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In this special section, we recognize a group of professionals selected as Breakbulk’s NextGen – the next generation of leaders for the breakbulk, over-dimensional and industrial project supply chain industry. Initially announced from the main stage during Breakbulk Americas, these 11 individuals were nominated and selected by advisory boards for Breakbulk Events and Media, as well as members of Breakbulk Masters and Breakbulk’s exclusive global network of senior breakbulk and project cargo owning shippers. The NextGen exemplify the necessary qualities to succeed and lead, representing all areas of the industry: beneficial cargo owners; engineering, procurement and construction;

intermediaries; ocean carriers, motor carriers; and marine operations. These people already play vital roles within their company as well as serving in industry organizations, participating in Breakbulk events as speakers and presenters, serving on event advisory boards, and otherwise providing insight, energy and mentorship for the betterment of the industry. In the following pages, we publish their thoughts and comments on the industry. You will find interesting synergies in their responses on leadership and roles of responsibilities in the career arc. We proudly present Breakbulk’s NextGen.

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I feel that shipping and logistics is an industry that truly lets young people evolve and grow.“ –T  homas Bek, Blue Water Shipping

It is an industry that truly lets young people evolve and grow. My experience is that young people are quickly empowered, and given responsibility very early in their careers.

A mentor or industry leader who greatly influenced you:

Thomas Bek

> Thomas Bek Global director oil, gas and industrial projects Blue Water Shipping Nominated by:

Jeannin Matthieu, group logistics and warehousing manager, SBM Offshore.

Reason for nomination:

“Ability to understand customer needs and put plans into motion. Provides solutions. Strong reactivity and entrepreneur mind-set. Positive attitude even during strong challenges.”

How you chose this industry:

I always wanted to work in an international environment and live abroad for a period. Shipping seemed like the perfect opportunity, and I was lucky that in my second year in the industry, I started to work in our oil, gas and industrial projects division.

Industry’s significance, from your perspective:

There are so many different opportunities within shipping and logistics as well as future career opportunities.

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Kurt Skov started Blue Water Shipping back in 1972, and it has grown into an international logistics company with more than 1,700 employees globally. He has always been very hard working, humble and extremely caring about his colleagues. He talks to everyone in the company. You are allowed to make mistakes as long as you learn from them and you do not repeat them too many times. He empowers his colleagues, and young people are given a lot of opportunities if they have the right attitude.

Professional background:

I started as a trainee at Blue Water in 1996 and have held various positions. In 2003 I moved to Houston to start up the Blue Water office. Today I am the global director for our energy and projects division that includes oil, gas and industrial projects as well as wind logistics. In energy and projects, we have 16 offices and 310 colleagues.

Management style:

For me it is important that everyone knows the direction we are going and that everyone sees themselves as a part of the team. Open communication is important and I like to be challenged by my co-workers. I believe that positive criticism is needed if you want to continue to develop your business and yourself as a manager and leader. I am straight-

forward and I do not micromanage. I trust my colleagues around me as I expect them to trust me. I am very open to new ideas, and I also allow that mistakes are made as long as we learn from them and improve.

Long-term professional goals:

I want to get the most out of the opportunities that come to me, and my long-time goal is to increase the business at Blue Water and expand the business within our energy and projects division. I plan to complete my MBA within two years, and hopefully this will give me a lot of theoretical experience that I can use in my current and future positions.

Role as a developing industry leader:

I believe that my more than 23 years of experience at age 42 gives me a good foundation. I have seen good times and also experienced several crises, including the drop in oil prices in the late-1990s and again in recent years. I have played a role in developing project activities at Blue Water for more than two decades, including being part of the team that secured the US$1.3 billion project TCO FGP. This has been a real game changer for Blue Water. My operational background will always be very important for me and it will always be important for me to stay close to the operations as well as the clients.

Most important industry issue:

To some extent, the industry is still struggling with its overall reputation and how well it is doing when attracting educated young people. Also, the importance of logistics is often not valued and respected enough. Providing industry-specific education is also a challenge in some regions and countries. It is important that we invest in young people and ensure a general increase in the education level in shipping and logistics. Finally, I would also say we need visions and new ideas. Some companies are better at this than others, but in general, our industry has not been good at evolving. We must be very careful and ensure that we continue to show how we add value to our clients’ projects or supply chain. ISSUE 6 / 2019


Our industry is the key to efficient industrial progress, whether the general public knows it or not.“

– Brett Berard, Berard Transportation

> Brett Berard Vice president operations, Berard Transportation Nominated by:

An executive for a leading engineering, procurement and construction company.

