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Mentor Appreciation Month: Terra Taylor, John Stilwell, and Paul Huber

Two people at a holiday party in Seattle.
Hope Van Bruggen (left) and Terra Taylor (right) at the Manson Seattle Holiday Party in 2019.


Terra Taylor has been with me through every step of my five years at Manson (even though we haven’t worked in the same department for the last four). My first memory of Terra is from my interview for the role of Payroll Clerk in 2017. At the beginning of the interview, she started laughing and couldn’t stop. I knew then that I wanted to work with her.

Terra was a tough egg to crack, but I was up for the challenge. I got to know her on a personal level and quickly realized she is funny, witty, extremely compassionate, and a little bit sassy. All of the qualities that I want in a friend and coworker. Terra has done everything from teaching me tricks in Timberline to consoling me on hard days when life had me down. Both of these bring equal significance to creating a close bond.

When the position for the Seattle Yard Administrator became available, I talked to her about applying for the position and she didn’t hesitate to encourage me. Later that day, she sent me the “Manson University Module 1: Project Administration” packet and told me to study up for my interview (mind you I hadn’t even applied, let alone been offered an interview). When I asked her if she would be upset if I left payroll she told me “No, because it’ll be nice to have an admin that already knows the ropes, and it’ll help make my life easier.” To know that the person who has trained you is confident in your abilities means so much, but it also means they are a great teacher.

Thank you, TT, I appreciate you.

Submitted by: Hope Van Bruggen, Seattle Yard Administrator

”A good mentor hopes you will move on. A great mentor knows you will.” – Higgins (Ted Lasso, 2020)

A man taking a selfie.
John Stilwell, Electrical Superintendent


In response to Mentor/Influencer Appreciation month, I would like to recognize a man that has a strong work ethic and, perhaps unbeknownst to him, inspired many people, like myself, to realize that everyone can be better and make a difference. Such a man who has at times faced overwhelming responsibilities, but found motivation from others and in turn became a driving force guiding people in the right direction. He has had a remarkably interesting journey through life and I am proud to have him as a mentor! This man is Electrical Superintendent John Stilwell.

I have only worked with him during my six and a half years here at Manson on various projects and tasks in which I have learned a lot from him that has made me a better person and employee here at Manson. I enjoy hearing his stories of past experiences that always have something to do with a lesson being learned now. He always makes you think to find a better way and always looks and finds the best in people. He is a good friend to me & my family!

Thank you, John!

Submitted by: David Swanner, Port Engineer

Two people at a conference.
Simon Johnston (left) and Paul Huber (right) at a Manson Leadership Conference in 2007.


Not everyone at Manson has the privilege to learn from an industry mentor and professional engineer with more than 23 years of experience at the company, but we’re lucky here in the Equipment Engineering Department. Paul Huber has been an irreplaceable force in shaping my understanding and appreciation of marine equipment design.

His knowledge of marine crane and dredge design, driven by his penchant for life-long learning, is as deep as it is wide. Above all, Paul is a patient and thorough teacher. His ability to hand-draw and explain engineering concepts and designs in a multitude of ways is truly unbounded. The countless hours I’ve spent under his tutelage have been equally fulfilling and memorable.

I’m forever grateful for the time we all have to learn from Paul, and for every way he enriches and elevates our department; not only with his engineering talents but his ongoing commitment to define mentorship here at Manson.

Submitted by: Matt Clegg, Former Manson Employee

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