Paul Amos

Columbia River Pilots


Captain Amos was born and raised in Denton, Texas. In 1974, he permanently relocated to Vancouver, Washington and went to work for Knappton Towboat Company. He spent the first sixteen years of his career with Knappton, which later became Brix Maritime and was eventually sold to Foss Maritime. From 1980 to 1990, he was employed as a captain on towing vessels for the Columbia/Willamette/Snake River system. The majority of those years were spent on grain barge tows between Portland, Oregon and Lewiston, Idaho.

In 1990, Captain Amos became a member of the Columbia River Pilots. He served two years as treasurer and was vice president of COLRIP in 1999 and again in 2006. Shortly afterward, he became president and has served continuously in that position ever since.

Captain Amos was instrumental in developing COLRIP’s AIS-based traffic management system and continues to work to expand its capabilities.


Capt Jochem Bakker

Holland America Line


Captain Jochem Bakker was born in Hoorn, the Netherlands, and raised in the small town of Heiloo, 40 minutes north of Amsterdam.

He graduated in 1999 from the Hogeschool van Amsterdam with a bachelor’s degree as maritime officer, which covers both navigational and marine engineering education.

Bakker sailed with Holland America Line from 1999 until 2013 in various ranks up to captain.

At the same time he has also done short assignments on various other types of ships, from tugboats to research vessels and supply ships.

Since early 2013 he has worked in the head office of Holland America Line, right here in Seattle. He is currently the deputy director of nautical operations and works with the nautical department on the day-to-day operations of the Holland America Line and Seabourn fleet, totaling 21 ships.

At times he will still fill in on ships as captain to ensure he stays current with the ship aspect of all operations.

In addition, Bakker is involved in the design of the bridge for the newest ship for Holland America Line, which is expected to enter service in 2016.


Capt Bill Benning

Marine Exchange of Alaska


Bill is a 23-year graduate of the US Coast Guard. He served as a communications technician (radioman) onboard the icebreaker Westwind and buoy tender Bittersweet, as a distress communications technician at Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and Coast Guard Group Southwest Harbor, Maine, as a communications center section supervisor on the Commander Seventeenth Coast Guard District staff in Juneau, Alaska, as the communications supervisor at Coast Guard Air Station Sitka, Alaska, as the communications and security officer at Marine Safety Office Philadelphia, PA, and finally as the communications manager for the Seventeenth Coast Guard District in Juneau, Alaska. Bill has been a licensed merchant marine officer since 1994 and he currently holds a 100-ton Masters License. He has been on staff at the Marine Exchange of Alaska since December of 2001.


RADM Tom Cropper


The California Maritime Academy


Thomas A. Cropper is the 14th president of The California Maritime Academy, one of the 23 campuses in the California State University system. He began his presidency on July 1, 2012 after a 31-year career in the United States Navy.

Cropper is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in engineering operations and received his commission from the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program in 1981. He was designated a naval aviator in 1982, followed by operational assignments with 3 aircraft carrier-based jet squadrons. He went on to serve as the commanding officer of a F/A-18 strike fighter squadron and as commander of the air wing aboard USS NIMITZ. Most recently, Cropper directed education and at-sea training for Navy ships and aviation squadrons deploying to the western Pacific and the Middle East.

Cropper graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval War College earning a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. He holds additional master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee (Aviation Systems) and the Catholic University of America (World Politics). He is the recipient of the Michael Ripley Award as Naval Test Pilot School Instructor of the Year, and was also selected as the U.S. Atlantic Fleet Pilot of the Year. His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, and various service and campaign awards.

Cropper lives on the Cal Maritime campus in Vallejo, California with his wife Heather. Their two daughters attended CSU campuses and their son is a Class of 2012 alumnus of The California Maritime Academy.


Captain Christian Hempstead

Hempstead Maritime Training


Christian Hempstead, Master Mariner, MNI, MA, is presently a full-time training contractor as owner and founder of Hempstead Maritime Training, based in the greater Seattle area. He trained at sea as a youth and at US maritime academies, sailed 19 years as junior and senior deck officer with SeaRiver Maritime Inc. (formerly Exxon Shipping Co.) on all manner of tank vessels, including 5 years responsible for type-approved ECDIS and other electronic chart systems as watchstanding navigation officer. Upon coming ashore in 2000, he was instructor and developer at PMI & MITAGS in Seattle for 4 years, followed by 9 years as a professor at United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), teaching topics in integrated navigation. Since 1999 he has been developing and delivering certified ECDIS training in the US. He was author of the first approved ECDIS course in the US, and of the first certified ECDIS course at US maritime academies. He was a principal contributor to the ECDIS training requirements in the 2010 Manila Amendments to the STCW Code and Guidance and is the author of the revised ECDIS Model Course 1.27 (2012 edition). His ongoing training innovations include designs and implementation of large-scale ECDIS simulation and integrated navigation training environments, advising on methods and models that are being adopted at training sites in the US and abroad, and trainer training in ECDIS instruction.


Paul Kirchner

American Pilots' Association


Paul G. Kirchner is the executive director and general counsel of the American Pilots' Association. An attorney in Washington, DC specializing in maritime law, Mr. Kirchner was in private practice from 1978 to 1992, when he moved to his present position in-house with the APA. He has been a private industry advisor to United States delegations at over 40 meetings of International Maritime Organization committees and subcommittees.

Mr. Kirchner is a frequent speaker and writer on various aspects of the piloting profession and navigation safety. He developed and currently teaches a proprietary course on the Legal Aspects of Pilotage. In 1993, he set up the APA's Bridge Resource Management for Pilots training program, which he has managed since that time.


Captain Kip Louttit

Marine Exchange of Southern California


Captain James Kipling (Kip) Louttit was appointed as the executive director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California in January, 2013. A graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy, he served the United States Coast Guard (USCG) for 30 years prior to retiring with the rank of Captain. Captain Louttit’s experience includes 10 years at sea in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the Bering, Mediterranean, and Caribbean Seas. He had six years in command of three different Coast Guard cutters and two years as commanding officer of USCG Integrated Support Command in San Pedro. Following retirement from the Coast Guard, Captain Louttit worked for two consulting firms on Coast Guard and Pentagon work.

Captain Louttit was a Sloan Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and holds master’s degrees from MIT and Golden Gate University. He is an avid and active sailor with extensive experience in off-shore races, and has been invited to speak at seminars on safety at sea and ocean cruising. He serves as an assistant scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America, and enjoys leading Scouts on outdoor and community service activities.



President, Community Attributes


The foundation of Chris Mefford’s experience lies in working with jurisdictions, businesses and developers, providing market research; feasibility analyses; economic and financial analysis; and policy analysis, including land use and transportation policies. He brings 17 years of consulting, project management and analysis experience with economic, land use and transportation patterns. Based in Seattle, he brings in-depth expertise with the Puget Sound regional economy.

Mr. Mefford brings professional skills and expertise in regional economic development; financial feasibility analysis; strategic planning; socio-economic and demographic analysis; geographic information systems (GIS) modeling and mapping; land use planning and transportation planning. Mr. Mefford's prior engagements include leading teams for local and national consulting firms, and serving as a regional economist for the Puget Sound Regional Council.

Mr. Mefford holds an MBA from the University of Washington; an MS in urban and regional planning (economic development and transportation concentrations) from the University of Iowa; BA in mathematics (with an economics minor) from the University of Northern Iowa. He is an active volunteer leader in Seattle community organizations, including Leadership Tomorrow Seattle, CityYear, Urban Land Institute, the American Planning Association (AICP), Seattle Public Schools and the Cub Scouts.


Jim McCarville

Port of Pittsburgh Commission


James R. McCarville has 40 years of port and waterway experience.  He has served as the executive director of ports on the Great Lakes (Superior, WI ‘77-‘84), US east coast (Richmond, VA ‘84-‘90) and the US inland waterway system where he has been the executive director of the Port of Pittsburgh Commission (since 1994).  From 1990 to 1993, Jim served as a private consultant, advising governments of Brazil, Uruguay and Mexico on matters of port organization, operational efficiency and privatization and the governments of both Panama and the United States on the strategic transition plan for the transfer of the Panama Canal.

Jim is the eastern region vice-president of PIANC-USA, the past president and chairman of Inland Rivers’ Ports and Terminals, Inc., is on the board of directors of Waterways Council, Inc. and has been an active member of Transportation Research Board’s Inland Waterways Committee. He participated in PIANC Working Groups, including the “Organization and Management of River Ports”, “River Information Services” and “Performance Indicators for Inland Waterways”. He is currently working on projects to bring new technologies to transform the way business is done on the waterways, including projects to create a maritime liquid natural gas corridor on the Upper Ohio and a project to bring wireless broadband communications to the waterways.

Jim is the interim executive director of Pittsburgh Port Technology, Inc., an affiliate non-profit subsidiary of the Port of Pittsburgh Commission.

Jim is a native of Wisconsin.  He is a graduate of Regis College in Denver and holds advanced degrees in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, Washington, DC, and Urban Studies from Roosevelt University, Chicago IL.  Jim started his career as lakefront recreational planner on the staff of the mayor of Milwaukee in 1973, and, before that, as a community leadership trainer in the Peace Corps in Brazil.


