James H.I. Weakley, President
Jim Weakley became President of the Lake Carriers’ Association in January of 2003. As spokesman for the industry, he often testifies before Congress on Great Lakes and shipping issues. He represents Ohio on the Great Lakes Commission and serves on the board of directors for America’s Maritime Partnership. Promoting American made, American built and American crewed shipping while advocating for the Great Lakes Navigation System is his passion. Jim worked as Personnel Director and Operations Manager for a U.S.-flag Great Lakes vessel operator where he implemented quality management systems and served as LCA’s Personnel and Safety Committee Chairman. Retired from the Coast Guard Reserve, his duties included shipboard engineering, vessel inspections, facility inspection, pollution response, maritime security, intelligence, emergency response and search and rescue. Jim earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Executive Program at Case Western Reserve University and graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
Eric Peace, Vice President
Eric Peace joined the Lake Carriers’ Association as the Director of Operations and Communications in 2019 after retiring as a Commander with more than 20 years in the Coast Guard. While in the service, he drove Coast Guard operations, specifically icebreaking. He served in command positions on three Great Lakes icebreakers including the USCGC MACKINAW homeported in Cheboygan, MI. His final assignment in uniform was as the Program Manager for all ice operations at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C. While in this position he published numerous policy papers and strategic documents advocating for new Polar Icebreaker procurement and synergy in Coast Guard workforce experience between Great Lakes icebreaking sailors and those needed in the future on the new Polar Icebreakers. Eric earned a Master of Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University after completing a thesis on U.S. and Canadian icebreaking and received a Bachelor of Science in Government from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
Debra DiCianna, Director of Environmental & Regulatory Affairs
Debra DiCianna has extensive experience in vessel environmental compliance and operational issues associated with various environmental equipment – with a special focus on the design/performance of ballast water management systems (BWMS). She has been a delegate for the U.S. and International Chamber of Shipping at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and has served on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Technology Verification (ETV) Ballast Water Tech Panel. Debra worked at the U.S. EPA on development of national discharge standards for various industries and evaluating the effectiveness of waste treatment technologies. She also supported the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Military Sealift Command, and the American Bureau of Shipping in developing waste management solutions, assessing environmental compliance issues, and designing ship environmental systems. For the past few years, she has been responsible for developing client solutions for Choice Ballast Solutions. Debra has a Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.
Katherine A. Gumeny, Office Manager/Treasurer
Katie Gumeny began her career at Lake Carriers’ Association in 2010 as the Office Manager. Her election to Treasurer soon followed. She ensures the Association’s smooth operation, negotiates contracts, tracks expenses and prepares budgets. Katie distributes the members’ daily briefing, collects and publishes cargo information and serves as webmaster. Prior to joining Lake Carriers’ Association, Katie worked in both consulting and the insurance industry. Her experience in technology training and communications continue to serve the membership. Katie is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration.