Meet Our Crew
where they need to be through hands-on, comprehensive training and leadership development.
With extensive careers and backgrounds, we have experts in nearly all facets
of the maritime industry with no shortage of additional resources.
take back practical tools and skills to the real world, so that they are safe and successful at their jobs.
If you don’t succeed, we don’t succeed.
At The Helm
Eric is the Executive Director of the MM&P MATES Program and divides his time between the East Coast campus in Baltimore, and the West Coast campus in Seattle. Eric is a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Transportation. Eric later earned his Masters of Management with a concentration in Organizational Leadership through the American Military University. Prior to his position as Executive Director, Eric served as the Director of MITAGS under Glen Plaine’s leadership. He also spent some time as an instructor of the Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch and Maritime Safety courses, utilizing his Masters License (1600 ton) , Second Mate license (any Gross Tons Upon Oceans), and Maintenance, Material, Management Department Head, US Navy, experiences.
In Eric’s free time, he participates in the National Weather Services’ Skywarn Program where he serves as a trained Spotter. His skills are often employed to warn staff at the east coast campus of impending severe weather.
Staff & Instructors
Pavel (Pasha) has over twelve years of experience with maritime simulation projects. His specialties include hydrodynamic and visual development of Harbor tugs with indirect assist capabilities, as well as other vessels such as heavy lift ships and various barge configurations. Other areas of expertise include design and installation of hardware control systems and visual development of databases.
Areas of personal development and hobbies include mechanical design and fabrication, and physical application of weather dynamics and aerodynamic theory, i.e. sailing.
Kurt A. is a MITAGS GMDSS instructor, primarily based out of our west coast campus in Seattle. He sailed as a Radio Officer from 1979-2000 on cruise ships, oil tankers, MSC prepositioned ships and then finished up with Sea-Land for 8 years.
In that time, maritime SOLAS communications transitioned from Morse code through satellite communications and then on to GMDSS. He holds FCC GMDSS Operator and Maintainer licenses and a 2nd Telegraph license.
From 1998 until present he has been a GMDSS instructor and a member of the Training Group sub-committee of the national GMDSS Task Force.
Michele B. is a 2015 graduate of the MITAGS Maritime Apprenticeship Workboat Mate Program. After successfully completing the 2.5 years apprenticeship, Michele went on to obtain her USCG 3rd Mate Unlimited License and has sailed onboard a variety of vessels including research vessels, training ships and passenger vessels. Michele is a member of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots.
Since 2019, Michele has been training the next generation of apprentices as an Instructor at MITAGS. She is not only a USCG approved instructor for a variety of maritime course, Michele is also a mentor, advisor and role model for the new apprentices entering the industry. When not in the classroom, Michele shares her experience with new mariners as an Instructor Mate, sailing and teaching onboard academy vessels.
Bob retired from his position as Director of Business Development at the end of 2019, and now supports the Business Development team on a part-time basis. Bob is an experienced master for MM&P contract vessels and alumnus of the United States Merchant Marine Academy. He is also a member of the Council of American Master Mariners and Boston Maritime Society.
A gifted welder and fabricator, Ray helped build the current Fire Dragon mockup in 2001. He stayed on with Fremont Maritime and transferred to MITAGS in 2017. Ray is responsible for keeping the ship as seaworthy as possible (considering she catches fire on a regular basis), and keeping all systems on line.
Jim is also an active 30+ year Firefighter,-MD Licensed Paramedic, and Licensed Certified Clinical Social Worker- (LCSW-C) as well as holding degrees in Social Science and Secondary Education from Frostburg State University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and Community Planning. In his free time, Jim is also an active crewmember for the museum ship the SS John W. Brown, which operated as a merchant ship of the United States Merchant Marine during World War II. He enjoys, along with Sue, his wife, the company of his two sons, daughters-in-law and seven grandchildren.
Captain Scott C. is MITAGS’ Department Head of Shiphandling. While overseeing Shiphandling courses, Scott also actively instructs many MITAGS’ courses both within his department and in the License Advancement department and Navigation systems department. Captain Scott has many industry achievements including:
- Member of MARAD Liquefied gas mariner training standards technical working group
- Lead delegate representing US maritime officer training Gas Tech 2006 LNG conference, Abu Dhabi UAE
- Member of development team to receive the first national maritime center approval for operational and management level maritime distance learning courses
- Contributor to Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee training standards for LNG and electronic charting
- Subject matter expert and advisor in Transport Safety Bureau-Transport Canada, Queen of the North investigation
- Subject matter expert and instructor to Transport Safety Bureau-Transport Canada investigators in the loading, carriage and discharge of Liquefied Gases
- Managed the creation, development and implementation of the deck officer license advancement program at Calhoon MEBA Engineering School
Captain Scott is an alumnus of Texas A&M University, at Galveston, holding a Bachelor Degree of Science Marine Transportation.
