October 10, 2018 • Renaissance Seattle Hotel • Seattle, Washington


Tim Aguirre

HMS Ferries

Tim Aguirre is a general manager and the safety management system designated person for HMS Ferries, a division of HMS Global Maritime. He most recently partnered with HMS Consulting in leading a team that converted the Gee’s Bend Ferry to the first 100% electric passenger vehicle ferry in the United States. Previously Tim completed a career in the US Coast Guard. He has served in both afloat and aviation assignments that included operations officer, facilities engineer and chief of training for the HU25 Fleet. He is also a certified naval science instructor and has flown commercially for JetBlue Airways.


Tim has been awarded a bachelor of science in civil engineering from the United States Coast Guard Academy and a master of public administration from St. Mary’s University. He is presently completing a master of transportation and engineering management at the California Maritime Academy.

Andy Bennett

KPFF Consulting Engineers

Andy Bennett, Principal, KPFF, is an MIT-trained naval architect with a passion for the “big picture” challenges faced by ferry system operators. His background includes more than 30 years of planning, design, and construction of waterfront facilities, vessels, and terminals. Building on his master’s degree in coastal zone management from the University of Washington, Andy has managed numerous waterfront planning and design projects, ranging from single vessel education/tour vessels to 15-vessel high-speed ferry systems. Andy’s recent experience includes the design of the world’s longest cable ferry system in British Columbia, a new multi-modal ferry terminal in Mukilteo, WA, and a number of ferry planning, operations, and maintenance studies on both the East and West Coasts. He is also the board president of Northwest Seaport, a maritime heritage and workforce development non-profit organization in Seattle.

Alice Brown

Boston Harbor Now

Alice is the director of planning at Boston Harbor Now. Her work primarily focuses on expanding mobility choices and activating open spaces. She is working to promote and expand water transportation options, including the development of business plans for new ferry routes, and she is also shaping a vision for Harborwalk 2.0 to make the Boston waterfront and harbor islands more accessible and resilient. Prior to joining Boston Harbor Now, Alice worked on transportation and resilience planning at the Boston Transportation Department (as the project manager for Go Boston 2030), at Sasaki, and at LivableStreets. Alice holds a BS in math and a BA in philosophy from the Ohio State University, an MS in teaching from Pace University, and an MUP from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

Liz Diedrich

Diedrich RPM

Liz Diedrich has more than 20 years’ experience as an entrepreneur and business leader. Through her career, she has developed and led businesses in strategic planning, sales, marketing and research. Liz has a reputation for generating innovative strategies that create competitive leverage and increased sales and revenue.


She started her first company at age 20 while still in college, where she invented and manufactured a product, which was sold to Tupperware. She has lived in Germany where she taught college for the United States Armed Forces for three institutions: The University of Maryland, Central Texas College and City Colleges of Chicago. She founded a marketing business in 1994 called Creative Marketing, recently re-branded Diedrich RPM (Research Propelled Marketing).


She continues to develop and lead marketing strategies for her clients. Part of the company’s success lies in the comprehensive research she brings to her clients, which helps drive creative vision, on-the-ground execution and ultimately measurable results and enhanced ROI. Her team has conducted quantitative studies in more than 1000 geographic markets that targeted more than 100 million consumers and business decision-makers. Diedrich RPM has also performed focus groups across the globe.


In July 2013 Liz initiated another venture with the inception of Destiny Cruises, LLC and sold this company to a local resort on December 31, 2018.


Liz is active on multiple boards for public, non-profit and private companies – currently she is a director with The Tri-State Manufacturing Association, served two terms on the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce board and was previously the chair for Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce, she served as a director for Scholarship America, and is on the business advisory boards of Anchor Bank, MOM’s, and MNSCU.

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Greg Dronkert

Pacific Mobility Group, Inc.

Greg is the founder and president of Pacific Mobility Group, Inc., a family of land and marine transportation, travel and service companies that serve government, private industry and direct consumers.


Greg is an engineering graduate of the California Maritime Academy and sailed in licensed positions in both the deck and engineering departments before progressing through senior and executive management positions ashore.


Over the years Greg has served as president and COO of HMS Ferries; director of the Alaska Marine Highway System; president and CEO of Glacier Bay Cruiseline; and vice president and general manager of Alaska Ship and Drydock.


Greg attended the University of Washington’s marine transportation and port planning program and has an MBA in shipping and logistics from Middelsex University.

