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.

David Badior

David Badior

Campus Director/Chief Instructor

Dave was infected with the sailor bug while working at Matsumoto Shipyards 39 years ago. He spent 12 years in the Navy specializing in navigation, pilotage and ship handling including training those subjects ashore (simulators) and afloat for years. He also has spent time on tankers, BC Ferries, towing and working on research vessels equipped with ROVs, AUVs and testing experimental submarines. Dave also dabbles in yacht deliveries and training private owners of large vessels and their families on vessel operations and safety. Dave still likes to head off to sea and the last trip he undertook was to the arctic working with the Parks Canada team exploring the Franklin wrecks Terror and Erebus.

Chris Badger

Instructor

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.

Cheryl Caldwell

Cheryl Caldwell

Chief Instructor Simulator

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.

Serge Chiasson CD1

Serge Chiasson CD1

Instructor

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.

Paul Gibas CD

Paul Gibas CD

Instructor

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.

Dave Gilbert

Dave Gilbert

Instructor

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.

George Karras

George Karras

Instructor

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.

Maciej Krok

Maciej Krok

Instructor

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 Mathews

Raymond Mathew

Instructor

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.

Mitch Miller

Mitch Miller

Instructor

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

Kevin Monahan

Instructor

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 Premier

Walter is the one on the right.

Walter Premier

Instructor

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

Instructor

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 Williams

Allen Williams

Instructor

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.