CMA is back into its usual, interesting fall program of events,
and there is plenty to talk about, and to look forward to.
so pleased to see so many of the membership come out to attend
the September Education Luncheon. Those of you who were unable
to attend missed a really fascinating discussion moderated
by former CMA Intern Matt McCleery (The Shipping Man), with
panelists Rich du Moulin, Robert Bugbee and Per Heidenreich.
If you had ever wondered how these industry luminaries got
their start, this was your opportunity. I must say, that I
have never attended a CMA lunch where the attendees were as
quiet as they were at the September lunch, with the whole
room really hanging on the panels every word. Thanks again
to our moderator and panelists for their participation - the
discussion was funny and insightful, touching on many aspects
of shipping, career paths, what drove some of their decisions,
also a great day for the students. If you are not aware of
the great work being done by the CMA Education Foundation,
you should know that at the luncheon that day, multiple scholarships
of $1,500 were presented to students, and for the first time,
a student received a $10,000 scholarship. This work is directly
supporting our future generations of shipping professionals,
and I would urge all of the membership to get involved. Check
out their website at www.cma-edu.org to learn more about the
Education Foundation, and notice the big "DONATE NOW"
button on the home page. It is a worthy cause, indeed. Bravo
Zulu to the CMA Education Foundation Board - they are working
very hard to fulfill the Foundation's mission, and they put
together a great panel of speakers for the September lunch.
Please do what you can to support them, and the Foundation's
the things that really struck me during the panel discussion
at the September lunch, was the fact that although Rich, Robert
and Per are all fierce industry competitors, it was very clear
that they are also friendly competitors. We had a chance to
understand how the lives of these three industry leaders have
been intertwined over the years, and what was clear, among
other things, is that these people have a great deal of respect
for one another.
is such a critical aspect of our industry. You may remember
last month when I wrote that shipping is a relatively small
industry with a long memory, and that principles regularly
do business with clients and competitors alike, and that we
prefer to do business with those that we like. This is the
reality of our business, and it only makes sense. We are at
our best, and our business is at its best, when there is a
certain level of respect between the parties doing business.
This doesn't mean that we won't argue over doing a little
better on a freight rate, pushing to get a clause we need,
or do our best with a demurrage claim. However, it does mean
that there is an implicit understanding that our counterpart
on the other side of the deal is also a shipping professional,
and should be treated accordingly.
that we understand that we all use the same definitions of
maritime nomenclature, that we all understand how to read
a charter party and clauses, and that we all know what is
standard industry practice for a given situation. To assume
any less of your counterpart would simply be disingenuous,
and to do so over and over again would likely leave one to
be a counter party of last resort, and honestly, who would
want to be that. I would suggest that our panelists really
exemplify the sort of respect for one another that can only
be beneficial to our cherished industry, that makes us stronger
as a group, and that we should all strive to emulate. I believe
that our industry is too small to act otherwise. As an old
friend of mine once said jokingly, "Can you load acid
into an epoxy coated cargo tank? Sure. You can do it once.
You can do anything once." And so it is true with the
way we act towards our counterparties. You can treat them
disrespectfully once, but it becomes a problem if it is done
repeatedly in this small community of ours. If I had to choose
just one take-away from our panel discussion, it would be
that one can be respectful of ones competitors and counterparts,
and rise to the very top of our industry while doing so.
said earlier, we are off to an interesting fall program, so
please mark your calendars for all of our upcoming events.
27th will be a busy day for the CMA membership. It will begin
with our next luncheon event, where we will welcome Ralph
K. Markarian, PhD, who will speak about oil spill response,
and the Deepwater Horizon incident, with which he was involved.
It should be a very interesting presentation. We will then
follow up in the evening with a cocktail event at Sign of
the Whale in Stamford. Please be on the lookout for complete
details - we think that this will be a great event for the
Manhattan luncheon will be at The Yale Club on November 15th,
where we are very pleased to be bringing Cesare d'Amico to
speak. Cesare is, among other things, the Chief Executive
Officer of d'Amico Società di Navigazione S.p.A., and
we really appreciate the support that he and d'Amico are showing
the CMA by travelling here from Italy just to spend some time
speaking to us. It is worth mentioning, as well, that for
the past few years, The d'Amico Shipping Group have also been
sponsoring the award money for the annual CMA Essay Contest
that takes place each year at the CMA Conference. We really
appreciate the d'Amico's commitment to the current industry
through the CMA, and their commitment to the future of the
shipping industry through the CMA Education Foundation.
for those of you that really like to plan ahead, we have now
booked the CMA Christmas Party. It will be held on Tuesday,
December 13th, at Sign of the Whale. As always, we will be
sending out full details in due course.