The newest addition to the MITAGS simulation and development team, Shayan is a graduate of the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), where he obtained both his bachelor’s degree (ME) and master’s degree (NAME) in engineering. He graduated Summa Cum Laude (GPA 4.0) in Naval architecture and Marine engineering in May of 2021.
In his free time he conducts research concerning the feasibility of hull forms in various naval vessels such as containerships and cruise ships and optimization of engine/propeller combinations in a virtual condition. During his undergrad and graduate school time he participated in research studies concerning the design and simulation of mathematical models of engines, WHRs, EGRs, Propellers, ASVs, Hull forms, etc.
Catie G. is MITAGS’ NSAP® Manager as well as Lead Simulator Operator (Baltimore) and instructor. You can often find Catie teaching a variety of MITAGS’ USCG approved courses such as: Able Seaman, Basic Training, RADAR, and ARPA. Despite working full time at MITAGS, Catie is still actively sailing as a 2nd Mate of Unlimited Tonnage. Graduating from The United States Merchant Marine Academy, Catie holds a Bachelor of Science, Marine Transportation and recently received her MBA from SMARTLY. Catie has been featured in SMART Magazine, Wall Street Journal “Faces of Success”, and Wheelhouse Weekly. She also holds awards in Sea Scout Service and from Boy and Girls Scouts for tours, and was the 2019 recipient of the Charles Pillsbury Award from the SOCP. When not working or sailing, Catie enjoys painting, quilting, yoga, swimming, and volunteering at “The Sharing Table” food pantry.
Mark joined MITAGS in October of 2022 after a career in the Royal Navy. As Director of MITAGS, his responsibilities include scheduling of classes and instructors, overseeing ongoing projects, assisting the west coast team as support is needed, coordinating simulation research projects, reviewing curriculum, assisting in academic policy updates, student critique reviews, and action item oversight, and so much more.
As a Simulation Engineer at MITAGS-West, Mark‘s primary responsibility is the maintenance and repair of the simulation facility, and oversight of a busy simulator schedule. Trained as a Project Manager, Mark also has extensive experience managing simulation research projects with a focus on finding creative solutions and ensuring a tight delivery date. Areas of personal development and hobbies include hiking, backpacking and watching sports.
Elisabeth H. is the Executive Administrator at MITAGS, providing administrative support to the Executive Director and the management team at MITAGS. She has formerly served in the Admissions office at MITAGS, where she provided student advising, customer service, and administrative support. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County).
Elisabeth is a trained vocalist and enjoys the performing arts, yoga, hiking, and reading.
Emily has worked at MITAGS for over 12 years. She provides a level of institutional knowledge and operational expertise that only time and experience provide. Throughout her tenure, Emily’s primary mission has been to help ensure MITAGS provides the highest caliber maritime training possible. Eric Friend, Executive Director of MITAGS, said “Emily’s leadership has been tested and proven. The passion and excitement she brings to work every day along with her commitment to our customers, students, and staff makes her the obvious choice for Assistant Director.”
The highlight for Emily has always been working with the amazing and talented team at MITAGS, both East and West coasts. “I love working here and have been so fortunate to work with incredible people. I am fully committed to doing everything I can to facilitate our success and continue fulfilling our mission.”
Emily’s prior experience includes marine operations, training & development programs, and human resources. She holds a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and is a SHRM Senior Certified Professional® in human resources.
Captain Bob K. is the head of MITAGS’ License Advancement department. Captain Bob holds a USCG Master’s License of Steam or Motor Vessels of any Gross Registered Tons with experience as Master and Chief Officer for conventional and container vessels. A graduate of SUNY Maritime College, Captain Bob holds a Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation as well as a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology and Oceanography. Captain Bob also maintains membership in the Council of American Master Mariners.
