Presenter Bios


Dr. Helen Krug von Nidda is the Chief Executive Optimist of With Helen, a coaching and training practice focused on helping international women create their career success. 

An executive Coach, speaker, and trainer with over 20 years of global experience in human resources, she has focused her career on coaching, leadership development, and management training in the international development field and human rights sector.  She has extensive facilitation experience leading sessions in both French and English on four continents. 

A certified Co-Active Coach and a licensed Career Counsellor, Helen is a graduate of Smith College, she holds a Master’s in Human Resources Management and a Doctorate in Education from Columbia University. She has been published in Forbes.

Dinner Speaker

Kim Asher is a 49-year-old (trans)woman.  She has been responsible for installing over $100 billion in energy infrastructure around the world, spending around 3000 days on heavy construction vessels in 4 continents.  She is a Hydrographer, Client Representative, Offshore Manager and currently serves as a Site Manager working on offshore windfarms in Taiwan.  She is also a passionate cook, award winning photographer and a High Priestess of (Jia Tian Xuan Nu) , the Taoist Goddess of Sex and War. 

As a bisexual transgender woman, she is also a dedicated human rights campaigner - both, within our industry and around the world.

Opening Speaker (Saturday)

Fionna M. Boyle

Fionna M. Boyle is a native of Doylestown, PA. She is a 2007 graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Logistics and Intermodal Transportation, a U.S. Coast Guard License-ThirdMate Unlimited Tonnage, and a commission as Ensign in the U.S. Navy Reserve. She currently holds a U.S. Coast Guard License-Chief Mate Unlimited Tonnage and the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

Upon graduation, Fionna’s career has been dual-tracked: Merchant Marine officer and Navy Reserve officer. From2007 to 2021, Fionna sailed deep sea with Overseas Shipholding Group, Inc. as a Licensed Deck Officer. She sailedas Second Mate and Third Mate on five of OSG’s tankers delivering crude oil and petroleum products in the Alaskanand Gulf of Mexico trades and ports in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Pacific.

In conjunction with her civilian commercial sailing experience, Boyle completed approximately six years of militarytraining, special work, mobilizations, and recall to active duty with the U.S. Navy.

At the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic in 2020, Boyle served for thirteen months as the Strategic Sealift Officer (SSO) Force Assistant Program Manager and Post-Commissioning Indoctrination Course Manager.

Boyle’s personal awards include the Strategic Sealift Officer Warfare Insignia, Joint Service Commendation Medal,Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (one gold star device), Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, othervarious personal awards, and campaign and unit decorations.

Fionna is a solutions-driven leader and industry advocate of seafarer wellness, healthy workplace cultures, humanrights at sea, and proponent of constructive personal and professional transformation. Currently, Fionna isestablishing a consulting group to serve the needs of seafarers, their families, and company/industry leaders topropel the maritime industry forward.

Closing speaker

Nooshin Behroyan is a serial entrepreneur known as a trailblazer for building successful triple bottom line companies, measuring financial success with social and environmental impact. Her company, PAXON, which she founded in 2016, was named 9th fastest growing company in America on the Inc. 500 list and No.1 female-led company with 22,800% growth rate. Since inception, PAXON has become a trendsetter and a game changer in the oil and gas industry with focus on Energy innovative approaches that emphasize on zero carbon and methane emission technologies.  

As a first-generation American immigrant, Behroyan brings extensive cross-cultural experience that promotes gender diversity and work-force equality by addressing barriers and driving change for positive impact for women engineers. Behroyan serves as the board president for National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO-California, USA), chairwoman of the IKAR Energy Group, and the advisory boards for American Gas Association (AGA). She holds a B.A. in architecture from University of California, Berkeley, M.S. in civil and environmental Engineering from University of California, Davis and an MBA from University of California, Los Angeles. She is also a professionally trained piano player and has played for the U.C. Berkeley Jazz Ensemble.



Raina Barnes

Raina J. Barnes is a Professional Mariner, who is passionate about diversity,equity, and inclusion within the Maritime Industry and beyond. Raina iscurrently serving as a Marine Transportation Lecturer at SUNY Maritime College. She has the distinguished honor of being the first African American to hold this title within the Marine Transportation Department in the history of SUNY Maritime College. Raina has also sailed on the Great Lakes for several years with American Steamship Company, where she earned her First-Class Pilotage and United States Coast Guard Unlimited Master’s license for the Great Lakes and Inland Waters.