Reason for nomination:

One of the most impressive individuals I have ever dealt with. A family business, but he is a professional engineer, can operate any of the equipment, deals with commercial and has outstanding customer service.

How you chose this industry:

My grandfather started a housemoving business in 1945, which transitioned to an industrial moving business by the time I was born. Ever since I can remember I have been fascinated by large equipment and engineering associated with this industry.

Industry’s significance, from your perspective: The “click and ship” mentality doesn’t only apply to Amazon, the desire to modularize entire plants relies on our solutions. Our industry is the key to efficient industrial progress, whether the general public knows it or not.

A mentor or industry leader who greatly influenced you:

My grandfather and father both had massive impacts on my success and outlook for the future. My grandfather never turned down a challenge, nothing too big or too far, he would put forth his best effort. My father approaches projects more conservatively, always calm and methodical, a perfect recipe for success. The positives from each resonate with me every day.

Professional background:

I worked in our family business starting with manual labor and equipment operations at 10 years old.

Brett Berard I graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering in 2006. Upon graduating, I returned to the family business, since serving in a managerial role. www.breakbulk.com  BREAKBULK MAGAZINE  29


Management Style:

I strive to assign tasks that I would not mind doing myself. Each employee must have pride in his or her work for success, if they are unwilling or forced to do a job, the result may suffer.

Long-term professional goals:

Learn every day. It seems the more I discover about our industry, I realize how little I know. There is always someone that knows something you don’t.

Role as a developing industry leader:

Encouraging all competitors, vendors, clients and partners to provide the best level of service. When one competitor or vendor cuts corners to cut costs, eventually our industry suffers.

Most important industry issue:

The lack of personal connections seems to be more evident in the past few years. We now execute massive transportation projects with the “swoosh” of a purchase order via email, often never meeting each other.

It feels as though the legwork required to execute such projects go unnoticed, and brand loyalty is forgotten. Cargo gets larger, routes get tighter, red tape gets thicker, but the realization of a job well done does not translate to the next move.

> Noelle Burke Americas logistics leader GE Power, Gas Power Systems Nominated by:

Grant Wattman, president, CEO, Agility Project Logistics.

Reason for nomination:

Strong interpersonal skills with a range and depth of experience that establishes a strong foundation for personnel and professional growth. Proven leadership skills and a willingness to take on challenges on a shared objective or outcome. Continually seeking to learn and apply new skill sets. Proven ability to work in a complex matrix with an agile approach to management.

Successful breakbulk logisticians have this incredible ability to pivot, adapt, and be proactive.“ –N  oelle Burke, GE Power

How you chose this industry:

I did not choose this industry – I like to think it chose me. When I graduated from college, I moved from my small town to Albany, New York. I applied to many jobs and a small freight forwarding company was my first job. I spent about one week as a receptionist until they moved me to operations. As they say, “it was love at first sight.” Because I knew I would need a larger company to grow and excel in my career, I targeted GE as an employer for the opportunities they could give me. This is where my “eyes were opened” to the breakbulk industry.

What is significant about this industry:

The people that have dedicated their lives to logistics. They truly have a passion for the industry. I have found that there are so many unique issues that arise in logistics. No issue or day is ever the same. Successful breakbulk logisticians have this incredible ability to pivot, adapt and be proactive. Logistics isn’t for everyone – it’s not a 9-5/Monday-to-Friday job. There are so many issues that happen outside of normal business hours that require attention immediately. While logistics is such a broad field, the breakbulk industry feels like a “small tight-knit family.”

A mentor or industry leader who greatly influenced you:

When I started at GE I had a manager, Randy Charboneau, that tremendously helped me grow in my career. I remember early in my career making so many mistakes, and always feeling like he had my back and really wanted me to succeed. He was a believer that mistakes were OK, as long as you learned from them and didn’t make them again. I always felt that he saw something special in me, which only fired my passion to do and be better. He has since left GE, but we still meet on a regular basis for our mentor sessions. He makes me a better employee, people leader and person.