Jon obtained his first license (as a Danish yacht master) at the age of 17, and subsequently attended the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York. After graduating in 1983, he sailed in positions from deckhand to Master aboard ships and workboats all over the world. After running a support vessel during the Exxon Valdez cleanup effort in Prince William Sound, Jon came ashore and founded Fremont Maritime Services in Seattle, Washington. 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 STCW Basic Safety Courses, 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. When MITAGS established the Pacific Maritime Institute in Seattle, Jon worked to forge a strong working relationship between the two schools.
In 2017, Fremont Maritime was purchased by MITAGS, and Jon came aboard as a marine safety training and business development specialist. Up to this point, his primary focus has been on the tug and barge industry, organizing the 2019 Subchapter M Seminar at MITAGS, as well as helping to create new programs required by the industry.
As a member of the senior management team at MITAGS, Jon’s mission is to identify customer needs and craft solutions in all the areas where MITAGS operates – not just training, but in customized simulation, research and apprenticeship programs. Jon is also helping MITAGS chart its course into new and exciting training and assessment methodologies, such as Digital Learning, Virtual and Augmented Reality.
“This is a very exciting and challenging time to be in the training business,” says Jon. “So many basic concepts about how, where and to whom we provide instruction and assessment have changed in the last few months. Our customers are looking forward to quality programs that can be delivered more effectively and efficiently, which respect their employees’ time but enhance their knowledge and safety skills. I look forward to charting these new uncharted waters and helping to keep MITAGS the Leader in Maritime Training and Simulation.”
Klaus is a licensed USCG Master with over a decade of sea going experience and is licensed to practice law. Prior to his current role with MITAGS, Klaus advocated for members of the Masters, Mates, & Pilots union domestically in Washington D.C., interacting with Congress on policy issues, and internationally at the International Maritime Organization as a delegate for the International Transport Workers’ Federation.
In his spare time he enjoys the outdoors and attending sporting events with his wife and three young children.
Joyce brings years of experience in diverse industry settings as a Staff Accountant. She has extensive payroll experience with both large and small business. Joyce is familiar with union payroll processes for companies with an employee base of union and non-union workers. In her accounting career, Joyce has been on the ground floor of accounting system upgrades with previous employers.
Jenny P. is MITAGS Student Instructional Services Manager for both east and west coasts, but is primarily found at our west coast campus. Jenny counsels and confers with students and prospective students within a program of study or regarding a student service. She also provides program and departmental procedures, policies, and goals & objectives for the organization. Additionally, Jenny is responsible for maintaining program approvals for state and government agencies and is the VA certifying official for both campuses. Jenny holds a Masters of Education in Student Development Administration and in her free time enjoys live music, reading, and outdoor activities with her family.
Colleen S., PE
Colleen S., P.E. is the Director of Simulation Engineering and responsible for managing research projects and direct oversight of the Simulation Engineering Department. She also programs hydro-dynamically accurate databases including detailed visual scenes, underwater bathymetry, RADAR and ECDIS images. Colleen holds a Master of Science in Civil Engineering with a Coastal Engineering concentration from Oregon State University and a Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering from the University of Rhode Island.
Colleen is also proficient in French, is a certified PADI advanced Scuba Driver, and a certified dog lover.
Ben is the Chair of MITAGS’ Marine Safety, Security, and Human Factors department, which oversees USCG, Military Sealift Command (MSC), and MARAD approved courses. A former Naval Officer who joined MITAGS at the end of 2021, Ben got his start at sea serving as a Surface Warfare Officer in the Pacific Fleet. He is a qualified Officer of the Deck, Engineering Officer of the Watch, Tactical Action Officer and Craftmaster.
After leaving active duty, Ben worked on towboats and barges on the Chesapeake Bay. Over the years, he has also been called a park ranger, meter reader, golf cart cleaner, referee, lifeguard, plumber, EMT, electrician, teacher and line cook.
Originally from Georgia, Ben has a Bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Georgia and studied Wilderness Medicine at the National Outdoor Leadership School. In his free time, he can be found exploring the mountains on foot, skis and the sharp end of a rope. His wife Erin is by far the superior mariner and continues to serve as an officer in the Navy.
Ginger joined Fremont Maritime in 2009 and transferred to MITAGS in 2017. Hers is most likely the friendly voice you hear when you call MITAGS-WEST. In 2021, Ginger was promoted to Assistant Program Manager, Marine Safety Programs.
Having completed all elements of the Basic Safety Training program, Ginger is well-qualified to answer your questions about the course content and activities.
In 2022, Ginger stepped into the role of Marketing & Communications Coordinator, managing the MITAGS website, social media, and promotional materials.