Baltimore, MD – February 02, 2022 – On behalf of the MM&P MATES Program, The Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS) and Maritime Conference Center (MCC) announce the appointment of Eric Friend as the new Executive Director.

“The trustees’ decision to select Eric as the next Executive Director has made the transition much easier. Eric has been running the Academic Division for several years, and {been] involved in most major decisions,” said Glen Paine, former Executive Director, now retired. “Eric is smart, dedicated, and respected by the trustees, students, and industry.  He has all the attributes to take the school to the next level.”

With young aspirations of originally wanting to fly and aiming to seek a flight billet from the US Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), Eric’s ambitions quickly changed after spending his cadet time at sea on International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots (MM&P) vessels. Every vessel he sailed was an MM&P ship.  The officers aboard were incredible mentors thus deepening his love for the maritime industry.

After graduating from USMMA in 1998, Eric became a sailing member of the MM&P, experiencing MITAGS’ training as a student, the same year when Glen Paine took the helm.

Eric witnessed firsthand the improvements made under Glen’s leadership, and in 2003, he became a MITAGS instructor. For several years, Eric taught a variety of subjects including Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch and several maritime safety courses. In 2007, under the mentorship of Walt Megonigal, Eric began a succession plan and in 2008 became the Director of MITAGS Academic.

Eric also simultaneously spent time in the Navy Reserves from 1998 to 2009.  His last unit was with an Inshore Boat Unit with one of his duties being the officer in charge of training. Later, he earned his Masters of Management with a concentration in Organizational Leadership from the American Military University.  Eric holds a Masters License (1600 ton) and a Second Mate license (any Gross Tons Upon Oceans).

As the new Executive Director, Eric intends to continue to cultivate and grow the relationships and deepen the level of trust that MM&P members and other MITAGS-MCC clients have now, taking care of all their training and business needs.

“We remain steadfast as ever to our mission and vision, evolving with the ever-changing world around us,” said Eric. “I’m looking forward to carrying on Glen’s legacy, and leading an amazing team of people, while continuing to advance MITAGS-MCC as the thought-leaders in their respective industries.”

MM&P President and Plans Chairman Captain Don Marcus stated, “Eric has a challenging mission carrying on the outstanding achievements of Glen Paine. The trustees of the MATES program have no doubt that Eric has the ability and personal commitment necessary, not only to keep our flagship propelling forward, but to further enhance its position as the premier training facility in the industry.”

In Eric’s free time, he is often found volunteering in his community.  One of Eric’s greatest hobbies and passions is being a National Weather Service Skywarn Spotter. After a storm, Eric can be found assisting in disaster responses, cleaning up storm debris or helping to organize food trucks to feed a community without power.

For more information about MITAGS and current staff transitions, please visit

Media Contact:

Lindsay Moran, Director of Marketing
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MITAGS is a nonprofit, vocational training center for individuals seeking to enter the maritime profession and for professional mariners seeking to advance their careers. With campuses in Baltimore and Seattle, it is the leader in maritime training, pilot programs, ship simulation and operational research, providing customized solutions for both individual companies and mariners, and members of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. To learn more, visit our website at


About Maritime Conference Center
Maritime Conference Center (MCC) sits on the beautiful 40-acre campus of the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS), and is a 232-room hotel and conference center, offering 100,000 square feet of meeting space, including an auditorium with seating for 350 and a dining room with seating for 500. MCC also offers a fitness room, a recreation room, an indoor swimming pool, a Deck Club Lounge, and an abundance of outdoor space. Conveniently located within minutes of BWI Airport, MCC is a central hub for a variety of gatherings in the Baltimore, Annapolis and Washington, D.C. regions.  Whether it’s conference rooms, dining services or lodging that you need, MCC has you covered. For more information, visit us online at

MITAGS-MCC’s Nondiscrimination Policy can be viewed in its entirety at  and