At the recent global Women's International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) annual meeting and conference held in Montreal, Jeanne Grasso, a partner at Blank Rome LLP, was elected to the Executive Committee of WISTA International. Jeanne has been the President of WISTA USA for the past five years, during which time its membership has increased by nearly 30% to become the largest in the global Association. In addition to activities within each of the eight regional Chapters, WISTA USA is the host of an Annual General Meeting hosted by one of its Chapters, as well as the kick off luncheon for the Connecticut Maritime Association’s annual shipping conference in March.
“The last five years have been a challenging, exciting and rewarding experience and WISTA USA has accomplished a lot”, stated Grasso. “Even more important are the lifelong friends I’ve made along the way – both in the U.S. and internationally. I can’t imagine finding a better group of women than those on our Board, Leadership Team and within our Membership.”
Given the increased demands of the international position, Ms. Grasso will be relinquishing the Presidency of WISTA USA to Alexandra Anagnostis, President and Owner of Total Marine Solutions. Alex sees an opportunity to “push the profile” of WISTA USA as it continues to promote women in maritime.
“WISTA has proven to be one of the most effective networking organizations in the maritime industry for female executives”, claimed Anagnostis. “The results of the contacts made and friendships formed go beyond strengthening business relationships; WISTA opens the door to aspects of our industry which members otherwise may not explore. I am very proud to be a WISTA member and look forward to doing my part to ensure its continued success and growth.”
The recent conference in Montreal was extremely well received, with WISTA USA having 47 delegates in attendance. The attendees heard a number of perspectives on the challenges facing the marine industry in “Navigting the Seas of Change,” the conference theme.