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Meet Our Staff!

The Erie Maritime Museum and the U.S. Brig Niagara educate the public regarding the region’s maritime heritage, the War of 1812 in Lake Erie including the building of Oliver Hazard Perry’s fleet, and the experience of the U.S. Brig Niagara under sail. The Erie Maritime Museum and the U.S. Brig Niagara are administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and are actively supported by the FNL.


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Staff & Crew


Erie Maritime Museum

Walter Rybka
Senior Captain, U.S. Brig Niagara & Site Administrator | 814.452.2744 ext.203

Linda Bolla
Exhibits, Research, & Curatorial | 814.452.2744 ext.219

Charles Johnson
Museum Educator | 814.452.2744 ext.229


Flagship Niagara League

William Sabatini
Executive Director & Fleet Captain | 814.452.2744 ext.218

Joseph Lengieza
Director of Sail Training | 814.452.2744 ext.202

Pip Conner
Director of Information Technology | 814.452.2744 ext.222

Brent Hanely
Marine Operations Coordinator | 814.452.2744 ext.205

Ed Tonkin
Museum Volunteer Manager | 814.452.2744 ext.209

Jesse Gehrlein
Museum Store Manager | 814.452.2744 ext.208


U.S. Brig Niagara

Christopher Cusson
Captain, U.S. Brig Niagara | 814.452.2744 ext.210

Adam Stanisz
Carpenter | 814.452.2744 ext.211

Sydnee Groenendaal
Operations Manager | 814.452.2744 ext.212