With over a decade in the maritime industry, Raina has not only served as a Deck Officer on board vessels, but also in many capacities throughout the industry from academia to

tourism. Raina is an extremely proud “Boogie Down” Bronx native, who has no qualms

with reminding you of where she’s from and where you’re not. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Marine Transportation and Masters of Science in International Transportation Management from SUNY Maritime College. She is open to networkingand engaging and welcomes you to connect via Linkedin.

Anastasjia Kuprijanova

A California Maritime Academy graduate, Anastasija managed contract, regulatory compliance and was an integral member of the start-up team that launched NYC Ferry - a service initially contemplated to be comprised of a 16 vessels fleet, servicing 4 routes that in short order has grown into a 38-fleet system now serving all boroughs of New York City on seven ferry routes, with a scheduled capacity of more than 9 million riders annually by 2023. 

Currently, as Director of Business Development for Hornblower Group, Inc. Anastasija works to expand upon Hornblower’s portfolio of turnkey maritime services by building strategic partnerships, diversifying operations and bringing innovative solutions to the marine transportation sector. 

Anastasija is passionate about the expansion of waterborne transit and implementation of environmentally conscious, emission-reducing solutions to the maritime industry. 

Coulston VanGundy

Coulston Van Gundy, Vice President of Construction and Engineering at Crowley leads vessel design and engineering, construction management and project engineering teams. 

With more than 15 years of experience, Van Gundy has played an integral role in advancing Crowley’s growing engineering and design services in maritime and offshore wind services to elevate alternative energy as a transportation solution. He has been in both vessel-and shore-based operational roles in engineering and led maritime development, construction and maintenance services as well as served as an engineering leader for vessel operations. 

Most recently, Van Gundy was instrumental in the design of the all-electric tugboat platform to be used first in the U.S. - the eWolf, Crowley’s zero-emission ship assist and escort tug currently under construction. 

Van Gundy holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with a U.S. Coast Guard license from the California Maritime Academy, where he also later earned a master’s degree in Transportation and Engineering Management in 2016. Van Gundy holds a Project Management Professional credential and maintains his U.S. Coast Guard engineering license. 

Frances Keeler

Frances Keeler joined Peacock, Piper Tong & Voss as Of Counsel, bringing nearly four decades of environmental experience. Her areas of practice include environmental law, maritime environmental law and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Frances represents industrial, energy, and shipping companies before multiple regulatory entities, including air pollution control agencies, the California Air Resources Board, the California State Lands Commission, and the US Environmental Protection Agency. She has extensive experience in state and federal Clean Air Acts; district, state and federal regulatory development; permitting, credit trading, global climate change CEQA and environmental compliance auditing.

Frances most recently was Vice President of the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance (CCEEB), advocating for policies that protect public health while maintaining a strong economy. Frances led the South Coast Air Project and the Bay Area Project as Project Manager, with additional responsibilities in strategic management across all CCEEB projects.

Prior to her private law practice background, Frances held numerous positions at the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), including positions with enforcement and district counsel. Frances has been involved in the development of air quality management plans and rules that implement the plan, has extensive experience in permitting, compliance and CEQA issues, and was actively involved in the state and federal programs to regulate non-road sources such as locomotives, marine vessels and ground support equipment.

Delphine Prevost

Delphine Prévost joined the Port of Oakland in 1997 as a project manager for the Port’s Environmental Division. From 1997 to 2002, she managed environmental planning and compliance projects, including the Port’s dredging program and the $500+ million redevelopment of the 400-acre former Oakland Naval Supply Center. After working in both the private and non-profit sectors on a variety of Bay-Delta resource and real estate development projects, Ms. Prévost returned to the Port of Oakland in 2007 as a senior project manager in the Maritime Division of the Port, responsible for managing a number of infrastructure projects.  Ms. Prévost is currently Manager of Administration and Finance Services for the Port’s Maritime Division.  Her areas of responsibility include marine and rail terminal leasing, management of rates and charges, implementation of select infrastructure projects, and various programmatic initiatives.  Ms. Prévost holds a Bachelor of Arts in Earth Science from the University of California Berkeley, and a Master of Business Administration from McGill University in Montreal, Québec.

Kathleen Friel

Born and brought up in NY, Kathleen realized her love of Earth Sciences in high school that led to a Bachelor of Science, Meteorology and Oceanography from SUNY Maritime. With almost 22 years of sailing experience, she is a licensed Unlimited Master.

