watermark-team

Meet the Team

Capt. Jake Iversen, President

Joined Watermark in 2017

What is your favorite Watermark product and why?

Impossible to choose just one! From walking tours to charter boat cruises and everything in between, Watermark brings history, culture, and fun to the Chesapeake area. Each of Watermark’s products is unique, distinct, and supports our brand essence statement.

Have you ever held any other positions at Watermark?

I started out as a captain on the iconic Harbor Queen before becoming General Manager of Vessel Activities in 2017. In 2022, my wife Laura and I purchased the tour and charter boat business as new owners, and I became President.

What is your favorite Watermark memory?

My favorite memory dates back to age ten. As a fourth-grader on a school field trip, I was in my element aboard a Watermark vessel, learning about the history of the Naval Academy and Annapolis. I’ve been a fan ever since!

Ginny Mininger, Chief Operating Officer

Joined Watermark in 2011

Why did you first want to work at Watermark?

After a fulfilling career in the superyacht industry, Watermark appeared to be the ideal match, seamlessly blending the joy of delivering exceptional service to guests with the pleasure of being on boats. All of this, coupled with the opportunity to establish roots in the picturesque and historic Chesapeake Bay area, made Watermark a perfect choice.

If you could trade jobs for a day with anyone at Watermark, who would it be and why?

If given the chance to swap roles for a day at Watermark, my choice would undoubtedly be our ticket agents. The sheer delight of meeting and engaging with thousands of guests, whether locals or visitors, is beyond compare. Hearing the unique stories that bring them to our area is not only fascinating but also presents us with countless opportunities every day to exceed their expectations and enhance their overall experience. It’s a role that combines the joy of making connections with the rewarding challenge of making each guest’s visit exceptional.

 

Chip Johnson, Comptroller

Joined Watermark in the 1980s

What is your favorite Watermark product and why?

I really like them all. From the 40- & 90-minute tours to the Day on the Bay Cruise, or a private charter down the Severn River. I have worked on all of them.

What was your first job?

My first job was as a dishwasher at Country Kitchen in Casper, Wyoming. Needless to say, I don’t like doing the dishes.

Outside of Watermark, what is your favorite thing to do in the Chesapeake Bay area?

There are so many things to do in the area, I think one of my favorites is going to the beach with friends!

Alex Knoll, Director of Sales & Marketing

Joined Watermark in 2020

What was your first job?

My first job was as a paperboy in Springfield, Illinois. I woke up at 5:00 each morning and walked a couple miles up and down my neighborhood delivering 200-plus copies of the State Journal-Register. It taught me responsibility, punctuality and customer service.

Besides Watermark, what are some of your favorite things to do in the Chesapeake area?

I love learning the history surrounding Chesapeake Bay … the fact that Maryland tobacco financed the Revolution; that Annapolis’ capitol is the only active capitol to also be the U.S. capitol; that when Capt. John Smith first sailed the Bay oyster reefs so large they were a navigation hazard.

If you could trade jobs for a day with anyone at Watermark, who would it be and why?

I’d like to switch with one of the captains. But for the sake of any passengers, I’d settle for being mate. When I was younger, I worked several years as mate on a crab boat and loved it. All but the worst days on the water are better than any on land.

Jamie Foster, Director of Guide Operations

Joined Watermark in 2016

What was your first job?

I scooped ice cream in rural Michigan in an old, converted railroad car called the Caboose.

What is your favorite Watermark product and why?

I have to pick two. I really enjoy riding the Harbor Queen but also love our public walking tours! As a history lover, I enjoy walking the streets and hearing the stories of the past. The history comes alive as you make the connections from the things you are seeing and experiencing with stories and information shared by the guides.

Have you ever held any other positions at Watermark?

I have been a tour guide since 2016 and still enjoy giving a tour when I can.

Outside of Watermark, what is your favorite thing to do in the Chesapeake Bay area?

I love being with family and friends as well as hiking the different trails and parks around the area.

