The naming plate as been installed on the structure on the pier at GLMA. We negotiated the naming rights to this structure back in 2004-2005 when we ran the “New Beginning Fund Raiser” for the Great Lakes Campus building but it took till now to get it done – mostly due to the efforts of Jon Olney.
Please note on the Alumni website that we will offer exclusive one-day radar renewal classes for alumni attendees. The classes will be Feb 21 and Feb 23. Start time is 0800 and fee is $150.00.
You may also note that we are offering ECDIS training. Interested Alumni should visit the GLMA website continuing education section for dates. Space is very limited at this time but should open up later in the year (2014).
The following is an article written in the Ludington Daily News which can be found here:
Heart attack while playing hockey claims his life
Senior Captain Dean Hobbs off Lake Michigan Carferry’s SS Badger wasn’t just a ship captain, he was one of the best there was.
Rear Admiral John Tanner, former superintendent of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City, said next month would have made 40 years that he knew Hobbs and that there wasn’t a better captain or better person around.
Hobbs, 59, died around 10 p.m. Thursday night after suffering a heart attack during a senior men’s league hockey game, Tanner said.
His family released a statement through Lake Michigan Carferry on Friday.
“We are deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of our dear husband and dad, Captain Dean Hobbs,” the family stated. “He died on Thursday evening, November 21, while enjoying a game of hockey, one of his favorite pastimes.
“Hobbs knew the Great Lakes inside and out and took great pride in his job as a captain on the SS Badger and every ship he helmed. He was an exceptional friend, sailor, father and husband, and he loved his family, especially his three
grandkids, Walker Dean, Lucy and Nora. The Lakes and our lives will not be the same without him and we will miss him forever.”
Hobbs and his wife, Brenda, had two grown children, Courtney and Angela.
“Dean’s considerable knowledge of the Great Lakes and exceptional ship handling skills on the Badger has contributed to the success of the company over the past 17 years,” Bob Manglitz, LMC president/CEO said.
“His presence will be sorely missed on the vessel and on the shore alike.
“On behalf of Lake Michigan Carferry’s staff and crew, we extend our most heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of Captain Dean Hobbs.
He knew the Great Lakes inside and out and took great pride in his job as a captain on the SS Badger and every ship he helmed. He was an exceptional friend, sailor, father and husband, and he loved his family, especially his three grandkids, Walker Dean, Lucy and Nora. The Lakes and our lives will not be the same without him and we will miss him forever.”
A career on the Lakes
Rear Admiral John Tanner said he met Dean Hobbs in 1973 when he was a ship’s officer and visited the GLMA to talk to a student group. In 1974, Tanner joined the faculty and he remained a faculty member through Hobbs’ graduation in 1976. They maintained a relationship over the years as Hobbs advanced his career as a mariner and Tanner advanced to take over one of only six mariners’ academies in the U.S.
Tanner and GLMA Director of Enrollment John Berck said Hobbs was a true mariner in every sense of the word.
From the academy he took a job with Amoco, which had three ships hauling petroleum products around the Great Lakes. He was a manager with the company.
Hobbs joined Lake Michigan Carferry in 1995, the same year that Tanner took over the GLMA.
“It was a perfect marriage,” Tanner said of Hobbs. “He was the right personality type at the right time in his life. Things line up in a person’s life and he enjoyed that immensely.”
Part of the job that Hobbs enjoyed most was telling people about his ship and the history of the Great Lakes. It was not uncommon to see him speaking with passengers on cross-lake trips.
“I can tell you he did that for people in all walks of life,” Tanner said. “Sometimes people will just talk to people who only benefit them. Dean talked to everybody. He talked to people he knew would never, ever help him, which is the definition of a true gift.”
Tanner said the Badger is an important vessel for a number of reasons.
“It has a historic value, it has a mystique about it — the general public loves that vessel — I can speak for people all through Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin. If it’s one of the 1,000-footers, they see that on the lake or maybe in the locks, but the Badger, what makes it so unique, is that the people who love ships can go aboard and touch it and talk to the captain as members of the general public and that’s where Dean was a master.”
Tanner said the GLMA’s school ship happened to be in Marinette when Hobbs was getting ready to deliver a ferry bound for Staten Island, New York.
“Dean treated all the cadets to breakfast,” Tanner said. “Stuff that he did, things he didn’t have to do. Spending time with cadets who he didn’t have to, taking them to breakfast, for those 12 cadets it meant the world to them.”
Tanner said Hobbs never stopped giving back to the academy that taught him his skills.
“He probably helped Great Lakes Maritime Academy more than any other graduate,” Tanner said. “Whatever I would ask, whether as a faculty member or a superintendent, he was there.”
Hobbs served as an adjunct instructor at the GLMA and was very engaged in the history of the industry.
