Marine Log’s Top Women in Maritime in 2022: The full interview

Written by Heather Ervin
Top Women in Maritime 2022

As the maritime industry continues to increase diversity and bring more women into its ranks, we wrap up 2022 for the third year in a row by bringing to you our list of Top Women in Maritime.

Our editorial team has carefully selected these 20 women of varied backgrounds, ages and locations with nominations given by those in the industry. We asked them to tell us about the successes they’re most proud of in their maritime career—whether it’s in shoreside management, onboard a vessel, or in another field.

While we were only able to share a fraction of their incredible contributions to maritime in print article, we are able to publish the full interview with each woman here.

Also, don’t forget to take a look back at who won last year and in 2020.

Sara Fuentes, Vice President of Government Affairs, Transportation Institute Treasurer/Secretary, American Maritime Partnership


Fuentes oversees the efforts to educate stakeholders on the importance of a strong U.S.- flagged maritime industry for the Transportation Institute. As part of this work, she serves as secretary/treasurer of the American Maritime Partnership. She also serves on the board of the Propeller Club-Port of Washington, D.C., and chairs the Regulatory Affairs Committee of the USA Maritime coalition.

Fuentes has 17 years of experience in the maritime industry, serving as staff vice president of government and external affairs with the Navy League of the United States. In this position, she led the revitalization of the association’s legislative affairs program and expanded the Navy League’s presence on Capitol Hill and with maritime stakeholders nationwide. She remains heavily involved in the Navy League, serving on the Merchant Marine Affairs Committee and the Legislative Affairs committee as a national delegate. Before that, she was Legislative Administrator for ATK, an aerospace and defense company.

ML: What successes are you most proud of in terms of your maritime career? 

SF: The highlight of my maritime career has been helping secure the Congressional Gold Medal for WWII Merchant Marine Veterans. It’s a cause I’ve worked on throughout my career, from my days at the Navy League donating our “Write Congress” platform to America’s Merchant Marine Veterans for their letter-writing campaign, to walking around the Hill with theses WWII heroes, to a final push of collecting as many co-sponsors as possible while working at Transportation Institute. We owe these heroes that sacrificed so much for us our unwavering gratitude. It has always been rewarding to highlight the national security aspect of the U.S.-flag merchant marine, but nothing compares to watching these mariners finally get the recognition they deserve.

I’m also proud to have been a part of the BookWaves program. In partnership with the American Federation of Teachers, the Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico, the Seafarers International Union, and our members TOTE Maritime and Crowley, we distributed thousands of books to students in Alaska and Puerto Rico when schools were closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The teachers picked out the books and schools, they were shipped for free on Jones Act vessels, and distributed by mariners of the Seafarers International Union. Being able to deliver joy is what maritime is all about!

Annie Fisher, Senior Naval Architect & Marine Engineer, Bristol Harbor Group


Fisher attended the University of Michigan, where she majored in aerospace engineering. In 2011, she spent a semester sailing from San Diego to Honolulu on a Sea Education Association sailing school vessel. When she returned, her aerospace advisor suggested she switch majors and walked her over the to the NA&ME Department. Fisher graduated in 2013, with a bachelors in naval architecture and marine engineering and went on to work for Bristol Harbor Group Inc. (BHGI).

At BHGI, she has been involved in a wide assortment of projects, ranging from double hulling a fuel oil barge servicing Martha’s Vineyard, replacing a deckhouse on the sailing school vessel Tabor Boy, and lengthening the NASA barge PEGASUS to carry the new Artemis rockets.

In her current role as senior naval architect, she manages multiple design projects and leads a team of engineers. Fisher is currently overseeing the Texas DOT Galveston-Bolivar Ferry in Louisiana and the new floating dry dock for Electric Boat, which will support the Columbia-Class Ballistic Submarines.

ML: What successes are you most proud of in terms of your maritime career? 

AF: One of the things I am most proud of over the course of my time at BHGI is helping to create an environment where young engineers feel comfortable asking questions and making mistakes. I think it’s incredibly important for incoming engineers to have the freedom to think through a drawing or calculation they have never done before and come up with a logical solution, regardless of whether it is exactly the way it is usually done. I’m proud of my role in fostering this culture, and it’s rewarding to watch our younger engineers gain confidence.

Katherine “Karrie” Trauth, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Shipping & Maritime, Shell International Trading and Shipping Company


Since August 1 2021, Trauth has been responsible for Shell’s international shipping and maritime activities, including ships, barges, drilling units, floating production facilities and related operations. Her work spans Shell’s entire business across upstream, downstream, projects and construction. She is a leading spokesperson on safety and the environment, improving the efficiency of shipping and maritime operations, and driving technology and innovation, including digitalization and decarbonization. She is also a passionate advocate and champion of DEI and creating an integrated culture of inclusion in Shell, and beyond.