Professional background:

I started at a small local freight forwarding company in 2003 and 30  BREAKBULK MAGAZINE  www.breakbulk.com

ISSUE 6 / 2019


worked there for five years. I then joined a company contracted by GE called Granite International as a logistics coordinator. After two years I was hired by GE as a global logistics project manager. About 2.5 years later I applied to an internal GE leadership program called the Project Management Leadership Program, which exposes participants to different aspects of engineering, procurement and construction project management, while sharing best practices and lessons learned across GE businesses. After completing the program I took a role as fulfillment manager, where I was responsible for managing all internal functions (engineering, sourcing, logistics, manufacturing, planning) to ensure global projects were delivered on time. In February 2017 I took my current role as Americas logistics leader for Gas Power Systems. In this role I managed a portfolio of more than US$850 million in sales in 2017 and 2018, with direct reports that sit across the U.S., Latin America, and for the past six months, Asia.

Management style:

I have a collaborative management style. While ultimately decisions are mine to make, I believe it is more likely to get buy-in when the team feels like they participated in making a decision. I also think a high say/do ratio is important for the team to have unconditional trust in a manager. In other words, if I say I’m going to do something, I do it. When you have a team that has trust in you, I find they work harder to make the team a success. I always have an open door policy and take pride in mentoring my team and having regular career discussions.

Long-term professional goals:

To always stay true to myself and always understand my “why.” I’m an extremely passionate person in everything I do – which is why it is so important to work in a field and organization that sparks my passion. There is no “end goal” in my longterm plan – just to be happy and passionate about what I’m doing.

Andrew Dovie receives his award from Breakbulk magazine News Editor Carly Fields As long as my passion and tenacity are positively affecting an organization, and I’m working for a company that appreciates and respects my expertise, I am a firm believer that everything will fall into place around that.

Your role as a developing industry leader:

I’m honored to be among the new crowd of women entering the breakbulk industry, and I think this makes me an interesting leader. I hope to be looked at as a mentor for young females interested in this profession. I believe it to be extremely important to have a mentor, both inside and outside the company you work for, that you can rely on for advice and/or guidance, and I hope to bring that to the industry. If I can do it, so can you!

Most important industry issue: One important issue I believe the industry is facing is the lack of infrastructure to transport breakbulk cargo. We continue to ship

more modularized equipment, however, there is a lack in investment to improve the infrastructure to allow us to transport. Projects are requiring massive amounts of cash up front just to determine if there is even a route feasible to deliver equipment. In the U.S. Northeast, in particular, we are finding it more and more difficult to transport breakbulk cargo. In addition, the unpredictability of third-party transportation costs can wreak havoc on a project. Due to decreasing margins on projects, the importance of accurate and predictable costs is more important than ever.

> Andrew Dovie Senior project supervisor GEODIS Industrial Projects Nominated by:

Dennis Devlin, director-IP USA industrial projects, GEODIS. www.breakbulk.com  BREAKBULK MAGAZINE  31


Reason for nomination:

Andrew Dovie brings a technically sound, engineering-based approach to the tasks associated with moving and lifting over-dimensional and heavy-lift cargo via whatever modes of transport might be utilized: ship, barge, rail, truck, in any combination. Safety and damage avoidance are paramount in moving project cargo. It is through this engineering-based approach that he helps GEODIS to support its clients’ projects by moving their cargo safely and without damage. Often leadership is considered to be the realm of extroverts, whereas in reality, expertise and sound decision-making on the basis of facts plays a very large role in successful leadership.

How you chose this industry?

Like most people I’ve talked to, I didn’t choose this industry. My parents were in the industry, both advised me not to get into logistics. But after dropping out of law school at the end of 2013 in the beginning of the oil recession, I couldn’t find a job anywhere. I was able to get a foot in the door at Agility and thoroughly enjoyed the project and heavy-lift side of the business.

Our industry is filled with professionals that have years of valuable experience, but we need to get more millennials interested in logistics. Their understanding of technology will be pivotal in revolutionizing our industry.“ –K  ody S. Esser, Fluor

Industry’s significance, from your perspective:

Project logistics is underappreciated, even though it’s a vital part of infrastructure and manufacturing.