Kristin Meira

Pacific Northwest Waterways Association


As Pacific Northwest Waterways Association’s (PNWA) executive director, Kristin Meira leads the association’s work with Congress, federal agencies and regional decision makers on transportation, trade, energy and environmental policy and projects. PNWA's membership includes over 130 public ports, transportation providers, agriculture and forest products producers, public utilities, manufacturers, municipalities and others in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Northern California.

She serves on the Board of Directors of the National Waterways Conference (NWC), the Harbors & Navigation Committee of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), the Inland Water Transportation Committee of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academy of Sciences, the City of Portland’s Freight Transportation Committee, and the Board of Directors of the Merchants Exchange of Portland.

Kristin moved to Portland in 2000 after spending five years on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, where she worked for US Senator Patty Murray and US Senator Bill Bradley. Prior to joining the PNWA team in 2002, she worked for several high tech and Internet firms in the Northwest. Kristin’s political experience also includes work as a legislative assistant for a NJ State Assemblyman, briefing aide to NJ Governor Jim Florio, and work on several campaigns around the nation.

Kristin has a BA with a dual major in political science/history and a double major in English from Rutgers University. She makes her home in Damascus, Oregon with her husband Erik, daughter Alex, and horse DJ.





Terrence Moore serves as senior manager of Jeppesen Commercial Marine Sales. Moore is responsible for ensuring customers realize the full benefit of Jeppesen’s suite of vessel efficiency and optimization solutions, including Jeppesen Vessel and Voyage Optimization Solution (VVOS), FleetManager and other innovative technologies.

From 2005 to 2008, Moore served as Jeppesen’s marine sales manager, responsible for the company’s Workboat Navigator inland navigation solution and launching Jeppesen’s successful entry into the commercial inland marine market.

Most recently, Moore spent the past five years as director of business development for AEP River Operations, one of the largest inland barge operators in the United States. He was active in many industry groups, and served on the Board of the Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals Association where he was also conference chairman for their annual event

Moore earned his undergraduate degree from Calumet College of St. Joseph and until recently, held a Coast Guard-issued 50-ton Masters License. A native of Northwest Indiana, Moore is active in civic and community affairs, which has included elected office and service as a volunteer firefighter and EMT.


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 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 serves as 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 B.A. in history from Whitman College, and has been employed in the maritime publishing field since 1985.


Scott Powell

California Maritime Academy


Scott Powell, Master Mariner, First Class Pilot, MNI, MRIN, graduated from the Northwestern Michigan College/Great Lakes Maritime Academy (GLMA) with an AAS in marine technology, from Ferris State University with a BS in business administration, and from SUNY Maritime College with a MS in international transportation management. In addition to Unlimited Near Coastal Master’s and Unlimited Second Mate’s Ocean licenses, he holds First Class Pilotage for the Great Lakes (USA). He gained extensive experience using ECDIS/ECS technology in pilotage waters while sailing as a first class pilot on the Great Lakes from 1998 to 2008. He also taught part time at GLMA before joining the Marine Transportation Department at California Maritime Academy (CMA) in 2009 as an assistant professor. During his time at CMA, he has been involved in maritime pedagogy research with interests in e-navigation, simulation, and ship-handling. As a USCG-approved ECDIS instructor, he develops and delivers ECDIS training courses for varied audiences ranging from cadets through marine pilots for CMA. He is the 2012 recipient of the Faculty Innovation in Technology award given by the California State Student Association. .


State of Washington Department of Commerce


Steve Sewell is the maritime sector lead for the State of Washington. In this role, he is charged with working with stakeholders and other government agencies to sustain, grow and improve jobs in the state’s maritime sector.

Steve draws on a career of over 25 years of experience in the transportation industry.

Prior to his current job, Steve was senior vice president and a founding executive of LoadStar--a leader in the development of wireless shipment and asset tracking solutions. In his position at LoadStar, he was responsible for business development, customer relations, marketing, government relations, contracts and administration. Prior to joining LoadStar, he served in a similar position as senior vice president for Savi Networks.

Prior to that, Steve was president of PB Ports and Marine, Inc., a subsidiary of the Parsons Brinckerhoff engineering firm, He was responsible for management and development of the company’s ports, marine and intermodal businesses globally.

Steve began his career as an attorney, serving as King County senior deputy prosecuting attorney and then general counsel for the Port of Seattle, and Port of Seattle Seaport Director.

Steve earned his BA degree from the University of Washington and his JD from Willamette University, and has served on the board of directors of a number of public and charitable organizations.