“He paid attention to the history of the Badger and the history of the Great Lakes,” Tanner said. “In fact there’s an organization that goes back to 1886 called the International Shipmaster’s Association — he was grand president of that in 1999 or 2000 .That’s a very prestigious title. Shipmasters from around Lakes elected him president which was a huge thing.”
Hobbs also helped establish the shipmasters’ port, port No. 23, in Traverse City.
“He was just involved in so much. he did so much to help other people,” Tanner said. “He was a good shipmate aboard ship, he was a good captain but I know personally he helped so many mariners who needed a boost in their confidence and give them help in their lives.
“Life’s not fair. Somebody who did that should live a long life and Dean can’t, but Dean was there for people.”
Piloting a 410-foot vessel across Lake Michigan thousands of times is not the easy task that it may seem to observers. Tanner, who was third officer on the first 1,000-foot vessel on the Great Lakes, said people don’t understand the skill involved in bringing the SS Badger back and forth between Ludington and Manitowoc.
“The skills he had were world class,” Tanner said. “I was fortunate enough to be on the first 1,000-footer on the Great Lakes. I know the dynamics of ship handling of a lot of different vessels. When a ship doesn’t have a bow thruster, when they pivot on an anchor (like the Badger does), it’s world-class seamanship. It’s world class. There are very few people in the world who can do that, that’s how impressive it is, the handling of the Badger.”
Tanner said he did some relief captain work on a carferry in the 1970s and can attest to how they handle.
“Keep in mind that the Badger has a lot of exposed hull — it’s really affected by the wind,” Tanner said. “There’s a lot of skill in the handling of that. It’s a very tall ship for its length and they get knocked around.”
Tanner said he had a group of mariners from Washington, D.C., on the Badger and they watched with mouths agape as the vessel was docked by pivoting on the anchor chain.
Hobbs had an unlimited tonnage master’s license and credentials for ocean-going vessels as well.
“He did work for the shipyard in Marinette on some government vessels, some very high-end navy vessels,” Tanner said.
A good captain, a better person
“He was always there whenever we needed help with an academic program or volunteer opportunity,” Berck said. “I’ve known Captain Hobbs, Dean, for so many years. I loved Dean and it’s just such a shock. Our concerns are now with his wife, Brenda, and their children.”
Berck said it was a tradition to bring the new class of cadets down from the GLMA each year and cross the lake on the Badger and Hobbs made it a special experience for them every time.
“Captain Hobbs would go out of his way with all these incoming cadets and give them all kinds of inside knowledge and speak with them,” Berck said. “We’re certainly going to miss him.
Hobbs was someone who cadets or instructors could reach out to with questions or for advice or help.
“He was really somebody who was always there as a liaison with the industry for the school,” Berck said. “He was proud of what happened for him here and the direction it took him in the industry but he was just a very humble fellow — as many successful people are. He was just a wonderful friend and supporter with the school.”
“He liked organizing things,” Tanner said. “He worked and dabbled and did all sorts of things.”
“He was very active in a lot of those things — he loved hockey. In fact, he helped set up a hockey game we held for years at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy between the cadets and the alumni. Dean was a goalie and he just loved that.”
Hobbs also arranged in May of 2003 to have the school’s ship meet the Badger for a salute between the ships outside Ludington’s harbor in 2003. He arranged it so the school ship’s first port of call on a trip around the lake that year was Ludington.
“I was very proud of that and so was Dean Hobbs,” Tanner said.
Berck said Hobbs was extremely knowledgeable and for years he tried to get him to write a book. He said he’ll be missed.
“It’s a close-knit, small industry and you won’t find anyone who doesn’t think he was one of the best captains in the industry but also one of the best people in the industry,” Berck said.
He was always a positive person with lots of energy and a quiet confidence.
“Forget the maritime, forget everything else, he was just a quality person who would do the heavy lifting behind the scenes for people he didn’t even know,” Berck said.
Comments of love and appreciation are coming in at www.facebook.com/ludingtondailynews.
They can also be sent here on this website by logging in or via Twitter @ludingtondn
*Captain Dean Hobbs was an big part of the Great Lakes Maritime Alumni Academy and will be missed by all.
Proposed dates for the GLMA Alumni Weekend are February 21 and 22, 2014. More details will be announced when they are received.
16 February 2013
Great Lakes Maritime Academy
A regular meeting of the membership of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy Alumni Association
was called to order in the Conference Room of the Great Lakes Maritime Academy at 1000.
Roll Call was taken and a quorum was established.
