Mr. Blume joined International Registries, Inc. (IRI) in 2007 after retiring from the United States (US) Coast Guard (USCG) following over 20 years of active duty service. During his service in the USCG, Mr. Blume developed a broad base of experience conducting both flag and port State inspections, marine casualty investigations, analysis-based casualty prevention, emergency incident response and management, waterways management, and at sea experience on USCG vessels. Noteworthy accomplishments include: overseeing the new construction inspections of the first two US flagged vessels designed and built to comply with the International Maritime Organization's (IMO’s) 2000 High-Speed Craft Code; coordinating the implementation of the Maritime Transportation Security Act regulations and the International Ship and Port Facility (ISPS) Code for Long Island Sound ports; the multi-million dollar refit of an Alaska Marine System ferry that included repowering and extensive structural fire protection upgrades; coordinating the safety and security risk assessments for a proposed floating, storage and re-gasification unit to import LNG; and, the implementation of a port State control (PSC) program in Western Alaska. His investigations experience includes joint flag State marine casualty investigations as well as the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) investigations of oil water separator bypasses. He has also co-authored a paper on channel design and ship controllability. Mr. Blume is a member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers as well as the International Navigation Association. Mr. Blume holds a Masters of Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island as well as degrees from Yale University and the University of Maine.
Mr. Bubar joined IRI in September 2005 after 21 years of active-duty service as an officer in the USCG. In 2007, he became a Marine Technical Advisor to the Registry where he assists in technical marine matters, among others. His responsibilities with the USCG included pollution prevention and response, marine technical policy development, and vessel design and approval. His final USCG assignment was as Chief, Engineering Division at the Marine Safety Center. Mr. Bubar graduated from the Maine Maritime Academy with a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Marine Engineering and a license as a Third Assistant Engineer, Unlimited Horsepower Steam and Motor. He earned his Master of Engineering (M. Eng.) degree in Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University and is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Mr. Chesla joined IRI in August 2013 as Safety & Technical Assistant Manager, Yachts and was promoted to Safety & Technical Manager, Yachts in October 2014. Prior to joining IRI, he spent 13 years with Murray & Associates, LLC, where he gained experience as a Naval Architect in the retrofitting and building sector for yachts. Mr. Chesla holds a B.S. in Ocean Engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Florida for Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering.
Mr. Cummins was promoted to Senior Vice President, Vessel Administration in July 2015. Since joining IRI in July 2005, Mr. Cummins has been involved in all aspects of vessel documentation with respect to the issuance of Permanent Certificates of Registry, Civil Liability Certificates for Oil Pollution Damage, Civil Liability Certificates for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, Permissions to Transfer, and Continuous Synopsis Records, among others. Mr. Cummins holds a B.A. in Political Theory and International Affairs from the University of Virginia.
Mr. Curt joined IRI in July 2009 as Marketing Specialist. In September 2012, Mr. Curt joined IRI’s Maritime Services Group as Maritime Security & Investigations Coordinator and in July 2015 was promoted to Ship Security Manager. In this role, Mr. Curt is responsible for issues relating to the ISPS Code and maritime security initiatives including piracy and armed robbery, terrorism, stowaways, and maritime cybersecurity. He serves as a delegate to the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) among other maritime security working groups supported by the IMO. Mr. Curt earned his Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A.) from Arizona State University and his B.A. in Business and International Studies from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Mr. Curt is a certified ISO 9001:2008 Lead Internal Auditor and ISPS Code Security Officer.
Captain Fay joined IRI in July 2002 as a consultant and was made Vice President, Seafarers’ Documentation in January 2003 then Senior Vice President, Maritime Operations in December 2004. Captain Fay has extensive seagoing experience after nearly 30 years of maritime service as a US Merchant Marine, serving as Deck Officer on a variety of vessel types, including 15 years as Master of Fast Sealift Ships; 30-knot capable container-Ro/Ro vessels in international service. He earned his B.S. in Marine Transportation Management from the State University of New York Maritime College and has extensive training in modern ship security and training procedures from the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command training center. Captain Fay is currently licensed by the US and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) as an Unlimited Master with full STCW training and certification. As Senior Vice President, Maritime Operations, Captain Fay utilizes his expertise and experience to direct administrative functions of the Maritime Services Group, review and evaluate safety and manning requirements, and manage training programs and qualifications for seafarers serving aboard the RMI fleet. Captain Fay is also a member of the RMI delegation at the IMO and participates in the STW sub-committee meetings.
