Meet Our Crew

MITAGS’ staff and instructors are dedicated, dynamic, and passionate individuals who focus on getting the next generation of mariners
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.
We’re lifelong learners, and truly care about developing the skills of our students and accomplishing the goals of our clients.
For us, it’s not just about checking the box and meeting the regulatory requirements, it’s about making sure those who walk through our doors,
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

Glen Paine, Executive Director of MM&P MATES Program

Eric Friend

Executive Director

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

Pasha A.

Simulation Engineer
Meet Pasha!

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.

GMDSS Instructor
Meet Kurt!

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.

Meet Michele!

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 B.

Assistant Director of Business Development
Meet Bob!

Captain Bob can be found primarily at our East Coast campus, but also travels to our West Coast campus too. 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.

Justin B.

Academic Coordinator/Registrar
Meet Justin!

Coming soon!

Ray C.

Facilities Maintenance Manager
Meet Ray!

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 C.

Chair of Marine Safety, Security, and Human Factors Department
Meet Jim!

Jim C. is the Chair of MITAGS’ Marine Safety, Security, and Human Factors department, which oversees USCG, Military Sealift Command (MSC), and MARAD approved courses. 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.

Scott C.

Chair of Shiphandling Department
Meet Scott!

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.

Rebecca E.

Instructional Design Coordinator
Meet Rebecca!

Coming soon!

Shayan G.

Simulation Developer
Meet Shayan!

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.

NSAP® Manager, Lead Simulator Operator (East Coast) & Instructor
Meet Catie!

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 H.

Simulation Engineer & Lead Simulator Operator (West Coast)
Meet Mark!

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.

Executive Administrator
Meet Elisabeth!

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 H.

Assistant Director
Meet Emily!

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.  This is not just a professional commitment for Emily, but a personal one as well, as her spouse has been a merchant mariner for 30 years. Eric Friend, 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.

Bob K.

Meet Bob!

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 K.

Director of Business Development
Meet Jon!

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.”

Patrick O.

Director of Information Technology
Meet Patrick!

Coming soon!

Amanda M.

Admissions Coordinator
Meet Amanda!

Coming soon!

Debby M.

Admissions Representative

Meet Debby!

Coming soon!

Joyce N.

Staff Accountant
Meet Joyce!

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.


Oleeta N.

Accounting Manager
Meet Oleeta!

Coming soon!

Jenny P.

Student Services & Maritime Apprenticeship Program Manager
Meet Jenny!

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.

Jill P.

Director of Sales – Maritime Conference Center 

Meet Jill!

Jill P. is a hospitality professional with over twenty years in the industry.  Jill’s success in the leadership of unique and independent properties from an operations, sales and marketing capacity, along with her ability to manage teams in times of transition, makes her a valuable resource.  Jill currently leads a team of sales and marketing hospitality professionals at Maritime Conference Center (MCC) and works alongside business development professionals at the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS).  The organizations merge the worlds of academia and hospitality, and the revenues from MCC’s 100,000 square feet of meeting space and 232 guestrooms help support MITAGS, a maritime training center founded in 1967 by the International Organization of Masters Mates and Pilots.  MITAGS made its home near Baltimore Washington International Airport in 1972 and the organization is a 501c3 non-profit educational organization.

In addition to Jill’s leadership capacity at MCC, Jill was co-president of BWI Arundel Mills Hospitality Alliance (BAMHA) for nearly five years and continues to serve as an advisor to the organization’s board.  This organically created group worked to become a local non-profit organization and is now recognized for fostering connections and supporting the regions tourism advocacy.  She was recently inducted as Secretary, Board of Directors for Visit Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.  Other organizations that Jill is actively involved in include Unique Venues, AFL-CIO, Visit Baltimore, Maryland Tourism Coalition, The BWI Business Partnership, RCMA and several local chambers of commerce. 

