Our Team

Jennifer Klein- founding board member and treasurer

Jennifer grew up in the Bay Area of California, born with a love of the sea. When she was 10 years old, she recalls reading a Sunset Magazine or National Geographic article about Southeast Alaska. She remembers thinking “I want to live there”. So she did from 1975 to 2014 (with a 9 year hiatus to Cape Cod). She received a BA in History and along with her Construction Project Management work experience with the State of Alaska became involved with historical preservation. Five Finger Lighthouse became her canvas and she honed her writing skills to obtain numerous capital grants to help preserve, maintain and make Five Finger accessible to the public. None of this could have been possible without the strong skills and innovative ideas of she and her husband Ed. Sadly, Ed passed away in 2016 but his tireless efforts at the lighthouse will continue to be appreciated by future generations. Jennifer lives in California now, but looks forward to moving back to Southeast Alaska.

Paul Sharpe– president and board member since 2016

A four-time national Emmy Award winning cameraman and editor, Paul has traveled the world working on wildlife and adventure documentaries. His first visit to Five Finger Lighthouse came in the late 1980s when Paul was filming a humpback whale documentary for Mutual of Omaha featuring Jim Fowler. Since then, Paul has visited the lighthouse on several occasions and was the full time Lighthouse keeper in 2015. Paul is currently serving as president of the board of directors.

Jeff Erickson– secretary and board member since 2016

Jeff is a forty year resident of Petersburg, Alaska. He grew up in Washington and worked at a cannery for eleven years before becoming a full-time fisherman. Over the years he has enjoyed many visits to the lighthouse with friends and family. He is highly motivated to preserve and maintain the lighthouse infrastructure and the lovely island on which it stands so others can come and enjoy this magical place. With his 59′ seiner, 32′ open skiff and other craft, he is well equipped for supporting work parties and moving equipment on and off the island. “The first thing I do every day when I wake up is check the weather at Five Finger Lighthouse”.

Thomas Cumps– vice president and board member since 2018

Thomas resides in Petersburg with his family, wife Alice and sons Julian and Rik. Thomas grew up in Belgium and after graduating from college, moved to Colorado in 1994 to work as a physical therapist. He has been working in the seafood industry in Petersburg since 1999 and owns and runs Northern Lights Smokeries. His love for the outdoors combined with his interest for history made it an easy decision to get involved with the preservation of Five Finger Lighthouse. “It truly is a very special place on it’s tiny island. Each visit is a magical experience and it’s always hard to leave. I look forward to helping the board of Five Finger Lighthouse Society grow and generate many new productive members here in Petersburg and elsewhere. I can’t wait to go back when the weather allows and tackle the next project”

Paul Johnsen– board member since 2019

Paul Johnsen retired to Petersburg in 2007 after a long career as a marine engineer.  Originally from New York state, Paul graduated from the US Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York with two things:  a dual degree (deck and engine) and a burning desire to leave New York.  Paul worked all over the world both on board ships and ashore as a ship superintendent and a port engineer living in Georgia, Florida, Taiwan, and the Philippines.  In 1997, he moved to Southeast Alaska for good, serving with the AMHS again for ten more years as Juneau port engineer and a vessel chief engineer. Paul will draw on his reservoir of engineering experience to address Five Finger Lighthouse electrical and mechanical issues.  “The lighthouse is an exceptionally beautiful place, and I enjoy nature very much.  I just think it’s improved (and made more accessible) by the hum of well-functioning machinery.” Paul is a reluctant fisherman, a lap swimmer, and a pesco-vegetarian.  He believes he’s the only person to have attended Woodstock with a military academy crewcut, and he hopes to live long enough to vote for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for president.