Meet The Crew
Our marine instructors are a mix of domestic and international Masters all with extensive industry experience. They are individually accredited by Transport Canada for the courses they teach, hold approved Provincial teaching credentials and are well-connected in the industry.
Campus and New Business Development Director
Cheryl joined the team at WMI in 2018 as the Chief Instructor Simulator. Cheryl’s passionate advocacy to incorporate hands-on learning aligns with the increasing demand from the marine industry to provide more advanced, practical training systems. She is a certified Master Mariner with experience sailing with Princess Cruise Lines and on a variety of vessel in the Canadian Coast Guard fleet. Cheryl also served as the Director of Training for the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Organization (RCM-SAR), where she developed the simulator training programs to supplement classroom and on-water training. She is enthusiastic about training and enjoys working with new students in the classroom and learning from their experiences.
Chris Badger has over 40 years in the marine industry. Since retiring from the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority as Chief Operating Officer, he has facilitated and led a number of marine related projects including a review of marine pilotage in BC, and an assessment on the use of escort tugs in Haro Strait and Boundary Pass for tankers. Chris holds a certificate of competency as a Master Mariner foreign going, a Bachelor’s of General Studies from Simon Fraser University (SFU) and a Diploma in Executive Management Development from SFU. He has been an instructor at WMI since 2017.
Serge Chiasson CD1
Serge was born and raised on the Magdalen Islands in the gulf of St Lawrence. Growing up in this remote fishing community, he was always interested in the marine world. At 18 he joined the Navy and through his 29-year career he taught different aspects of seamanship; this experience also included working at the Damage Control School in Colwood as a Flood Instructor. He continues to enjoy passing on his knowledge as well as the classroom interaction with the students. On his time off he likes woodworking, playing guitar, fishing on the west coast and spending time with his wife and 4 children.
Alberic de Koninck
Chief Instructor Block Credit Courses
Growing up in Ladysmith and a graduate of the Canadian Coast Guard College, Alberic has spent his whole life working in the marine industry. In addition to the Coast Guard on buoy tenders, ice breakers and weather ships, he has worked with Stena Line, Northlake Shipping and BC Ferries where he retired after 30 years. In the past he instructed at North Island College and continues his passion for teaching and mentoring students and officers as they pursue their dreams. When not teaching or working with his team of Instructors Al can be found on the water exploring , fishing or helping his wife with their craft business.
Paul Gibas CD
Born in Shoreham-by-Sea, Great Britain. Paul immigrated to Canada and became a Canadian citizen in 1978. Over 25 years of experience in the Military with expertise in Marine Engineering, Damage Control, Control systems and Firefighting. Experienced instructor in an adult learning environment, teaching a wide range of courses to various levels of expertise. Recipient of the Canadian Peacekeeping Service medal, NATO medal for Former Yugoslavia, and Canadian Forces Decoration with 1st Clasp.
I am a mariner with experience that spans decades. I studied Marine Navigation Technology which lead to work on the Great Lakes as cadet, wheelsman, and Watchkeeping Mate.
I relocated to BC and worked for the Coast Guard MCTS for seventeen years. I returned to work on the water as engineer and mate on a 160’ fishing vessel, on tugs going as far south as San Diego and captained passenger and whale watching vessels. I recently had the good fortune to be mate on a trip to the Arctic. I live aboard my own boat in Cowichan Bay.
Born on the Island of Bute, Scotland, Gordon graduated from school at 15, and followed his ambition to become a seafarer at 16. He came ashore at 40 after 11 years in command, mainly Bulk Carriers up to 85,000 tonnes. As Marine Superintendent for Scottish Ship Management, spent 1 year in Rio De Janeiro supervising building 6 ships and 9 months in Japan in a similar position for 4 vessels.
After he left the sea He became the Harbour Master for Prince Rupert and 4 years later was invited to be the HM for Vancouver. He was appointed as Vice President Operations in 1996 and in 2001 the Board of Directors chose him to be the President & CEO. Retiring in 2009 he established a Nautical Consulting firm and worked mainly in China, South America and the United States
After retirement (again) he was introduced to WMI and enjoys teaching future seafarers.
George has spent his entire life working on the water and enjoys every aspect of seafaring on every type of vessel, in our BC coastal waters as well as internationally.
He owned and operated two fishing vessels, ran tugs and sailed deep sea, retiring as master. He then served the maritime industry as a public servant, working for Transport Canada Marine Safety as an inspector and examiner. George now enjoys teaching and guiding younger seafarers towards their future careers and being part of the dedicated professionalism of the Western Maritime Institute.
Captain Maciej Krok is a graduate of Merchant Navy Academy in Poland with a Master’s Degree in Sea Transportation and Nautical Studies. He has 40 years of seafaring experience on general cargo, semi-container, fishing factory and RO-RO ships.
