Each year the AAHPA ask the membership to consider nominating members of the community that have demonstrated superior performance in harbor or port management, innovative methods to improve harbor users, creative methods of reducing operating costs, service and support to the AAHPA, or other actions that have produced marked benefits for port and harbor users would be ideal candidates for nomination.
Awardees are honored during the banquet at the annual conference. Nominations for 2020 Harbormaster of the Year will open in early-summer 2020.
Greg Meissner, Harbormaster of Wrangell, Alaska, is hereby honored as the 2019 Harbormaster of the Year by the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators. Greg started his career with the Port & Harbor Department in 1998 as a Harbor Maintenance & Security staff member, and just three years later in 2001 was promoted to Harbormaster. Greg is responsible for managing the operations and maintenance of three harbors with 600 slips, the City Dock accommodating vessels roughly 950 feet long, a summer float system, the Wrangell Marine Service Center, a barge landing ramp, and all of the associated upland facilities and equipment. Greg and his crew work until there is a solution and the project is finished. He is an ambassador for Wrangell, representing the community with excitement and support. In his community, Greg is a tireless volunteer donating hundreds of hours each year for the Mariners Memorial, the 4th of July, and countless other important needs. In addition, Greg has served on the AAHPA Board of Directors with experience and candid input on all matters. His integrity and concern for the well-being of harbors throughout Alaska is evident in all that he has done for the AAHPA. It is with great pleasure that the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators recognizes Greg for these accomplishments as AAHPA’s 2019 Harbormaster of the Year.
The entire maintenance staff, including full-time workers Nicholas Burns and Michael Pattison and temporary workers Joshua Hahn and John Peterson, are hereby named the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators employees of the year for Ketchikan for 2019. Working as a team they performed numerous large capital projects in-house including rebuilding a forty-foot-long section of the Bar Harbor South ramp 2 trestle, rebuilding over 480 feet of Thomas Basin float 1 and fabrication of 73 concrete bases and the subsequent installation of 51 bollards, 7 benches and 8 trash cans on the cruise ship docks. These three projects alone saved the City an estimated $300,000 in construction costs if the projects had been performed by contractors and were accomplished in addition to their regular duties maintaining four cruise ship berths, six small boat harbors with over 1,100 slips and three double lane launch ramps. The entire team is a valuable unit of the department and is genuinely deserving of being recognized by AAHPA members as Ketchikan Port & Harbors Employees of the Year for 2019.
Harbor Officer John Forchemer is hereby named the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators employee of the year for the City and Borough of Juneau for 2019. John distinguishes himself with tireless dedication to training the Statter Harbor seasonal staff and efforts in the repair of the storm damaged Statter Harbor breakwater. He took a personal interest in the professional development of seasonal staff and quickly brought them up to speed, ensuring proficiency in their duties, with no loss of productivity of his own assigned responsibilities. Following significant damage to the Statter breakwater in April, John expertly oversaw additional personnel and regular Docks and Harbors employees, resulting in the completion of extensive repairs in just over three days. John’s positive, can-do attitude and dedication enable this project to be completed safely and efficiently. John is a proven outstanding teammate and a major asset to the Enterprise, and he is genuinely deserving of being recognized by AAHPA members as Juneau Docks & Harbors Employee of the Year for 2019.
Harbor Officer II Captain Mike Lowe is hereby named the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators employee of the year for the City of Homer for 2019. Mike is a certified Emergency Trauma Technician responder, is certified in marine firefighting, and holds a USCG 6-pack ton masters license. Mike sees the strength and value of the team, and uses his energy and patience to mentor new staff to help them grow their skills. He leads by example to forward that long tradition of providing a sheltered and safe harbor for the vessels and people that depend on it. On May 26, 2019, while on-duty, Mike responded to a USCG Pan-Pan notifying mariners of an overturned skiff with four people in the water. On-site, Mike removed three people from the water, worked with other good Samaritan vessels to transfer all patients safely to a vessel with a warm cabin, and once all patients were transferred Officer Low put a line on one of the good Samaritan vessels that had lost power and towed her to the safety of the harbor. The words “Safe Harbor” came to be standard because of the dedication of our ports and harbors to provide a safe and protected shelter from storms and the sea. Mike demonstrates this long tradition of dedication in his work and interactions with harbor users every day. Mike Lowe has truly established himself as an exceptional member of our department and he is genuinely deserving of being recognized by AAHPA members Homer Harbor’s Employee of the Year for 2019.
See past recipients of Employee of the Year awards
PND Engineers have been Association members since 1979 and have supported numerous organizational initiatives leading to the improvements and recapitalization of harbors. Always a participant at AAHPA annual conferences, PND Engineers have established the reputation of presentation of presenting complex engineering and construction topics in a manner which is interesting and intelligible to all conference attendees. Over the years, PND Engineers’ financial support and reliability in sponsoring the annual banquet has helped AAHPA maintain a fiscally solvent bottom-ling. The professional services PND provides to the AAHPA Corporate Members has been described as world-class. From Ketchikan to Unalaska and the Arctic, PND has a proven track record of delivering quality engineering design and construction execution oversight. Throughout the state, but especially in Southeast Alaska, it is difficult to find a safe harbor which does not have a PND influence. On behalf of the 43 member harbors, it is with great pride to award the inaugural Golden Anchor award to PND Engineers for their achievement and support to the AAHPA and its Corporate Members.
Kim Elliot is hereby recognized as Life Member by the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators. Kim served as the AAHPA Executive Secretary for 12 years, retiring at the end of 2016. In her role as Executive Secretary , Kim mentored numerous AAHPA Presidents and provided sound, sage guidance to scores of Board Members. A cornerstone of the Association is the annual conference run by volunteer harbormasters. Kim capably helped to coordinate a dozen highly successful conferences from Ketchikan to Dutch Harbor. Kim wisely managed the Association funds, prudently leaving the fund balance in sound and strong fiscal condition. Her care and concern for this organization is second to none, and without question her spirit and energy has guided AAHPA along a track line from safe harbor to safe harbor.