WISTA Annual Luncheon at CMA’s Shipping 2012 presents action-packed program. Bahamas signs Washington Declaration, lessons learned from Deepwater Horizon, and a Flag Ceremony farewell to USCG Vice Commandant Brice O’Hara.
WISTA USA President Jeanne M. Grasso presided over an action-packed program at this year’s WISTA USA Annual Luncheon held at the beginning of CMA’s Shipping 2012 conference in Stamford, Connecticut. “I don’t think we could have made this year’s luncheon more exciting, interesting, or robust”, stated Grasso, a Blank Rome LLP Partner and President of WISTA USA. This is the 7th year that WISTA has held this luncheon, which kicks off the annually successful CMA event.
With a record attendance of over 260 people, the program began with the signing by the Bahamas Maritime Authority of the Washington Declaration condemning acts of violence against seafarers. The Bahamas joins the Republics of The Marshall Islands, Panama and Liberia, who signed the Declaration last August 3rd. As part of the Declaration, the above Flag States recognized the increasing problems of acts of piracy and armed robbery against merchant vessels and their seafarers and the associated increased use of violence associated with the piratical incidents.
The luncheon keynote speaker, introduced by Vice Commandant Sally Brice-O’Hara, was Rear Admiral (RADM) Mary Landry (United States Coast Guard (USCG) Retired), the Federal On-Scene Coordinator during the first days of the Deepwater Horizon incident “WISTA USA was pleased to have such a distinguished woman as our honored guest”, stated Jeanne Grasso. “Mary not only represents success in the maritime field, but also the finest qualities of integrity, determination and perseverance. She will influence all maritime professionals with her perspectives on leadership, management, and managing crises.”
The luncheon concluded with a Flag Ceremony performed by students from the Maritime Industries Academy of Baltimore, under the direction of NJROTC Chief Steve Shephard. The flag, which was passed along the Corps members to the reading of “Old Glory”, was presented to Vice Commandant Brice-O’Hara in recognition of her contributions to the maritime community. Sponsors of the event included Blank Rome LLP, International Registries, Inc. / The Marshall Islands Registry, Total Marine Solutions, Inc., BLT Chembulk Group, NAMEPA, and Clay Maitland.
WISTA is an international organization for women in management level positions involved in the maritime transportation business and related trades, worldwide. WISTA USA has over 250 members. This year’s WISTA USA Annual General Meeting will be held in Houston, TX on May 9-11th.