Kathleen came ashore in 2014 to work as an instructor at AMO STAR Center, where she developed and updated multiple course offerings. In 2016, she addressed MARAD on her SASH experiences onboard vessels. In 2017, she joined the MARAD SAPR Committee and co-chaired the industry subcommittee.

Kathleen also became a contributing member of SOCP Heavy Weather Committee following the El Faro incident. As a committee member she addressed MERPAC regarding El Faro related NTSB and USCG findings and training requirements.

Since 2021, she has served as the Career Advancement Liaison with AMO Union and continues to be deeply involved with concerns around SASH in the maritime industry.

 Catherine Livi

Catherine Livi DuBois is a 2019 Maritime Security & Logistics graduate from the US Merchant Marine Academy. She earned an Unlimited Third Mate’s License and is a US Navy Strategic Sealift Officer. Catherine sailed on various commercial and MSC vessels as a cadet and served as the Regimental Sexual Assault Victim Advocate while a senior at USMMA as well as serving at the company and battalion level human resources/victim advocate all four years at USMMA. Upon graduation, she joined Crowley Maritime as a Third Mate in their tanker fleet and earned

her Unlimited Second Mate’s License. She has over 800 days at sea and looks forward to many more and raising her license to Unlimited Master. She is a member of Crowley’s Mariner Employee Resource group and SASH Steering Prevention Committee, which works to make life aboard Crowley’s fleet of vessels safe and welcoming for all mariners. This work has been a personal passion since her time at the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

Sarah Davis

LT Sarah Davis is assigned to PACAREA Maritime Forces, where she serves as the Assistant Maritime Homeland Security/Defense Program Manager. She oversees PACAREA Maritime Security Response Operations & development of policy & procedures. Davis Supports maritime forces across 4 CG Districts and manages planning & execution of joint service MHS/D ops/planning/exercises in Pacific Theater.

Davis was born and raised in New York. She enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 2013 after graduating with a B.A. in History from the College of Charleston, South Carolina. Upon graduation, she was assigned to Sector San Francisco, CA, where she qualified Federal On-Scene Coordinator Representative, Pollution Responder, and Command Duty Officer.

Since 2014, Davis has been a certified Victims Advocate for the Coast Guard. During her time at Sector San Francisco, she served not only as the lead Victims Advocate for the Sector but also as the only VA for multiple sub-units.

Davis met her husband while stationed in Maine. She currently lives in Albany, CA with her husband and 2-year old daughter.

Parker Harrison

Parker Harrison joined Crowley in 2013 as director, claims, in the risk management department, where she supported Crowley’s growing ship management business. In 2015, she was promoted to vice president, procurement, where she led a team that enhanced engagement, value and efficiency among suppliers and the company. She joined Crowley’s senior leadership team in 2019 as senior vice president and general counsel. In 2022, she advanced to her current role leading an integrated, strategic group that works with business stakeholders to mitigate risk and capitalize upon opportunities that risk creates.

Before joining Crowley, Harrison served as vice president and FD&D manager with Shipowners Claims Bureau in New York, managers of The American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association.

Tanis Whittington

Ani is an admiralty attorney in Wilmington, North Carolina., where She was a law school mentor and an honor board justice. She continues to provide pro bono services to the community. Ani has provided clerkship at a law firm in Long Beach, CA, and at Valero. She has also worked pro bono with Healthy Gulf and the Tulane Institute on Water Resources Law and Policy.

Ani graduated from California Maritime Academy in 2017, magna cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies and Maritime Affairs with a minor in law. During her undergraduate career she travelled to Japan and South Korea to visit educational and industrial facilities to obtain first-hand industry experience with regulatory bodies responsible for enforcing ballast water and oil transfer regulations.
Claudia Cimini

Claudia Cimini is an alumna of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and the Executive Vice President of the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association (MEBA). During a 20+ year MEBA shipping career she sailed on a variety of vessels in the deep-sea, ferry, and Government Contract sectors; ultimately advancing her license to Chief Engineer (Steam & Motor, Unlimited). Claudia also worked as a Port Engineer and taught engineering classes at the Pacific Maritime Institute (PMI) between shipping jobs. She has a strong understanding and appreciation of M.E.B.A. and labor union history. She spends her free time volunteering with the American Association of University Women and competing in regattas. 

Dana Prefer

Lieutenant Commander Prefer is currently the Division Officer for the Aviation Survival Technician School at Training Center Petaluma in Petaluma, CA. 

A native of Freeport, New York, Prefer graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 2011, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Marine and Environmental Sciences.

