Gaspardo named president of Passenger Vessel Association

At the recent PVA Annual Convention at MariTrends 2018 held in Savannah, Ga., members of the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) elected Gus Gaspardo, Padelford Packet Boat Co., St. Paul, Minn., as PVA President for 2018.

Gaspardo is president of Padelford Packet Boat Co. Inc. Founded in 1969 by Capt. William Bowell Sr., Padelford provides a wide variety of public cruises and private events on the Mississippi River with three Subchapter K passenger vessels at Harriet Island Regional Park in downtown St. Paul. The company was a founding member of PVA and has been an active member in the association.

Gaspardo is president of Padelford Packet Boat Co. in St. Paul, Minn. PVA photo

Gaspardo is president of Padelford Packet Boat Co. in St. Paul, Minn. PVA photo

Padelford actively participates in drills and exercises with local Coast Guard, police and fire agencies and worked closely with the Maritime Security Response Team Chesapeake during the 2008 Republican convention.

He has been chairman of the Regulatory Committee for PVA, Rivers Region chair, participates in the PVA/Coast Guard Quality Partnership meetings and also participates in PVA-sponsored Congressional Fly-Ins.

In addition, Bob Lawler, general manager, Boston Duck Tours in Boston, was elected vice president. Boston Duck Tours operates 28 amphibious vehicles carrying over 600,000 passenger each year.

Lawler began his career in the maritime industry in 1990 as a deckhand with Bay State Cruise Co. in Boston. After he obtained his 100 ton Masters license and worked as a full time captain for Entertainment Cruises over the next 11 years in Boston, Chicago and Seattle, he returned home to Boston where he worked as general manager and vice president, marine operations for a fleet or 38 vessels in six ports until 2017. The company’s brands include Spirit Cruises, Odyssey, Bateaux New York, Elite Private Yachts, Mystic Blue Cruises, Seadog and Potomac Riverboat Co.

Colleen Stephens, president, Stan Stephens Glacier & Wildlife Cruises, was elected secretary-treasurer. Stan Stephens Cruises operates two catamarans in Prince William Sound, Alaska.

Stephens started her career in the maritime industry at the “experienced” age of seven in 1978 as she worked alongside her parents and sisters as they shared the glaciers and wildlife of the sound with Alaskan travelers. Through the years the company has operated a variety of Subchapter T vessels between the ports of Valdez, Whittier and Cordova. As time progressed, her role in the company changed to coordinating the operations of the business, overseeing crew and vessel safety training, as well as facilitating their marketing and promotions.

Steve Jones, Gateway Clipper Fleet, Pittsburgh, was elected to the PVA board of directors.

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