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Ken Szallai Retires From Lake Express After 15 Years

In 1970, the Milwaukee Clipper ferry halted operations between Milwaukee and Muskegon, Michigan as interstate highway systems became prevalent and the cost of maintaining the 361-foot behemoth overwhelmed the company. More than 30 years later, a series of surprises and coincidences helped New Jersey native and former Port of Milwaukee director Ken Szallai to begin the Lake Express ferry to fill the historic gap.

Now, after 15 years at the helm, Ken Szallai is ready to step down. He will retire after this summer's operating season. "It's been a full career with a lot of variety in it and some interesting stuff happening along the way," says Szallai.

Lake Effect's Mitch Teich took the opportunity to board the Lake Express early one recent morning for a conversation about the history of the company, the ship, and the founder.