A mentor or industry leader who greatly influenced you:

I was lucky that Diana Davila hired me for my first position in the industry. She weathered a particularly sour point in the company’s history with a level of professionalism and agility that I doubt I’d have shown.

Professional background:

A Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Louisiana State University, 2012. Project assistance with Agility Projects, 20152017. Transport engineer coordinator with Fracht, 2017-2018. Since 2018, senior project supervisor, Geodis.

Management style:

The qualities I respect most in a manager are having an overall knowl32  BREAKBULK MAGAZINE  www.breakbulk.com

edge of the industry, and the ability to balance a hands-off approach to management while stepping in to handle minutiae when needed.

Long-term professional goals:

I would like to continue to work in project cargo for the foreseeable future, moving more towards the technical, engineering side of the business. I’ll hopefully finish a project management program at Rice in early 2020, and I plan to continue taking engineering courses related to transport and rigging immediately afterward.

Your role as a developing industry leader:

I think the cowboy days of high risk with the uncertainty of reward are coming to an end, or at least that’s

what I hope. My goal is to continue offering competitive pricing for the proper and safe execution of transport operations. Bidding and operating should not be considered separable.

Most important industry issue:

There is always uncertainty in the future. Right now, the immediate risks for long-term planning relate to the new bunker regulations. Specifically related to forwarding, smaller forwarders and even trucking companies that have broadened their scope are side-stepping the old guard, especially on the one-off shipments. I’m not sure how the larger forwarders will fare with the added competition in the long term. Equally so, I’m not sure if the smaller forwarders have the staffing and the global network to handle mega projects. ISSUE 6 / 2019


Kody S. Esser

Kody S. Esser

> Kody S. Esser Logistics manager Fluor Enterprises Inc.

holding himself and his colleagues accountable, sharing his knowledge, leading innovation, and most significantly, by turning challenges into opportunities.

Nominated by:

How you chose this industry:

Kathy Canaan, global director trade compliance, Fluor.

Reason for nomination:

Kody Esser exhibits a level of professionalism that is beyond his years in the industry, and which distinguishes him as a leader now and for the future. A confident and decisive self-starter, he takes responsibility for his own learning and development, and is continuously increasing his technical expertise while also sharpening his business acumen. Esser models excellence by

I came into the industry by sheer necessity. I had recently lost my sales job in the technology sector and needed to find another job as quickly as possible. I wasn’t a fan of sales, so I decided to branch out. Through a mutual friend, I found a job working for a small company that performed vector control in Africa and Papua New Guinea. As one of five corporate office employees in a 50-person company, I took on the role of supply chain manager to source material from all over the world to ship to Africa and Papua New Guinea.

Industry’s significance, from your perspective:

There’s never a dull moment in this industry, except for maybe watching pipe load. Working on projects at a global company like Fluor has given me the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of moving project cargo all over the world.

A mentor or industry leader who greatly influenced you:

When I first started at Fluor, my mentor was Robert Hurst. He had been in the industry for more than 35 years and had worked all over the world. He taught me what it truly meant to move project cargo. He was a great man, mentor, and friend – rest in peace, my friend. Most recently, my mentor is Bill Keyes. He is teaching me about the commercial www.breakbulk.com  BREAKBULK MAGAZINE  33


side of the business that is harder to learn about while working on projects.

Professional background:

Starting my professional career in technology sales was a great learning opportunity that I enjoyed, but I knew that it was not something that I wanted to do long term. Then, working in vector control, I contracted the logistics bug, pun intended. I have been with Fluor since 2012.

Management style:

Simple: I try to live my life by the golden rule, and that goes beyond just my management style.

Long-term professional goals:

To have Bill Keyes’ job (shh, don’t tell him!) I would like to be a recognized logistics professional with a successful track record of managing teams with the ability to rapidly evaluate complex problems and design dependable, riskassessed solutions for mega projects.

Role as a developing industry leader:

First, I see myself becoming further ingrained in the industry. I plan to do that by attending more conferences, panels and events that will teach me how to grow as a professional, better understand the industry, and to provide better fit-for-purpose solutions to clients.

