C-PORT Board of Directors and Management

The C-PORT Board of Directors is made up of C-PORT members who are experienced professionals from throughout the marine assistance industry. They each bring their own unique perspective to the Board to further the successes of the industry and its partners.

Working closely with the C-PORT Board of Directors is the Executive Staff. These professionals are tasked with the operation of the Association, addressing members' needs and assisting the Board of Directors with the continued growth and development of the Marine Assistance Industry.

Tina Cardone, Executive Director

Tina Cardone has decades of experience working within the Marine Assistance Industry. Beginning in the late 1980s, Tina worked closely with the Coast Guard learning about the new rules and regulations for the industry. She gained great insight into how an association supports its membership and principles through legislative actions, in meeting membership needs, and promoting the association’s ideals to the boating community. Her background gives her insight into how a marine business must juggle legislative requirements, employment needs and serving the boating community with profitability. Through this unique view, Tina is able to contribute to the continued growth and development of C-PORT and the Marine Assistance Industry it represents.

Tina has a B.A. in Political Science and enjoys the political system and has a fascination with the study of law. She enjoys writing and has written and collaborated on a number of published articles. Tina has cruised the Bahamas, Caribbean and made numerous crossings to Bermuda. Other voyages include cruising the Eastern U.S. from Florida to Maine, crossing to Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and the French Islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon.

Executive Committee and Board of Directors 

Phil LeBlanc, Chairman
Safe Sea
Wickford, RI

Growing up on Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay, Phil has been a boater his entire life. He spent each summer cruising the waters around New England under both power and sail. In 1998, at the age of 18, he obtained his captain’s license and began working for Safe/Sea, TowBoatU.S. Narragansett Bay as a way to put himself through the University of Rhode Island. What began as a college job following his passion of being on the water has culminated in a career spanning two decades.

Phil is now co-owner of the business he began working for almost 20 years ago. He has served on various C-PORT committees over the years and has been the C-PORT representative on the NASBLA BOAT Program Advisory Council. He holds a 100-Ton Master for Near Coastal Waters with Commercial Assistance Towing and Radar Endorsements. As an ambassador of the commercial assistance industry, Phil looks forward to helping continue the growth of the industry through education and outreach.

Harold "Smitty" Smith, Vice Chairman
Miller's Towing & Salvage
Atlantic Highlands, NJ

Harold Smith, better known in the industry as Smitty, lives in Middletown, NJ with his wife Sissy of 35 years. They have 3 children and a grandchild. They are lucky enough to live on an 11 acre farm where they house their horses.

Smitty has been working on boats all of his adult life and has had his USCG credential for more than 30 years.  He holds a 200 ton masters license and a master of towing credential.  Smitty started right out of high school working on tug boats in NY Harbor.  After starting a family, the schedule was tough.  Smitty went to work for the Fast Ferry industry becoming a senior Captain, and stayed there for 10 years.  In 1998, he joined Millers Launch, the largest oil spill response company in NY Harbor as a supervisor. When they acquired TowBoatU.S. Sandy Hook, Smitty took the management lead running the day to day operations.

Smitty brings vast amounts of experience in the towing and salvage business to C-PORT.  He is a member of the American Salvage Association and has been involved with the incident command system for oil spills, as well as managing a marine assistance towing and salvage company in a busy port.  Smitty feels his knowledge and understanding of the challenges we all face will help him be a positive force on the board, helping the industry to keep regulations in check.
Richard Paul, Treasurer
Marine Towing & Salvage of SWFL
Cape Coral, FL

Rich's desire to work on the water is a dream come true. Growing up in Florida and spending endless weekends on Little Gasperilla Island, he knew hi love of the water would eventually  lead to a career on the water. In 2005, Rich received his 50 Ton Maters License with a Towing Endorsement. While attending the captain school, he learned the local TowBoatUS company was for sale. After a 25 year career, Tich retired from Publix Supermarkets and both TowBoatUS Cape Coral where he began a new career on the water. For the past 19 years, Rich has been dedicated and committed to the professional growth of the marine assistance towing and salvage community.

