At the 2010 Passenger Vessel Association Convention at MariTrends in Tampa, Fla., the members of the PVA elected their new officers and board members. The new officers are:
Captain Kevin Stier, River Cruises, Scales Mound, Ill.
Captain Jay Spence, Massachusetts Bay Lines, Boston, Mass.
Paul Belforti, Entertainment Cruises, Chicago, Ill.
Captain Kevin Stier is the owner and operator of River Cruises. River Cruises offers two day overnight cruises on the Upper Mississippi River aboard the vessel Twilight. Captain Stier’s career started with him working on the Julia Belle Swain for the late Captain Dennis Trone, one of the original members of the PVA, throughout the span of his career Captain Stier has piloted the Julia Belle Swain, the Talisman and Twilight, of which he was instrumental in the construction. Captain Stier also spent thirteen years working for Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque, Iowa as Marine Director. In 2006, Captain Stier and his wife purchased the Twilight and began operating on the Upper Mississippi river between the Quad-Cities and Dubuque, Iowa. Captain Stier currently holds a 1600-ton Master of Great Lakes and Inland Waterways on its 5th issue. He was recently appointed by the Jo Daviess County Board as a member of the Upper Mississippi River International Port District. Captain Stier is a long serving member of the PVA having spent a number of years on the Board of Directors as well as chairing the Regulatory Committee; he has most recently held the positions of Secretary Treasurer and Vice President.
Captain Jay Spence is General Manager of Massachusetts Bay Lines in Boston, Mass. The family-owned business was founded in 1963 by Captain Spence’s father William Spence. Mass Bay Lines owns a fleet of six vessels, which offers sight-seeing, private charter and whale watching cruises and has been a member of PVA since 1978. Captain Spence began working for Mass Bay Lines in 1968 as a deckhand and later earned his pilot’s license. Captain Spence also owns the India Wharf Marina a 50-slip a marina in downtown Boston. He is also a member of the Boston Harbor Association, Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, the U.S. Propeller Club, Sector Boston Port Operator’s Group, Save the Harbor /Save the Bay and the Boston Area Maritime Security Committee. Captain Spence has been on the PVA Board of Directors for six years and had previously been Chairman of the Original Colonies Region, as well as having spent the last year as Secretary Treasurer.
Paul Belforti is the Senior Vice President of Operations for Entertainment Cruises Inc. based out of Chicago, Ill. operating 24 vessels in seven cities. Belforti’s career initiated when he served in a management positions for rent-a-car businesses in Ohio, New York and New England. Belforti has served in the capacity of General Manager and Regional Director for Spirit Cruises both for the Boston Operation and for Spirit Cruises Corporate functions as well. He has previously worked in various Management, Entrepreneurial and Executive capacities in the Hospitality, Retail and Passenger Vessel Industries in a career spanning 27 years. Belforti has served on the PVA Board of Directors for three years.
The PVA membership also elected four PVA Board members for new or continuing terms, including:
Terri Bernstein, B.B. Riverboats, Inc., Covington, Ky.
Marty Robbins, Vallejo Baylink Ferries, Vallejo, Calif.
Donald Fromm, Bridgeport/Port Jefferson Steamboat, Port Jefferson, N.Y.
Jeff Whitaker, Hudson River Cruises, Inc., Kingston, N.Y.