Most important industry issue:

The next generation. Our industry is filled with professionals that have years of valuable experience, but we need to get more millennials interested in logistics. Their understanding of technology will be pivotal in revolutionizing our industry.

> Steve Frank Project sales, Ceres Barge Nominated by:

An executive for a leading engineering, procurement and construction company.

Reason for nomination:

Long-time KMX Trucking and now with Ceres, Steve Frank is solutions focused and technically sound. 34  BREAKBULK MAGAZINE  www.breakbulk.com

How came to choose this industry:

I worked for CEO Jim Berlin at Logistics Plus in Erie, Pennsylvania, and instantly became intrigued by the core business. I asked him if I could join the North America division, specifically trucking, and I quickly realized that this was a career path that I wanted to pursue.

Industry significance, from your perspective:

The logistics industry, as a whole, has a wealth of creSteve Frank ativity in the people that support it. We have become experts in our ability to “think outside of the The logistics industry, as a whole, box.” We can move the biggest, heaviest, has a wealth of creativity in the and most obscure people that support it.“ cargo anywhere around the world. –S  teve Frank, Ceres Barge The words “no” and “can’t” do not exist in our vocabulary. We innovate and than 15 years ago at Logistics Plus find a way to use technology, unique in domestic trucking including lessequipment, engineered solutions and than-truckload, full-truckload and extensive planning. over-dimensional truckloads. From there, I had the opportunity to work with KMX International for nine A mentor or industry leader years. I worked in project cargo sales who greatly influenced you: and project management for heavyThree years into my logistics career haul trucking, export packaging, and I moved into sales. I was fortunate to warehousing. Currently, I work in the have met Rick Pagley, who represents heavy-lift division at Ceres Barge Line, the Port of Baltimore. He and I spent moving project cargo offshore and on quite a bit of time together, as we had the inland river system. mutual business interests. He quickly and effortlessly took on the role of mentor for me as a new salesperson in the Management style: industry. He taught me the value of Our industry requires strong teambuilding relationships in business, and work, and I am only as good as the encouraged me to “stay in front of the team that surrounds me. It is important customer.” Ultimately, he implored me that we learn from and listen to each to be patient, but also persistent. other every day. By encouraging an open forum to discuss ideas within our teams, we come up with the perfect forProfessional background: mula for meeting and exceeding goals. I started my logistics career more ISSUE 6 / 2019


The world-class projects we support as logistics professionals have a direct impact on society and also contribute to the growth of businesses.“ –S  amuel Holmes, Wood Group

Long-term professional goals:

My long-term professional goals are to build strong relationships with others in the industry while engaging in challenging projects that push me professionally and personally. I practice integrity and honesty in the projects I oversee and with the customers I engage. I am committed to ensuring the success of Ceres Barge Line while also meeting the needs of each customer.

Your role as a developing industry leader:

I have had the privilege of being mentored by not only Rick Pagley, but others in logistics, including Jim Berlin, Jim and Jamie Vitez, Mark Fletcher, and Vince Schu. My intention would always be to influence others the way those leaders have guided, impacted and influenced me.

Most important industry issue: Infrastructure is a major issue facing the industry on a daily basis. Transporting heavy-lift cargoes rely on rigid infrastructure to ensure

safety and feasibility. There is a major cost to upgrade our infrastructure with limited funds and it has proven difficult to identify a priority list. Our industry has been creative in overcoming these challenges and finding alternate ways to move heavy-lift cargo, but it comes at an expense to the buyers.

> Samuel Holmes Logistics and export compliance coordinator, Wood Group Nominated by:

Doug Hickey, vice president, product delivery, Agility Project Logistics.

Reason for nomination:

Since Samuel Holmes’ graduation from the University of Houston, he has not hesitated in coming forward to leadership to volunteer for committees. He gives a lot of his own time back to the industry above and beyond most of the next generation. Holmes is a key listener and

pays attention to the experienced personnel on logistics panels. He has learned early to absorb lessons learned from industry leadership. I see a lot of potential in Holmes on taking the role of leadership in our industry as part of our next generation.

