STAFF AND CREW

JONATHAN KABAK
CEO

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 serves as webmaster and marketing coordinator, and head of the volunteer program. She also oversees the steward's department and winter maintenance on the vessel.

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

SHIP'S CREW 2020

KIP FILES
CAPTAIN

Bangor, Maine native Captain Kip Files started his sailing career at the age of 10 aboard his family's Friendship sloop. After graduating from the University of Maine at Orono in 1974, where he was captain of the varsity sailing team, he took his first traditional sailing command with the schooner Bill of Rights (Newport, RI) in 1978. He has captained numerous other sailing vessels, including two National Historic Landmark museum vessels: the 1877 barque Elissa of Galveston Historic Seaport, TX, and the 1841 Charles W. Morgan, the last wooden whaling ship in the world, owned by Mystic Seaport Museum, CT.

For 30 years, Capt. Files owned and operated the three-masted Chesapeake Ram schooner Victory Chimes, also a National Historic Landmark and the largest sailing passenger vessel in the United States. In addition to his underway experience, he also taught nautical science at Tabor Academy for 7 years and served as relief captain aboard the school's sail training vessel, Tabor Boy.

Capt. Files has served on the boards of Ocean Classroom, American Sail Training Association (now Tall Ships America) and is currently on the Board of the Ski and Snowboard Museum of Maine. When he is not sailing, he resides in Carrabassett Valley, Maine.

His credentials include:

  • USCG National Master of self-propelled vessels incl. Aux Sail of less than 1600 GRT upon Oceans
  • STCW Officer In Charge of a Navigational Watch

MIRANDA BAKER
MATE

Miranda Baker comes to OHPRI from Houston, Texas. She graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in 2013 and has been sailing aboard coastwise tankers for the last 7 years. In addition to working aboard SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, she also works as a chief mate for Crowley Petroleum Services. When she is not at sea, she currently lives in Newport and enjoys hiking, skiing, and rock-climbing.

Miranda’s credentials include:

  • USCG National Chief Mate of Steam & Motor of Unlimited Tonnage upon Oceans
  • STCW Officer In Charge of a Navigational Watch

GEORGIA HILTON
MATE

Georgia Hilton has been sailing since she was 12 and is a U.S. Navy veteran. Originally from Portland, Maine, Georgia began her maritime career by delivering yachts and charter boats along the U.S. East Coast and to and from the Bahamas. Over the course of her career, she has sailed as a senior deck officer or master of vessels ranging from small sailboats to 80 ft private yachts, and as crew on tall ships, including the Clipper City, Californian, and Manitou. While advancing her maritime career, she has also had 20+ years working in the tech field as a senior executive at Fortune 500 companies, such as Citigroup, and has run her own video production/post-production company. Georgia is also an ASA certified sailing instructor, teaching and coaching sailing and power boating. 

Georgia’s credentials include:

  • USCG National Master of self-propelled vessels incl. Aux Sail of less than 500 GRT upon Near Coastal Waters
  • RADAR Observer Unlimited
  • GMDSS Operator and Marine Radio Operator
  • STCW Officer In Charge of a Navigational Watch

ERIC IZZO
CHIEF ENGINEER

Eric comes to OHPRI from the north fork of Long Island with nearly a decade of experience on American-flagged commercial ships, the last 3 years of which have been as an engineering officer aboard gulf-based tankers. He is a proud alumnus of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (class of 2016) where he received a BS in Marine Engineering and was an active member of the school's waterfront programs, primarily the offshore sailing team. His education background consists of mentoring individual maritime academy cadets aboard commercial vessels as well as supervising cadet groups aboard various maritime academy training vessels.

While aboard OHP this season, Eric will be working toward a management-level unlimited engine license, various deck ratings, and an EIT (Engineer in Training) certificate.

Eric's credentials include:

  • USCG First Assistant Engineer, Unlimited
  • Lieutenant Junior Grade, U.S. Navy Reserve

JACKSON HRUSCHKA
ASSISTANT 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.