Born in Cambridge, England, Ms. Francis left an administrative position with the Cambridge City Council to emigrate to the US in 1983. She has been with IRI since 1985 and was promoted to Senior Vice President, Corporate in 2017. Her many years of experience contribute greatly in assisting our international clientele with their various corporate requirements and inquiries.
Captain Freitas joined IRI as Country Manager in February 2012 after serving a distinguished 39 years in the Brazilian Navy. During his naval career, Captain Freitas worked in many capacities ashore and afloat including Divisional Officer, Chief of Operations, Staff-Officer, Instructor, Executive Officer, Commander and Harbor Master. His decorations include the Naval Order Merit Medal with Degree of Knight, Military Meritorious Service Medal with three gold stars, Tamandaré Merit Medal, Marine Merit Medal with two anchors, Santos-Dumont Merit Medal, Legionnaire Merit Medal, Brigadeiro Falcão Merit Medal, and numerous unit citations. In 2006, after holding a two year position as Harbor Master of Maranhão, Captain Freitas was invited to join the Directorate of Ports and Coasts (DPC/Brazilian Coast Guard), which is responsible for the Brazilian Maritime Authority. In his last assignment at DPC he worked in the Surveys, Naval Inspections and Technical Expertise Management Division as Head of the Maritime Casualty Investigation Department, representing Brazil in meetings of the Marine Accident Investigators' International Forum (MAIIF). Captain Freitas holds a degree in Naval Science from The Brazilian Naval Academy, has completed a doctorate level course in Policy, Strategy and Strategic Planning from The Brazilian War College (ESG), and a Masters level course in Naval Warfare and Strategy from The Brazilian Naval War College (EGN). He has also completed a multitude of courses in Maritime Safety Compliance at the International Maritime Safety, Security and Environment Academy (IMSSEA) in Genoa, Italy, among other fine maritime institutions around the world.
Mr. Gallagher joined IRI in October 2015 as Senior Vice President, Client Relations. Mr. Gallagher retired from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) after a 34 year career which he began in 1981 as a surveyor assigned to Kaohsiung, Taiwan. During his career at ABS, he held positions in each of the ABS divisions in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. His responsibilities included business development and oversight of survey offices and stations, most recently holding the position of Corporate Vice President – Client Management and Global Transfer of Class Activities. Mr. Gallagher was elected to be Trustee of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) Foundation and was invited to serve as a member of the MMA International Maritime Business (IMB) Advisory Board in 2016. The MMA IMB Advisory Board serves as a professional development advisory body for the IMB undergraduate program at MMA. The Board supports international maritime business development, cooperative learning opportunities, career placement and employment networking, undergraduate program support, and undergraduate student recruitment. He is a member of the Society of Marine Port Engineers, New York Maritime Inc., the Connecticut Maritime Association, the Canadian Institute of Marine Engineers, the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce, and is an Honorary Member of the Marine Society of New York. Mr. Gallagher holds a B.S. in Marine Engineering and a USCG Engineer’s License Steam and Diesel Unlimited Horsepower from the MMA and a Master of Science (M.S.) in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island.
Captain Hafner was promoted to Vice President, Seafarers’ Manning & Training in July 2013. Joining IRI’s Ft. Lauderdale office as Seafarers’ Manning & Training Manager in July 2010, Captain Hafner brings over 25 years of maritime experience, most recently as a National Executive Board Member for American Maritime Officers (AMO). Prior to AMO, Captain Hafner worked as a Master Mariner for American Roll-on Roll-off Carriers, where he was responsible for all facets of the operation, navigation and maintenance of the vessel at sea, as well as for the safety of the crew and cargo. He also worked as Chief Officer for almost 10 years aboard numerous ro-ro, container and break-bulk vessels. Captain Hafner is a captain in the US Naval Reserve. He has been awarded the Admiral of the Ocean Sea (AOTOS) Award and has twice been awarded the Merchant Marine Expeditionary Medal. He received his B.S. in Marine Transportation Management at the State University of New York Maritime College.