Trauth joined Shell in 2012, initially as a project manager in Houston, followed by roles in London as manager and general manager of Shell’s Shipping & Maritime Technology and Innovation group globally before assuming her last position as GM Shipping & Maritime Americas.

Trauth began her career as a Surface Warfare Officer in the U.S. Navy, serving as one of the first group of women assigned in combat ships. After completing her naval service, she joined Avondale Shipyard in New Orleans as the Engineering Manager for R&D, beginning a career in ship design and construction and ultimately had responsibility for running a shipyard, delivering for the US Navy Zumwalt class destroyers.

Trauth has been honored by both the UK Everywoman program and the Society of Women Engineers for her efforts to increase gender balance in STEM fields and her contributions to technology, innovation, and design.

She is an Advisory Council Member of American Bureau of Shipping and Chair of the Blue Sky Maritime Coalition. She is also a Supervisory Board member at the UK Chamber of Shipping and Co-Chair of their Shipping Defence Advisory Committee. She is a former Director of the Greater Houston Port Bureau, SIGTTO, and the UKP&I Club.

Born in the U.S., Trauth holds bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in engineering from MIT, and an MBA from Georgetown University. She is living in London with her wife Angela and can often be found hiking, exploring, or on her road bike.

ML: What successes are you most proud of in terms of your maritime career? 

KT: First, I’d like to share my appreciation for the work that Marine Log is doing to raise the profile of female leaders in the Maritime Industry. I’m honored by this recognition and hope that the work I do has the effect to both inspire and pave the way for other women who share my commitment to safety and the environment.

Throughout my career, I’ve held three values constant, although perhaps not consciously in the early years. These are the areas where I’ve expended the most energy and am truly most proud of the accomplishments. But before I begin to describe them, I also need to recognize that I would have none of these successes without the fantastic people I’ve worked with over the years, those mentors, peers, and teams.

Firstly, I fundamentally value the safety of life at sea as the starting point. When working with the U.S. Navy to introduce low-observable materials and construction to the USS Zumwalt class of vessels, I recognized two things. First, that it would be the design of the materials and the structure which would protect the Sailors who go in harm’s way in service of our Country; but also, that the work that my team did in the actual construction and building of the structure to the absolute best of our ability was critical to their safety. I’ve taken that need to do my utmost to protect the women and men who go to sea into my roles in Shell, working with technology and design as well as shipowners and commercial teams to develop best-in-class initiatives such as Shell’s Maritime Partners in Safety program.

Secondly, and building on that, I have—and always have had—a real passion for the environment. I joined the energy industry for the opportunity to positively impact the emissions footprint of Shipping. I’m incredibly proud of the work that I led to introduce LNG as a bunker fuel, nearly eliminating SOx, NOx and particulate matter, including issuing the World’s First contract for construction of an ocean-going LNG bunkering vessel. And I continue to be impressed by the work that my team are doing to demonstrate the ability to carry liquid hydrogen and liquified CO2 cargoes at sea. I’ve recently founded, and am Chairwoman of, the Blue Sky Maritime Coalition to address marine emissions in the U.S. and Canadian cabotage markets. I am in awe of the horsepower of the motivated North American industry leaders who are using this non-profit to effect real change. Climate change is at the forefront of many minds today, but my values tie back to the concept of “leave no trace” that I learned when hiking, much earlier in my life.

And the third value I hold dear, is that every human being should be encouraged to dream and have the belief that they can each achieve beyond their wildest dreams. As a small child, I was encouraged to dream, and I realize I am incredibly lucky to have a very supportive family. So perhaps the third area is less of a success that I’m proud of and more a realization that I’ve been the first woman to perform nearly every role I’ve held in my career. This gives me both the opportunity and the responsibility to mentor, support, and coach others as they find their own personal paths. Women Offshore recently held their annual conference and the theme resonated with me: Lift as You Climb. When I get to the end of my career and look back, if I can see that I was able to support, encourage, and inspire women to deliver beyond what they imagine possible, I’ll see that as my biggest success.

VaLinda Pierce, Operations Coordinator, Golding Barge Line


Pierce started her maritime career in 1994 as a clerical temp at Ole Man River Transportation Company in Vicksburg, Miss., working with management creating a TSMS following ISO 9002 standards for Quality Control. After a mandatory six-month waiting period, I was hired on full time, continuing the certification and implementation of the ISO 9002 Standard throughout the Fleet, using previous training in Statistical Process Control. She also served as the document control coordinator and administrative assistant to the operations manager providing support to the Maintenance and Operations Groups.

