Monday, April 22, 2024

T-minus 5 Days, Meet the Slate of Directors

The inaugural muster is only five days away!  One of the first official acts the membership of the new Naval Heritage Society is going to have to take on is to elect a new Board of Directors.  Since many of us are already circulating and talking about this, we've already formed a slate of candidates that, pending any changes, will be the first to fill their respective offices.

Director of Logistics - Daniel O’Brien

Born in Huntington, New York. Graduated New York Maritime College at Fort Schuyler Class of 2014. While at Fort Schuyler Dan studied Small Vessel Operations where he trained to be a licensed mariner and participated in the cadet artillery program and later on founded Fort Schuyler Alumni Association. In 2017 Dan had a short term contract at New York Maritime and became the faculty advisor for the Cadet Artillery.

Dan is a Z-Drive tug operator for Moran Towing Corporation in Norfolk, Virginia and surrounding areas.  In his off time Dan enjoys keeping busy. In the summer time as a Captain for First Landing Charters LLC. &  Atlantic Launch LLC.

When not on the water Dan continues to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps not only as a Merchant Marine but as a business owner, making quarterboards for ships and tugs which can be spotted on vessels from Maine to Puerto Rico.


Communications Director – Jason Romine

My name is Jason Romine. I am the Communications Director for the Naval Heritage Society. I am a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of North Texas and a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Sam Houston State University. If you couldn't tell by my college Alma Maters, I am originally from Texas. I grew up in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and moved to the Hampton Roads area of Virginia in October of 2022. I have been married for 19 years as of this writing. My wife and I live in the Olde Towne neighborhood of Portsmouth. We have 4 dogs, 2 cats, and 4 pet rats (plus a few unwelcomed guest rats that occasionally make nests of the insulation in our basement). I do not tell our pet rats what I do to the basement rats, as it would undoubtedly put a strain on our relationship. Suffice it to say, it is violent and quite satisfying. But we'll keep that between us.

After several years in the Criminal Justice field as a criminal defense investigator, corporate investigator, process server, and fugitive recovery specialist, I started anew in education 6 years ago. I teach U.S. and World History, and I coach baseball and football. I am currently teaching history and coaching football at Woodside High School in Newport News, VA.

In my free time, I am a musician, historian, an avid reader of historical nonfiction, and I have been an active member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for a little over 18 years. I was a host of a radio show in Denton, Texas for nearly 4 years before moving to Virginia. I also have a lifelong love of movies, TV, and video games, and weird folk art.

Secretary - Phelicia O’Brien 

Born and raised in New Jersey Phelicia graduated from New York Maritime College at Fort Schuyler, Class of 2014. While at Fort Schuyler Phelicia studied Marine Environmental Science and received her USCG Third Mates Unlimited license to operate large vessels worldwide. Phelicia was a member of the cadet artillery program and is a current active member of the Fort Schuyler Alumni artillery group. 

After a few short months working on harbor tugs in Corpus Christi, TX Phelicia moved to the Hampton Roads area in July of 2015 with her husband Daniel. 

Today Phelicia currently works for Hornbeck Offshore in Port Fourchon, LA as a Second Mate on offshore supply vesselssupporting the US Gulf Oilfield. She had recently had the opportunity to work overseas in Trinidad & Tobago as well as Columbia. 

When not at work Phelicia enjoys traveling to new places both stateside and international. It is her life’s goal to not only visit all 50 states but also be able to say she has hiked in every national park and vacationed on every continent. She has a deep love for attending music festivals world wide where she gets to meet people from all walks of life and create everlasting friendships.

Financial Director – Chris Peterson

Chris has served in the United States Coast Guard for 12 years.  His served aboard the Cutter MORGENTHAU and as administrative petty officer at the National Motor Lifeboat School in Ilwaco, WA.  Chris later transferred to an administrative support role in Galveston, where he also completed his bachelor’s degree and transferred to the USCG Reserve.

Chris was recalled to active duty at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to serve as an administrative member to the FEMA team in Norfolk, VA.  He stayed on at the Office of Director of Operational Logistics as a management and performance analyst, and was selected for commissioning in 2022.

Chris currently serves as the Assistant to the Advanced Education Program Manager at FORCECOM.  He has an MBA from St. Mary’s University (Texas), a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Grand Canyon University (Arizona), and an Associates degree in business administration from American Military University (West Virginia).  He is now pursuing a Master of Science in Technology Commercialization at the University of Texas at Austin.

During his off time, Chris enjoys hiking, swimming, reading, and investing. He has a deep love of the North Georgia Mountains and the Texas Hill Country. He has a particular interest in presidential history and electoral politics.

Historical Director - Will King

A native of Rochester NY, Will is a 2005 graduate of New York Maritime College where he majored in Naval Architecture, earned dual deck and engine licenses, and founded the Cadet Artillery group. 

He commissioned into the Navy, where he served aboard USS FORT MCHENRY, USS CARTER HALL, and USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT, then ashore at US Fleet Forces Command and the U.S. Naval Academy.  After active duty he stayed in the reserves and served as a inspector for the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey.

Will returned to the Merchant Marine in 2015, serving as mate and master aboard DP2 oilfield supply vessels in the Gulf of Mexico.  He left the Gulf to join the Seattle company Rockfish, Inc to search for the wreck of the SS Pacific.  Returning to the east coast, he is now a partner at Topsail Development.

Will was a founding member of the Lobsterback Society, which morphed to become the original Naval Heritage Society.  In his spare time he works on the model railroad in his garden, and sails with his wife Emily in their boat Working Girl from Scott’s Creek near their home in Olde Towne Portsmouth.  They have three girls, Abigail (12), Julia (10) and Katherine (7 mos).

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