) in 2011. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed chairman of AIDEA and led the multi-billion dollars, state-owned investment bank. During his two-year tenure as the chairman of AIDEA, more than $530 million in capital and associated contributions by partners were appropriated; in addition the board approved due diligence on another $295 million in infrastructure development projects, including the first investments in offshore drilling rigs.


Hugh served as the mayor of Bethel, Alaska from 2002-2004. Hugh is a board member for the Rural Energy Enterprises and United Utilities, Incorporated, which is a subsidiary of General Communication, Inc. (NASDAQ:GNCMA).


Hugh earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Alaska



Capt. Duke Snider

Martech Polar Consulting Ltd.


Captain David (Duke) Snider is the CEO and principal consultant of Martech Polar Consulting Ltd, a privately owned company providing global ice navigation services and support for polar shipping, ice navigation, polar research, expedition logistics support, and ice related consulting services.  In October 2015 he sailed as lead ice navigator during the late season Northwest Passage transit of MSV Fennica and MSV Nordica and this year sailed as ice navigator onboard the first ship of the season into Canada’s Arctic Baffinland Iron Mines Milne Inlet terminal.

He is a master mariner with 34 years at sea, operating many vessels in a broad variety of ice regimes in polar regions, the Baltic, Great Lakes, and Eastern North American waters.  He has served onboard naval, commercial and Coast Guard vessels. As an ice navigator he has been the author of and contributed to many ice regime shipping feasibility studies.  He retired from Canadian Coast Guard service as regional director Fleet Western Region in 2012.

Captain Snider is author of the book Polar Ship Operations published by the Nautical Institute in 2012, as well as many other papers on ice navigation.  As a globally recognized expert in ice navigation, Captain Snider is often invited to speak on ice navigation, such as at University of Turku’s Ice Day Conference, Finland; Busan International Port Conference, Korea; and the Arctic Shipping Forums in both Helsinki, Finland and St. John’s, Canada.

He holds a bachelor of maritime studies degree granted by Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2006 and is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal in 2011 for his many years as a member of the Nautical Institute dedicated to improving safety at sea, with particular focus on improving standards of ice navigation.  He has also received the Canadian Coast Guard Exemplary Service Medal awarded for many years in command in “hazardous duty”, as well as the Commissioner’s Commendation for his part in the successful conclusion of two Arctic rescue missions in 1988. 

Captain Snider is a fellow and president of the Nautical Institute.  He is the lead on the Ice Navigator Training and Certification Program that is tasked with moving forward the Nautical Institute's goal of putting in place a global standard for ice navigators and contributing to safe navigation in ice covered waters in all regions.  He is the Nautical Institute’s delegate to IMO on all matters related to polar and ice navigation. 


Johan Sperling

Crowley Marine Solutions


Johan Sperling is vice president of Crowley Marine Solutions, which includes operations of Jensen Maritime Consultants Inc. (Jensen), the naval architecture and marine engineering subsidiary owned by Crowley Maritime since 2008. Johan joined Jensen 15 years ago as a naval architect and became the leader of Jensen in 2011, and vice president of Crowley Marine Solutions in 2015. Since then, he has led the company through unprecedented growth by tripling the size of the company and opening an office in New Orleans, as well as acquiring oversight of staff in Houston and Jacksonville, in addition to Marine Solutions and Jensen's Seattle-based teams. The company has also added additional departments under his tenure: offshore engineering, production engineering and construction management. Born in Sweden, he came to the US on a tennis scholarship and obtained his BS in naval architecture from the University of New Orleans.


John Springsteen

Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority


John Springsteen is the executive director of Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA), AIDEA invests in Alaskans to support Alaska’s enterprise economic engines.

John’s emphasis for the Authority is on financing the development of enterprise infrastructure to support businesses, grow jobs and develop revenue for Alaskans.

Prior to AIDEA, Mr. Springsteen served as an economic advisor to multi-national corporations while working for global advisory firms Grant Thornton, PwC and Deloitte. He also served as a management consultant to industrial and high-tech companies while with the management consulting firms Bridge Strategy Group and The Chicago Group, and he was the chief financial officer for a US publicly traded natural gas exploration company focused on China coalbed methane development.

John began his career as an environmental engineer.

Mr. Springsteen received his undergraduate degree in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991 and he holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University.

John believes in responsible, balanced development.

