Port Manatee’s Joe Gontarski was elected the International Propeller Club of the United States Southeast Region Maritime Person of the Year April 20th at ceremonies in Charleston, S.C.
The award is the Southeast Region’s highest honor and was won on the fourth ballot from among 14 eligible ports. Gontarski’s nomination was brought forth by virtue of receiving a similar award in March from the Port Manatee Propeller Club. He is now qualified for consideration in October for the International Maritime Person of the Year at ceremonies planned for Athens, Greece.
Considered by many to be the dean of Tampa Bay’s maritime community, Gontarski has been Port Manatee’s senior director and special assistant to Executive Director David McDonald PPM for the past 20 years. He served as port director for the Port of Tampa in the 1970s and launched his own successful maritime consulting firm in 1981.
Gontarski is a licensed practitioner before the Federal Maritime Commission. He also serves on the executive board of the Tampa Bay Harbor Safety and Security Committee and is a former chairman of the Florida Ports Council.
Port Manatee’s Propeller Club is chartered by the International Propeller Club of the United States and is dedicated to furthering the nation’s maritime industries and the U.S. merchant marine.