In 1996, she moved to Baton Rouge, La., as part of Kirby Corporation reorganization, and over a 16-year period, she served in the River Operations Department as operations secretary, administrative assistant to vice president, payroll coordinator, and crew dispatcher.

In 2010, Pierce began doing freelance projects for several marine companies while studying computer science, which aided in the advancement of her career with Golding Barge Line in Vicksburg, Miss., from 2012 to present.

ML: What successes are you most proud of in terms of your maritime career? 

VP: I’m proud of many things during my time at Golding Barge Line. To name a few, the integration of the salvage and firefighting rules into the company’s OPA 90 Spill Response Plan, including the five-year renewal and annual updates. Also, the compliance procedures and administration of the Vessel General Permit rules in the fleet, including preparation of the annual EPA reports.

I’m also proud to have played a key role in the creation and implementation of the company’s Tank Barge Streamlined Inspection Program with the U.S. Coast Guard. Finally, I helped work on TSMS revisions for compliance with Sub M rules and more!

Capt. Carolyn Kurtz, Captain/Pilot, Tampa Bay Pilots Association


Originally from Queens, N.Y., Kurtz attended the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Upon graduation in 1986, she went to sea with Maritime Overseas Corporation and sailed as 3rd, 2nd, and Chief Mate, receiving her unlimited Master’s license in 1993. In 1995, she was accepted into the Tampa Bay Pilots (TBPA) training program, becoming their first (and to date, only) female pilot. She has served as co-manager and training coordinator of TBPA, Secretary of the Florida Harbor Pilots Association, and as Chair of the Navigation Safety Advisory Council, an advisory board to the U.S. Coast Guard.

She currently serves as Chair of both the Florida Board of Pilot Commissioners and the newly re-formed National Navigation Safety Advisory Council. She is honored to serve on the boards of the Mariners’ Museum and Park, and First 10 Forward, a non-profit founded by Kings Point women grads benefiting girls and women pursuing non-traditional careers. She has been a guest instructor at Mitags and Maritime Pilots Institute, served on various professional panels, and is an active mentor with Women Offshore.

Most recently, Kurtz was honored by Proclamation by the Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation for her 27 years of service as a Tampa Bay Pilot. When not piloting ships, Kurtz and her husband can often be found on their 32-foot Legacy trawler somewhere on Tampa Bay taking pictures of ships!

ML: What successes are you most proud of in terms of your maritime career? 

CK: Being a Tampa Bay Pilot has afforded me many opportunities and a real voice in representing and advocating for my profession. Mentoring young mariners, training new pilots, and educating those outside the profession about what we do have been both challenging and extremely rewarding. As the senior pilot in my association, I am proud to have contributed to the success of all the pilots who came after me. As a female pilot, I am proud that I have been able to have an incredible professional career whilst still being a very present and engaged parent, hopefully inspiring other women to pursue and achieve their goals in the maritime industry.

Cathy Shantz Hammond, CEO/Owner, Inland Marine Service Inc.


Hammond is a graduate of Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a B.S. degree in vocational home economics. She received her master’s degree in reading education from The College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio. She taught 14 years in Cincinnati Public Schools and Covington Independent Schools teaching Vocational Home Economics, Math and Science.

She is currently CEO of Inland Marine Service. She began her river career in 1985. Hammond received most of her knowledge of the marine industry from riding company vessels. She worked alongside employees following the deck crew, working with the engineer and observing in the pilothouse. Inland Marine Service marked its 37th anniversary this past May. She has served on the board and executive committee for TVIB (Towing Vessel Inspection Bureau), where she also served as president. She is a member of The Waterways Council and The American Waterways Operators, where she served on the board of directors and executive committee.

Hammond was appointed to serve as a member of the Towing Safety Advisory Council (TSAC) by three different presidential cabinets and was the longest serving member on record. During her tenure on TSAC, she acted as vice chairman and participated in numerous working groups. She also participated on several working groups that were established to create the Responsible Carrier’s Program. She was the first chairman of the Accreditation Board, now known as the Standard’s Board.

Hammond is active in social betterment programs. She has made two mission trips to South Sudan, Africa. She is also an active volunteer with several National and Regional organizations that feed and educate the under-privileged. She most recently served as a staff member at Royal Family Kids Camp, a camp for foster children.