Captain Heinan joined IRI in 1994 after a distinguished career in marine management, most recently as Assistant Secretary for Marine Transportation, the Director of Marine Engineering, and Chairperson of the Board of Pilotage Commission for the State of Washington. As a senior officer with W & C Holdings, Inc./ Manhattan Holdings, Inc. in New York, he oversaw cruise vessel, tug, barge, marine terminal storage and repair yard operations. Captain Heinan also served as General Manager for an operating division of Stolt-Nielsen, Inc. in Singapore. His seagoing experience includes all ranks of ship’s officer and service on board liquid and dry bulk, refrigerated, heavy lift and container handling vessels. He holds a current unlimited USCG Master’s Certificate, a M.B.A. in Finance and International Business Management from New York University and a B.S. in Marine Transportation from the US Merchant Marine Academy.
Ms. Kirby joined the Legal Department of IRI as Assistant General Counsel in April 2007, was promoted to Associate General Counsel in 2008, and to General Counsel in 2014. In her current position, Ms. Kirby handles regulatory issues in regard to the RMI; oversees sanctions and trade compliance; assists in review and reporting of casualties or incidents involving RMI registered vessels; consults on piracy issues and the position of the RMI; participates in transnational organizations, including the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Global Forum and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on behalf of the RMI; liaises with the government of the RMI, including drafting and lobbying necessary legislative changes; and handles general corporate governance and compliance for IRI’s 27 worldwide offices. Ms. Kirby earned her B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz and her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar, the District of Columbia Bar, the Virginia Bar Corporate Counsel Division, the Maritime Law Association, and WISTA.
Mr. Kong joined IRI in 2010 after serving over 20 years of active duty as an officer in the USCG’s naval engineering field. After his time with the USCG, Mr. Kong entered the private sector as Senior Principal Engineer at General Dynamics Information Technology and, most recently, Senior Reliability Engineer at The McHenry Management Group. Mr. Kong holds a Masters degree in Engineering Management from The George Washington University and a B.S. in Marine Engineering from the USCG Academy.
Eric W. Linsner joined IRI in January 2011 after a distinguished career in vessel management. He brings 37 years of LNG design and operational experience to IRI where he provides guidance on technical and commercial issues relating to LNG vessels. He was previously employed by PRONAV Ship Management, Inc. (PRONAV) as Senior Vice President where his responsibilities included the management of eight LNG vessels under RMI flag. His areas of expertise include policy development, regulatory compliance and commercial management. Prior to joining PRONAV, Mr. Linsner was Vice President of Energy Transportation Corporation (ETC), which previously operated these vessels under US flag. In this capacity, he was responsible for developing the company’s quality management system including ISM and ISO certification. He also has experience in P&I claims handling, maritime labor relations, crew training and logistics in support of this fleet. During his tenure at ETC, Mr. Linsner served as the General Manager of the Osaka, Japan branch office, responsible for the maintenance and operations of the vessels. He has experience in new construction supervision of the fleet and while on active duty in the USCG, participated in LPG and LNG vessel plan review, LNG containment system approvals and the development of the US position for the 1973 IMO Gas Code. Mr. Linsner has participated in various industry associations and advisory groups. He received his M.S. in Engineering Administration from George Washington University and his B.S. in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from Webb Institute where he has served as a visiting professor.