How came to choose this industry:

I chose logistics as a career because I wanted to be part of a profession that has a direct positive impact on society. I specifically chose the project cargo-breakbulk sector of logistics when I attended the Education Day at Breakbulk Americas Conference in Houston, Texas, almost 10 years ago. I recalled a case study presentation about a major capital project in Peru. I was intrigued with the level of detailed planning, execution and the collaborative team effort from various stakeholders that went into successfully executing the project. I decided that was exactly what I wanted to do for living. It was www.breakbulk.com  BREAKBULK MAGAZINE  35


ence in logistics management, trade compliance, project management, and business administration and finance. Extensive experience in working with all levels of company members ranging from the project level to corporate management. I work for Wood, a global leader in the delivery of project, engineering and technical services to energy and industrial markets. I obtained a Master in Business Administration from West Texas A&M University and an undergraduate degree in supply chain and logistics from the University of Houston.

> Ben Miller

Management style:

After accepting my job offer from ATS, I discovered there was much more to the company and industry than just trucking. Growing up in a small town in Minnesota, I only experienced seeing an occasional f latbed truck at the one stop light in town, or in traveling out of the area. Since then, I’ve learned there is so much more out there, as in the project industry, which I’ve found to be home.

Servant leadership. I practice this both in my professional and personal life, primarily because my faith is the yardstick I use to measure my life and leadership philosophy. I strive to lead and manage people with humility. I also find great joy in serving and empowering those I lead to help them succeed.

Long-term professional goals: Samuel Holmes at this event that I met Margaret Vaughan, who later became my manager.

Industry’s significance, from your perspective:

The industry plays a pivotal role in driving the global economy. The world-class projects we support as logistics professionals have a direct impact on society and also contribute to the growth of businesses.

A mentor or industry leader who greatly influenced you:

Margaret Vaughan, my former manager, has influenced me as an industry leader. Vaughan mentored me early in my career and provided invaluable opportunities for me to develop the skills I needed to succeed.

Professional background:

Logistics professional with more than seven years of experi36  BREAKBULK MAGAZINE  www.breakbulk.com

To be a logistics executive. I would also like to teach part-time in the future to pay it forward and help educate and mentor the next generation of logistics leaders.

Your role as a developing industry leader:

My passion for the industry will continue to drive my active involvement in advocating for education, innovation, and safety. This will enable me to develop into a wellrespected industry leader.

Most important industry issue:

Attracting the next generation of project logistics leaders that are passionate, teachable and innovative with a global mindset. If industry leaders do not act now, we run the risk of becoming like the truck driving sector that’s struggling to find drivers. I am hopeful because the Breakbulk organization and the Exporters Competitive Maritime Council are helping to close the gap by partnering with schools to help educate and provide opportunities for logistics students.

National accounts manager ATS Trucking Nominated by:

An executive for a leading engineering, procurement and construction company.

Reason for nomination:

Very driven and results oriented person, focusing on improving safety in the trucking industry.

How you chose this industry:

Industry’s significance, from your perspective:

The opportunity to participate in improving local and global infrastructure is pretty cool. For example, participating in a project that changes how we get power when we f lip on our lights at home, or fill up at the pump. How we as an industry participate in these projects can make a positive impact on everyday living.

A mentor or industry leader who greatly influenced you:

I have a few important people in mind, but my biggest mentor is my father. He’s one of the smartest and hardest working people I know. He has been a great resource for me personally, obviously, but also professionally. At an early age, I started working for him at the family business, farm machinery dealership, and learned so much. I saw firsthand what it took watching him put in the hours during harvest season, working with customers, all the while running a successful business. ISSUE 6 / 2019


Professional background:

Since earning my bachelor’s degree, I’ve primarily held sales positions at ATS. My current role is overall management of our national accounts within the f latbed specialized and heavy-haul divisions of ATS. This includes sales and service for some of our largest engineering, procurement and construction companies, power original equipment manufacturers, and oil and gas customers.

Management style:

I’m all about team atmosphere. No one is perfect, including myself, so I’m always asking lots of questions and exchanging strengths among the team. If I can learn something, too, in the process, that’s a win. Since our industry changes so often, I find it is important to stay engaged daily.