ML: What successes are you most proud of in terms of your maritime career? 

CH: I am most proud of the effort that I have made on behalf of the mariner. I am hoping in some small way, I have helped honored the mariners who so deserve the recognition.

K. Denise Rucker Krepp, Director of Director’s Action Group, Naval History and Heritage Command, U.S. Navy

Krepp is a sexual assault and sexual harassment advocate who started her career as a Coast Guard officer. She subsequently served as a Transportation Security Administration lawyer, House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee Senior Counsel, U.S. Maritime Administration Chief Counsel, and private sector lobbyist. Krepp is also a locally elected DC official, Military Women’s Memorial Ambassador, National Maritime Historical Society Trustee, and former member of the Surface Transportation Security Advisory Committee. She has been published in the Washington Post, Roll Call, Richmond Times Dispatch, and Proceedings. Krepp has guest lectured at the U.S. Naval War College, the George Washington University, and the University of Miami.

While serving as U.S. Maritime Administration Chief Counsel, Krepp requested an Inspector General investigation in 2011 into at school and at sea sexual assaults of U.S. Merchant Marine Academy students. Krepp subsequently testified twice in 2014 before a Congressionally mandated panel and before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 2019 about sexual assaults in the merchant marine community. She has also advised Congress on legislation related to sexual assault matters and has written numerous articles in the past ten years about the problem and ways to stop it. We’re all given a voice and Krepp is proud to use hers to advocate for sexual assault survivors. 

ML: What successes are you most proud of in terms of your maritime career? 

DK: We’re all given a voice, and I’m proud to use mine to advocate for sexual assault survivors in the maritime industry. My advocacy efforts have resulted in greater awareness of the sexual assaults, enhanced oversight, and new policies and procedures to report and prosecute the crimes.

While serving as U.S. Maritime Administration Chief Counsel, I requested an Inspector General investigation in 2011 into school and at sea sexual assaults of U.S. Merchant Marine Academy students. I subsequently testified twice in 2014 before a Congressionally mandated panel and before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 2019 about sexual assaults in the merchant marine community. I also advised Congress on legislation related to sexual assault matters and has written numerous articles in the past ten years about the problem and ways to stop it. 

Carly Remm, Project Manager, Foss Maritime


Remm is a graduate from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, where she studied and graduated with a B.S. in marine engineering. Upon graduation, she sailed with Crowley on its ocean-going tugs and then commenced her career ashore as an assistant port engineer to port engineer for petroleum ATB’s and tankers for eight years. From there, she pioneered the Engineering Reliability program that supported the vessels with equipment failure trending, standard maintenance reviews, and engineering corrective actions and continuous improvement solutions.

She currently supports the Project and Commercial teams at Fos with project management for various towing projects.

ML: What successes are you most proud of in terms of your maritime career? 

CR: I am proud of the resilience and hurdles I have and continue to overcome in my career. My success has been from being able to connect and lead mariners from all vessel types and encourage a more thoughtful and reliable operational culture. With the mariner in mind, I lead a reliability team that pioneered and started an operational reliability program to encourage and embed forward-thinking and planning in the day-to-day tasks.

The basis of the program started with “the better the tools and procedures are for the vessel crews, the more reliable and repeatable the outcomes will be.” In a dynamic environment where the process to get to the same end goal varies, it was difficult to identify how to enact change. This was the start and foundation of the reliability program that helped recognize the current state of routine operational maintenance and how to make improvements.

My recent nomination for finalist of the Saltchuk Safety Award, my nominator advised: “Her effective leadership for the crews has built their trust by responding to their safety concerns with tireless commitment, always clearly communicating the Foss credo, ‘”Always Safe, Always Ready.’”

Blythe Daly, Director, Associate Counsel – Marine, Royal Caribbean Group


After graduating from college, Daly sailed for many years on tall ships and yachts, including working on the movie “Master and Commander.” She then went to Tulane Law School, where she studied maritime law. During law school, she interned at the Seamen’s Church Institute’s Center for Seafarer’s Rights (now the Center for Mariner Advocacy) and was the Editor in Chief of the Tulane Maritime Law Journal

After law school, she spent 10 years working at the law firm Holland & Knight in New York, in its Transportation & Infrastructure sector and maritime practice group. She concentrated on commercial shipping matters, including charter party disputes, vessel casualties, cargo claims, insurance matters, and personal injury claims. From May 2019 through February 2022, she served as the legal counsel for M/V The World, the largest residential passenger ship in the world. In March 2022, she joined Royal Caribbean Group’s corporate legal group. She is based in Miami and is licensed to practice law in both Florida and New York.

ML: What successes are you most proud of in terms of your maritime career? 

BD: Working on the film “Master and Commander,” of course. But in terms of legal successes, one of the most interesting cases and “successes” for my colleagues and me was the negotiation of a settlement on behalf of a group of reinsurers on a matter arising out of a Somali pirate hijacking of a VLCC. Representation of the reinsurers followed representation of the shipowner and insurers before the Office of Foreign Assets Control and in a general average arbitration matter.

Maggie Moon, Director of Business Development, Glosten


Moon’s career in the maritime industry began in 2011, though her first exposure to the world of boats and boat design predates her own memory. She was raised on the south shore of Lake Erie, where her brother launched a career as a professional naval architect and her father still builds and restores vintage wooden runabouts. After earning her bachelor’s degree in business economics from Cleveland State University, Moon accepted an entry-level reception position at Glosten. Since that time, she has worked in virtually all aspects of business administration at the company, taking on increasingly challenging roles and steadily building an invaluable foundation of experience.

By 2019, her unflagging work ethic and commitment to professionalism had propelled her to her current position of Director of Business Development. She was called to join the Glosten Leadership Team in 2020 and promoted to Principal in 2021. Today, she thrives on developing and implementing targeted marketing and business development strategies and serves as a primary strategic advisor to the leadership team and firm principals.

ML: What successes are you most proud of in terms of your maritime career? 

MM: My career trajectory began way outside of the core disciplines of a naval architecture firm. I’m proud that I was able to bring a unique perspective that added so much value to the company that I am now a principal and serving on Glosten’s Leadership Team. I feel so lucky that I get to do this job every day. Hands down, I’m most proud to work alongside so many passionate and crazy smart individuals that are truly committed to tackling the increasingly complex challenges faced by our industry.

Margaret Gordon, Executive Director Safety & Security, NYC Department of Transportation – Staten Island Ferry Division


Upon graduation in 1985, Gordon had a brief job conducting stability calculations on the DDG-51 and FFG-7 class vessels, followed by managing a water shuttle in Manhattan to LaGuardia Airport, and then a few years deep sea on her license. I then turned to working ashore for Marine Transport Lines, first developing compliance procedures for their chemical tankers then developing my first safety management system for MTL. Several years later, she branched into private consulting, developing safety management systems, project management, process improvement and regulatory compliance.

Her desire to work with a team on challenging projects brought her to the Staten Island Ferry, following a crash in 2003 that killed 11 people and seriously injured 70. As part of a relative thin senior management team at the time, she was tasked with developing a safety management system, implement new MTSA security regulations, accept three new ferryboats and the rebuilding of two new ferry terminals, all the while changing the culture at the ferry. The iconic Staten Island Ferry was in disarray and has since become the leader in safety culture and the implementation of a sound safety management system. She helped build a competent safety and security team and within two years of starting, obtained their Document of Compliance for the shoreside operation and Safety Management Certificates for all ferryboats.

ML: What successes are you most proud of in terms of your maritime career? 

MG: I am most proud of what our team at the ferry has accomplished. The culture has indeed changed, and the safety management system is a proven system. Upon my arrival to the ferry, the lost time injury rate for our employees was 127 LTIs per 200,000 work hours, which was shocking. It is now below three LTIs per 200,000 work hours, resulting in a 98% reduction. Without proper incident reporting and CCTV cameras, the ferry had 77 open tort cases when I started. With the implementation and training of event tracking reporting and coordinating downloads of camera footage, we now have two active tort cases, resulting in a 97% reduction. The safer environment not only prevents injuries, but it has saved taxpayers several millions of dollars in defending lawsuits. 

Stephanie Cavaliere, Port Captain, Kirby Inland Marine


Born and raised in Queens, N.Y., Cavaliere graduated from SUNY Maritime in 2011, with a USCG 3rd Mate’s Unlimited License and a Bachelor of Science degree in Maritime Transportation. Shortly after graduation, she joined Kirby Inland Marine as a MOTV in their steersman program and gained experience transiting the Mississippi River, several of its tributaries as well as the Intracoastal canal on various horsepower vessels with different tow configurations. She worked as a pilot and promoted to relief captain after obtaining her Masters of Towing Vessels Upon Great Lakes, Inland Waters, and Western Rivers.

In 2021, she transitioned to a shoreside role as port captain to manage a fleet of 12 vessels, oversee budgets, safety and compliance initiatives, crewing, and training, while maintaining important customer relationships and serving as vessel liaison for multiple customer contracts. Cavaliere is trained in marine casualty response and passionate about creating a more efficient and safer environment for vessel employees. As a proud member of WISTA, WIMOs, and the Kirby family, she is driven to learn and promote safety in the maritime industry.

