The Compass Crew

Each member of our team is dedicated to making sure your maritime education covers everything you need to know to pass the USCG requirements and stay safe on the water.

John

Julie K. Keim

Owner
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 her desire to help mariners navigate the abyss of regulations impacting their maritime careers. Julie is a Seattle Propeller Club board member and actively involved in Youth Maritime Training Programs around the Puget Sound.
julie@compasscourses.com
(425) 778 1923


Ruth

Dana Lewis

Retired Coastie
Meet Dana Lewis, or “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 while harassing the passersby. Dana is, by far, one of Compass Courses’ highest-profiled catastrophic success stories and our first string go-to guy.
dana@compasscourses.com
(425) 778 1923


Kim

KIM CUNNINGHAM

Instructor
Kim 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 experience to the classroom. In her “spare time” she runs 60-75 miles a week, coaches soccer, and takes care of 5 adorable kids.
kim@compasscourses.com
(425) 778 1923

John

Chris Piper

Instructor
My love for the sea began as a youth in Tacoma when I became a Sea Scout. I was part of a great group that taught me the value of hard work and discipline while working on the Charles Curtis. I’ve been involved in the first-response community for 38 years. I took my first EMT class in 1980, became a volunteer, and then started my career as a firefighter in the Tacoma Fire Department in 1991. I’ve been there ever since. I am very active in the teaching community and truly enjoy people working together in a learning environment. None of this would be possible without an amazing family; I have a spectacular partner, 2 grown sons that are great, and my newest thrill is my grandbaby Vivienne!
chris@compasscourses.com
(425) 778 1923


Gary Haugland

Instructor
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 and our Bridge Resource Management and Leadership and Managerial Skills courses. Gary has been there, done that, and he truly knows everyone.
gary@compasscourses.com
(425) 778 1923


Chuck

Charles “Chuck” Spence

Instructor
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. He decided to pursue and obtain his Merchant Mariner License during his navy career, and he’s held that license for over 38 years.
chuck@compasscourses.com
(425) 778 1923

Cory

Cory Caulk

Instructor
Firefighter, First Aid, CPR, Water Rescue, and Personal Survival Instructor.
cory@compasscourses.com
(425) 778 1923


Jeremy Swearengin

Instructor
Firefighter and First Aid Instructor.
Jeremy@compasscourses.com
(425) 778 1923


Mike

Thomas “Mike” Kelly

Instructor
Master Mariner, Any Gross Tons Upon Oceans; First Class Pilot of Any Gross Tons on Prince William Sound.

Mike has sailed on oil tankers and drill ships, crew boats in the Gulf of Mexico, and he’s also worked for an oil spill cleanup cooperative. He has sailed in all positions from Able Bodied Seaman to Master, and has taught STCW maritime courses for the last 20 years for all license positions. You can also find Mike volunteering at the Wooden Boat Festival.
Mike@compasscourses.com
(425) 778 1923



Lola

Lola

Mascot
Lola is our resident Catahoula. She loves boating and fishing with her owner, Julie. Don’t let her beautiful brown eyes fool you; your half-eaten sandwich or cookies are not safe with her! She loves human food and will go to a lot of effort to trick you into feeding her. Please don’t, though; her most recent vet trip ended with a Mike’s Hard Lemonade cap in her stomach!

our crew is dedicated to helping you return to port safely since 2001.