Tim Brahmstedt, Director of Vessel Operations

Joined Watermark in 2024

What was your first job?

My first job was as a dishwasher and cook at a summer resort on Northern Lake Champlain.

Why did you first want to work at Watermark?

Over the years, having observed the captains, crew, and all the passengers getting on and off the boats…there are a lot of smiles to be seen. It’s clearly a happy environment!

Outside of Watermark, what is your favorite thing to do in the Chesapeake Bay area?

I enjoy fishing and exploring the Bay by water. Hiking and biking the great trails around Annapolis has also been so much fun!!

What is your favorite Watermark product and why?

Being a lover of nautical history and being relatively new to the area, I’ve found the Baltimore water tours to have so much historical information to share.

Gabriella Shewfelt, Marketing Manager

Joined Watermark in 2020

What was your first job?

My first job was at Great Harvest Bread Company in Annapolis the summer before my senior year of high school.

What is your favorite Watermark product and why?

Our Baltimore Sightseeing Cruise is my favorite. There is so much to see and so much history to learn in the Inner Harbor. Highly recommend!

Outside of Watermark, what is your favorite thing to do in the Chesapeake Bay area?

I love to walk my dog at Quiet Waters Park.

If you could trade jobs for a day with anyone at Watermark, who would it be and why?

I’d trade jobs with our walking tour guides. Their love of history is so inspiring, and their ability to remember dates and names always amazes me.

Jo McCarthy, Office Manager

Joined Watermark in 2018

What is your favorite Watermark product and why?

Day on the Bay to St Michaels is my favorite. I love the boat ride to and from St Michaels. It is very relaxing and enjoyable.

Outside of Watermark, what is your favorite thing to do in the Chesapeake Bay area?

Boating with my family and friends and enjoying the many views of the Chesapeake Bay.

If you could trade jobs for a day with anyone at Watermark, who would it be and why?

I would trade jobs for one day with the boat crew. I think being on the water and mingling with passengers is fun .

What was your first job?

My first job was Assistant Portfolio Manager for Merrill Lynch.

Capt. Alex King, Company Security Officer

Joined Watermark in 2021

What was your first job?

My first job ever was as a lifeguard at a local Swim Club in my hometown of Cherry Hill, NJ. My first “real job” was on a boat as a deckhand on the Riverlink Ferry that connects Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia to the Camden Waterfront in New Jersey!

Outside of Watermark, what is your favorite thing to do in the Chesapeake Bay area?

I like to walk around the waterfront and check out dockside bars and restaurants. There’s live music at a lot of places, and a few establishments are right in marinas, so we get to watch both professional and amateur captains get on and off the docks, which can sometimes make for an entertaining happy hour!

What is your favorite Watermark product and why?

My favorite Watermark product I’ve been a part of so far is the 90-minute tour. The 90s are a nice change of pace from the hustle of the 40-minute tours and give us a chance to see more of the features of the area that we don’t get to see every day, such as an up-close look at the Chesapeake Bay Bridges and the Thomas Point Lighthouse.

Becky Porzillo, School & Group Tour Manager

Joined Watermark in 2021

What was your first job?

My first paycheck came as an RA (Resident Assistant) in my college dormitory at Texas Woman’s University. That began my love for and career in the hospitality and travel industry.

Besides Watermark, what are some of your favorite things to do in the Chesapeake area?

During summer, you’ll find me enjoying a day sailing on the Bay or tubing with the kids on one of its many tributaries. Come fall, I’ll be at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium enjoying time with friends and Mids cheering on the Navy football team. And any time of year, I’m enjoying the great foods of the Bay – crab, oysters, fish – at the bountiful restaurants in town.

What is your favorite Watermark product and why?

It’s always great being out on the water, but there’s so much rich history in the maze of cobblestone streets in downtown. The colonial guides are a fount of knowledge, so every tour is an opportunity to learn something new.

If you could trade jobs for a day with anyone at Watermark, who would it be and why?

