Officers & Board
Paddy Rodgers
CEO, Euronav NV
Joseph Gross
D’Amico Shipping USA Ltd
Chris Aversano
Braemar ACM
Jasmine Alvarado
Nick Sofos
Groton Pacific Carriers
Greg Kurantowicz
Axeon Specialty Products LLC
Jonathan Koren
D’Amico Shipping USA Ltd
Ryan Jurewicz
Inchcape Shipping Services
P& A
Capt. Larry Liu
Charles R. Weber Company
Kevin Breen
Charles R. Weber Company
Moira Whalen
Marine Money
Donald B. Frost
D.B. Frost Associates,Inc.
Lorraine Parsons
I.M.S., Inc.
Kim Edwards
James R. Lawrence
IMS/MTI Network (USA), Inc.

The Connecticut Maritime Association is a non-profit organization which was built by its members, for its members, and as such is one of kind.

Unlike many similar organizations which are supported largely by corporate membership, the CMA's voting membership is comprised only of individuals. From bunker brokers and tug-boat operators to lawyers and underwriters, to ship owners, brokers and managers, shippers and merchants of all kinds of cargo, each CMA member has an equal and separate vote.

The CMA was created as a self-help group of shipping people, and remains a conduit for the exchange of information and a source of camaraderie and fellowship that is unique and vital to the shipping community. In 2014, the CMA celebrated its thirtieth anniversary. It prospers with over 1,500 members representing nearly 500 companies and organizations.

President's Notes

September 2016


About Norm Schmidt, and what makes shipping such a great industry.

There are a number of attributes that I would suggest are critical in the make up of the ideal, successful shipping professional. Here are a few that come to my mind:

Personality - We all know that at its core, shipping, a relatively small industry with a long memory, is a people driven business. Principals regularly do business with clients and competitors alike, and we must all get along well enough to keep commerce moving efficiently. We like to have fun with those that we are doing business with, and we prefer to do business with those that we like. We all work very hard, but at the end of the day, we all manage to have fun doing it.

Networking - This is critical. We are always looking to develop new business and new clients, and this means getting out there and meeting new people. It also means learning about these new people, what they think, and what their expertise might be. Those who are best at this also look for groups of people that might not yet know one another, and find opportunities to bring complimentary people together.

Knowing where to find answers - Not one of us knows everything. However, some of us are lucky enough to know a couple of people who always seem to know the right person to contact to find the information needed. This ability is of course tied closely to trust, personality and networking acumen.

The joy of the deal - Shipping people love to conclude deals, whether it is a business transaction, or in my somewhat expanded definition, fixing a vexing problem. It's the satisfaction of using all of your skills to achieve your end.

Mentoring - We are very lucky in this industry that one does not need a specialized education to succeed and advance. What one needs is the right personality, a willingness to work hard, perseverance, and a great mentor. We do have great mentors in this industry. We have people willing to teach younger generations everything they know, make introductions, teach them to find answers, to look at a stow plan or an offer with a critical eye. I simply believe that there are few other industries today that can match the sort of positive mentoring that we are so lucky to have in ours.

My friend, Norm Schmidt, had all of the attributes above in spades, and more. Those of you lucky enough to know him and call him a friend know this very well.

I met Norm in August of 1990, working at Saudi Petroleum as a Cadet, for Captain Tom Scott (SUNY Maritime 1977), who introduced me to Norm (thanks Tom!). Norm represented the agents Saudi Petroleum used at the time, GAC. Norm was genuinely interested in people, and so he was with me. Here was an industry professional, at the top of his career, interested in what I (a Cadet) was doing, what my plans were, what I was thinking. After I graduated and went to sea, I would always stay in touch with Norm, let him know when I was coming home or going back to sea.

Norm was well known for, among other things, putting tables of people together periodically at Smith & Wollensky in Manhattan for lunch. I think he really found joy in bringing people together, some of whom might not know the others, and help to expand his friends' networks. I was never a client of Norms, but he would often invite me to these lunches, for no other reason than to introduce me to other people. The lunches were always great fun for me, as Norm would introduce people, tell a few new jokes that he absolutely had to share with everyone, and remind people how delicious the baby lamb chops were. I'll always remember these events and his generosity.

