Houston Pilot Receives Prestigious Award

press release
Friday, September 09, 2011

Honored for Leadership: Houston Pilot receives prestigious award at Maritime Luncheon.

Captain Paul Brown of the Houston Pilots received the Paul Cuffee Leadership Award from Texas Southern University on July 1st, 2011 during its Summer Maritime Academy Session II Closing Ceremony Luncheon.  The Paul Cuffee Leadership Award honors those who demonstrate not only extraordinary leadership skills, but those who are extremely dedicated by their selfless mentoring to fellow pilots.

Brown was recognized along with John Etta with the Port of Houston Authority, Capt. Reginald McKamie, Admiralty Lawyer and fellow classmate of Brown’s at The United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point New York and Jeffrey Baldwin with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Brown, a former Presiding Officer of the Houston Pilots Association, began his career working for SEDCO, Inc. overseas in Aberdeen Scotland, Macaé Brazil and Alaska.  He transferred to Houston in 1981, and subsequently became the first African American Pilot in Texas and the second in the nation. Brown has attained several leadership positions within the Houston Pilots.  He served as First Vice President for two terms in 1999 and 2000 and then as Presiding Officer from 2002 to 2003.   He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Houston Maritime Museum and is a member of the Port Pilot Application Review Committee.

Brown commented, saying it is certainly an honor, and he is both grateful and thrilled to have been nominated to receive the Maritime Leadership Award. “In my opinion, these men are definitely maritime leaders,” Brown replied.  “An honor such as this is a wonderful way for Texas Southern Maritime Academy to recognize and celebrate Captain Paul Cuffee.  I am certain if Captain Paul Cuffee was here today he, too, would concur that the maritime industry has benefited from some of the choices – and sacrifices – Cuffee made.”

Paul Cuffee was born in 1759 in Massachusetts, and was a self-educated, hardworking entrepreneur who became a successful maritime captain and abolitionist.  At age 16, he signed on to work for a whaling ship where he learned many traits, one being navigation, which led him to a multitude of business opportunities that transformed Cuffee into a wealthy sea captain and one of the greatest mariners.  In 1797, Cuffee opened one of the first racially integrated schools because his children were not accepted in their local school.  Today, the Paul Cuffee Charter School, located in Providence, RI, is dedicated to the heroic life of Capt. Paul Cuffee.


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