Jill is a big believer in giving back to the community and has played an active role in MCC’s continued involvement with the USO BWI Airport Lounge.  MCC provides showers, amenities and oftentimes a meal for service men and women before they fly to their final destinations. MCC also hosts many USO volunteer meetings and events.  Jill was instrumental in supporting The BWI Business Partnership and BWI Airport with the success of their BWI Summer Youth Initiative.  MCC hosted one day of the week-long summer program for several years, and Jill taught a “Hospitality & Career 101 Course,” complete with a “back of house” tour for the youth.

In Jill’s personal life she is a wife and mother of two children.  Utilizing her marketing and community relations skillsets, she supports her husband’s health and fitness business and is often found cheering him on during USA Track and Field Masters Division events throughout the country.  She loves to hike, swim, read and hang out with her family.  She embraces a strong sense of spirituality, and works to be an advocate for others through community and church involvement.  Her positive disposition, authenticity, perseverance, and her innate ability to overcome obstacles big and small continue to be the driving force behind her success. 

Mike R.

Interim Director of MITAGS
Meet Mike!

In January 2022, Mike was appointed Interim Director of MITAGS. Mike is a 1979 graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point. After graduation, he sailed as a ship’s officer aboard US-flag vessels for 17 years. 

In 1995, Mike began his career ashore as an application engineer with Nautical Technology Corporation (NTC) in New York. At NTC, Mike worked in sales, training, and technical support for the company’s distributed database system, NTC Ship Manager. This software offered off-the-shelf solutions for ship owners in areas including purchasing, inventory, maintenance schedules, crew assignments and payroll. 

In 1997, Mike returned to Kings Point as an Academy Training Representative. His responsibilities included supervising the shipboard assignments and training of hundreds of the Academy’s midshipmen. He also taught undergraduate business and several courses in maritime operations to military and industry professionals through the Academy’s continuing education program.  In February 2001, Mike joined the headquarters staff at the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots (MM&P) as Executive Assistant to the International President.  At MM&P, Mike was responsible for representing the organization during contract negotiations, and in several forums including the International Maritime Organization, the International Labor Organization, the Office of the US Trade Representative, and several federal advisory panels on maritime subjects. 

In 2009, Mike joined the Senior Professional Staff of the House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. During his tenure on the Hill, the Deepwater Horizon casualty occurred and Congress passed, and the President signed, a sweeping Coast Guard bill that addressed several aspects of the Coast Guard’s operations and maritime safety.  Mike served as a Captain in the Navy Reserve. In 2006, Mike and several other reservists were deployed in support of special operations in the Indian Ocean.

From 2011 through 2014, Mike served in several active duty assignments supporting military sealift and maritime security.  Following his active service, Mike was appointed as the Deputy Maritime Administrator in the Department Transportation’s, Maritime Administration (MARAD). At MARAD, Mike was responsible for developing US maritime policy, proposing legislation, and outreach to the maritime industry and its stakeholders.  Mike then became the 15th Superintendent of the Texas A&M Maritime Academy in Galveston where he was responsible for the education and training of 556 students in the Academy’s Corps of Cadets before eventually joining us here in a part time instructor and simulator operator role.

Mike retired from the Navy reserve in 2019 at the rank of Captain and returned to his home in Maryland early in 2020.  Following the 2020 election, Mike served as the maritime subject matter expert on the Biden-Harris Transition Team.

As the Interim Director, Mike’s 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.  Mike also continues to fill in the classroom and simulator operator role as needed.

Colleen S., PE

Director of System Engineering & Coastal Engineer
Meet Colleen!

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.

Jeremiah S.

Simulation Engineer Operator
Meet Jeremiah!

Coming soon!

Ben S.

Program Manager, Marine Safety Programs
Meet Ben!

Ben joined MITAGS at the end of 2021 and manages firefighting and marine safety programs at our west coast campus. A former Naval Officer, 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 V.

Assistant Program Manager, Marine Safety Programs
Meet Ginger!

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.