Long-term professional goals:

I hope to continue to grow with

the industry, and overall become a well-rounded expert in my profession. I have a lot to learn yet, so by staying engaged regularly with our senior industry professionals, I hope to achieve that goal.

Role as a developing industry leader:

I hope to stay on the leading edge of innovations that will improve our industry, and bring them directly to our customers. Bringing light to new technology in trucking that can have a positive impact in project safety is one example.

Most important industry issue:

Alarmingly, huge court settlements against the commercial trucking industry. These have even been named “nuclear lawsuits,” due to the size of the settlement to the plaintiff. This is a real concern for cargo owners, carriers and insurance companies alike. It’s not all

doom-and-gloom though, as there is an inf lux of new technologies coming, including sensors, cameras and autonomous technology. These new technologies will help protect shippers and carriers by providing a more accurate snapshot of what’s happening on the roads, which is a vital resource when it comes to settling claims.

The opportunity to participate in improving local and global infrastructure is pretty cool.“ –B  en Miller, ATS Trucking

Ben Miller

www.breakbulk.com  BREAKBULK MAGAZINE  37


We need to show people – at all stages of their professional life – that we offer something fulfilling, something that is skill-building and something that is impactful.“ – J ohn Rapacki, Bechtel

John Rapacki

> John Rapacki Charter manager Bechtel Global Logistics Nominated by:

An executive for a leading engineering, procurement and construction company.

Reason for nomination:

Merchant marine with experience at sea and heavy-haul on shore … leading Bechtel Global Logistics now.

How you chose this industry:

I grew up on Long Island, so being around the water was a way of life. When I was a kid, I was hooked on reruns of the documentary series Victory at Sea. World War II-era maritime history really inspires me, and this had a big impact on my interest in going to sea and working with ships. 38  BREAKBULK MAGAZINE  www.breakbulk.com

After finishing graduate school, I had the opportunity to move to Houston and work with semi-submersible ships; something I had never considered until a recruiter contacted me. Once I started building a network in the project cargo and engineering, procurement and construction community, I knew I’d made the right choice.

Industry significance, from your perspective: Our work in the breakbulk sector helps shape our physical world in meaningful ways. We contribute to the projects that deliver power to households and industry, refined products to consumers and infrastructure that improves the quality of life for people around the world. We also work with some remarkable equipment that is managed by very talented people in a global breakbulk community.

A mentor or industry leader who greatly influenced you:

I have always admired Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, U.S. Maritime Administrator and a Kings Point 1979 graduate. When I was a midshipman at Kings Point, he would often visit the academy and spend time with the students. He was always very gracious, approachable, highly informative and very encouraging. His career as a military officer and maritime leader sets a very high standard; one worth learning from and following in respect to public service, commitment to a mission and advocacy for the maritime industry and its people.

Professional background:

I graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and started my professional career working at sea. I sailed as a third mate for two years and then completed the MBA ISSUE 6 / 2019


constant change, bring a high degree of energy and creativity to new challenges, communicate the value of what we do, and align strategies with ever-changing customer demands and market conditions. Building teams of this caliber can only be done with visionary leadership that inspires individuals to break through their perceived limits and successfully collaborate toward common goals.

Most important industry issue:

Finding, developing and keeping talent. While all industries face common economic challenges, I reflect on the relatively small scale of our industry, and the size of the individual companies that participate. Most are small businesses, and when the industry gets squeezed, the ability to compete for and retain talent is limited. Our industry is not easy. We are a service industry built around physical equipment and work. For many of us, there is no 9-5 and forget it. If given the choice between an air conditioned office and working the Houston waterfront in August, I think the disparity is obvious. We need to show people – at all stages of their professional life – that we offer something fulfilling, something that is skill-building and something that is impactful.

John Rapacki program at Fordham University. After graduation, I moved to Houston and started working with semi-submersible ships. Over the next 10 years, I held positions that enabled me to conduct business around the world and develop my commercial, technical and communication skills. I also experienced first-hand the increasing role of large-scale modularization, the maturation of the semi-submersible, heavy-lift market and the impact of market forces in reshaping that segment. I joined Bechtel in 2018 and spent my first year assigned to a largescale petrochemical project, where I managed the transport of heavy-lift cargo from the U.S. Gulf Coast to the project site by inland tug and barge. In 2019, I joined the Bechtel global logistics team.

