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 2024 Harbormaster of the Year will open in mid-summer 2024.
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.
Matthew Creswell, Juneau Harbormaster, Demonstrating great expertise and skill, he leads a dynamic, everchanging operational tempo in managing Juneau’s $250M port and harbor infrastructure portfolio and 50+ personnel. This calendar year, Juneau welcomed 1.6M cruise ship passengers, breaking the 2019 record and a 25% increase from 2022. As the Facility Security Officer, he is responsible that the Juneau “port team” is properly positioned to meet the requisite security postures through hiring in excess of 25 new employees annually. In addition to enforcement of Coast Guard security mandates, Matt ensures the cruise ship dock facilities are clean and inviting, bus lot are managed efficiently, and maintenance is never forgotten. Supervising the operations of the four small boat harbors with vessel capacity of 1250, Mr. Creswell competently serves the Juneau community with pride and integrity. Of note is the management of the Statter Harbor facility which is the busiest in the state, due to whale watching charters, with more than 1000 vessel transits counted in a single day. This facility also shares a launch ramp, coach/bus parking lot and newly constructed restroom. Matt and his team manages several diverse user groups to achieve blissful coexistence with each other. He has undertaken a focused effort to ensure compliance with non-moving, derelict vessels – a process demanding steadfastness but also empathy in dealing with unique patron situations. The efforts have yielded the desired effect of fewer derelict vessels and turnover of moorage space, which is especially pertinent in our Statter Harbor transient harbor. Matt developed a similar process to impound vehicles left abandoned or unattended in our parking lots. These procedures have resulted in greatly reducing eyesores and attractive nuisances within our facilities, yielding praise from many harbor patrons. When the Harris Harbor bathrooms were dogged with miscreants defiling facilities through willful damage and graffiti, a lesser harbormaster would have simply closed the building. Instead, Matt worked to harden the facilities, including adding new security cameras and transitioned the shower payment from cash to tokens thereby eliminating the temptation for break-in robbery. Harbormaster Creswell leveraged a federal fisheries disaster grant fund to expanded safety ladder installation to include innovative flag markings. As our FaceBook manager, he has employed digital influence to maximize department visibility, job recruitment and brand, which was effectively used during the Salmon Derby weekend to collect desired launch ramp survey data. He volunteered as the AAHPA liaison to American Marina Institute. Highly credentialled, Matt has achieved designations as Maritime Port Executive (AMPE) certification from the IAMPE, Certified Marina Operator (CMO) and the only Certified Marina Manager (CMM) in Alaska through AMI. He is on pace to be certified as a Professional Port Manager (PPM) through American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA).
Andrew Hendrickson, Maintenance Technician, Ketchikan Port and Harbors: Andrew's knowledge and experience have helped improve and maintain the Port and Harbors infrastructure. Over the past several years, Andrew has worked diligently to learn the maintenance concerns of our infrastructure and has worked diligently to help complete several major projects such as replacing corrosion protection on Berth IV, replacing chains and tackle on Port Yokohama floats, and re-decking floats in Thomas Basin to name a few. Andrew communicates well with coworkers to identify maintenance needs on both the Port and in the Harbors. He approaches his work with a positive attitude and genial nature that is appreciated by coworkers and customers alike, and understands how to be a team player. His dedicated and professional service is commendable and truly worthy of recognition by the AAHPA members as the Ketchikan Port and Harbors Employee of the year.
Jeremey Norbryhn, Deputy Harbormaster, Juneau Docks and Harbors: Since Jeremy’s arrival in March 2021, he has been a positive influence not only with the public but in the professional development of our staff. As Statter Harbor supervisor, Jeremy responded to numerous Alaskan winter events including sunken and impounded vessels, extensive snow removal, as well as departmental training, program recertification, facilities maintenance and preparation for the upcoming summer season. He has performed all assigned responsibilities with aplomb. In January, despite the seasonal harbor challenges, Jeremy found a window of opportunity to begin the tedious process of renewing Docks & Harbors certification for Alaska Clean Harbors, which only six harbors statewide have achieved. He reviewed pages of information and ensured focus areas of the program were being adhered to and properly implemented. With little guidance, he researched and navigated the Alaska Department of Environmental. Conservation processes for numerous permit renewals, significant in that ADEC had recently transitioned to a new on- line permitting system. We have received numerous compliments on his ability to cooperate and collaborate with harbor patrons and businesses relying on our facilities. Without a doubt, Jeremy has increased the operational effectiveness in the infrastructure which Docks & Harbors manages. Especially noteworthy is the innovative approach to berthing assignments at the For-Hire-Floats and the skill working with the businesses to achieve a successful outcome. We estimate over 1000 vessel transits per day occur during the height of the summer season into Statter Harbor. Drawing upon finely honed organizational skills, Jeremy expertly analyzed the Docks & Harbors existing training program and identified several key areas needing attention and immediately set to work to find efficiencies to streamline processes and improve recordkeeping. The result is a structured and more efficient program that will ultimately lead to a better trained workforce. Mr. Norbryhn has also taken the safety coordination lead ensuring our safety policies and procedures are congruent with that of the CBJ Safety Officer and OHSA. Jeremy’s actions demonstrate great dedication and provide an example for others to emanate. It is with great pleasure to recognize him as the Docks and Harbors Employee-of-the-Year for 2023.