Raymond has worked on various deep-sea vessels, starting as a cadet, and progressively working up to Master (last 5 years). This was followed by 10 years with B.C. Ferries in its Northern Gulf Island operations as an officer and Senior Master. Raymond then moved to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada working as a senior investigator/manager for its West Coast office in Richmond, BC. While at TSB, he advanced safety within various fishing communities and their families through educational safety presentations in stability, emergency duties, and lifesaving equipment. This included a Vietnamese community in Prince Rupert using an interpreter and an interactive stability model.
Instructed at BCIT Marine Campus for two semesters. Since March of 2020, he has been with WMI. He loves to cook, and over the years has taught himself French, Spanish, Japanese (including writing in Katakana and Hiragana); can manage marginally well in all three and dabbled in learning Mandarin. Raymond is happily married (he thinks) with two adult kids and a Labradoodle.
Originally from Quebec City, I moved to Vancouver Island in 1995 in pursuit of the great outdoors and once I laid eyes on the Pacific Ocean off the West Coast of Vancouver Island, I never looked back!
With a deep attraction for the sea, I eventually joined the Canadian Coastguard where I had the opportunity to serve for ten years on various ships and Lifeboat stations.
Once I made my way “out of the Hawse Pipe”, I climbed my way up towards the bridge and obtained my Watchkeeping Mate-Near Coastal and 150 T. Master. After a stint as the CCG liaison Officer to RCM-SAR I ended up joining the RCM-SAR as the Chief Instructor.
After ten years of building and revising training curriculum to better address the ever-changing needs of a province-wide organization and developing a training team and maintaining assets, I made the transition to commercial mariner training and joined the dynamic team of instructors at WMI in November of 2021.
I thrive on bringing relevancy and practicality to mariners of all levels, who I have the privilege to assist during their learning experience at WMI. My favorite topics include Meteorology, Radar Navigation, Chartwork and small vessel handling.
Mitch Miller started out his maritime career aboard Great Lakes freighters in 1980 and has been teaching Transport Canada courses as a Maritime Education Associate since 2008, well-before the Western Maritime Institute emerged as the top-rated marine training college that it is today.
Mitch’s west coast experience includes crewing on an Alaskan cruise ship and more recently, working with BC Ferries. On a personal level, his Catalina 470 in the Gulf Islands offers navigational challenges and the opportunity to practice the skills he loves to teach in the classroom.
Kevin Monahan began his maritime career as a commercial fisherman in BC. He fished for 12 years, in various fisheries before obtaining his first nautical certificate (WKM). Kevin worked coastal fish-farm transports, passenger ferries and passenger vessels, and as a DFO patrol vessel master. This led to being absorbed into the Canadian Coast Guard, where he continued to operate patrol vessels of all sizes. Kevin served three years as the Coast Guard Superintendent of Boating Safety (Pacific) and then transferred to Marine Safety HQ in Ottawa, where he was responsible for managing regulatory projects. In 2012 he retired from the public service and moved back to the West Coast.
Kevin is the author of a number of books and articles, including The Radar Book, Local Knowledge–A Skipper’s Reference and GPS-Instant Navigation. Kevin now splits his time between instructing at WMI and publishing Ports and Passes, the Pacific Northwest Tide and Current Guide.
Walter is the one on the right.
Walter Premier is an Instructor at WMI with over twenty years of experience teaching Marine and Hazmat courses. In the classroom, Walter is patient, positive and mindful of the ultimate goal, to ensure that all participants work hard, have a good understanding of the subject and are successful. He has a Master Mariner, NC Certificate and a Bachelors Degree in Chemistry. Walter was inspired a by a quote from Ronnie Hawkins (founder of “Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks”, with the Hawks later becoming “The Band”): “If you aren’t working at it, you aren’t getting any better”
Roger Trant graduated from the Canadian Coast Guard College in Nova Scotia as a Marine Engineer. After spending nine years working for the Coast Guard up to the rank of Chief Engineer, he moved to BC Ferries. Roger worked at Ferries for 24 years, progressing to the role of Engineering Superintendent. While working as a Superintendent he was responsible for the operational and safety condition of seven vessels. This included budgeting, personnel issues, planning refits and vessel modifications. He also ensured vessels met or exceeded the requirements of regulatory bodies and met passenger expectations. After leaving BC Ferries, Roger worked as a project manager on many vessels for both new construction and in vessel repair and modifications, primarily in the tow boat industry. Roger feels that every day in the industry is an opportunity to learn new facts and skills and the learning never stops.
Allen is a Master Mariner and has also completed the Extra Master Course in the UK. In 1990 he completed the Certificate in Transportation at McGill University. He holds the Advanced Diploma in International Maritime Law, and has over 20 years sea experience on oil tankers, bulk-carriers and a seismic surveying vessel. He has sailed both deep-sea and on Canadian domestic vessels. Allen has 23 years service with Transport Canada Marine Safety, and 5 years experience in shore-based commercial ship management.