Board of Govenors
International Propeller Club Port of Houston

Andrea Hough

Andrea graduated from Texas A&M Galveston in 2012. While attending A&M Galveston, Andrea served as the Vice President and later President of the student chapter Propeller Club. Upon graduation, Andrea started her career in the maritime industry with Kirby Corporation where she worked in Operations and oversaw special projects. Andrea went on to pursue a MBA at Seattle University, graduating with honors in 2018. Upon moving back to Houston, Andrea founded DC Business Loans. DC Business Loans focuses on the financial backing and support of small to midlevel startups and existing businesses. In addition to the financial backing Andrea and her partners provide, Andrea has served as a consultant for several high profile business endeavors.

In addition to being the President of the Houston Propeller Club, Andrea is also a member of the International and Women’s Propeller Clubs. Andrea is also passionate about her work with the Alzheimer’s Association and is currently serving as the Membership Chair for RIVALZ.

Nelly Elder
1st Vice President

Nelly Elder has been the  Marine Sales Manager at Circon Environment since 2010 and in develops new business and negotiates contracts for Circon while supporting customers with her industrial expertise.  Circon Environmental is a waste disposal and fuel recycling company with physical assets offering cradle to grave solutions in MARPOL waste for the Western Gulf Coast. Additionally Nelly has two years previous marine surveyor experience and a Bachelor of Science Degree from Texas A&M University in Maritime Administration with a Minor in Economics.

Steve Bugge
2nd Vice President

Stephen Bugge is an IT Professional with demonstrated expertise in the areas of, operations, finance and staff management within Manufacturing, Industrial and Oil and Refining sectors and IT implementation. Results oriented with the ability to successfully coordinate multiple projects and teams simultaneously, coupled with the skill to effectively manage staff at all levels and diverse backgrounds. Understand the needs of a wide range of companies with respect to software needs (ERP and accounting software) and business documentation and web marketing and website design and SEO implementation.

William Wachel

William Wachel has over 37 years of broad-based global experience in civil and marine engineering and has been with WSP USA for the last 6 years..  His experience includes infrastructure development for deepwater seaports, port security, commercial buildings, grain elevators, pipelines, ship-to-shore and rubber tire gantry cranes, marine terminals, and cruise terminal facilities. He has designed and delivered a wide variety of project types, including rail, roadway, site development, utility designs and permitting.  Mr. Wachel has delivered projects utilizing traditional design-bid-build and design-build (D-B) contracting.

Stuart Smith

Stuart Smith, a member of the club since 2007, has served on the Board and as Club Treasurer since 2014. Stuart graduated in Accounting from the University of Houston Main Campus and has been involved in the marine industry as a shipyard controller for the last 30 years. He is committed to helping perpetuate the maritime workforce in the Galveston-Houston area by volunteering and mentoring college students pursuing a career in the maritime industry

Thomas (Tom) Deen

Tom grew up in Tampa Florida. He attended Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia graduating in 1977 and South Texas College of Law graduating in 1983. Tom’s law and arbitration practice focuses on work in the fields of maritime, insurance and transportation law. He is a member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States, International Transportation Management Association, International Propeller Club – Port of Houston, Houston Mariners Club and the State Bar of Texas.

Tom continues to serve the community by serving on the Board of Directors for the Houston International Seafarer’s Center and serves as an Advisory Director on the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Harbor. Additionally, he is a past Commodore of the Houston Yacht Club and was honored to receive its Yachtsman of the Year Award in 2018.

Niels Aalund

Niels Aalund, the current International President of the Propeller Club International, serves as an Officer and as Senior Vice-President, West Gulf Maritime Association, with primary responsibility for advocating on behalf of member companies (stevedores, steamship agents, vessel owners, and industry stakeholders) with local, state and federal agencies. From organizations such as Washington, D.C, based, National Maritime Association, to the commercial sector, Aalund has provided leadership for a variety of maritime related positions. He has extensive strategic planning experience in both operations and commercial maritime activities. Including management positions overseeing liner, break-bulk and stevedoring groups.

Currently Aalund serves on 14 regional and/or national committees and boards, including such groups as Director at Large, Houston Ship Channel Security District, Lone Star Harbor Safety Committee, Area Maritime Security council (AMSC), South East Texas Waterways Advisory Committee (SETWAC) , Corpus Christi Harbor Safety Committee (STWAC), National Association Maritime Organizations (NAMO), Propeller Club International Governing Board as International President, North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA), the University of Houston, College of Technology Dean Advisory Board and has been recognized as Distinguished Alumni, University of Houston – College of Technology.

A Houston native, Aalund is a graduate of the University of Houston. Aalund is an active public speaker at industry programs, seminars and conferences. He helps prepare the WGMA “Daily Industry Update Report” for maritime stakeholders. This daily report briefs the trade on regional, national and international developments and trends.

Steve Putnam

Steven Putnam is Managing Director of PEI TECH LLC, representing Geneva-based Aderco Sustainable Fuel Treatment Solutions and UK-based Marine Offshore Management, serving the Maritime, Cruise and Offshore industries.

Putnam holds a marine engineering degree from Massachusetts Maritime Academy and an MBA from Pepperdine University. He served as a USCG unlimited license engineering officer and U.S. Naval Reserve officer, and he has ten years of experience working on board tankers, containerships and bulk carriers. For the past twenty years he has held executive leadership positions on the commercial side of the industry in technical services, sales and marketing. Putnam is an active member in industry associations, including the Propeller Club, Green Marine, Connecticut Maritime Association and CIMAC.

Michael Rawls

Experienced Sales Representative with a demonstrated history of working in the oil & energy industry. Skilled in Negotiation, Gas, Petroleum, Operations Management, B2B, Communication, Forecasting, Salesforce (CRM) and associates Degree at San Jacinto ,Marine fuel and oil logistics .

Chase Schaefer

As a native Houstonian, Chase is a member of The Propeller Club, Texas Tech Alumni Organization, and the Houston Safari Club. Away from the office, you can find Chase enjoying the outdoors or spending time with friends & family. Chase specializes in financial & estate goal planning, retirement solutions, long term care, 529 education savings plans, and much more through Raymond James. He is an Accredited Asset Management Specialist, Accredited Investment Fiduciary, and a Chartered Retirement Planning Specialist.

Craig Marston

Craig Marston graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in 1985 and later completed his MBA. Craig sailed on his Engineering license for several years and came ashore managing ships. Since 2006, Craig has been working in ship repair and is currently General Manager of Gulf Copper Dry Dock & Rig Repair in Galveston.