Gael Tarleton

Washington State, 36th Legislative District


Gael Tarleton has served in the State House of Representatives since her first election in 2012. She is proud to represent the people who live in Seattle's northwest neighborhoods, which are home to the North Pacific fishing fleet at Fishermen's Terminal; the cruise ship and grain terminals at the Port of Seattle; high-tech and biotech research organizations; and thousands of small businesses that serve our maritime, manufacturing, and consumer services economy. Gael is a Washington legislative delegate to the Pacific NW Economic Region (PNWER) because she supports using regional strategies to address shared interests in critical infrastructure resilience, economic diversification, and fair global trade policies. She currently serves as the House floor majority leader, co-chair of the Maritime and Manufacturing Task Force for Economic Resilience, and vice chair of the Technology and Economic Development Committee. She also was an elected Port of Seattle commissioner for five years. Gael has spent a career working in the international security and trade fields after earning bachelor's and master's degrees at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. She grew up on the Atlantic Coast near the homeport of the Gloucester, MA, fishing fleet and has lived in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood for nearly 25 years, down the road from Fishermen's Terminal. She likes to say that she did come home again.

Curtis Thayer

Alaska Chamber of Commerce


Curtis W. Thayer is the president and CEO of the Alaska Chamber, advocating for favorable economic conditions for Alaska’s private companies. It is a role well-suited to a long career in government and corporate affairs.

Curtis served as commissioner for the Department of Administration and a cabinet member for Governor Sean Parnell, with responsibility for 1,100 public employees and an annual budget of $350 million. His public service also includes deputy commissioner with the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.

Prior to public service, Curtis worked on the management team of ENSTAR Natural Gas Company and for the Alaska Gas Producers Pipeline Team. He has also worked in Washington, DC with Congressman Don Young and Senators Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski.

Curtis has served on boards at Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, Alaska Retirement Management Board, Alaska Royalty Oil and Gas Development Advisory Board and chaired the Alaska Board of Marine Pilots for five years.

He was recently selected to serve on the Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100, an elite group of chamber executives that represents the perspectives and needs of chamber and their members to the US Chamber of Commerce.

A life-long Alaskan, Curtis is a graduate of the University of Alaska Fairbanks and was recognized as one of Alaska’s “Top 40 under 40” community leaders.

Ethan Tyler

Division of Economic Development, State of Alaska


Ethan Tyler is the manager of economic development in the Division of Economic Development at the State of Alaska. Ethan has an extensive background in Alaska Tourism, marketing, public relations, and business development. He has been building and growing relationships throughout the state and beyond since 2000, and he continues to engage with community and business leaders around Alaska.

Ethan is a member of the Girdwood 2020 board of directors, and was named Top 40 Under 40 by the Alaska Journal of Commerce in 2014. When not on the job, Ethan can be found surfing the Turnagain Arm Bore Tide, or ski instructing at Alyeska Resort. He lives in Girdwood with his wife and 9 year old daughter.


Tero Vauraste

Arctia Ltd


Tero Vauraste is president and CEO of Arctia Ltd and vice-chair of Arctic Economic Council (AEC). His educational background includes MS in risk, crisis and disaster management from Leicester University and Naval officer exam from the Finnish Naval Academy. He has served as a vessel master and in several other positions in the Finnish Coast Guard. His current military rank is lieutenant-commander. Prior to joining Arctia in 2009, Mr. Vauraste held senior executive positions within the traffic and logistics service clusters. Arctia provides icebreaking, ice-management, oil combatting and polar research support services with eight icebreakers on the Baltic Sea and Polar waters.

Tero Vauraste holds several positions of trust, including chairman of the Finnish Maritime Weather Advisory Group, member of the board of the Finnish Arctic Society and member of advisory group of the Finnish Lifeboat Institution, to name a few.


Gary Watters

PND Engineers


Gary Watters first travelled to the Arctic on a temporary job assignment to work offshore on Dome Petroleum’s drill ship fleet in the Beaufort Sea.  The “temporary assignment” located in Tuktoyaktut, Northwest Territories, was over 30 years ago and today Gary is still traveling to the Arctic as president of PND Engineers Canada. PND recently completed the Milne Inlet ore dock located approximately 700 km north of the Arctic Circle on Baffin Island in Nunavut, Canada. This project is an example of the type of challenging projects that captures the interest of Gary and his partners; an extreme engineering project requiring something PND is known for, outside-of-the-box thinking.  Gary is a civil engineer graduate from University of Washington and currently lives in Seattle but spends a lot of time in Vancouver, BC managing the PND Canada operations.  “Traveling to the Arctic and taking on new challenges is something I’ll never grow tired of,” says Gary, “There is always something new to learn, even after 30 years it still captures my curiosity.”