I’d choose to work the ticket umbrella. Our ticket agents speak with so many of Watermark’s guests — they know where they’re from and what they’re interested in learning about. Plus, they have the best office view!

Christian Worch, Annapolis Operations Manager

Joined Watermark in 2021

What was your first job?

I was a parts runner for a local HVAC company and spent summers driving a box truck around the DC area to deliver new units and remove old ones. I also learned a little bit of sheet metal work in the afternoons.

Why did you first want to work at Watermark?

I was discovering more and more about the opportunities of a commercial Captain’s License. I wanted an opportunity to earn sea time to apply for a 100-ton license and was pointed towards Watermark.

What is your favorite Watermark product and why?

I think Day on the Bay is such a unique offering. I’m not very familiar with St. Michaels, so it’s always a fun time for me to get down there and check out the town.

Rowan Heeg, Baltimore Operations Manager

Joined Watermark in 2024

What was your first job?

My first job was washing dishes in what felt like the hottest kitchen in all of Harford County.

If you could trade jobs for a day with anyone at Watermark, who would it be and why?

I think it would be fun to do a shift as captain on the Jolly Express in full Santa gear.

What is your favorite Watermark product and why?

My favorite Watermark product would be Spirits & Spirits. You get to walk around Annapolis, hearing ghost stories, and then follow that up by having some drinks out on the water — best of both worlds!

Outside of Watermark, what is your favorite thing to do in the Chesapeake Bay area?

I love being able to catch a game at M&T or Camden Yards with friends and family. Go O’s!

Unike Brown, Retail & Merchandise Manager

Joined Watermark in 2021

What was your first job?

My first job was at a nursing home. I played bingo in the afternoons with the residents of Ginger Cove!

Besides Watermark, what are some of your favorite things to do in the Chesapeake area?

Outside of work, I enjoy hanging out with my family. We love to fish. Currently sports control our lives. My daughter plays travel basketball, and my son plays soccer, so we are always on the GO!

What is your favorite Watermark product and why?

As an Annapolitan, Water Taxi rides have been somewhat of a tradition in my family. If you get honor roll in school, you knew my dad and mom were going to take you to the Chart House for dinner and on a Water Taxi ride. For me, it’s a really cool tradition in our family that has been done with me and my siblings, and now my kids.

Suzy Elcik, Charter Sales & Event Manager

Joined Watermark in 2008

Have you ever held any other positions at Watermark?

I started with Watermark in 2008 as a wedding coordinator, and then I moved to the charter sales position. After that, I got my captain’s license and drove and worked on the boats for awhile. In July 2021, I returned to the sales office, where I am today.

What was your first job?

My very first job was working at the counter of the Chevy Chase/DC McDonalds when I was 15. The uniform at that time was a lime green pantsuit with a matching hat! So flattering!

What is your favorite Watermark product?

My favorite Watermark product is so hard to pick. I would say either Day of the Bay to St. Michaels or the 90-minute tour to the Chesapeake Bay Bridges.

Kelsey Dunn, Charter Sales & Event Manager

Joined Watermark in 2024

What was your first job?

At 16, in Seaford, DE, I was hired at a new pizza spot in the area called Hungry Howie’s for the summer. I helped prep the location for opening day, took delivery and carry out orders, made the food and even at times stood outside with a sign to promote the new business. I ended up leaving this job once school started back up as the schedule began to conflict with my cheerleading practice and football game schedule.

Outside of Watermark, what is your favorite thing to do in the Chesapeake Bay area?

I love to get together with friends and family to enjoy the great food, drinks and atmosphere at the many local restaurants. Especially one with outdoor seating and views of the water. If there are crabs to be picked, it makes it even better!

If you could trade jobs for a day with anyone at Watermark, who would it be and why?

I would love to be a Captain on one of the boats for a day! Growing up, my dad always let me take over on his boat once we hit open water. I’ll just need someone else to guide the boat out of the marina and away from the docks, LOL!

