STAFF AND CREW

JONATHAN KABAK
CEO
CAPTAIN

Captain Jonathan Kabak is an internationally recognized expert on maritime training and education under sail. Originally hailing from New York City, Jonathan’s maritime career began in the Sea Scouts and aboard the ships of the South Street Seaport Museum. Over the course of his career he has sailed in command of vessels ranging from landmark tall ships to high performance racing sailboats, maritime academy training vessels to luxury motor yachts. When not involved in vessel operations, he is sought after as an instructor and curriculum developer, specializing in STCW and Coast Guard approved training for commercial mariners, and as well as teaching at US and World Sailing Safety at Sea Seminars. 

Prior to joining OHPRI first as a consultant and then as Chief Executive Officer in early 2019, Jonathan served in a variety of leadership roles at the United States Merchant Marine Academy Waterfront and with the USMMA Sailing Foundation. 

Jonathan serves on the Board of Tall Ships America, where he is the Chairperson of the Ship Operations and Safety Committee and the Annual Conference Planning Committee. A transplant to the Ocean State, Jonathan now calls Portsmouth, RI home with his wife Jennifer and two children Olivia and Nathaniel.

DAN O'CONNOR
PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Dan is a lifelong resident of Rhode Island and began his career in marine safety inspections, sales, and training, including working with US Sailing’s Safety at Sea Seminars. As a USCG accepted marine safety instructor, he worked with various stakeholders to establish and develop the curriculum for Fishing Partnership Support Services’ safety and survival training. Dan has also worked as a marine surveyor as well as an outside sales rep for a local marine wholesale distributor, working with marinas, boatyards, and builders.

Outside of his professional career, Dan coaches local youth hockey and lacrosse. With Newport Hockey, Dan served as the Learn to Skate director, followed by the Mite Level (8 and under) director. During this time Dan helped the organization become one the first youth hockey programs in the country to adopt the American Developmental Model, which is currently being rolled out by nearly all governining body of sports in the US. Dan has served on the boards of the United States Marine Safety Association, as well as Newport County Youth Hockey and Portsmouth Youth Lacrosse.

Dan currently resides in Little Compton with his wife Teresa and their two sons.

JEN KENDRIGAN
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS MANAGER

Jen Kendrigan comes to Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island with a strong background in education, university recruitment, and admissions. She has previously taught at the elementary school level in Fairfax County, VA. She has also worked as a recruiter for State Street Corporation, Boston, and as Assistant Director of Admissions in undergraduate admissions at Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI. Jen holds a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from Providence College and a Master’s in Elementary Education from Lesley University.

Jen has always loved the ocean and began sailing in 1996 as a walk-on member of the Providence College Sailing Team. For the last few seasons, she has been working in a part-time marketing and sales role at Classic Cruises of Newport, home of Schooner Madeleine and Rum Runner II.

GER TYSK
MARINE OPERATIONS ASSOCIATE
MATE

Ger Tysk began sailing in 2008 and has worked as a deckhand, cook, steward, and mate aboard tall ships operating on the east coast of the United States as well as in Europe and the Caribbean. Before joining Oliver Hazard Perry, she sailed with Sea Education Association and Mystic Seaport Museum. Here at OHPRI, she oversees winter maintenance on the vessel as well as serving as webmaster, social media and marketing coordinator, and head of the volunteer program.

In addition to her work at OHPRI, Ger is a maritime writer and photographer. Her work has been featured in publications such as Classic Boat, Women Offshore, and Marlinspike Magazine. She also serves on the conference planning committee for Tall Ships America.

Ger’s credentials include:

  • USCG National Master of self-propelled vessels incl. Aux Sail of less than 100 GRT upon Great Lakes and/or Inland Waters
  • USCG National Mate of self-propelled vessels incl. Aux Sail of less than 200 GRT upon Near Coastal Waters
  • USCG Able Seaman - Special and Lifeboatman Ltd
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • ServSafe Food Handler Certification

BRAHM WALTER
BOSUN

Brahm was born in Southern California and raised in Texas. He began his tall ship career as a student on Sea|mester in 2015, sailing on S/Y Argo from the Mediterranean Sea across the Atlantic Ocean. He then joined the square-rigged tall ship Picton Castle on an around-the-world voyage as a trainee and assistant engineer and came to Oliver Hazard Perry in July 2019. As bosun at OHP, Brahm oversees maintenance and safety on deck and in the rigging as well as assisting with trainee education and watchstanding. He is currently applying for his first Merchant Mariner Credential, and would like to tell anyone reading this: "Travel now, not later!"

JACKSON HRUSCHKA
ENGINEER

A native of central Pennsylvania, Jackson has been with the Oliver Hazard Perry since June 2019, first as a deckhand and then assistant engineer. Before coming to OHPRI, he worked as part of the maintenance crew of the Draken Harald Hårfagre, a replica Viking longship. Jackson holds a bachelors degree in industrial design and spent time in the Peace Corps, based in Micronesia.

Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Our mission is to provide innovative and empowering education-at-sea programs to promote personal and professional growth.