Caughtcha being Good!
Meet the new Harbormaster
By Cassaundra Cohrs, Contributing Writer
After working for the Charlevoix office of the DNR for the past 11 years, Eric Crissman has just landed his “dream job” as the Harbormaster of Elk Rapids Harbor, a harbor he views as “the best on the great lakes.” With his lifelong love of boating and the outdoors, this job allows him to help the community and to spend his days doing something he loves in the town he has called home for the past five years. Crissman always knew he wanted to pursue a career in something to do with Michigan’s water resources. This early passion led him to pursue a bachelor’s degree in fisheries management from Lake Superior State University in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan. He then gained the added qualification of a captain’s license, something he used in his work with the DNR as he operated a vessel on Lake Michigan and conducted fisheries research. Through that time, he gained experience by interacting with most of the marinas in Michigan. There he saw a need for greater customer service and thought that he was unable to do that while working for the DNR.
When the Harbormaster job became available he saw it as a “no brainer.” Not only was the job in town, but it also would give him an “opportunity to interact with boaters on a more personal level” and to increase his involvement with the community. Crissman always wanted to live in a community-oriented town similar to the one in which he grew up. Considering a future with children, he also wanted to live in a town with good schools that took pride in itself. Elk Rapids seemed to be ideal. For years as he lived in northern Michigan everyone kept telling him what a great place it was to live. Now after living here for five years and recently becoming a first-time father of twins, a boy and a girl, he has found Elk Rapids to be a perfect fit.
Since people widely recognize Elk Rapids as having an excellent harbor, Crissman sees his primary job as maintaining that status. His goal is to provide professional and friendly staff that will encourage people to come back year after year. He aims to keep the current facilities in the best possible condition and then to enhance them whenever an opportunity arises to do so. He is currently working on planning this year’s Music in the Park and has already booked two performers. He plans for the harbor to hold concerts every Sunday in July at the pavilions. Crissman wants to facilitate a friendly and inviting atmosphere at the harbor. In his new position, he says he is “extremely open to opinions, comments or concerns” and that he is “always looking for input.” Extending a welcome to everyone, he wants to tell the community “don’t be afraid to stop in and say hi.”
ELK RAPIDS TOWNSHIP: