Waterways Safety Committee Member Biographies

Voting Members

At Sea Fish Processors - Primary

Chris Woodley is the Executive Director of Groundfish Forum where he is responsible for promoting fishery and regulatory policies that support 19 trawl catcher processors operating in the Amendment 80 fisheries of the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska.  Prior to joining Groundfish Forum, Chris served 24 years active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) specializing in safety and environmental compliance, marine casualty investigations and waterways management in Alaska, Washington and Hawaii.  Chris has extensive practical experience in oil spill response in the Aleutian Islands – serving as the Liaison Officer for the 2004 grounding of the Selendang Ayu and working numerous smaller spills in the region over the years. He retired from the USCG as a Captain in 2014 and now serves on the USCG Fishing Vessel Safety Advisory Committee.  Chris is a graduate of the University of Oregon and earned his Master of Marine Affairs from the University of Washington.  Chris grew up in Eagle River, Alaska graduating from Chugiak High School in 1984.  He lives on Vashon Island, WA.

Chris Woodley

Commercial Fishing - Primary

Frank A. Vargas has worked in the Maritime Industry for 40 years.  He works in Fleet Compliance and is the Regulatory Director for American Seafoods Company LLC.  Mr. Vargas is responsible for ensuring the compliance and safety of all local, state and federal regulations for a fleet of ships operating off the
west coast of the U.S. and Alaska.  This includes a freezer cold storage facility and warehouses located in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and Seattle, Washington. Working in collaboration with Ships Officers, Department Managers, and the corporate office he is involved in the development and implementation of policies, training programs, . Since 1979, Mr. Vargas has held a USCG Master License, worked as Captain on several types of ships in different fisheries located around the world.  After 24 successful years at sea,  he went ashore for American Seafoods Company as Fleet Manager. He attended the University of Washington Executive Education Program. He is currently Board Member for the Alaska Maritime Prevention & Response Network, and the Northwest Fisheries Association.
Mr. Vargas has been around and involved in the Maritime Industry all his life.  He grew up in San Diego, California, where he was involved in the Tuna Industry as a 3 rd -generation fisherman. He currently live in Bellevue, Washington.

Frank Vargas

Tank Vessels - Primary

Tanker Manager, Chartering & Operations

Mr. Rose has over 23 years of work experience in the international maritime industry with a specialty in the transportation of noxious liquid bulk cargoes. His career started in Europe as apprentice in a shipping company operating general cargo, break-bulk LPG and clean petroleum product carriers. After graduation from the apprenticeship program he continued to work for the same organization in the capacity of Operations Manager before taking up his academic studies. He graduated with a Master’s of Science degree with a concentration in Marine Transportation and Port Management from the University of Oldenburg, Department of Naval Engineering, Elsfleth, Germany. He subsequently assumed the role of Fleet Manager for a medium-sized container ship company. Mr. Rose left Germany at the end of 2001 to join a Vancouver-based ship broking firm, focusing on ship new building projects in the Far East. Since 2003 he has held commercial / operational / technical positions with chemical parcel & product tanker owners and operators in the US and Canada, commercially and technically managing the world-wide deployment of tonnage engaged in the transportation of noxious liquid bulk cargoes.

Ingo Rose

Passenger Vessels - Primary

Mr. Gabelein joined the Alaska Maritime Prevention & Response Network in January 2016 as their Planning & Technical Services Coordinator. He assists in the development and implementation of the Network’s strategic plans and mission for vessels throughout Western Alaska and Prince William Sound. Prior to joining the Network, he worked for the Marine Exchange of Alaska specializing in vessel tracking, marine safety, and oil spill prevention measures. He holds a BA in Environmental Studies and Political Science from Gonzaga University.

Steven Gabelein

Assist Tugs (docking, rescue) - Primary

Chris M. Iszler was born In Tacoma Washington in 1972 and began a career in the Maritime industry
with Western Pioneer in 1994. Chris has worked for Harley Marine Services; Pacific Coast Maritime
Division for the past 21 years out of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Chris holds a 1600 gross ton Masters of
Towing license, is a Designated Examiner for the USCG TOARS certification and is proficient in ship assist and rescue towing operations. He is the Senior Captain of the 4400 HP Tractor Tug Millennium Falcon and is also the Operations Manager for Pacific Coast Maritime, managing the operations of the 4000 HP Tractor Tug Gyrfalcon and the tug Millennium Falcon.  Chris recently received a Letter of
Accommodation from the Governor of Alaska for his assistance in the successful rescue of the Laura
Maersk, a container vessel adrift off Akutan Island in July 2017. Chris, his wife Erin of 22 years, and their
sons Andrew and Ethan have been residents of Unalaska since 2012.

Chris Iszler

Port Director, Harbor Master, Local Government - Primary

Scott Brown

Oil Spill Response - Primary

Mr. Melton joined Chadux in July 2013 as General Manager. The General Manager is the Chief Executive Officer of the corporation and has overall responsibility for all operational and administrative preparedness/response activities.

Mr. Melton is a lifelong Alaskan with considerable experience in the tourism, environmental, and oil and gas industries. He holds a BA in Environmental Studies and a MS in Organizational Management, both from New England College. 

Matt Melton

Oil Spill Response - Alternate

Mr. Tunnel is a life-long Alaskan. He has lived in several areas of our beautiful state and has traveled extensively throughout Alaska.  Mr. Tunnel is currently the Operations Manager for Aleutians Spill Control, Inc./Alaska Response Company, LLC, which is an Oil Spill Recovery Organization (OSRO) in the Kodiak, Bristol Bay and Aleutian subareas. The main objective of Aleutians Spill Control/Alaska Response Company is to prevent oil spills by preparation and observation. Mr. Tunnell has worked in the oil industry for the last 22 years and has responded to many oil spills. He is an Incident Commander and Operations Chief. "I pray we never have another oil spill that will affect our state." 