ML: What successes are you most proud of in terms of your maritime career? 

SC: I am most proud of the growth and experience obtained while achieving my Master of Towing license on inland vessels. Being able to utilize the knowledge and skills shoreside has been an accomplishment I am very proud to have achieved. The ability to help and manage the vessels I am accountable for, while still being given the opportunity to ride the boats and continue to learn and improve in my position, is a success. I continue to be proud of and hope to use all the skills and resources to excel in the maritime industry.

Capt. Wendy Williams, Senior Master, Formerly Virgin Voyages and Royal Caribbean International


Williams’ marine career began at an early age. She was two years old when she first started to go to work with her father, who was a marine electronics engineer in northern Quebec. They worked on all sorts of vessels together, but her favorite ones were the cargo ships.

She considers the bodies of water of this world to be our most valuable of resources. She began her own career as a Fisheries Observer on the West Coast of British Columbia. Subsequently, she became a deckhand on fishing vessels and accumulated sea time so she could go to a maritime academy and acquire international licenses. Passenger Vessels became her gig for many years, while she worked hermy way up the ranks to become the first Canadian woman to command a major passenger vessel. She has taught at a maritime college and still actively sails on Ro-Ro vessels. She also does consulting work, and is a member of WISTA and The Company of Master Mariners of Canada.

ML: What successes are you most proud of in terms of your maritime career? 

WW: I am a woman, a wife and a proud mariner who has worked in this industry for over 30 years. Perseverance, drive and love of what I do have carried me through the years and still do. I am a mentor to young mariners and constantly encourage women to join in this wonderful profession. Less than 2% of the worlds’ global maritime workforce are women. Glass ceilings still need to be shattered.

For sustainability and success in the modern world, shipping needs diversity in the workforce and women helping to drive the decision-making processes. Women in the maritime world today are strong, powerful and constantly challenging old-fashioned perceptions. I was one of only a few Female Fishers on the BC Coast, proud to be at the forefront of my career and able to mentor so many. My greatest achievement was becoming Canadas First Female Mega Cruise Ship Captain.

Zoe Cawfield, Vice President of Engineering, General Dynamics NASSCO


Cawfield is responsible for all design phases of the new construction ships built at General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard.

She joined NASSCO in 2003, as machinery systems supervisor, advancing through various leadership positions including Manager of Systems Engineering and Director of Functional Engineering. She worked briefly outside of NASSCO for two years as a project manager for Alion Science on LHA 6 and 7 and two years in Mexico City for Sempra Energy’s affiliate IENOVA on energy construction projects throughout Mexico. Most recently, she served as NASSCO’s Director of Government Programs from 2019-2022.

Cawfield served five years in the U.S. Navy as a Surface Warfare (Nuclear) Officer on the USS John Hancock and the USS Abraham Lincoln prior to joining NASSCO. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in ocean engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Master of Science in Engineering Management degree from Old Dominion University. She is a Registered Professional Engineer and holds a Professional Certification in Program Management.

ML: What successes are you most proud of in terms of your maritime career? 

ZC: At General Dynamics NASSCO, everything we do involves being a part of a team. Every individual has a role, and each role is critical in accomplishing what we do here at NASSCO. From procuring contracts, to completing designs, to obtaining material, and ultimately building and delivering ships are all integral components that make the company successful.

Throughout my time at NASSCO, I have been lucky enough to be involved in the contract, design and construction process of many commercial and government ship classes. These ships include T-AKEs, ESDs, ESBs, BP Tankers, TOTE Orca ROROs and other commercial classes.

The success that I am most proud of is being on the NASSCO Engineering Team that designed the U.S. Navy’s John Lewis-class fleet oilers. The oilers are a hugely capable ship class that I played a part in from the beginning of the design through the delivery of the first ship earlier this year. I was able to apply lessons and challenges from earlier classes and keep record of what improvements I plan to initiate on future designs. I look forward to implementing these changes with my team as we prepare to take on new shipbuilding contracts.

Teresa DeMeo, General Manager of Towing Operations, Miller’s Tug & Barge Inc.


DeMeo holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Rutgers School of Business Camden. Prior to having her two children, she worked on Wall Street as an assistant research analyst. She began her career at Miller’s Tug & Barge in 2012 in her current position as general manager of towing operations. She is responsible for all day-to-day operations of all Miller’s tugboats and barges. With over 30 years of experience, she has a strong administration and communication background acquired throughout her career.