What is your favorite Watermark product and why?

Cruising on the Catherine Marie for an event would have to be my favorite Watermark offering. The vessel screams LUXURY, and I love that.

Linda Heinz, Executive Assistant

Joined Watermark in 2017

If you could trade jobs for a day with anyone at Watermark, who would it be and why?

I would trade jobs with a Water Taxi captain to be out on the water all day and to have chance to chat with our Watermark guests.

Have you ever held any other positions at Watermark?

I started with Watermark in 2017 as the Retail/Program Manager and added the role of Special Events Manager in 2018.

What is your favorite Watermark product and why?

My favorite products are our special event cruises, such as our Blue Angels cruises and our Day on the Bay to Saint Michaels, because they are a great way to connect with the Annapolis community and the Chesapeake.

Outside of Watermark, what is your favorite thing to do in the Chesapeake Bay area?

When boating is not an option, I love exploring Annapolis on foot along one of the hidden walking trails or enjoying the beauty of downtown and Eastport. I love strolling along the quaint streets, over the draw bridge, and meeting friends for dinner or music at one of the many great local restaurants.

Genesis Foley, Tour Coordinator

Joined Watermark in 2023

What was your first job?

My first job was bussing tables, in a full tuxedo, at a German restaurant.

What is your favorite Watermark product and why?

As a history major and huge architecture enthusiast, I have to say the ArchiTrex tour. It’s a great way to learn about Annapolis’ rich and eclectic architectural history.

If you could trade jobs for a day with anyone at Watermark, who would it be and why?

I love Halloween and all things spooky, so I’d love to lead a ghost tour in October.

Outside of Watermark, what is your favorite thing to do in the Chesapeake Bay area?

In the summertime, sitting with family by the water, sharing a bucket of Natty Bohs and picking crabs is pretty hard to beat.

Tiffani Worley, Captain

Joined Watermark in 2022

What was your first job?

My first job was an animal handler at a petting zoo in Reston, VA. I spent my lunch breaks with Kramer the camel or hanging out with the kangaroo joeys. However, driving the Massey Ferguson tractor was by far my favorite activity!

Besides Watermark, what are some of your favorite things to do in the Chesapeake area?

Dog Beach with my main four-legged man, Drexel!

Why did you first want to work at Watermark?

Originally hailing from the DMV, I embarked on a water-based career that took me to the Caribbean, Michigan, and Newport Beach, California.  As I found my way back home to Maryland, Watermark was the operation with the best reputation and brand. How could I not want to be a part of their team?! From Baltimore to the Eastern Shore, Watermark is rich in history, culture, and unforgettable journeys.

Ralph Creel, Director of Maintenance

Joined Watermark in 2009

What was your first job?

My first job was riding my bike around the neighborhood delivering newspapers when I was 13.

Have you ever held any other positions at Watermark?

I originally joined Watermark in 2009 as Water Taxi captain and had a wonderful time interacting with our guests and showing them around Annapolis.

Outside of Watermark, what is your favorite thing to do in the Chesapeake Bay area?

I love to fish!

Austin Shurtleff, Inventory Manager

Joined Watermark in 2023

What was your first job?

My first job was in high school. I was a lifeguard at the local YMCA. I also worked in the Fitness Center as an assistant.

Why did you first want to work at Watermark?

I wanted to work at Watermark for a couple of reasons. One was the closeness we have to the Chesapeake Bay. I love being on the water and take every chance I get to go out. Second was the history and culture surrounding Watermark. Our tour guides are so incredibly knowledgeable about the area, and I wanted to learn more about Annapolis history.

Besides Watermark, what are some of your favorite things to do in the Chesapeake area?

A few of my favorite things to do are visiting the various parks with my son and dog. We also frequent the library, where my son insists on checking out 10 books every trip. My favorite thing to do is walk around Main Street, seeing the shops, and sampling a little of everything that downtown has to offer.