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 2022 Harbormaster of the Year will open in mid-summer 2022. 

2022 Lifetime Member Award

Jean Barrett, Dillingham Port Director & Harbormaster, On behalf of the 47 municipal harbors of the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators, we recognize your career and achievement as a Life Member within the Association.  Your service and leadership to the Alaskan harbor community, and Dillingham in particular, has been commendable, deserving of recognition by your peers.  Please accept our heartfelt congratulations on your retirement after 14 years as the Dillingham Port Director and Harbormaster.   As Bristol Bay and Dillingham continue to set commercial fisheries records, the success of this vital economic industry to the region is in no small part to your efforts overseeing and optimizing the Dillingham waterfront.  You were celebrated as a Port Director known to work with vessel captains and processors to make sure each is exceptionally supported throughout the fishing seasons.  Whether it was keeping the ice machine operational, personally refurbishing the Lost Fishermen Memorial or lobbying elected officials for harbor improvements, you were always steady and reliable.  In addition to service to the citizens of Dillingham and the harbor community, you have found time to coach local youth and serves as the Vice Chair on the Board of the local native village corporation. As an AAHPA Board member for over ten years, you brought knowledge and wisdom to the organization from the perspective of remote Western Alaska.  Always active and participative in the governing of the Board of Directors, you assisted in this organization in becoming more influential through your tenure.  You can be very proud that AAPHA is recognized by Alaskan elected officials, vessel owners and the commercial maritime industry as the preeminent voice of municipal ports & harbors.The Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators wishes you and Cindra “fair winds and following seas” as you transition to other roles in your exceptional life.

2022 Harbormaster of The Year

Layla Jandt-Pederson, Harbormaster, City of Seldovia On behalf of the City of Seldovia, thank you for the opportunity to raise up Layla Jandt-Pedersen through AAHPA’s 2022 Harbormaster of the Year Award. Mrs. Jandt-Pedersen has been on the City of Seldovia’s team since 2006. She joined first as a ferry line handler until she was recruited by the city manager for the harbormaster position in 2010. Since then, Layla has become an integral part of the City’s leadership team, serving in a variety of capacities including interim co-city manager, public works and maintenance support, and most recently as the back-up water operator to the City’s water treatment plant.In small cities, staff often fulfill multiple roles. Harbormaster Jandt-Pedersen also manages the City’s Boat Haul Out Storage Yard and consistently goes above and beyond for the City with projects and tasks like building remodels, collecting fees for camping and ensuring the campgrounds are maintained, managing the City’s online auction sales and helping administer annual public surplus auctions, regularly switching out network hard drives to enhance the city’s cybersecurity, and caring for the Seldovia Cemetery while helping to receive and administer grants for the cemetery’s continued maintenance. Her municipal leadership extends beyond the quantitative through her customer service, creativity, and love for Seldovia. Whenever Layla is getting ready to leave a meeting, she will say to you at the very end “just holler if you need anything.” Layla has proven she is a team player, dedicated to the public, and also exemplifies the honor and integrity it takes to be a harbormaster in Alaska. She is the opposite of a fairweather friend; through her actions and experience she demonstrates dedication and commitment to her community. The city and mariners of Seldovia and even the City of Homer can attest – if her help is needed, she is there no matter the weather. In gratitude, Rachel Friedlander, City Manager

See past Harbormaster of the Year

2022 Employee of the Year

Port Operations Coordinator, Craig Bisson, is hereby named the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators (AAHPA) employee of the year for the City of Ketchikan for 2022. Despite Mr. Bisson’s relatively brief tenure on staff – having only joined our Team in March of this year - he readily accomplished what would easily have taken a year to orchestrate. Overcoming a two-year hiatus in Port operations, Craig’s leadership proved instrumental in reestablishing critical Port Security Teams in support of the City’s Coast Guard approved Facility Security Plan (FSP).  As a result, he was able to skillfully implement and secure Coast Guard approval for long-overdue amendments that negated future/negative impacts to Port operations. Additionally, despite nationwide shortages in available personnel, he was able to successfully identify, interview, process and train over fifty seasonal personnel in safety, security and pedestrian management practices – all within a six week period – to provide “just in time” delivery for the first ship arrival of 2022. From a Port Management perspective, Craig worked closely with Cruise Line Agencies of Alaska to ensure we fulfilled our commitments to the community through the equitable distribution of passengers across the Port, thereby providing local merchants with enhanced opportunities to recoup losses accrued over recent years. This last feat, required Mr. Bisson to draw upon his extensive experience as a former Alaska Marine Highway System dispatcher, to develop multiple contingency plans to accommodate numerous last-minute logistical challenges spurred on by competing dockside transportation needs originating off the Port. These efforts set the stage for safe/secure passenger operations under regularly changing conditions. In summary, Craig has exemplified the true spirit of teamwork and uncompromised ethics while playing a vital role in the success of the Port, and is truly worthy of recognition by the AAHPA as the Ketchikan Port and Harbors Employee of the Year for 2022.

Harbor Officer, Patrick Davis, is hereby named the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators employee of the year for the City and Borough of Juneau for 2022. Patrick’s efforts and attitude have been positively observed by supervisors and harbor patrons alike, resulting in accolades from many. In the transition from seasonal operations, your supervisor was impressed that you had taken the initiative to start preparations on your own accord. Leveraging your storehouse of knowledge and 10 plus years of experience, you have developed a comprehensive list and commenced task execution without prompting. Your efforts enabled other staff to focus on areas of preparation yet to be completed.  During the harsh Alaska winter, you are often the first through the door and get straight to work, setting the tempo for the rest of the crew. You draw upon your expertise to prioritize snow removal routes and problem areas.   Excelling in top-notch customer service and willingness to help others you typically go the extra mile to assist.  On April 5th, while working in the parking lot you heard calls for help coming from down in the harbor, upon arriving on scene, you realized that a harbor patron had collapsed and was unconscious of cardiac event. The Good Samaritan calling for help was unsure of what medical procedure to take; however, you quickly took control and determined that CPR was the correct course of action.  Instructing the Good Samaritan to call 911, you began CPR and after several rounds the patient began to regain consciousness.  The patient was transported to Anchorage for surgery and happily fully recovered in Juneau. According to the first responders, your quick actions are undoubtedly the reason that this man is alive today. Your efforts are an integral part of advancing Docks and Harbors achieve its vision to be:  the Southeast Alaska maritime center of excellence.  It is with great pleasure to recognize you as the Juneau Docks & Harbors Employee of the Year for 2022. 

See past recipients of Employee of the Year awards

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

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