DeMeo says that organization, a lifetime desire to learn, attention to detail, and a “never give up” motto has allowed her to achieve her goals. The day-to-day operations of Miller’s Tug & Barge was featured in Vice TV’s “Living the Life of a Tugboat Captain While Keeping All Your Fingers” to bring awareness to tugboats in New York Harbor.

She is currently the Chairperson of Towboat and Harbor Carriers Association of NY NJ, with a mission to promote and represent the interests of tugboat operators and harbor carriers in local issues relevant to the tug and barge industry in the New York/New Jersey Port area and approaches.

ML: What successes are you most proud of in terms of your maritime career? 

TD: I am most proud of initiating student outreach to educate younger generations of how vital the maritime industry is to all of us. In collaboration with Borough President Fossella, The Noble Maritime Collection, NYCEDC, MARPONY, and NYCDOE CTE ISP program (i.e., McKee Technical HS, Harbor School), we are developing maritime youth education and workforce development to provide younger generations an opportunity to learn and be part of the maritime industry.

Ginger Garte, Environmental & Sustainability Director, Lloyd’s Register North America – LR Foundation


Garte is a sustainability advocate armed with over 29 years of maritime experience. In her current role, she is part of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s Maritime Decarbonization Hub.

She is an adaptive systems thinker, who helps marine clients, including ferries, naval, cargo, and cruise ships, develop courageous sustainability ambition that drives their net zero aims, to give back more to society than they consume. Her expertise includes employee engagement, resource use and optimization, port facilities and supply chain infrastructure, ESG (Environmental Social Governance) risk.

Garte obtained her Geological Science degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University and was selected to serve as a U.S. Commissioned Officer with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Upon completion of Officer Training School, she served for five years onboard NOAA’s research vessels and land-based laboratories. Her geological research led to several publications on South Florida ecosystems. She has also held roles as Superintendent, Environmental Health and Safety Department, at Carnival and Senior Analyst, Environmental Stewardship Department, serving all brands within Royal Caribbean Group.

Garte takes an active role in the community where she is a board member of UpGyre’, a non-profit that develops technologies that transform ocean pollution into useful products. and on Vancouver Maritime Centre for Climate’s steering committee. She also serves as council member and judge for The Fairchild Challenge, and the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA).

ML: What successes are you most proud of in terms of your maritime career? 

GG: I love a good challenge, so my top career highlights have also coincided with providing insight, understanding and opportunity out of our biggest sustainability threats. In my current role, we are on a mission for a safer, sustainable thriving ocean economy for all! To get there, we bring together the brightest minds to decarbonize maritime, develop blueprints for green shipping corridors, implement net zero carbon strategies which bring global partners together who live “United Nations Good Life Goals (#13)” and deliver on the world’s net positive aims.

I’ve always been connected to the water and an advocate for good, so LR’s work within the United Nations Global Compact UNGC and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) now gives us new UN Good Life Goals to share with communities we serve and advance all 17 SDGs and leave no one behind.

SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals are key, as we know these challenges are not going to be solved by any one organization, but that by creating alliances, coalitions, and partnerships, we will decarbonize our industry and develop the resilient maritime infrastructure necessary to reach 5% of renewable fuel consumption in the global fleet by 2030 to stay the course!

Kelly Baughman, Director of Environment, Crowley Shipping


Baughman joined Crowley in 2018, overseeing environmental and sustainability programs within Crowley Shipping Marine Management. She supports and coaches both fleet and shoreside personnel in a wide range of matters including environmental regulatory compliance, environmental impact reduction, and decarbonization planning. She also supports the emergency preparedness and response program within Crowley, serving as the Planning Section Chief as well as training other personnel as a FEMA certified ICS lead instructor.

Baughman currently serves as the Chairperson of the Chamber of Shipping of America Policy and Operations Committee. She also represents Crowley in a number of industry working groups including the World Shipping Council Environmental and Climate Council, the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel Environmental Committee, the Blue Sky Maritime Coalition Measurements and Operational Efficiency Workstream, and the American Waterways Operators as well as acting as an observer on the International Chamber of Shipping delegation to the IMO Marine Environmental Protection Committee.

She is a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (Class of 2000; B.S. in Marine Engineering Systems Design).

She began her career afloat, working onboard various vessel types including tankers, container vessels and bulk vessels as an Engineering Officer, Tankerman PIC, and Fleet Safety Officer. Kelly transitioned to a shoreside role in 2015, with SeaRiver Maritime Inc., supporting fleet environmental, safety, quality, and operations programs.

