News

Captain Jon Kjaerulff Promoted to Assistant Director of Business Development at MITAGS

Congratulations are in order for MITAGS’ Captain Jon Kjaerulff who was recently promoted to Assistant Director of Business Development!

Jon is a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy who has sailed in positions from deckhand to Master aboard ships and workboats all over the world. In 1989, after running a support ship during the Exxon Valdez cleanup effort, Jon came ashore and founded Fremont Maritime Services in Seattle. Over the next 27 years, Jon established a reputation as a pioneer in the field of maritime safety, survival and firefighting training. His company was one of the very first organizations in the U.S. to obtain Coast Guard approval for an STCW Basic Safety Training program, and from 2003 to 2015 Fremont Maritime was the only private company utilized by the U.S. Navy to provide marine firefighting training to its military sailors. Over the years Jon and his team worked with tens of thousands of inland and offshore mariners, providing training not only at Fremont’s school in Seattle, but at customer locations in Alaska, Oregon, California, Florida, Europe, Australia and the Caribbean.

In 2017, Fremont Maritime was purchased by MITAGS, and Jon came aboard as a marine safety training and business development specialist. His focus has been on the tug and barge and cruise industries, as well as helping to create new programs required by industry and regulations such as Subchapter M. Jon will continue with his current responsibilities, but will also take on a larger role within the senior management team at MITAGS. In addition, he will be more involved with fiscal and strategic planning, and work to expand his knowledge and expertise within MITAGS’ simulation and operational research technology and services.

Additional Organizational Changes at MITAGS

In addition to Jon’s promotion, several other organizational changes have occurred at MITAGS.

Gregg Trunnell

Gregg Trunnell recently retired from the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots (I.O.M.M.P.) and as the Assistant Director of Business Development at MITAGS. He is now a Senior Business Development Consultant for MITAGS. His primary responsibilities include growing MITAGS’ Maritime Apprenticeship Program, assisting with the development and implementation of MITAGS’ Navigation Skills Assessment Program (NSAP®), and assisting companies and ports with their custom simulation and research needs.

Barry Reese

Controller, Barry Reese, retired last month after 20 years of service with MITAGS and Maritime Conference Center. Barry helped move our organizations forward by assembling the top-tier accounting team we have today.

During his tenure, his department assisted in navigating through the financial “shoals” created by the DOT COM Crash, 911, pension crisis, healthcare crisis, and the steep 2007 recession. Many other organizations were not so lucky.

We thank Barry for his service to the MATES Program, and wish him “fair winds and following seas” in his retirement!

Beth Semonavick

MITAGS and Maritime Conference Center wish to give a warm welcome to our new Controller/CFO, Beth Semonavick. Beth brings relevant skills and strengths to our organizations including a MS in Accounting and a BS Accounting and International Business.

She has 12 years of diverse accounting and finance experience from Stanley Black & Decker. Beth spent 5 years in their Internal Audit Department, then 6 years developing across corporate financial planning and analysis. In her most recent years, she was promoted to US Controller where she oversaw all monthly accounting, and led the external audits.

Oleeta Nicholson

With recent transitions within our Accounting Department, long-time staff accountant, Oleeta Nicholson was promoted to Accounting Manager. Oleeta joined MITAGS and Maritime Conference Center in 2006 and has proven to be a dedicated, forward-thinking employee. In her new leadership role, she will assist with the day-to-day supervision of our accounting processes and staff, while continuing to maintain some of her current responsibilities until another vacancy in the department is filled.

Congratulations to all on their promotions and retirements!