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Meet our staff!

MarineLab is very proud of its staff. They're the best part of MarineLab!

Sarah Egner, Director
Mitch Stamm, Lead Captain | Billy Norfolk | Darien Bush | Rachel Carlson | Maria Laukaitis |
Madalen Howard | Patrick Malloy | Anna Simmons | Emma Thomson

Bill Eppel | Nicole Firing | Megan Fryer | Cara Lin | William Mastandrea | Matt Rutledge

Ginette Hughes, CEO | JoAnn Smenda, Business Manager & Treasurer| Anne Hill

Sarah Egner

Sarah Egner, Director
BS Biology, Wake Forest University
MS Marine Science, University of South Florida
Ed.S Science Curriculum & Instruction, University of Florida (Summer 2019)

Sarah worked primarily in the marine science research field before finding her love of education when she was hired as an Instructor at MarineLab in 2007.  Sarah works diligently to ensure that all MarineLab curriculum is current, accurate, and experiential.  Sarah is the instructor staff supervisor and trains all instructors on lesson content and instruction.  She is a USCG Master’s Captain, a Red Cross Lifeguard/CPR Instructor, and a PADI Divemaster. She is published in scientific journals and is a contract writer for DAN’s Alert Diver magazine and DAN Europe.   Sarah is on Key Largo’s Masters swim team and likes to spend her days off on the water diving, fishing, and hanging with her dog, Triton.  She is proud to be Philly born and raised.  Sarah is passionate about ocean conservation and is grateful to have the opportunity to act on this passion via education.

Mitch StammMitch Stamm, Lead Captain
BS Sociology, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
AS Construction Management, Santa Fe College, Gainesville FL

Mitch's career has ranged from marine mechanic to solar energy installation project manager to charter boat captain, so he brings a wide array of skills and experience to the new position of Lead Captain at MarineLab. Mitch has been one of our captains for three years while also working for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary program maintaining the mooring buoys from Key West to Key Largo and moonlighting as a SeaTow captain. Mitch joined our team full time in January 2019. His favorite part of working here is listening to the students getting back on the boat talking about all the cool things they've seen on their snorkel trips.

Billy Norfolk
Billy Norfolk,
Lead Field Instructor,
Undersea Laboratory Education Specialist

Darien Bush
Darien Bush,
Lead Field Instructor,

Rachel Carson
Rachel Carlson,
Field Instructor & Outreach Coordinator

Maddie Howard
Madalen Howard,
Field Instructor &
Social Media Strategist

Maria Laukaitis
Maria Laukaitis,
Field Instructor

Patrick Malloy
Patrick Malloy,
Field Instructor

Anna Simmons
Anna Simmons,
Field Instructor

Emma Thomson

Emma Thomson,
Field Instructor

Bill Eppel,
Field Instructor

Nicole Firing,
Field Instructor

Megan Fryer,
Field Instructor

Cara Lin,
Field Instructor

William Mastandrea,
Field Instructor

Matt Rutledge,
Field Instructor

GinetteHughesGinette Hughes, CEO
B Business Administration, Florida Int'l Univ.

Ginette has been with MarineLab almost since its inception in 1985. She joined in 1986 as the "booking secretary" and has since expanded her duties, and title, to include overseeing all Marine Resources Development Foundation operations, not just the MarineLab program. Currently, she is responsible for coordinating the day to day activities of the Foundation, including computer resources, human resources, and marketing/public relations, in addition to supervising the program development, planning, and coordination for all programs. She is also responsible for long range program planning for the Foundation, including financial forecasts and budgets. Ms. Hughes was recently promoted to Chief Executive Officer and will expand her duties in long range planning and fundraising as President Ian Koblick phases into retirement. She attended Ohio Wesleyan University before earning her Bachelor's of Business degree from Florida International University. Ginette is a native of New Jersey but has been in the Keys for longer than she was in NJ. She is a racing and cruising sailor.

JoAnn SmendaJoAnn Smenda, Treasurer & Business Office Manager
AA Business Administration, Univ. Cincinnati

Ms. Smenda joined the Foundation in 1989, after a succesful 16-year tenure with AT&T in Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio. Currently Treasurer and Business Manager, her past job functions at the Foundation have included Assistant to the President as well as Coordinator of the TEEC facility in South Carolina. Currently, she is responsible for all accounting and payroll functions, expense control, employee benefits, donations, and is instrumental in the overall day to day business operations of the Foundation. JoAnn earned her AA in Business Administration from the University of Cincinnati.  A native of Cleveland, Ohio, she is an avid Indians and Browns fan.

AnneHillAnne Hill, MarineLab Coordinator
BS in Procurement and Materials Management, Bowling Green State University, Ohio

Anne grew up working at her family's business, Leisure Time Recreation, a swim and golf club in Stow, Ohio and eventually became co-owner with her brother. Following a re-location to Colorado, she worked for the City of Golden, first at its golf course, Fossil Trace, and then at City Hall for the Municipal Court and Finance Department. 

Working at MarineLab is a perfect fit for Anne!  She is able to draw on her many years of experience in the recreation industry where her duties included children's programs and special events. 

Anne has always enjoyed water sports and has been snorkeling and SCUBA diving since her teens.  In college, Anne chose a Marine Biology class to fulfill her science elective. 


ColumbiaMarineLab is a proud participant in the Columbia ProPurchase Plan. Our staff members depend on their Columbia shirts and outerwear for protection against the elements in the course of their daily jobs!