Michael Gougherty

Water Emergency Transportation Authority

Mike Gougherty is a senior transportation planner with the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA). Before joining WETA, Mike worked as an access planner for the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) where he managed bicycle access and station wayfinding projects. His current responsibilities at WETA include capital project development, fare policy, station access planning, and ridership forecasting.


Mike is a member of the TRB Ferry Transportation Committee. He is from Detroit, MI and is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a BA in political science. Mike received a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of California-Berkeley and currently resides in San Francisco, CA.

Peter Philips

Philips Publishing Group

Peter is the president of Philips Publishing Group, publishers of trade journals for the maritime and transportation industries. In the years since Philips Publishing was founded by Peter’s father in 1983, the company has grown to become the largest maritime and transportation publishing house on the West Coast. Titles include Pacific Maritime Magazine, aimed at West Coast commercial vessel and terminal operators, FOGHORN, the official publication of the Passenger Vessel Association, Clipper Vacations Magazine, published for Seattle’s Clipper Navigation, Catalina Express Magazine, published for Catalina Express, Pacific Fisheries Review and Fishermen’s News, the oldest commercial fishing publication on the Pacific Coast.


In addition to publishing trade journals, Philips Publishing also specializes in creative design services for the maritime and transportation industries, with clients across the country. Peter is the immediate past president of the Seattle Marine Business Coalition, which represents the interests of marine industrial land users. Peter is past president of the Port of Seattle Chapter of the Propeller Club, and past regional vice president, West Coast, of the International Propeller Club. Peter has a BA in history from Whitman College, and has been employed in the maritime publishing field since 1985.

Dr Joseph Pratt, PhD

Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine

Dr. Joseph Pratt serves as CEO and CTO of Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine. He is a world-leading expert in zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell maritime technology with more than 20 years’ experience in hydrogen fuel cells including 8 years at Sandia National Laboratories. Golden Gate Zero Emission Marine produces the most advanced marine power systems on the market, based on hydrogen fuel cell technology. The company is showcasing the technology on the first hydrogen fuel cell vessel in North America. Named Water-Go-Round, the 70-foot aluminum catamaran is capable of carrying 84 passengers and reaching speeds up to 22 knots.

William H. Singer

Pacifica Law Group

Will is an associate in Pacifica’s public finance and municipal law group. He serves primarily as bond counsel and disclosure counsel in a variety of tax-advantaged financings. Will also advises municipal governments on a range of general matters.


Prior to law school, Will worked in local government and politics in Washington, DC. He served as a legislative aide, and later, as the budget director for former District of Columbia councilmember and mayor Adrian Fenty. Will also worked on several election campaigns, including Mr. Fenty’s successful 2006 mayoral campaign.


Will clerked at the Washington State Court of Appeals for Judge Lisa R. Worswick. Prior to joining Pacifica, he was an associate at Hillis Clark Martin & Peterson PS where he practiced public finance with an emphasis on nonprofit and health care institution financing.


Will earned a BA in politics at Oberlin College and a JD at Northwestern University School of Law.


Will enjoys bowling in a league and coaching youth sports. As an amateur bartender, he makes cocktails, bitters, and liqueurs at home.

Edmund Welch

Passenger Vessel Association

Edmund B. Welch has been legislative director for the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) since 1997. PVA is the national trade association representing owners and operators of commercial US-flagged passenger vessels of all types, including ferries. Others for whom Ed currently provides or previously performed legislative services include the Union of Greek Shipowners; the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association; Dare County, NC; and other maritime and agricultural organizations.


From 1975 to 1994, Ed served on the staff of the US House of Representatives, including 12 years as staff director and chief counsel of the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries. This committee had jurisdiction over shipping, the Coast Guard, the Panama Canal, numerous coastal and marine environmental laws, and offshore energy resources. Ed was extremely involved in the debates on and drafting of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. He is a member of the North Carolina State Bar, a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a former trustee for the North Carolina chapter of the Nature Conservancy

Margaret Woodbridge

US Coast Guard

LT Margaret Woodbridge is a marine inspector at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound, where she inspects the local domestic vessel fleet for compliance with federal safety standards. Previously, Margaret was the project officer for hybrid and electric vessels at the Coast Guard Marine Safety Center, reviewing new construction and conversion design proposals and developing the first design equivalencies for Li-ion battery installations on US commercial vessels. Her first tour was as an engineer on the heavy icebreaker USCGC Polar Star. Margaret has a BS in naval architecture & marine ngineering from the Coast Guard Academy, a MS in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, and is a licensed professional engineer in Virginia.