Alaska Association of Harbormasters
and Port Administrators 

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 Harbormaster of the Year are open until August 17, 2018 and can be emailed to or filled out using this online form. Please send an email with any nominations for Employee of the Year, along with an overview of their outstanding achievements. 

2017 Harbormaster of the Year

David Borg, Harbormaster for the City and Borough of Juneau, is hereby honored as the 2017 Harbormaster of the Year by the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators. David has distinguished himself as a leader, mentor, and innovator. Always seeking to improve on past practices, and following the extensive rebuilding of three major facilities in 2017 totaling nearly $80 million, he has been instrumental in organizing these new facilities into polished and efficient operations. As the CBJ Facility Security Officer, he ensured the completed new cruise ship berths project provided additional mooring capacity for commercial fishing vessels, charter vessels, and yachts consistent with federal regulations. David has greatly enhanced the public’s experience at Statter Harbor through judicious use of limited uplands and segregation of the various user groups. He has been active in weeding out abandoned a nd derelict vessels in each of the four harbors he oversees. Under his guidance and tenacity, CBJ is poised to be the next harbor to be recognized as an Alaska Clean Harbors recipient. Demonstrating leadership second to none, he implemented difficult but necessary personnel changes to his staff resulting in increased morale throughout. It is with great pleasure that the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators recognizes David for these accomplishments as AAHPA’s 2017 Harbormaster of the Year.

2017 Employee of the Year

Deputy Harbormaster Charles Hackett is hereby named the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators Employee of the Year for Sitka for 2017. Chuck has been working for the Sitka Harbor system for thirteen years. Chuck’s upbeat and positive attitude brings harmony to the workplace. Chuck is also respected by his peers and the harbor community. Chuck manages the reserved moorage program for yachts, which brings in over $100,000 of revenue annually from this particular user group. October 15th of 2015, Sitka Harbors was awarded the Alaska Clean Harbors Certification. Chuck spent endless hours on this certification process. Chuck Hackett has truly established himself as an exceptional member of the department and is genuinely deserving of being recognized by AAHPA members as Sitka’s Port & Harbors Employee of the Year.

Deputy Harbormaster Matt Clarke is hereby named the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators Employee of the Year for Homer for 2017. Over the past sixteen years he has strived to improve the Operation Department’s ability to serve customer needs safely and efficiently. As Deputy Harbormaster, Matt’s duties include: implementation of Facility Security requirements and Alaska Clean Harbors plan, supervising six 24/7 Harbor Officers as well as hiring and supervising six part-time seasonal employees, filling in shifts when short of staff, and planning and implementing training for emergency trauma technicians and harbor officers. During the past year, Matt has been an exemplary asset to the harbor: he delegated and oversaw the harbor officers as they completed a line-by-line update to the Harbor Officer’s Standard Operating Procedures handbook, he responded to a boat fire on December 15, 2016, removing a neighboring vessel and preventing a multi-vessel fire, and he now chairs the City’s Employee Committee after serving as the Port and Harbor’s representative for the past four years. Matt is very active in the community by annual co-teaching a small boat handling class, volunteering for special projects around town that benefit families, facilitating and then actually competing in some of the fun runs, and in the past year has assisted with a community ‘Boat House Pavilion’ project. Matt Clarke has truly established himself as an exceptional member of the City of Homer’s Port and Harbor Department and is genuinely deserving of being recognized by AAHPA members as Homer’s Port & Harbor Employee of the Year.

Assistant Harbormaster James Wilson is hereby named the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators employee of the year for Ketchikan for 2017. Mr. Wilson was the Assistant Harbormaster responsible for managing the reserved moorage waitlist program for all six harbors, judiciously monitoring both requests and available stalls to maintain 100% occupancy rates. He also did an excellent job on several occasions raising small vessels that had sunk during overnight storms and was instrumental in the timely moving of several vessels away from a vessel on fire, preventing additional damage to the vessels and the harbor. In addition to his harbormaster duties, Mr. Wilson performed extensive maintenance on the department’s aluminum work skiff including bearing replacement and repairs to the lower unit as well as grinding, priming and painting the bottom of the M/V Hamilton, the department’s primary patrol vessel. Based on his overall performance he was selected to be the Acting Director for a week when both the Director and Senior Assistant Harbormaster were out of town and the Port Operations position was vacant. Mr. Wilson has truly established himself as a team player and valuable member of the department and is genuinely deserving of being recognized by AAHPA members as Ketchikan Port & Harbors Employee of the Year for 2017.

Administrative Assistant III Jennifer Shinn is hereby named the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators employee of the year for Juneau for 2017. Jennifer is a consummate professional and the Swiss Army knife of the administrative staff, performing regular and irregular tasks with little to no supervision. Jennifer corresponded precisely with customers requesting advanced reservations leading to a remarkably smooth 2017 summer operational season. Jennifer’s invaluable input for regulation changes resulted in the establishment of a more uniform reservation policy for Statter harbor Breakwater, IVF, PFO Float, and the ICT in serving our patrons. These changes have proven to be highly effective by nearly doubling IVF and Statter Harbor revenues since 2014. Jennifer has completed yeomen work in scheduling meetings, completing agendas, compiling requested data, updating website information, posting minutes, making meeting announcement fliers, and haranguing Board members to determine quorum. She tracked all of the cruise ship billing and numerous shore-side permit holders serving the million passengers embarking Juneau – all with a cheerful and upbeat persona. Jennifer has embraced customer services and has worked tirelessly to improve the Docks & Harbors brand. She independently developed an online and hard copy customer service survey, providing a systematic process to collect feedback and valuable information from customers. With her attention to detail and “you can figure this out” attitude, Jennifer guided the Harbor administration operations through a flawless summer. Jennifer is a proven outstanding teammate, a major asset to the department and most deserving of being recognized by AAHPA members as Juneau Port & Harbors Employee of the Year for 2017. 

See past recipients of Employee of the Year awards

Honorary Member Award

Holly C. Wells, Attorney with Birch Horton Bittner and Cherot, has been a leader in her field in serving the AAHPA with legal advice for nearly a decade. Holly created a step-by-step guidebook providing guidance for municipal harbors around Alaska on fair and legal proceedings for impounding and disposal of derelict vessels. Holly and her firm provided Pro Bono legal counsel for Alaska’s ad hoc Derelict Vessel Task Force, participating in 9 full day meetings to help develop a statewide plan of action. Holly and her team at Birch Horton Bittner and Cherot worked tirelessly under the guidance of the Task Force to draft new legislation currently in the Senate as SB 92 sponsored by Senator Micciche. When this bill is passed into law these changes will serve to better enable State agencies and Municipal Ports and Harbors to prevent and better manage derelict vessels around Alaska. With her dedication to the maritime industry Holly has become a subject matter expert in the field of maritime law and its interaction with Municipal and State law, making her an extremely valuable friend and colleague to this Association. The Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators hereby commends Holly C. Wells for her exemplary professionalism, hard work, intelligence, and dedication to Alaska’s ports and harbors and the maritime industry of Alaska and presents to her an Honorary Membership to the AAHPA. 

To serve and promote Alaska's ports and harbors. 
Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.

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