I remember one time when I came home for vacation for 3 months or so, and mentioned to Norm that I would love to find a job ashore to occupy myself with until I went back out to sea. Norm introduced me to Captain Tom Scott (SUNY Maritime 1978), who was working at OMI at the time. One of the people working for him needed just a little more sea time for his Master's license, so Tom offered me an opportunity to fill in for this person. While the job didn't work out for me because of my schedule, I did gain a friendship with Tom, again thanks to Norm.

Another time, in 1995 to be exact, I had mentioned to Norm that a couple of friends and I had been playing around with a project for a coastal car ferry on the US East Coast, waiting for Cuba to open, etc., etc. Not the first to think of it, and certainly not the last. Literally a few days after mentioning this to Norm, a package showed up at my house, with a binder full of information about Grimaldi car ferries, along with a two page letter suggesting a few people that he thought I would need to meet in order to see if this project could be developed, one of whom I remain friends with even today. Again, thanks Norm! I still have the binder and the letter.

More than anything, it was always clear that Norm loved what he did - bringing people together, mentoring, getting deals done, knowing the right people to get the question answered.

This is all to say, that when I think about what it means to be a really successful shipping professional, I think of my friend, Norm. Norm was a member of the CMA until 1996, and retired not long after that. When I think of the attributes I mentioned above, and the stories about Norm, I think to myself that these are the very things that we work so hard to embody in the Connecticut Maritime Association. It is these very things that make us better and more successful in our careers, and frankly, better people. As I thought about Norm over the past day, it occurred to me that Norm didn't actually need the CMA - Norm was rather his own maritime association - the Norm Maritime Association. The NMA had a devoted membership, sought after social events, and networking opportunities which were hard to match elsewhere.

To me, Norm will always represent the very best that a shipping professional could be. I do try very hard to emulate what I saw in him, but I don't imagine I will ever really check off all the attributes I mentioned the way Norm did (I don't know nearly as many jokes as Norm did…).

My friend Norm passed away on Sunday, August 14th. It had been a while since we were last in touch (too long, actually), and I had been talking about Norm with a friend just a few weeks ago, and had planned to get in touch with Norm to catch up soon. I'm sad that I didn't have the opportunity to have one more conversation with him. I am happy, though, that I am able to have called Norm my friend, as everyone lucky enough to have known him would be. Norm, with his outsized personality, helped to make this the fun and interesting industry that it is for all of us today, and I would say that all of us should strive to bring a little bit of Norm with us to work each day - mentor someone new to shipping, get a satisfying deal done, or introduce a few people to each other. These are the things that make our industry so great, and they are the things that Norm did so well. I know that CMA's membership joins me in sending our heartfelt condolences to Norm's lovely wife, Janet, his son, Karl, son-in-law, Paul, and the entire Schmidt family. I will miss my friend, Norm.

Joe Gross
CMA President

Event Calendar
Thursday, September 22, 2016

CMA Education Awards Luncheon

Education? Experience?
What can save this market?

Panel of CMA Commodores

Richard du Moulin
CMA Commodore 1999

Per Heidenreich
CMA Commodore 2000

Robert Bugbee
CMA Commodore 2014

Moderated by Matt McCleery,
President of Marine Money
(and one-time CMA Summer Intern!)

Presentation of the Annual CMA Education Awards

Water’s Edge at Giovanni’s II

2748 Post Road, Darien, CT 06820

Open Bar: 12 Noon – Seating for Lunch 12:45 pm

Members $50 / Non-Members $60

Thursday, October 27, 2016

CMA Speaker Luncheon

Speaker & Topic TBA

Water’s Edge at Giovanni’s II

2748 Post Road, Darien, CT 06820

Cash Bar: 12 Noon – Seating for Lunch 12:45 pm

Members $50 / Non-Members $60

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

5rd Annual New York City Speaker Luncheon

The Yale Club of New York City
50 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, NY 10017

(just steps away from Grand Central Station)

Cesare d’Amico, CEO of d’Amico

Cocktail Reception: 12 Noon – Grand Ballroom, 20th Floor

Seating for Lunch 12:45 pm – Grand Ballroom, 20th Floor

$110 Members/ $125 Non-Members

Reservations and Pre-payments are required for this one.


For Reservations for all CMA Events please call Emilie at +1.203.406.0109 Ext 3725, Lorraine at Ext 3717 or email or

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