Tag Archives: Tom Balf


Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and Secretary Kerry

Together with the Essex National Heritage’s 20th anniversary celebration, 131 Trailblazing organizations where honored at last night’s grand gala, held at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. Over 300 Essex Heritage supporters were in attendance.

Very special guest Secretary John Kerry, who helped craft the legislation in 1996 that designated the area (and worked with Senator Kennedy over many years to secure funding), gave an inspiring speech highlighting the fact that the past twenty years of this unique public-private partnership has created the tremendous success that is the Essex National Heritage area.

Congratulations to the Essex National Heritage and all the Trailblazers!

The best fun seeing these four at the gala!! Captain Stefan Edick of the Schooner Adventure, Captain Tom Ellis of the Schooner Lannon, Mayor Sefatia, and Tom Balf, Director of Maritime Gloucester.



A special toast was given to the following Trailblazers:

Preserving this Special Region: Essex County Greenbelt Association; Connecting People to Place: The Trustees of Reservations; Building & Growing Our Future: Peabody Essex Museum; Advancing Our Educational Mission (tied for first place): Lowell’s Boat Shop and The House of Seven Gables. Of special note to Cape Ann residents, Maritime Gloucester came in second place and Essex Shipbuilding Museum came in third place in the category Advancing Our Educational Mission.

6th grade Gloucester Day at O’Maley and community service

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I had a great time at O’Maley this week, presenting to 6th graders for “Gloucester Day”. For the past couple of years, I’ve spoken with classes about the HarborWalk because they study it at some point during the academic year. 6th graders are great and all (they were fantastic), but these O’Maley teachers make it seem effortless. Me? I bought cookies from Cafe Sicilia and Virgilios to hand out!  This year I ran into Tom Balf for Maritime Gloucester on the way in,  heard the teachers delight in seeing their former student, David Brooks for the Hive, back as a mentor, coach and leader. I caught some of Rick Doucette’s presentation because I heard the exclamations over YMCA summer camp and the 24 sleepless hours in a rocking chair fundraiser. Allison Cousins was heading into a class with Little Charlie Goes To Gloucester, a children’s picture book about poet Charles Olson by filmmaker Henri Ferrini and illustrated by Stefan Mallette. (It was also mentioned as it’s one of the links on the Olson marker for the HarborWalk and you can see it with other Cape Ann Reads published books.) This year, Gloucester day fell on National Teacher Appreciation Day. Every day could be National Teacher Appreciation Day.  Here’s the report from 6th grade social studies teacher, Jessica Haskell and her O’Maley colleagues:

On Tuesday, May 3rd, 6th grade students at O’Maley Innovation Middle School participated in “Gloucester Day” as part of an introduction to their end-of-the-year service projects.  Citizens who are active members of the Gloucester community volunteered their time and expertise to come in and teach students about organizations that work to make our community a better place.  Students were also introduced to ways in which they can personally get involved in these efforts through exploring and discovering their hometown, volunteering, participating in summer camps, and coming up with their own ideas.  Community mentors who attended were Catherine Ryan (HarborWalk), Rick Doucette (YMCA, Awesome Gloucester), Meghan Stratton (Backyard Growers), David Brooks (The HIVE), Tom Balf (Maritime Gloucester), Beth Klinefelter (The Open Door), and Allison Cousins (O’Maley Guidance).

Thanks for sending these photos and looking forward to hearing about the students’ projects!

Get better soon, Mr. Davis.



GloucesterCast With Guest Tom Balf From Maritime Gloucester and Host Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 3/27/14


GloucesterCast With Guest Tom Balf From Maritime Gloucester and Host Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 3/27/14

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A Note from Tom Balf…

Maritime Gloucester has a fundraising dinner planned for Monday, March 31. Chefs from Turner’s Seafood and Latitude 43 will prepare a three-course meal highlighting underutilized, local seafood to showcase the best of what the waters off Gloucester have to offer.

This is an important event for Maritime Gloucester and, quite honestly, it’s more than a fundraiser. Let me explain.

Over the last two years, Maritime Gloucester has been increasingly active in supporting conversations and information sharing with respect to fisheries issues. We hosted a month long series of programs on sustainable seafood; we supported GMRI’s Trawl to Table workshop at our harbor campus; we hosted college groups from Endicott, Boston University and University of Rhode Island who wished to learned about Gloucester fisheries issues; and we taught lobster biology and the art of lobster trap building to high school students. We continue to work with various partners in the City in support of a sustainable fisheries and a thriving working waterfront. We have a clear role — Maritime Gloucester can convene, engage, provoke, facilitate and educate. We plan to begin that task in earnest this summer with a new, fisheries exhibit.