Her previous assignments include serving as a Deck Watch Officer and First Lieutenant onboard USCGC HARRIET LANE (WMEC 903), Combat Systems Officer and Navigator onboard USCGC BERTHOLF (WMSL 750), Commanding Officer of USCGC DRUMMOND (WPB 1323), and Commanding Officer of USCGC ISAAC MAYO (WPC 1112).

Following her afloat tours, Prefer was selected to attend postgraduate school at Indiana University and earned a Master of Science degree in Instructional Systems Technology.

 Jennifer Narvasa,

Jennifer Narvasa is the Port Captain for Crowley’s Articulated Tug Barges and Tankers operating in the Gulf and East Coast of the United States. She graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 2007. Upon graduation, she sailed for eight years as a Mate for MEBA, on a variety of vessels in the commercial sector (cruise, ro-ro, military, and bulk). She moved shoreside for the Crowley Fuels Western Alaska Fleet as Assistant Port Captain. She managed and sailed tug and barges, delivering fuel to the remote villages in Western Alaska and the Artic Slope. Her focus and commitment to her community extends beyond the port - she volunteers for the BASL Youth Soccer League. She also enjoys traveling with her husband, daughter, and son.

Melissa Martinelli

LCDR Melissa Martinelli recently reported to USCG Sector San Francisco as the Assistant Command Center Chief. She previously served as a Coast Guard Olmsted Scholar assigned to Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has also served as a Senior Duty Officer at the White House Situation Room. Her previous operational assignments include Deck Watch Officer on USCGC WAESCHE, Executive Officer on the forward deployed USCGC MONOMOY in Manama, Bahrain and Commanding Officer on the USCGC KINGFISHER and subsequently, USCGC SAWFISH. Martinelli received a Bachelor of Science in Operations Research and Computer Analysis from the United States Coast Guard Academy and is awaiting thesis defense for her Masters in Diplomacy and Foreign Policy from the University of Social and Business Science in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is from Vero Beach, Florida and currently lives in San Francisco, California.

Shandee Bowman 

Shandee Bowman, Director of People Experience and Culture at Crowley. Crowley is a privately held family- and employee-owned company that provides marine solutions, energy, and logistics services in domestic and international markets.  Aligned with Crowley’s purpose of bravely advancing what’s possible to elevate people and planet, she is committed to creating impactful moments, elevating the employee experience, and bringing Crowley’s culture to life.

Shandee serves as a cultural architect focused on offering a fresh, thoughtful, and intentional approach to enhance the diverse and inclusive, people-driven culture at Crowley. She is known for modeling authenticity and fearlessness by doing things she asks others to do. 

Before joining Crowley, Shandee had over 20 years of leadership and management experience influencing brands renowned for innovation and bringing culture to life, such as Target, Lululemon, and Carvana. She has worked in over 15 countries and successfully navigated through many unique cultures while training fighter pilots in the U.S. Air Force globally. Shandee also oversaw the opening of all Target Stores in western Canada. 

Shandee received her Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and a Master of Arts in Human Resource Management through Wayland Baptist University. She has also completed Cornell University’s Strategic Human Resource Leadership program and Harvard Business School’s Leading with Finance Certification.

Michelle Roberts

Senior Chief Machinery Technician Michelle Roberts enlisted in the United States Coast Guard in January 2002. She hails from a long line of Coast Guard family members. Originating in Juneau, in the great state of Alaska, she is the first known Native American Female to make E-7 in the Coast Guard.

MKC Roberts’ military awards include two Coast Guard Commendation Medals, five Coast Guard Achievement Medals, six Coast Guard Good Conduct Medals, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Humanitarian Service medal, Cutterman, Advance Boatforces, and numerous other individual and unit awards.

She has over 6 years of sea time and 13 years as an EPO. ASIST certified, CISM peer trained. MKCS Roberts has been proudly married to her wife Calli for 18 years.

Catherine Parson

Catherine Parson (‘09) graduate of the California Maritime Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation, with a minor in Naval Science. She is a licensed Unlimited Master with American Maritime Officer’s Union (AMO) and serves as a Strategic Sealift Officer in the US Naval Reserves as a Lieutenant Commander. Catherine has shipped deep-sea with AMO on a variety of vessels since graduation. She most recently has sailed as Chief Officer onboard USNS Montford Point. She is a member of Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) and in her free time enjoys hiking and camping. Catherine is originally from Tahoe City but now resides in Petaluma, California with her husband and newborn son.