Managing Board Biographies
Mayor Peter Micciche
Mayor Micciche has lived around and been on the waters of Cook Inlet since 1982. He has served in many capacities around the water, including managing the ConocoPhillips Kenai LNG Waterfront Facility in Nikiski, being a Commercial Drift fisherman in Cook Inlet for the past 25 years, and currently serving on the Alaska Sea Life Center Board of Directors. Peter has served on the Area Maritime Security Committee for the USCG, as well as the Alaska Partnership for Infrastructure Protection. He graduated with a BA from Alaska Pacific University with a focus on business. Peter served as the Mayor of Soldotna, Alaska from 2008 until 2013, and was elected to serve as the Alaska State Senate representing District O on the Kenai Peninsula in Chair of Senate Finance and Co-Chair of Senate Energy. He now serves as the Mayor of the Kenai Peninsula Borough after being elected in February 2023. Peter is married to Erin Micciche, and they have four daughters ranging in ages from 20 years to 15 months. Senator Micciche and his family enjoy the sustenance and bounty of the natural resources of Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay where they often recreate in the summer months.
Captain Ron Ward
Captain Ward began his career at sea upon graduating from Maine Maritime Academy in 1980 when he began sailing out of the Masters Mates and Pilots Union hall. He focused on tankers with Maritime Overseas Corp. and worked his way up to Master Unlimited on their TAPS Vessels. Sailing into Valdez in 1990 as Chief Officer, he became enamored of Alaska and moved to Homer in 1993 to train with Southwest Alaska Pilots Association. He has been a state and federally licensed pilot with SWAPA since 1997 and served four terms as Association President. He has served as president of Middle Rock Inc. for ten years and has commissioned and overseen the construction and personally delivered the two pilot vessels in service in Valdez. Captain Ward currently serves as Chair of the Anchorage Port Commission, Maine Maritime Alumni Association Board of Directors, and served four years on the Alaska Board of Marine Pilots. Ron and Lori, his wife of 39 years have two grown daughters and two grandchildren. They split their time between Anchorage in the winter and Homer in the summer season.
Michael Munger has been the Executive Director of Cook Inlet RCAC since 2003 after serving 2 years as CIRCAC’s Director of Operations. Mike brings over 39 years of experience working with the oil industry in Alaska, both in Cook Inlet and the North Slope. Prior to Cook Inlet RCAC, he was with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation during which time he served as an Environmental Specialist responsible for regulatory oversight of all Cook Inlet exploration, production, and refining facilities.
Captain Paul Mehler, III
Chairman, Cook Inlet Harbor Safety Committee
Captain Mehler serves as Senior Port Captain for Marathon Petroleum, managing all marine operations for Alaska. Prior to joining the Marathon team, Captain Mehler served over 25 years in the United States Coast Guard. Tours included; United States Senate Fellow, Commanding Officer MSU Chicago, Coast Guard Liaison to the Department of Homeland Security, Operations Officer on International Training Division, MSD Supervisor in Bucksport, Maine, and Chief Port State Control Division in Galveston, Texas. His most recent tour being the Sector Commander, Captain of the Port for Western Alaska, and the Arctic. Captain Mehler has extensive experience as a Marine Inspector, CG Investigator and has served as the FOSC in multiple high-profile responses. Capt. Mehler is a Port Commissioner for the Port of Alaska. He holds a B.S. in Marine Transportation from Massachusetts Maritime Academy and a M.S. in Quality Systems Management.
Paul and his wife Michelle were first stationed in Alaska in 2012 and moved to Sterling in 2015 upon retirement and joining Tesoro.
Captain Mark Nielsen
Captain Nielsen is responsible for the day-to-day global marine operations for Marathon Petroleum Corporation. He is married with 3 children and 1 grandchild.
Captain Nielsen is a 1983 graduate of the SUNY Maritime College in Throgs Neck, NY. He sailed as a deck officer in all ranks with Maritime Overseas Corporation and OSG Ship Management, Inc. on oil tankers and spent the final ten years of his 24-year career at sea as Master on product tankers before coming ashore with Tesoro/Andeavor in 2011. Prior to his sea going career, Captain Nielsen worked in the aerospace industry for just over 3 years.
In August 2011, Captain Nielsen joined Tesoro as Marine Superintendent in Long Beach, CA. Captain Nielsen has previously served on the LA/LB Harbor Safety Committee as Marine Oil Terminals Chair as well as Tank Vessel Operator Chair prior to becoming Manager of Global Marine Operations and moving to San Antonio, TX.