ML: What successes are you most proud of in terms of your maritime career? 

KB: I count myself very fortunate to work with such a committed, forward-thinking team at Crowley. Our focus on the safety and welfare of our people and the world around us, reinforced at all levels of the organization, enables our people to go above and beyond compliance with industry and regulatory standards. As a result, Crowley’s mariners and shoreside personnel have been recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard with the 2022 William M. Benkert Marine Environmental Protection Award at the Osprey level.

Also, meaningful to me in my career is the opportunity to leverage the knowledge I gained in my 15 years at sea to contribute to the development of the next generation of industry leadership through corporate mentorship, internship programs and as a facilitator of Crowley’s internal safety leadership program.

Dr. Hongling Zhang, P.Eng., Project Manager/Senior Naval Architect, Robert Allan Ltd.


Hongling graduated from Shanghai Jiaotong University with a PhD of Naval Architecture in 1999. She worked at the R&D department of Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co. Ltd. in Shanghai, China until moving to Vancouver, and joined Robert Allan Ltd. in 2007. She is currently a Project Manager and Senior Naval Architect, responsible for overseeing all aspects of vessel design projects. She has worked on a variety of interesting and challenging projects over the years, including large Research Ships, OSVs, Tugs, Fireboats, gas fuelled ships and bulk carriers.

ML: What successes are you most proud of in terms of your maritime career? 

KZ: I am very proud to have been the Robert Allan Team Lead, Naval Architecture for the design of a 38-meter LNG-powered tug for the Port of Ningbo, China. This was a very challenging project, as the concept of LNG propulsion was new to the owner, shipyard, and classification society. Many meetings were held at each stage of the design process to coordinate the requirements of all the involved parties. My primary role was to evaluate the needs of the owner’s operation and to ascertain how we could design a vessel to meet those needs within the framework of the classification societies rules. We also assisted the owner in selecting major equipment that meets their criteria for safety, reliability, and economic value. During the building process, I coordinated technical support between the shipyard’s and owner’s technical teams and formed a suitable plan of action for issues that arose along the way. The project was completed and delivered successfully, recently receiving a 1st place award from the China Ports and Harbours Association.

I was also recently involved as project manager for a 27-meter twin-screw towboat for an Indonesian client—the challenge here was to incorporate two propulsion options and two accommodation options into the same general design. This was done to allow the shipyard the flexibility to offer a vessel that can be suitable for as many operators as possible. After successful sea trials, the first vessel was delivered in June of this year, and with positive feedback, there are now three more boats under construction, and we expect many more in the future.

Errin Howard, RiverWorks Discovery Director, National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium


Howard began her career in the river industry as an educator in a booth at Tall Stacks for the first public presentation of RiverWorks Discovery in 2006. This adventure began with one single sponsor and the vision of Mark Knoy, who at the time was president of AEP’s River Operations. Today, she promotes, markets, and oversees all aspects of RiverWorks Discovery. She has a passion for the river industry and the people who make it what it is. Currently, the program has over 180 sponsors, 40 non-profit partners and has reached more than a million people since its inception. She is a CORBA (Central Ohio River a Business Association) board member.

ML: What successes are you most proud of in terms of your maritime career? 

EH: Riverworks Discovery is truly my pride and joy! To be able to be involved with it from the beginning stages with AEP to today, now having almost 200 sponsors is so rewarding.

Collaborating with these sponsors to organize, promote, and then actually execute our “Who Works the Rivers” events is so gratifying. To watch these teenage kids learn and participate in these events and witness their enthusiasm always makes my day. Just knowing that at least a few will make the marine industry a career is what makes this so special.

In addition, we strive to validate, on our social media page, life in the industry from pictures of what real life on the river is about, and the breathtaking views that maritime associates witness daily.

Finally, our sponsors are what make this all possible. I pride myself in knowing each and every one of them personally, from the biggest barge lines to the single individual donors and everyone in between.

I’m honored to receive this award and hope I have adequately articulated my passion for this amazing industry and the fine people that fuel it 24/7/365!

Tara Steiner Marshall, President, Steiner Shipyard


Marshall has more than 32 years of shipyard experience. At Steiner Shipyard, a small family-owned and operated shipyard in Bayou La Batre, Ala., Marshall oversees daily operations as its president.

Steiner Shipyard builds all types of new construction steel or aluminum vessels, from passenger and cargo ferries to inland river push boats and offshore supply vessels. The shipyard has also built commercial fishing trawlers. These vessels have been delivered all over the world with Marshall at the helm of the family business. 

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