Team Compass Courses

Compass Courses is a private maritime training organization owned and operated by Julie K. Keim. We proudly provide USCG approved licensing and safety training. Since its inception in 2001, Compass Courses has trained 12000+ mariners in 20 USCG/STCW approved courses.

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Julie Keim


Julie Keim founded Compass Courses in 2001. She sailed on her license in the small passenger vessel industry, just long enough to recognize her passion for safety and desire to help mariners navigate the abyss of regulations impacting their maritime careers. Julie comes to us from the beautiful waterfront town of Edmonds, just north of Seattle, Washington. (425) 778 1923

Jeanette Lowe

Jeanette is our Purser and a Northwest native. She is a smiling face that will make sure your time at Compass Courses is everything you need it to be. She is responsible for student registration and is always up for another sea story. (425) 778 1923

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Matt Lasley

Operations Manager

Matt is a 25-year Coast Guard Veteran with nearly 20-years of seagoing service. With a hand on the helm and an eye on the horizon, he is helping to ensure that Compass Courses is ready to meet the needs of professional mariners for years to come. Matt hails from Freeland, Washington on South Whidbey Island. (425) 778 1923


Dana Lewis

Retired Coastie

“Capt. Day-ner”, to many who have sailed with this old “Salty Dog”. He can be found sipping coffee (yeah right) at the Ballard Locks harassing the passers by. Dana is by far one of Compass Courses’ highest profiled catastrophic success stories and our first string “Go to Guy”. (425) 778 1923

David Richards

Radar Man

Since Joining the U.S. Navy in 1977, David served on various military vessels such as the USS Independence and the USS Nimitz to name a few. He is a respected member of the maritime training community and has taught for organizations including the USCG, Trident Seafoods, Washington State Ferries, Foss Maritime, Island Tug and Barge, and many others. Now, as a part of Compass Courses, He continues to assist students in getting the training they need to meet their maritime goals.


Chuck Spence

Charles “Chuck” Spence spent 21 years on active duty as an enlisted Quartermaster with the U.S. Navy. He achieved the rank of Senior Chief Quartermaster while sailing on various naval ships and teaching at Surface Warfare Basic School and Officer Candidate School in Newport R.I. During his Navy career he decided to pursue and obtain his Merchant Mariners License. He has held his license for over 38 years. He currently holds a Chief Mate Unlimited tonnage, Oceans license, as well as 1600 Master.
After retirement from the Navy, he taught at Seafarers International Union’s Harry Lundberg School of Seamanship, Piney Point Maryland teaching the AB to Mate program. Leaving Harry Lundberg School of Seamanship, he commenced sailing on US flag vessels both coastwise and internationally gaining experience in the maritime industry on various ships, including Tugs, Tankers, Container ships, Tri bulkers, Grain Ships and Small Passenger Vessels.
In 2006, he joined Cruise West as Senior Manager of Safety, Training, and Environmental Compliance.
Chuck truly has a passion for teaching, and it shows in the success of his students.

Kim Cunningham

Kim Cunningham has been training mariners in all areas of the industry for several years, and comes to us by way of Maple Valley Fire and Life Safety where she is a resident EMT/Firefighter. Kim brings knowledge and real world experiences in the classroom. In her “spare time” she runs 60-75 miles a week, coach’s soccer and has 5 adorable kids.

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Gary Haugland


With over 30-years in the Washington State Ferry system and an impressive resume as a maritime instructor, Gary joined the team in 2015. Since then, he has left an indelible mark on our Radar School as well as our Bridge Resource Management and Leadership and Managerial Skills courses. Gary has been there – done that, and he truly knows everyone.