our 2019 Annual Meeting, I started to think from time to time
about what I would write in my last remarks as CMA President.
These remarks bear very little resemblance to what I generally
thought I would be writing about.
any other year, I would probably have focused quite a bit
on the 2020 CMA Conference, which had been scheduled to take
place just last week, long before people had ever heard of
COVID-19. I would be fondly recounting the wonderful, productive
sessions, the networking, and the many friends we get to reconnect
with each year at our Conference. I would have talked about
a sold-out Gala Dinner, where we were going to celebrate our
2020 Commodore, Lois Zabrocky. COVID-19 has, of course, changed
all of this. Back in February, as the spread of the virus
was gaining momentum, we made the decision to postpone the
CMA Conference to June 29-July 1, 2020, and we continue to
monitor the situation closely.
to me the other day, though, as I was feeling disappointed
about postponing the CMA Conference, that it is really a luxury
in this moment to be able to feel disappointed like this,
and I turned instead to how much I have to be thankful for.
It has been such an honor and pleasure to have been given
such trust by the CMA membership to have been the steward
of this august organization. Truth be told, I stand on the
shoulders of those that preceded me, who established and set
this organization on its course back in 1984. I have worked
hard to surround myself with Board members who are smarter
than I am, and who are not bashful about disagreeing with
me. It hasn't always made my job easy, but I know that it
has always led us to a better outcome for the organization.
four years, as CMA President, really have been a particular
pleasure. I have had the opportunity to meet and become friends
with so many people, across all sectors of the Maritime Industry.
Ship Agents, Suppliers, Owners and Charterers, Service Providers
of all sorts, from sales people up to CEO's. Surely, our industry
must be among the most friendly of all, and that is one of
the strengths of our organization. I also want to specifically
thank and mention our friends at the US Coast Guard, great
folks like Admiral Ray, Rear Admiral Nadeau, Rear Admiral
Timme, Rear Admiral Thomas and so many others, who are all
great supporters of the CMA. The commitment of these people
and the USCG in general to the safety of our seafarers and
our vessels is an inspiration. In addition to their responsibilities
such as search and rescue, pollution response, PSC inspections,
etc., they take their mandate to facilitate the movement of
commerce with the utmost seriousness. Having interacted with
them in different ways over the years, all I can say is that
it has reinforced to me the importance of supporting the US
Coast Guard as fully as I can, indeed as they support our
industry. Make no mistake, when the going gets tough, these
are the folks you want in your corner.
all know, our Annual Meeting had been scheduled for April
30th, 2020, when we would have elected new Board members,
and I was to update the membership on the State of the CMA.
Of course, given the circumstances, we have canceled the in-person
meeting. However, considering the unique circumstances in
which we find ourselves, we have made plans to vote on-line
on April 30th, and the results of the election will be announced
to the membership via email on the afternoon of April 30,
2020, along with the State of the CMA. Full details are in
this month's newsletter, and in addition, we will send out
reminders of the upcoming election over the next few weeks.
I have a whole lot of folks I want to thank. Past CMA Presidents
- what is there to say? Especially in these past few months,
I have reached out to them, and really appreciated their input
as I have had to make decisions about how to deal with the
COVID-19 situation, and I cannot thank them enough. All of
the CMA Board members that I have served with since I first
began as the Education Chair through my two terms as President
have been great, all inspiring in their own way. All of these
volunteer Board members do such a great job of managing their
different CMA responsibilities, on top of their day jobs and
family responsibilities. I cannot thank them enough for the
commitment that they show day in, day out, to keep the CMA
moving forward. Any success that I have had as CMA President
over the past four years I surely owe to them, as they give
so much of themselves to our organization. I have been so
lucky to have received counsel from Jim Lawrence and Lorraine
Parsons over the years, any time I have asked, and really,
where would we be today without all of the great folks over
at IMS, who have been the backbone of our events year after
year. Kim Edwards, Compuledger and Informa - thanks to you
all. I also need to thank the d'Amico family, whose support
of me as CMA President, and of the CMA in general, I can only
describe as enthusiastic. Thanks especially to my wife, Gerri,
and our son, James, whom many of you know, for embracing my
choice to work this second job over these past years - thanks
so much for all of your patience and support.
most of all, to our membership. You are all among a special
breed, to be sure, a small and tightly knit group of very
smart and hard working women and men who keep 90% of all goods
moving around our planet, and working hard every day to do
it more efficiently and economically, while presently accounting
for less than 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions. You are
the thought leaders of our industry, implementing the agenda
that has brought us cleaner oceans, ballast water treatment,
significant reductions in sulphur emissions, and in the coming
years, moving our industry to zero emissions. Shipping is
at the tip of the spear regarding global environmental initiatives.
We should all be so proud of this fact and tell everyone that
we know about all of the work that we are doing to achieve
these worthy goals. It has truly been an honor and a privilege
to have worked for you all as President these past four years.
The support that you have shown me, and the feedback that
you have provided to me, have been meaningful to me in ways
that I cannot even express. Thank you.