So you see, while this is a fundraiser, we are looking for strength in numbers – no easy task on a Monday night in March – to validate Maritime Gloucester’s instinct that it can honor 400 years of maritime fishing history, utilize contemporary communication tools and educational techniques, and host in this community the setting for a seafood table that has the potential to nourish all.

We hope you can join us at that table. Plus, it will be fun and tasty.

Tom Balf
Executive Director
Maritime Gloucester

Wooden Boat Enthusiasts: Boat Building Session with Craftsman Geno Mondello!!!

From the IDRC-

The GMHC is offering a boat building session with craftsman Geno Mondello for high school students (see attached flyer with contact information).  Please contact Tom Balf if your students would be interested in this unique opportunity!

Thanks, Erik Dombrowski

Maritime Gloucester Offers Teen Boat Building Course

Beginning on Tuesday, April 3rd, Maritime Gloucester is offering a new session of its boat building course for high school students. The course runs for eight weeks with classes scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m – 6p.m. at the Dory Shop. Taught by Geno Mondello, the program gives participants hands-on experience in laying out, lofting and making full-sized patterns, making full-sized pieces and assembling and finishing a skiff. No prior experience necessary. The fee is $50. The course is limited to six participants. To register, call (978) 281-0470.


Thomas Balf
Maritime Gloucester
Phone: (978) 281-0470


Hurry, Space is limited!!!!!!

Congratulations To Gloucester Maritime For Naming Good Egg Tom Balf As Managing Director!


Maritime Gloucester, the region’s leader in hand’s-on marine science education and a prominent attraction for visitors seeking to discover Gloucester’s rich maritime heritage, has announced that Thomas Balf will become executive director effective December 1. Balf succeeds Harriet Webster who passed away in June 2011.

An experienced environmental executive, entrepreneur, consultant and educator, Balf has spent his career building successful partnerships with public and private sector organizations. For the last decade, he has led a consortium of national colleges and universities committed to greening campus operations and improving environmental performance. He is a Gloucester resident who grew up in Rockport.

Balf said, "I am honored to lead this outstanding organization and I look forward to working with the staff and board, as well as with the broader community, to fulfill its mission and promise. Maritime Gloucester highlights and celebrates Gloucester’s maritime history, but its real value lies in creating connections between the past maritime industry and the future. Its educational programs and visitor attractions are important engines contributing to Gloucester’s and the region’s economic development, social well-being, and stewardship of marine resources."

Geoffrey Richon, Maritime Gloucester’s, founder and board member, said "Tom Balf brings to the organization the skills that will help us continue the outstanding progress in our development made under our founding executive director Harriet Webster who passed away this summer.   Our education programs now reach more than 3,500 students and we have more than 30,000 visitors a year to our site. Under Tom Balf as executive director, we expect to double those numbers in five years."

Balf most recently served as executive director of the Campus Consortium for Environmental Excellence (C2E2). In that capacity he helped prominent colleges and universities, including Harvard University, Boston University, Boston College, Yale, MIT and the University of Massachusetts, improve their environmental performance. A frequent college and university lecturer, Balf is an adjunct professor at Stonehill College teaching a course on sustainability.

Maritime Gloucester Board Chairman David Warner called Balf’s appointment "a significant milestone for Maritime Gloucester. Tom’s experience, his enthusiasm for the mission, and his leadership will enhance Maritime Gloucester’s position as a sustainable organization and leader in hands-on marine science education, while also enhancing Maritime Gloucester as a destination for visitors to Cape Ann." Maritime Gloucester’s story is told in a recent video on YouTube — www.youtube.com/watch?v=zS7qNQDlWtQ

Balf’s distinguished career includes positions as director of environmental affairs for Aveda Corporation, one of the nation’s leading companies known for environmental stewardship, and co-founder and principal of Nexus Environmental Partners, a firm that works at the intersection of business, government and academia to bring parties together to find innovative solutions to common environmental problems.

Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk said, "Tom Balf has been a leader in the City as a member of the Clean Energy Commission–helping the City achieve Green Community status and win a $200,000 grant.  I can’t think of anyone better suited to bring Maritime Gloucester forward into the future."

As an environmental and communications consultant, Balf has more than 25 years of expertise in environmental and regulatory management, and in communicating information. For example, he developed in the early 80’s the Household Hazardous Waste Wheel® which described disposal management options for homeowners. More recently, he was the author of a highly acclaimed higher education booklet entitled "Environmental Roles and Responsibilities in a Climate of Change: Campus Environmental, Health and Safety at a Crossroads."

Balf graduated from Tufts University with a BS in biology and psychology and holds an MS in limnology/zoology from the University of New Hampshire. A Rockport native, he and his wife Donna and their two children reside in Gloucester.