More than 600 maritime community leaders assembled Friday, Jan. 30, at the Charleston Area Convention Center to celebrate the 89th anniversary of the Maritime Association of South Carolina, at which time its new board of directors was introduced and several distinguished supporters were honored.
Honorees included State Ports Authority (SPA) Chairman Bill Stern, who received the association’s Gadsden Award; Congressman Tom Rice, recognized as Legislator of the Year; maritime industry leader Rob New, who accepted the Beacon Award; and Carnival Cruise Lines, for their commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability.
Bill Stern received the Gadsden Award because of his exemplary leadership and sustained support of the maritime industry. Credited with leading the SPA Board through both tumultuous and prosperous times, Stern has never wavered in his belief that South Carolina is home to a world-class port that is the engine that runs the state’s economy. Under his leadership, volumes at the Port of Charleston are now back to pre-recession levels and Charleston Harbor is set to become the deepest in the Southeast – a vital and necessary project that positions the state economy and the maritime community well for the future.Honorees included State Ports Authority (SPA) Chairman Bill Stern, who received the association’s Gadsden Award; Congressman Tom Rice, recognized as Legislator of the Year; maritime industry leader Rob New, who accepted the Beacon Award; and Carnival Cruise Lines, for their commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability.
Introduced as a key component in the effort to have the needs of the ports of Charleston and Georgetown included in last year’s Water Resources Development Act, Congressman Tom Rice was recognized as Legislator of the Year. Wrenzie Rice accepted the award on behalf of her husband, who was called away on congressional duties. Through a statement provided by his office, Congressman Rice stated, “I am honored to receive this award from the Maritime Association of South Carolina. The maritime industry is vital to our country’s economy and it is critical that Congress and the states are committed to maintaining our nation’s waterways. Being from a coastal district with a low-tonnage port in need of attention, I understand the impact the maritime industry has on my community’s job market and local economy, which is why I am committed to advocating for water resources legislation, water infrastructure funding and the shipbuilding industry.”
Maritime industry veteran Rob New was given the Beacon Award for his long and distinguished career on the waterfront. New has been an outspoken community leader for 30 years. His knowledge of, and passion for, the waterfront is unparalleled. He is widely viewed as the go-to source for maritime-related issues and continues to be a key player in a growing and prosperous maritime community.
Joanie Field accepted the Environmental Stewardship Award on behalf of Carnival Cruise Lines. This award is presented only to companies that demonstrate a true commitment to sustainability by going above and beyond what is required of them. Carnival’s local efforts with regard to air quality, wastewater policy and landfill reduction were identified as determining factors in their being selected for this award. These initiatives include plans to install “scrubbers” on the Charleston-based Fantasy and other ships that will reduce particulate matter and sulfur dioxide by more than 85 percent and a commitment to utilize the cleanest fuel commercially available until the “scrubbers” are installed. Additionally, Carnival has committed to not discharging waste within 12 miles of Charleston Harbor, a 300 percent improvement over the minimum federal standard, and donates hundreds of items from the Fantasy – normally destined for the landfill – to local charities and churches. Through their actions, Carnival consistently demonstrates that sustainability is not a cost of doing business, but a way of doing business.
Pam Zaresk, president of the Maritime Association of South Carolina, lauded the recipients, saying, “I cannot think of more deserving awardees. Without Bill Stern’s commitment and leadership, and Congressman Rice’s unifying efforts, harbor deepening would be ‘stuck in the mud,’ so to speak. Rob New’s decades of service and contributions to both the maritime sector and community at large cannot be overstated. And Carnival’s continuing commitment to sustainable practices and robust environmental policies while ensuring a safe, efficient and effective operation is truly noteworthy.”
Also during the meeting portion of the event, 2014 Chairman D. Loy Stewart Jr. of Detyens Shipyards passed the gavel to incoming Chairman Hal Burton of Premier Logistics Solutions. Burton introduced his 2015 executive committee, which includes Vice Chairman Pat Barber, (Superior Transportation); Treasurer Jon Archer (Moran Charleston) and Secretary Jessica Sage (Charleston’s Rigging and Marine Hardware).
New directors to the board include: Richard Butts (Charleston Port Services – Georgetown), Kirk Darby (Huguenot Fuels), David Hearne (First Citizens Bank), David Northrup (Evergreen Shipping), John Perez (Terminal Shipping) and Miles Stalvey (HUB International).
They join current board members: John Alvanos (ILA, Local 1771), Leonard Bailey (ILA, 1422-A), David Barber (Biehl & Co.), Bill Bean (Ports America), Liz Deaton (Argents Express), Sam Hines (K&L Gates), Barbara Locklear (J.F. Moran), Jeff McWhorter (Palmetto Railways), Jim Newsome (South Carolina State Ports Authority), Chris Parvin (Mediterranean Shipping Co.) and Mel Pinks (Odfjell Bulk Terminals), Bratton Riley (Maybank Industries), Kenneth Riley (ILA, 1422), Max Sanders (APM Terminals), Whit Smith (Charleston Branch Pilots Association), Andy Thomas (First Tennessee Bank), Coleman Thompson (Hunter Transportation), Jeff Winkler (The InterTech Group) and Steve Young (Dockside Logistics).
The Maritime Association of South Carolina is a nonprofit trade association whose mission is to promote, protect and advance the interests of the state’s ports and associated businesses throughout the state.