Captain Lorigan joined IRI in September 2014 as Senior Vice President, Quality Assurance & Investigations. He gained extensive maritime experience throughout his 30 years of service with the USCG, where he last served as Chief of Staff for the Eleventh Coast Guard District in Alameda, California. Following his retirement from the USCG, Captain Lorigan spent several years with OSG Ship Management, Inc. as Vice President of Operations Compliance and later as Vice President of Health, Safety, Quality, Environment and Operations Assurance where he advised the CEO on matters pertaining to performance and operations compliance. During his time with OSG Ship Management, Inc., he oversaw vessel emergency preparedness and response, seafarer training and development, marine regulatory awareness and coordination, and safety and security performance monitoring with a special focus on risk management. Captain Lorigan holds a B.S. in Marine Biology from Hampden Sydney College, a M.S. in Business Administration from Salve Regina University, and a M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.
Mr. Manning joined IRI’s Houston office in June 2010 as Offshore Operations Manager following an extensive career in the maritime industry. In July 2013, Mr. Manning was promoted to General Manager, Offshore Operations and in January 2016 was again promoted to Vice President, Offshore Operations. Mr. Manning was formerly Marine Compliance Manger at Rowan Companies, Inc. where he focused his marine inspection expertise on their fleet of 24 mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs). Michael conducted annual audits on the company’s MODU fleet while maintaining corporate awareness of modifications to local and international rig operation regulations. He was also responsible for monitoring and managing the regulatory progress of flag and Classification Society submittals for drilling rig repairs, upgrades, and modifications. Prior to joining Rowan Companies, Inc., he served 24 years of active duty with the USCG until retiring at the rank of Chief Warrant Officer. His service was comprised of engineering duties, both ashore and afloat, as well as search and rescue, law enforcement, and vessel inspection. Mr. Manning received an Associate of Science in Aviation from San Jacinto College and a B.S. from Excelsior College.
Mr. Maupin joined IRI’s Houston office in March 2012 as Flag State Specialist after serving in the USCG’s Marine Safety and Environmental Protection Branch and was promoted to Deputy Fleet Operations Manager in 2016. As a Port State Control Officer (PSCO), Mr. Maupin has conducted over 400 PSC examinations on foreign freight, tank, and gas ships in the Houston-Galveston-Texas City port complex, the largest petrochemical port in the US. Mr. Maupin received a B.A. in Business Administration from Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa, and has completed numerous training courses in the field of Environmental Safety Compliance and Foreign Vessel Inspections, including PSC Examiner School held in Yorktown, Virginia.
Mr. McHardy joined the Houston office of IRI as Vice President, Technical in November 2011 and was promoted to Senior Vice President, Technical & Gulf Coast Operations in 2013. Prior to joining IRI, Mr. McHardy had a distinguished, 30-year career with Det Norske Veritas (DNV) where he most recently held the position of Manager, Maritime Gulf District, in Houston, Texas. He also held positions in Operations, Customer Service, and Business Development with DNV’s Aberdeen, London, and Norway offices. Previous to his time with DNV, Mr. McHardy worked as a seagoing engineer and as a shipyard manager. He received an Ordinary National Diploma in Marine Engineering from Glasgow College of Nautical Studies and is also a graduate of the University of Strathclyde (Scotland), where he received a 2.1 B.S. in Shipbuilding and Naval Architecture. Mr. McHardy is a member of The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) and The Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA).
Hans Molver joined IRI in late 2007 as Marine Safety Advisor and was promoted many times before serving as Vice President, Technical in 2011. In 2013, he was again promoted to Senior Vice President, Technical and serves as a liaison to Classification Societies. Prior to Mr. Molver joining IRI, he served as Managing Director of System Compliance Group LLC (SCG) where he was responsible for development, marketing and sales of services to maritime industry clients. Prior to SCG, Mr. Molver served as Marine Engineer for over 10 years with major ship owners and operators. One such company was Royal Caribbean, with whom Mr. Molver held many positions including: Environmental Assurance Officer, Compliance Superintendent, Environmental Management System (ISO 14001) Implementation Facilitator and First Engineer. Through these positions, Mr. Molver oversaw the environmental and hazardous materials compliance verification program, monitored shipboard environmental programs, provided training for the shipboard Environmental Officers and recommended action to prevent an environmental non-conformity related to the product, process and quality system. Mr. Molver has also worked for 12 years in the power generation industry, as a Control Room Operator for Philip Morris USA and CoGentrix of Virginia developing methods for efficient power generation. Mr. Molver is a graduate of Aalesund Maritime Academy in Norway where he received his Merchant Marine Engineer’s License.
