Shipping 2017 is now in the history books, and what a great
event it was. All of our events are meant to bring our community
together, but of course it is the Conference that draws us
together in a more unique way than our purely social events.
me thank again all of the participants, panelists and sponsors
without whom the Conference would simply not exist. This is
the event at which we get to see all of our extended membership
and CMA friends, and exchange ideas with them. This years
seminars were all so interesting, and each was important in
its own way, as we work together to move the industry forward.
I only heard one complaint this year, from several people,
which was that there were too many seminars that people wanted
to attend, and picking was proving to be difficult. It's the
best complaint that I can imagine.
had policy makers in our midst, from the US Coast Guard, Intertanko,
and Intercargo. Ship Owners. Senior management from Class
Societies, legal experts, technical experts, analysts, traders.
You name the sector, and there was someone with us as a representative.
As CMA President, all I can say is that it was a truly humbling
few days. The caliber of the people in attendance is a testament
to the caliber of our membership, and the reputation of the
Conference as an event where news can be made amongst all
of the seminars and discussions.
you were lucky enough to attend the Gala Dinner, you were
treated to some pretty entertaining speeches by Rich du Moulin,
Robert Bugbee, and of course, our 2016 Commodore, Paddy Rodgers.
Jack Buono, retired now, but previously of ExxonMobil, and
also one of Jack Noonan's Kings Point classmates, made a surprise
presentation to our new Commodore, of some historical significance.
star of the evening was, of course, Jack Noonan, CEO of Chembulk
Tankers, and our 2017 Commodore. People have been talking
about Jack's speech since the event, and with good reason.
What is so different about Jack, is that he seems to identify
himself as a Mariner first, and then as a Ship Owner, because
he came from the ships. It is something that I can relate
to, as well, as can any of us lucky enough to have started
our careers at sea. His respect for and strong relationships
with those manning his ships came through loud and clear in
his remarks that night, and let's face it, without those unique
men and women keeping our remarkable ships operating day in
and day out, we wouldn't be in this business.
made Jack's speech, and focus on the seafarers, even more
interesting, was the number of times I heard seminars turning
to seafarer issues at various seminars during the week. Whether
the seminar was about technology, regulatory compliance, market
sector analysis, just as examples, it seemed that at some
point the issue of the seafarer came up. At the Commodores'
Roundtable (do NOT miss this in 2018 if you haven't yet attended
this event) a great deal of time was spent among the participants
discussing the seafarers, concerns about them, importance
of them, etc. As a seafarer myself, noticing all of this attention
to the seafarers who continue to ply the seas left me with
a very good feeling, indeed.
no commentary about the CMA Conference would be complete without
also thanking the CMA Board, and Lorraine Parsons, Jim Lawrence
and all of the folks at IMS, without them, our Conference
would not have ascended to the level of international importance
that it has. Very few of us ever get to see a lot of the hard
work that goes on behind the scenes to make the Conference
happen, and with Lorraine, Jim and IMS manning their posts,
they make it all look simple and seamless, and that is a real
testament to their expertise and professionalism. We cannot
thank them enough.