Capt. Shepard Smith

NOAA, Coast Survey


Captain Shepard "Shep" Smith serves as the chief of Coast Survey’s Marine Chart Division, responsible for the maintenance and publication of NOAA’s suite of nautical charts. Smith received his commission in the NOAA Corps – one of the seven uniformed services of the United States ‒ in 1993. During his 20-year NOAA Corps career, Capt. Smith spent nine years at sea as a field hydrographer, including command of the NOAA ship Thomas Jefferson. He has also served ashore integrating new technology to improve the efficiency of NOAA's seafloor mapping efforts. He earned a master of science degree from the University of New Hampshire Ocean Engineering (Mapping) Program in 2003, and received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University in 1993. .



US Coast Guard


Mike Sollosi has served in the United States Coast Guard since 1976 as a commissioned officer and as a civil servant. In the beginning of his Coast Guard career, he worked in the aids to navigation field, including service on buoy tenders in the North Atlantic and Alaska. He is now chief of the Office of Navigation Systems in Coast Guard Headquarters. In this capacity, he has responsibility for short range aids to navigation, electronic navigation systems, navigation equipment standards and the navigation rules. He served as head of delegation or as a delegate to the International Maritime Organization’s Safety of Navigation Subcommittee for several years, and was recently elected chairman of the subcommittee. Mr. Sollosi has more than 20 years of experience in the operation, administration and management of vessel traffic services, with service ranging from watchstander to program director, and including the chairmanship of the VTS Committee within the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities.


Capt. Ulf Svedberg

Swedish Maritime Administration


Capt. Ulf Svedberg graduated in 1975 from the Swedish Nautical University, and he earned his Masters license in 1978. For fifteen years he sailed as an officer and captain on tankers, Ro-Ro vessels, ferries, hydrofoil, cruise ships, and he was stationed in Saudi Arabia for three years as a cargo/general manager. Capt. Svedberg has worked for the Swedish Maritime Administration for twenty-two years; of which, six years were spent as a pilot in the archipelago of Stockholm and twelve years as chief pilot/area manager. For the past four years his focus has been on research and innovations as senior coordinator in R&D. He is an IALA WWA expert in e-navigation.


Brian Tetrault

US Army Corps of Engineers


Brian Tetreault is the e-navigation team leader for the US Army Corps of Engineers Research and Development Center, Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory. His projects include developing navigation systems to improve safety, efficiency and reliability of inland and coastal waterways. He previously served in the Coast Guard aboard icebreakers in the North Atlantic and Great Lakes and a fisheries patrol cutter in Alaska as well as navigation safety assignments at two Vessel Traffic Service centers and as the national VTS program manager. He is a US representative to the IALA e-Navigation Committee, IEC AIS Technical Working Group, and PIANC e-Navigation Working Group. He is Chair of the RTCM Application Specific Message Technical Working Group and a co-chair of the CMTS e-Navigation Integrated Action Team. He is a graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy and holds an Unlimited 2nd Mate and a 1600 Ton Master license.



Capt. Jorge Viso

American Pilots Association


Capt. Jorge J. Viso has served as a pilot in the ports of Tampa Bay, Florida since 1990. A graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy, he sailed on petroleum tankers prior to piloting. Capt. Viso is currently chairman of the APA Navigation and Technology Committee and APA vice-president for the South Atlantic region.


Warren Wood



Warren is the founder of VoyageBank, a cloud-based software service that provides voyage data exchange and analysis for ship managers, owners, and pilot services. The VoyageBank system won best systems category at the 2013 an IHS Safety at Sea awards in London.

Born and raised in Queensland (Australia), Warren served as a navigation and pilotage specialist in the Royal Australian Navy, completing full time service in 2010 as a commanding officer at sea. He entered the pilotage industry in 2010 as a licenced coastal pilot on the Great Barrier Reef; it was during the early months of this new career that Warren identified an opportunity for cloud-based software to assist with maritime safety, operations, and training.

Although busy with his exciting software business, continues to “keep his hand in” at sea as a coastal pilot.


Alan Weigel

BlankRome LLC


Alan Weigel is Of Counsel in the law firm of Blank Rome LLP in New York. He concentrates his practice in the area of commercial and insurance litigation and arbitration, with particular emphasis on the maritime industry. Mr. Weigel represents clients in a wide variety of both domestic and international maritime, commercial, and insurance matters, including vessel collisions, groundings and oil spills, vessel arrests, charter party disputes and cargo damage claims.

Mr. Weigel is a 1979 graduate of the United States Naval Academy and a 1987 distinguished graduate of the United States Naval Postgraduate School. During his twenty year career as a submarine officer in the United States Navy he developed skills as both a deck officer and engineer, as well as in deep ocean search and salvage. He commanded a deep submergence vehicle and served ashore in a variety of staff positions.