Office hours (Pacific time)
110 SE Caruthers Street
Portland, OR 97214-4513
Portland Spirit History
The Portland Spirit, Willamette Star, Crystal Dolphin and Explorer vessels are locally owned and locally operated by American Waterways, Inc., which began operations in 1994. The Portland Spirit company also operates the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler, Locks Waterfront Grill, Marine Park Visitors Center, Gorge Pavilion and Thunder Island in the Port of Cascade Locks, Oregon. We employ approximately 150 people seasonally.
The Portland Spirit offices and moorage and maintenance facility are located just upstream (South) of OMSI (The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) and Portland Opera. Due to the light rail project and Bridge construction, it can be a bit tricky to get to Caruthers Landing. Here is a map to help you.
Daniel H. Yates
Heralding from upstate New York, Dan served in the U.S. Navy, received his Bachelor’s from Centre College in Kentucky, and his MBA from the University of Virginia. Dan is currently the President of the Central Eastside Industrial Council and serves on the boards of several other non-profit organizations.
Human Resources Director
Keith Biggs is responsible for all matters regarding our Human Resources department.
A native Oregonian, Dennis Corwin has been with the Portland Spirit since the very beginning in 1994. Dennis studied business and music performance at Portland State University. He has been in the restaurant/hospitality industry for over 25 years. He has also performed in over 50 theatrical productions around the region with such companies as Portland Opera, Broadway Rose Theatre Company, Lakewood Center for the Arts and Portland Civic Theatre.
Besides running the day to day operations for the Portland Spirit and Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler, Dennis is also the Company Security Officer, the ADA Compliance Officer, the Director of Entertainment, Director of Merchandising and most recently, the lead cast member for the upcoming Portland Spirit Docu-series "Ships Ahoy!"
Shawn Smith has been pursuing his dream of being a professional Chef since the age of ten and has worked in the profession since the age of fourteen. Shawn studied business administration in college in order to understand aspects of a restaurant that he was not experiencing first hand in the kitchen and dining room. During his fifteen years in the restaurant industry he has worked at several restaurants in the Pacific Northwest and Portland, including Raphael’s, Beaches and Pazzo. He accepted the position of Executive Chef of the Portland Spirit company in May 2004.
A native Oregonian, Shawn is very familiar with what the Pacific Northwest has to offer and pairs these foods with technique from regions of the world whose foods are similar. He believes that "One of the most important aspects of being a Chef is knowing what takes place before the culinary process." He enjoys being able to combine his cooking experience with his experience in fishing and farming to bring the best offerings from land and water, ultimately, to your table.
General Manager, Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler
Executive Service Director
Mindy Dean-Caldwell hails from the state of Iowa, living now in Oregon with her family, and has worked in the restaurant industry for many years. Now in her ninth year with the Portland Spirit, Mindy has seen every level of responsibility in the service industry and enjoys enabling people to reach their goals.
Kaye Conklin, CHAE
In April of 1999, Kaye joined the Portland Spirit management team. A graduate of the University of Maine at Orono, Kaye moved to Oregon in 1979. She worked in the hotel industry for over 18 years at the Inn at Otter Crest in Otter Rock, and the Heathman Hotel in downtown Portland before changing her career path.
Michael Chan has worked for the Portland Spirit since October 1997. Originally from upstate New York, Michael previously worked in the broadcast industry as an announcer and producer, and in various capacities in the food and beverage industry.