Steamship Authority to Say Goodbye to Several Senior Staff Members

Steamship Authority photo:

WOODS HOLE – Personnel changes will be coming at the Steamship Authority as several senior staff members are retiring this summer.

Port Captain Charles “Greg” Gifford, who has been in charge of the ferry service’s day-to-day vessel operations for the last 15 years, is retiring Friday.

General Counsel Steve Sayers, who has served as the authority’s only in-house attorney since 1992, will leave at the end of July.

And Human Resources Director Phillip Parent will also retire in August after working for the authority for nearly five decades.

“I think they are leaving us in good shape but this will also give us an opportunity to get some fresh perspectives that perhaps are needed,” said Bob Davis, the Steamship Authority General Manager.

Gifford was responsible for creating and overseeing the SSA’s training programs for vessel crews, including rescue boat training, firefighting and the overall safety of the crew and passengers I the event of an emergency.

Davis said the authority will not be looking for a permanent replacement for Gifford right away.

As a result of more than 500 trip cancellations due to mechanical issues so far this year, the members of the Steamship Authority’s board recently voted to conduct an independent review of operations.

“I’m thinking until that review comes in that it would be best just to fill it on a temporary basis using staff in-house,” Davis said.

Sayers will be replaced as in-house attorney by Terence Kenneally, who began on May 1 with the authority. Kenneally is working side-by-side with Sayers during the transition and will continue to do so through the end of July.

Sayers spent years creating strong labor relations, along with navigating complex legal challenges for the ever evolving industry.

Parent will retire at the end of August after working for the authority for the last 48 years. He climbed the ranks of the organization after starting in 1970 selling tickets and working the docks. Parent also served as a terminal agent, terminal manager and operations manager before being promoted to director of human resources in 1991.

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