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Maritime--WISTA USA AGM Takes Manhattan

The WISTA USA 2015 AGM and Conference was held Friday, May 15, 2015 and hosted by the New York/New Jersey Chapter of WISTA USA. The topics discussed included Emerging Challenges Facing Shipping. A link of the notice is here => WISTA USA 2015 AGM.


For those not familiar with WISTA, the Women's International Shipping and Trading Association,  is a networking organization for women at management level in the maritime industry. WISTA mission statement holds that WISTA shall:
  • Facilitate the exchange of contacts, information and experiences among its members
  • Promote and facilitate the education of its members
  • Provide liaison with other related institutions and organizations worldwide
WISTA's vision is that shall be acknowledged as a professional and highly reputable shipping organization with focus on improving levels of competency in the shipping industry and shall:
  • Attract highly qualified people to the industry
  • Attract highly qualified people to the organization
  • Improve level of competency through focus on education and knowledge  
For those that have not attended a WISTA USA AGM, it begins with leadership meetings the day before. On the day of the AGM, there is a business meeting for WISTA members only, which lasts approximately 3 hours. The business of WISTA USA is discussed, items are voted on and chapters provide their chapter reports. Yours truly delivered the WISTA Florida chapter report, along with Lesley Karentz, my co-president for WISTA Florida.

The morning AGM is followed by a lunch and afternoon conference presentations. The presentations this year included presentations on:

Current Price of Crude Oil and its Impact on the Shipping Industry
Key Note Speaker:  Peter B. Evensen, President and CEO Teekay Corporation

Cybersecurity Session with Q&A
Captain Andrew Tucci, U.S. Coast Guard, Chief, Office of Ports and Facilities: Cybersecurity issues within the marine transportation system and the Coast Guard response
Emilian Papadopoulos, President, Good Harbor Security Risk Management, LLC: Cybersecurity, an industry perspective. How companies should prepare for the inevitable: a successful breach

Emerging Challenges Facing Shipping

Joseph Hughes, Chairman & CEO, The American Club: Bluewater blues: the insurance response to challenging times for the maritime transportation industry.
Captain Melissa Bert, Chief of Staff, United States Coast Guard Seventh District: Emerging regulatory issues in the maritime community (Member WISTA Florida!)
Nathalie Sykora, VP Global Technical Services at The CSL Group Inc.: Is your technical operations team ready to face future challenges?  An owner's perspective based on recent shipbuilding projects and transition to operations.
Lois Zabrocky, Senior Vice President and President of the International Flag Strategic Business Unit OSG Ship Management

The Conference wraps up with an AGM dinner--this year, it was at the fabulous India House. The India House came into being as an organization in 1914 when a group of businessmen headed by James A. Farrell, then president of United States Steel Company, in collaboration with Willard Straight, decided to create a meeting place for the interests of foreign trade. Presidents of the Lackawanna Steel Company, Dollar Steamship Company, W.R. Grace Shipping, Chase National Bank, and United States Rubber all became Governors of India House and remained active during its first two decades. The dinner was had in the properly named "Marine Room".

For more information on the impact of WISTA, you might be interested in reading the interview of our WISTA USA President, Alex Anagnostis-Irons, a fellow WISTA Florida member here =>

WISTA Takes Manhattan

At this event, I announced my intent on exploring a book on women in the shipping industry. I am in the process of outlining such a book and took away much inspiration from the AGM. Many of the ladies had great stories to share. If you are interested in reaching me, have a story to share with me or want more information on WISTA, feel free to contact me at



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