REAR ADMIRAL ROBERT C. NORTH, US COAST GUARD (RETIRED)
Rear Admiral Robert C. North retired from active duty with the USCG on 30 April 2001. He is presently serving as the President of North Star Maritime, Inc., a marine industry consulting firm, specializing in international and domestic maritime safety, security, and environmental protection regulatory compliance. In this capacity, he works with a range of maritime industry clients and attends meetings of the IMO. His USCG career spanned nearly 35 years and culminated with service as the Coast Guard’s Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety, Security and Environmental Protection where he directed national and international programs for commercial vessel safety, merchant mariner licensing and documentation, port safety and security, and waterways management. In that capacity, he led US Delegations to the IMO and also served as a member of the American Bureau of Shipping Classification and Technical Committees, the Det Norske Veritas North American Committee, the Lloyds Register General Committee, and the Military Sealift Committee of the National Defense Transportation Association. He is a graduate of the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, State University of New York Maritime College at Fort Schuyler, and the US Army War College, Carlisle, PA. Rear Admiral North is a member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers; the Propeller Club, Port of Washington, DC; and the Board of Trustees of the Seaman’s Church Institute of New York and New Jersey.
Angela Plott joined IRI in September 2007 with over 20 years of experience in the maritime and political fields. Previously, she was Vice President of the International Council of Cruise Lines (ICCL). During her tenure, she developed and implemented positions to relevant US and international governmental bodies on cruise maritime policies and shipboard operational procedures, in particular relating to tourism and travel, economic impact, medical facilities, health, sanitation and labor issues. As chair of the ICCL Medical and Sanitation Committees, she drafted the industry’s SARS and Pandemic Response Plans and successfully negotiated with the US Centers for Disease Control for revisions to the Vessel Sanitation Program Operation and Construction Manuals. Prior to this she worked on Capitol Hill and as a consultant representing both public and corporate clients before Congress. She holds a M.B.A. from DeVry University, and received her B.A. in Political Science/International Relations from Boise State University. Ms. Plott is a member of WISTA.
Mr. Polderman became a maritime consultant for IRI in 2004 concentrating on marine issues such as inspection regimes and requirements, technical investigations and other technical marine matters. His strong maritime background began in 1955 with the Royal Schelde Shipyard in Vlissingen, The Netherlands, where from 1963 he performed the duties of assistant manager in the ship repair department and in 1965 became manager of new ship construction. Mr. Polderman joined Lloyd’s Register in 1970 in Rotterdam where he had a short posting in Spain and was later transferred to the US in 1978 where he had postings in New Orleans, Mobile and Miami. His expertise with Lloyd’s Register was in ship classification and regulatory requirements specializing in the cruise ship industry. Mr. Polderman’s career with Lloyd’s Register spanned 33 years and he retired as Senior Vice President of Marine Services for North and South America. He studied Naval Architecture in Dordrecht, Holland and earned a degree in Naval Architecture from HTS Dordrecht.
Mr. Poskaitis is currently the Senior Vice President of Fleet Operations overseeing maritime safety, security, and the environmental compliance of the RMI flag fleet of over 3,000 ships worldwide. He joined IRI in June 2007 after 26 years of active duty service in the USCG. While in the USCG, Mr. Poskaitis was the Chief of Investigations and Analysis where he was responsible for program management and operational oversight of all marine casualty, marine pollution and environmental crimes investigated by the USCG. He also served as the Chief of Strategic Planning and Analysis for the Office of Marine Safety, Security and Environmental Protection. As the head of Strategic Planning, he directed all strategy improvements and led a multi-agency team in the development of the National Strategy for Maritime Security. In 2005 Mr. Poskaitis was assigned as the Incident Commander for Salvage Operations during Hurricane Katrina, where he led salvage operations directing US Navy and commercial salvors to salvage over 2000 vessels. His experience includes an emphasis in Operations Management, Risk Management, Strategic Planning, and Incident Management. Mr. Poskaitis has a M.Eng. in Management from The George Washington University, a M.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Maryland and a B.S. from the USCG Academy.