 Jake Dunfee, Secretary
 Rescue Marine
 Marblehead, OH

Jake Dunfee began his career in the towing and salvage industry in 1992, when he was hired by one of the C-PORT founders, Neil Shrock.  Neil hired Jake to be a deckhand and dispatcher at Boater's Emergency Service in Marblehead, OH. Growing up boating on Lake Erie, it was gratifying and exciting to have a job helping boaters in distress during high school and college summer breaks.  After graduating from college, Jake had the opportunity to purchase Boater's Emergency Service in 2001.  In 2005, he purchased two additional local towing firms creating Rescue Marine as a TowBoatUS towing company.

In the past twenty-six years, Jake has seen many exciting changes and many threats to our industry.  In Jake's words: "This industry has faced great challenges with potentially grave consequences. Thankfully C-PORT addressed these challenges and allowed for the birth and unimaginable growth of the towing and salvage industry.  It is important that C-PORT fulfills its mission to represent, promote, protect, and defend its member companies.  I would be honored to serve on the C-PORT Board of Directors representing the industry in which I take a great deal of pride."

Terry Hill
Potomac Marine
Woodbridge, VA

Terry became a member of C-PORT in 2003 and though only a member for a relatively short period, Terry became deeply involved with the association and its mission and was elected to the Board in 2004.  Terry has been an advocate for the towing and salvage industry in working with local, State, and Federal agencies both locally and nationally. Terry was instrumental in developing the relationship C-PORT has with NASBLA and is now a NASBLA Certified Instructor. 

Terry is president of CMTAA, Chesapeake Marine Towing and Assistance Association, a regional chapter of C-PORT.

David LaMontagne
Pacific Towing LLC
Newport Beach, CA

In 1984, David founded Vessel Assist Association of America.  He is also a founding member of C-PORT and was instrumental in establishing C-PORT’s first minimum level of equipment recommendations for assistance towing industry.  

David grew Vessel Assist nationwide to approximately 200 contract stations and 500 rapid response boats. He sold the Vessel Assist entities to BoatUS, and maintains ownership of the Newport Beach CA Vessel Assist/TowBoatUS License from industry inception (39 years).  David has owned numerous personal vessels throughout his life.  He has extensive racing experience along the Southern California coast and cruising sailing experience including 2023 from Bahama’s to Chesapeake Bay, 2022 from BVI’s to Bahama’s, throughout the Tahitian Islands and the Caribbean to South America in the 90’s and sailed to Hawaii in 1984.  He is an active member of Balboa Yacht Club, Newport Beach, CA since 1998.

David said, “It’s been a long while since I have been on the C-PORT Board, and as one of the few original founding members of the industry, I bring a long journey of industry history, business sense, and industry institutional knowledge to C-PORT.  I care about C-PORT and this industry.  I believe it’s my turn to serve the industry again.

Rich Lenardson
Great Lakes Marine Services
Bridgman, MI

Rich started GLMS as an addition to Great Lakes Towings Road Service. In 2008, Rich and his wife Jessica started their first marine port, Saint Joseph MI. The company has expanded to cover waters in 5 states from 16 listed TowBoatU.S. ports. 

While the marine and land services are now separate entities, Rich has learned much from his lifelong experience with road towing and wants to use those lessons to help grow the marine assistance industry.  He is a strong advocate for safety and training programs and hopes to bring his insight and experience to the board and to the C-PORT membership.

Michael Tucker

Texoma Destinations
Lake Texoma, OK

Michael has a long-standing affinity with being on the water. He spent his early years playing in the Corpus Christi surf and got his first boat at 15, begging his dad to take him to the lake so he could fish and wakeboard. He spent 17 years in the entertainment industry, but always found his way back to the water, including learning to sail during his 7-year stay in Los Angeles. When he found his way back to Texas, he was presented with the opportunity to become one of the owners of Lighthouse Resort and Marina. Alongside his father, he has successfully grown that business to a large operation that encompasses the resort and marina, a charter fleet, a rental fleet, multiple campgrounds, a park, a tackle store, and most recently, a marine dealership and boat club.

That path took him to getting his captain’s license to operate the charter boats and as a towboat captain for TowBoatUS Lake Texoma. During the next 11 years, he found a true calling for assistance towing and salvage. He bought the towing operation in 2022, which was an obvious fit for the businesses he owns and operates. Michael brings a great deal of experience, passion, and leadership to the local towing business and is excited to carry that through helping to represent the towing and salvage industry.