Thomas Tunnell

Salvage - Primary

Todd Duke has been in the Maritime Emergency Response community for over 30 years. Starting as a U.S. Navy Damage Controlman, he progressed through the emergency response community first as a professional firefighter, then working as a fire officer in petrochemical and offshore production installations for major oil companies.

Todd has been with Resolve for 17 years. He is a certified firefighting instructor by the U.S. Coast Guard, the United Kingdom MCA, and the Norwegian Maritime Directorate. Along with his firefighting expertise, Todd also leads all types of salvage operations the world over.

He started up the OSRO operation Resolve has in Shanghai, China and also has led the startup of 1-Call Alaska, a USCG approved APC for vessels transiting the Great Circle Route.  

Todd Duke

Alaska Native Interest - Primary

Thomas Robinson is the elected President of the Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska.  He was recently elected to the National Tribal Operations Committee (NTOC) for EPA’s Alaska Seat.  As the NTOC representative, Tom seeks to address environmental capacity building, conservation goals, and fisheries resource protection for all Alaskan tribes.  Tom will be giving a presentation at the Tribal Leaders Summit in Port Gamble on March 30th, hosted by the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe addressing a national audience.  He will be discussing the long term health of Unalaska Bay and the work being done by the tribe to addressing environmental concerns.  He is also the Aleutian Regional Representative for the Alaska Tribal Budget Advisory Committee, addressing statewide unmet needs assessments with the BIA and the Department of Interior.  He is the Qawalangin Tribe representative tasked with addressing current “Land into Trust” issues.  He serves on the Unalaska Native Fisherman’s Association and is on the Board of Directors of the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association.  Tom has over 30 years of commercial fishing experience and is a small business owner.  Tom encourages tribal member input at all levels.

Thomas Robinson

Conservation Organizations - Primary

Andrew Hartsig is the Director of Ocean Conservancy's Arctic Program, where he works to preserve the resilience of Arctic and sub-Arctic marine ecosystems. While at Ocean Conservancy, Andrew has authored or co-authored several journal articles, including papers on offshore oil and gas policy, federal consultation with indigenous peoples in the Arctic, and increasing vessel traffic in the Bering Strait region. Andrew graduated summa cum laude from Bowdoin College with a degree in Anthropology and Environmental Studies. He received a law degree with honors from the University of Utah's SJ Quinney College of Law. After law school, Andrew clerked for the Honorable Judge Michael Murphy of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. Andrew joined Ocean Conservancy in the autumn of 2008. He lives and works in Anchorage, Alaska.

Andrew Hartsig

Marine Pilots

Captain David Arzt

Ship's Agents - Primary

Andrew J. Mew was born in Anchorage, Alaska and is a graduate of Chugiak High School and Oregon State University.  He served in the US Navy as the Electrical Officer on the USS HAWES (FFG-53) and as the Operations Officer onboard the USS AVENGER (MCM-1).  Andrew is currently the Operations Manager at Alaska Maritime Agencies.

Andrew Mew

Subsistence User - Primary

Karen Pletnikof

AIWSC Managing Board Director Representative - Primary

Peggy Mclaughlin

AIWSC Managing Board Director Representative - Alternate

Buddy Custard

At Large - Primary

Leslie Pearson is President of Pearson Consulting LLC, which specializes in regulatory compliance, environmental planning, and preparedness, and policy research. The company’s client base includes the Alaska maritime transportation industry, oil spill response organization and non-profit entities. Leslie co-managed/facilitated the Aleutian Islands and Cook Inlet Maritime Risk Assessments with Nuka Research & Planning Group. She has written, revised and obtained State of Alaska approval for over 50 oil discharge prevention contingency plans for her clients in the past 9-years.

 

Prior to starting the business in 2008, Leslie spent 19-years with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC). Leslie began her tenure with the ADEC in 1989 during the T/V Exxon Valdez oil spill and worked her way up in the organization with her last 6-years managing the Prevention & Emergency Response Program. Leslie earned a Master’s of Science in Environmental Science from Alaska Pacific University and a Bachelor’s of Science from The Evergreen State College. She currently lives in Lakewood, Washington.

Leslie A Pearson

At Large - Alternate

Melissa Good

Vessel Monitoring and Tracking - Primary

Captain Ed Page, U.S. Coast Guard (Retired) established the non-profit Marine Exchange of Alaska in 2001, and is the Executive Director after serving 29 years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Coast Guard.

 

A 1972 graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Captain Page sailed on Coast Guard vessels sailing Atlantic, Pacific and Alaska waters followed by assignments in marine safety, environmental protection and search and rescue.

 

Over the last 49 years while in the Coast Guard and marine industry, in addition to Coast Guard vessels he had opportunities to get underway on tankers, containerships, landing craft, tugs, offshore supply vessels, mobile offshore drill ships and passenger vessels, with 28 years of this experience in Alaska extending from Southeast Alaska to the Arctic.

 

He served on the Aleutian Island Risk Assessment and has led the development of a Automatic Identification System (AIS) for Alaska comprised of over AIS receivers at over 130 locations and implemented a Vessel Compliance Monitoring and Response System encompassing over 1.5 million square miles of water off the coast of Alaska.

Captain Ed Page

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National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

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