Diego Ramírez was promoted to General Manager of IRI's Ft. Lauderdale office in July 2013. Mr. Ramírez’s service with IRI dates back to 2001 when he was a consultant based in Colombia. In 2003, he transferred to IRI’s Ft. Lauderdale office as Manager of Corporate Development. After seven years in the Ft. Lauderdale office, he transferred to Denmark and worked as a consultant, participating on RMI delegations at the IMO and the United Nations Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. Prior to joining IRI, Mr. Ramírez held the position of Senior Associate with Brigard & Urrutia Abogados; was the General Registrar and Legal Risk Manager with Grupo TMM- Columbia (TMM Group); and the Risk Manager with Transportación Maritíma Grancolombiana S.A. (TMG). Mr. Ramírez earned his Law Degree at the Colegio Mayor de Nuestra Señora del Rosario in Bogatà, Columbia and his Master of Laws (LL.M.) from the University College London. He was awarded the LL.M degree with “Merit” from the University of London and the Chevening Award from the British Government through the British Council in Columbia. He is fluent in Spanish as well as English.
Mr. Santram joined IRI in May 2006 as Maritime Radio & Communication Specialist and was promoted to Vice President, Maritime Radio & Operations in January 2012. Prior to joining IRI, Mr. Santram held the positions of Merchant Marine Officer and Technical Controller with V.Ships USA LLC in Miami, Florida. He has also served as a Radio Officer on crude oil tankers and chemical carriers, keeping dual watches as an uncertified Third Mate during periods of navigational officer shortage. His background in communications and navigation, and experience working as Electro-Technical Officer (ETO) on deck and engine rooms serves him well in his current capacity. Mr. Santram was formally educated in Bangalore, India. He holds several technical maritime certifications including GMDSS Operator, Marine Radio Operator, and an Electro Technical Officer’s Certificate for which he studied at the Indian Institute of Technology (Chennai).
Ms. Sherman joined the IRI group of companies in 2001 as a Marketing Coordinator, and was promoted to Director, Marketing and Communications in 2007. Ms. Sherman serves as an excellent resource for implementing corporate and maritime marketing programs and acting as a communications liaison both internally and externally for the company. In late 2014, she was asked to also take on the role of Operations Technology Officer, working with the different offices and departments to ensure that all aspects of the implementation of information technology services were considered across the company. She received her M.B.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University, is a cum laude graduate from James Madison University with a B.A. in History and Philosophy, and former Director of Communications for an estate planning law firm. Ms. Sherman has been a member of WISTA since 2004 and a member of the WISTA USA Board since 2008.
Mr. Wamsley joined IRI in January 2015 as Senior Vice President, Maritime Services. Prior to joining IRI, he spent over 20 years with the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), where he most recently held the position of District Manager. Mr. Wamsley was responsible for supervising business performance in international offices, ensuring quality system adequacy, providing clients with relevant regulation updates, and managing client accounts and company budgets. During his time with ABS, Mr. Wamsley also held the position of Principal Surveyor and was responsible for the day-to-day operations of various port offices in the US. Mr. Wamsley earned his B.S. in Marine Engineering from Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
Ms. Wilson joined IRI’s Legal Department in February 2007, was promoted to Associate General Counsel in 2008, and to Senior International Counsel in May 2014. She graduated cum laude from the University of Washington with a B.A. in Political Science and Communications and earned a J.D. cum laude from Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington. At Gonzaga, she was an Articles Editor and Editorial Board member of the Gonzaga Law Review and served as a Law Clerk to the Washington State Attorney General. In addition, she studied International Human Rights and Comparative Law in Florence, Italy. Ms. Wilson is a member of the American Bar Association, the Washington State Bar, and WISTA.