Volunteer profile: Jamie Callaghan July 28, 2016
I have been working for TowBoatU.S. Fort Lauderdale since July of 2014. I started as a Dispatcher, and had the opportunity to grow into the role of HR Administrator. In November of 2015 supervision of the dispatch staff was added to my list of responsibilities. I grew up in Weymouth, MA and I hold my 100 Ton Masters License. For several years, I ran fast ferries during the summer in Boston Harbor and tour boats during the winter in Fort Lauderdale. While I was living seasonally in South Florida, I met a great guy from Pompano Beach and here I am.
Do you have any family members who are involved in the marine industry?
My family isn’t directly involved in the Marine Industry, but I grew up on boats. My father worked on the Boston Harbor Islands and my mother volunteered out there during the summer. I spent most of my time riding around on the ferries and workboats. When I wasn’t there I was sailing, kayaking, or canoeing on the South Shore of Boston.
What prompted your involvement in MIASF and what did you enjoy most from volunteering for Safe Boating Day, Waterway Cleanup, and Marine Industry Day? When I began working for TowBoatU.S. Fort Lauderdale we had a booth at the Job Fair during the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. I met a lot of great people and I knew I wanted to be involved in what MIASF does for South Florida and the Marine Industry.
I enjoyed volunteering for Safe Boating Day because it is imperative for people to be informed about boating safety. The ocean is beautiful, but unforgiving. Whether you are out on the water commercially or recreationally, safety always has to be #1! This event was a great chance to share knowledge with the local boating community and I look forward to being involved with this event as it grows.
When I was younger my family volunteered for coastal cleanups in Boston Harbor and it was only natural to get involved in South Florida. During this year’s event I was the Site Coordinator at Cooley’s Landing. I had the chance to meet a lot of really great people, including several who have been involved in the Waterway Cleanup since the 1980’s. It’s great knowing that your small part is helping to cleanup your community, but the people you meet and the stories they share are unforgettable.
My start in the Marine Industry was selling tickets for a ferry. I didn’t expect a career as a Captain spending most of my time on the water, travelling between Boston and Fort Lauderdale, and meeting people with great stories. Now that I’m on the Human Resource side of the industry I want to share my story with people and inspire them to create their own. MIASF’s Education and Workforce Committee and events like Marine Industry Day work to bring awareness to the opportunities that can be found in our industry. This was my second year participating in Marine Industry Day. It’s a great experience to talk to families that are involved or interested in the industry. When a child step onto a boat for the first time and tells you they want to work on a boat it’s a nice little view into the future.
Are you involved in any other community organizations or events?
I’m relatively new to living in South Florida year round and I’m still putting down my roots. I look forward to getting more involved as I go.
Why is volunteering important to you?
When you volunteer you get a chance to meet new people and try new things. It also creates a connection to the community you live in which is great when you are just settling in. Volunteering is important to me because we’ve all needed support at some point in our lives. I’m fortunate for the opportunities I’ve had, and I know who to thank for them. It’s amazing what people can accomplish if they are given the chance. Giving back is always a great feeling.
What do you do for fun?
I spend as much of my free time as possible on the water whether it be boating, fishing, paddle boarding, or just sitting on the dock at our condo after work. I also enjoy yoga and reading.