The following directors were present:
Jon Olney (President) Roger Henry
Mike Taetsch (Vice-president) Robert Noffze
John Biolchini (Secretary) Chuck Cart
Ben Feinman (Treasurer)
The following directors were absent:
Amanda Rogers John Sherburn
The following Alumni members were present:
John Hayes Linda Lieder
Bob Mason Frederick Otieno
Mike Schwartz Tim Dunn
The following guests were present:
RADM Gerald Achenback, USMS
Great Lakes Maritime Academy Alumni Assoc. 16 February 2013
Annual Meeting Minutes Page 2
Reports and Presentations
Jon Olney welcomed all in attendance and asked that reports and comments be kept on point to
facilitate a brief and productive meeting because he ‘by God didn’t want to be here all day.’
RADM Achenbach spoke to the members regarding recent developments and achievements at
the Academy including:
• Installed Bridge Simulator
• State granting of Community College Bachelors Degree (in development)
• Plan to provide USCG approved ECDIS endorsement Course at Academy (spearheaded
by CAPT John Biolchini)
• Training Vessel Captain hired: CAPT Joe McGuiness (USCG Ret.)
• GLMA passing rates for latest USCG License Exams reported
In addition Admiral Achenbach projected that placement for graduates would be very good:
Demand for engineers and mates on the Lakes is strong and growing, MSC interviewed 11
cadets and offered all a job, Gulf Industry continues to provide good opportunities.
The Superintendent also made an appeal for Alumni funds to support travel expenses for cadets
requiring USCG Exam Element retests in Toledo and for nominations for the Willard Smith
Academy Support Award.
Department Head Grant Reports
Tim Dunn gave a report for Deck Department Head CAPT Mike Surgalski on the spending of
the Alumni Grant. Mike used the funds to print the USCG Exam Almanac used by all Deck
cadets to prepare for licensing exams. The Alumni Logo was included on the front cover (see
enclosed cover and receipt).
Matt Schwartz delivered a report prepared by himself and the Engine Department Head Mike
Hochscheidt. They used accumulated Alumni grant funds to purchase “All-In-One” printers
for the Engineering offices and for an upgrade to the Centrifugal Pump Trainer (see enclosed
letter). Matt added that he and Mike very much appreciate the Alumni support.
John Biolchini reported that 750 Winter Newsletters were sent out with a new work-saving mailmerge of the contact database and the Academy’s printer and added that the Alumni have not
yet been billed by the Academy for our half of the postage (expected to be around $350).
Great Lakes Maritime Academy Alumni Assoc. 16 February 2013
Annual Meeting Minutes Page 3
The minutes from the 2012 Alumni meeting were provided for review. Mike Taetsch made
a motion “That the minutes of the 2012 Meeting be accepted as presented.” Ben Feinman
seconded motion. Motion passed.
Ben Feinman identified anticipated debits for the Friday Night Elks Mixer and for the Saturday
Night Wolf Lodge Dinner. He also reported that the Vanguard Account continues to provide
pennies in interest income and that those funds should be shifted to other vehicles – perhaps a
portfolio of staggered Certificates of Deposit for safety and liquidity.
The past year’s financial reports were provided for review (see enclosure). Mike Taetsch made
a motion “That the Treasures report be accepted as presented.” Chuck Cart seconded the
motion. Motion passed.
Jon Olney reported that an aluminum plaque (8” by 24”) identifying Alumni sponsorship of the
Memorial Light on the NW corner of the pier will, at last, be installed by NMC. The total cost of
the plaque and installation was $413 of which NMC was willing to pay $298 leaving a balance of
$115. President Olney used his discretionary authority to ensure that the Alumni would be good
for the remainder.
Mike Taetsch made a motion “That the Alumni pay the balance of the bill for the Memorial
Light Plaque installation in the amount of $115.” Ben Feinman seconded the motion. Motion
Jon Olney remarked that despite having sent out over 750 newsletters the Alumni continue to
have a low response rate as indicated by the meager 50 dues paying members now recorded.
There followed a discussion of the history of failed attempts to energize and involve the long
It was suggested that a smaller mailing, perhaps a postcard, that would still return the needed
address updates and corrections would suffice. It was finally determined that the cost savings
in shifting to a smaller medium would not be worth the loss of impact. It was further suggested
that new methods of attracting and involving the newer graduates be explored.
It was reported that generous contributions from the Alumni continue to provide enough money
to fund the Scholarship program. Tim Dunn moved that “The Cadet Scholarships (Deck and
Engine) continue to be funded at the current award of $750 each. Roger Henry seconded the
motion. Motion passed.
Jon Olney called for volunteers to form a Deck Scholarship and Engine Scholarship Committees
to provide the Board with nominees for approval. Forming the Deck Committee: Tim Dunn,
Great Lakes Maritime Academy Alumni Assoc. 16 February 2013
Annual Meeting Minutes Page 4
Ben Feinman, and Jon Olney. Forming the Engine Committee: Chuck Cart, Matt Schwartz, and
Department Head Discretionary Grants:
There was discussion and approval of the uses chosen by the Department Heads for the grants.
Concern was expressed that the monies not be directed to any other purpose than that decided
by the individual Department Heads.
Tim Dunn made a motion “That the Academy Deck and Engine Department Head Grants
continue to be funded at the current rate of $500 each. Bob Noffze seconded the motion.
Jon Olney reported on the turnout and costs of the Friday Night Social held at the Traverse
City Elks Lodge. He opined that it might be time to try something different. There followed a
discussion of whether of not to continue to fund alcohol at the Mixer function.
Mike Taetsch moved that “The Alumni Association provide no direct funding of alcohol for the
Friday Night Event.” Linda Lieder seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Mike Taetsch noted that the scheduling of the Alumni events on the same weekend as the
Presidents Holiday is making it difficult and expensive to schedule halls and find hotel rooms.
Mike Taetsch moved that “The Annual Alumni events be moved to the weekend following the
Presidents Day Holiday.” Tim Dunn seconded the motion. Motion passed. This would put
next year’s event on the 21
Bob Noffze moved “That a committee be formed at the direction of the Board President to plan
and execute the Alumni weekend events.” John Hayes seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Jon Olney reminded all that he had arranged for a dance floor and a Swing Dance instructor to
provide those wishing to remain after the dinner with the opportunity to learn and swing.
of February 2013.
Alumni Web site:
Tim Dunn reported that the Alumni web site: greatlakesmaritimealumni.org, hosted at Traverse
Web, continues to be provided free of charge by virtue of the Server’s “Pay It Forward Program”
This program pares a paying commercial site (in this case, Peg Dunn’s business site) with a
free non-profit site. The only charge is $15 per year to continue to hold the domain name.
Mike Taetsch made a motion that “The Alumni continue to operate the web site and to pay the
$15 to maintain the url.” Roger Henry seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Ocean Master’s Name Board:
Great Lakes Maritime Academy Alumni Assoc. 16 February 2013
Annual Meeting Minutes Page 5
Jon Olney noted that he had been approached by the Superintendent about a suggestion by
an alumna that a special name board be provided for those who achieve an Unlimited Oceans
Master’s License. There followed a lively discussion in which it was concluded that such a
discrimination was unnecessary as the current name boards honor all Masters & Registered
Pilots (any waters) just as the board which honors Chief Engineers honors all (Steam, Diesel, or
Cadet Concerns regarding time delay in receiving USCG Licenses:
Jon Olney reported that he had been made aware of cadets who were waiting an inordinate
amount of time to receive their credentials after having written exams in December. There was
concern that the Academy be any part of such a delay. Bob Mason noted that there should be
no reason for a delay on the part of the Academy and that if cadets are waiting it is likely the
fault of the National Maritime Center about which there is next to nothing anyone can do.
The 6th Annual Women on the Water Conference (WOW), sponsored by the Maritime Administration and hosted this year by SUNY Maritime Academy, is being held on October 31st – November 2nd, 2013.
WOW was created in 2007 to promote diversity in the maritime industry and to provide opportunities for the cadets/midshipmen at the seven state and federal maritime academies to interact and network with cadets from other academies and female leaders in the maritime industry. The event will be an excellent opportunity for the cadets to learn about the exciting careers that are open to them directly from successful women and men, as well as to hear about current issues affecting the maritime industry. It is also an excellent opportunity for the cadets and maritime professionals alike to meet and network with others in the maritime industry.
Who Should Attend: Maritime Academy Cadets and alumni, Maritime Associations, Ship Operators, Ship Owners, Ship Managers, Seafarer & Trade Union Representatives, Maritime Lawyers, Maritime Academy Representatives, and Maritime Industry Representatives.
Women on the Water
Trivia Night Fundraiser
May 2nd, 7 pm to 9 pm
Students $7, Adults $10
At Brengman Brothers Winery
9720 S Center Hwy, Traverse City, MI 49684
Join Women on the Water, a GLMA student organization, for a fun night of trivia on May 2nd. Light appetizers and soda will be provided, and Brengman Brothers’ wine will be available for purchase. Door prizes, dollar raffle tickets, and a grand prize will be awarded to the winning team. So get a group together and start studying up.
The annual Great Lakes Maritime Academy alumni weekend will be held Feb. 15 and 16 in Traverse City, MI. Friday night will the annual meet and greet, at the Elk’s Club in Traverse City. Saturday morning will be the alumni meeting at Great Lakes Maritime Academy, 10 AM. The dinner will be Saturday night at Great Wolf Lodge, Cocktails at 1800 and dinner at 1930. Dinner will be a buffet. The alumni newsletter containing details will be mailed out shortly. See you there!