Management style:

I think if you were to ask my cur-

rent and former colleagues, they would describe me as a missionfocused team player; someone who communicates a vision with purpose and direction, and empowers people to perform at their best.

> Luciano Vidal

Long-term professional goals:

Leandro Brusque, supply chain manager – subsea construction, Ocyan.

My goal is to positively influence change in organizations and build teams that pursue ever-increasing levels of impact on industry and society, and produce well-earned economic rewards for all involved.

Role as a developing industry leader:

One word: Leadership. As an industry, we manage our way through market cycles, risk, customer needs, and all the tasks that enable our dayto-day business activities. I think the long-term winners will be highperformance teams that can adapt to

Procurement and logistics manager, Subsea 7 Nominated by:

Reason for nomination:

Luciano Vidal is someone who has a great ability to learn, develop himself and apply his knowledge in a straightforward manner so that the results for the company are immediate. He has also proven his knowledge on leading logistics and vendors … as well as extensive chartering experience on the more diverse types of vessels. He has worked worldwide on several links of the supply chain, managing small and large teams locally and on remote locations. www.breakbulk.com  BREAKBULK MAGAZINE  39


Luciano Vidal

This industry, like many global industries, must continue to evolve through ensuring diversity and a collaborative culture.“ –L  uciano Vidal, Subsea 7

There, I worked in senior supply chain roles in South America and Africa. Following this I joined one of the world’s leading subsea engineering, construction and services companies serving the offshore energy industry, where I’m thrilled to have worked in South America, Europe and North America, managing a highly skilled workforce and working on fabulous projects.

Management style:

There is an old saying: “Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.” Therefore I’m always setting the bar high to the team, leading by example, driving by performance and committed to the company goals and team.

Long-term professional goals:

How you chose this industry:

The dynamic work environment provided by the breakbulk, heavy-lift and project cargo industry caught my attention on my very first day at work. It demands a strategic mindset and robust planning, and by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

Industry significance, from your perspective: This extraordinary industry not only moves cargo worldwide, but also moves business and peoples’ lives every single day, building local and global connections.

A mentor or industry leader who greatly influenced you:

There were several mentors that

40  BREAKBULK MAGAZINE  www.breakbulk.com

helped me set my career compass in the right direction, but one really stands out. Leandro Brusque is one of those leaders with inspiring skills and knowledge. He’s a genuine mentor, who is accountable, enthusiastic and an excellent communicator with unquestionably integrity.

Professional background:

Before obtaining my bachelor’s degree in engineering, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work at one of the world’s largest brewing companies as a logistics/warehouse supervisor, which involved leading people by motivation. After some years I moved to a global engineering and construction company, which had locations all over the world.

To keep going above and beyond in my job, leading people to make a positive difference to my company and those around us.

Role as a developing industry leader:

I work closely with a diverse range of stakeholders to deliver smarter solutions, ethical standards and better and safer results that are sustainable across the board.

Most important industry issue: The shipping industry, like many global industries, must continue to evolve through ensuring diversity and a collaborative culture where clients, partners and suppliers work openly together to innovate and perform better, bearing in mind our collective environment and social responsibilities.

ISSUE 6 / 2019


> Carsten Wendt General manager Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean Nominated by:

An executive for a leading engineering, procurement and construction company.

Reason for nomination:

Long-time Rickmers-Line employee, and now with WWL. Insightful, innovative and collaborative with business partners.

Breakbulk is not only “B2B,” it also still runs in large parts on an “H2H,” or human-tohuman, factor.“ –C  arsten Wendt

How you chose this industry:

During my studies I volunteered at the German seaman’s mission and spent a lot of time in the port talking to seafarers from all over the world. This truly led my way into ocean transportation. My first encounter with breakbulk and heavy-lift was during my diploma thesis with ABB Transformers, where I analyzed the shipping of large power transformers from various ABB factories. After this experience, I knew this is what I wanted to do for work.

Industry significance, from your perspective:

I really enjoy that our industry is still quite individual and unique and not commoditized like container transportation yet. Breakbulk is not only B2B, it also still runs in large parts on an “H2H,” or humanto-human, factor. Which means it is so much more important in our industry to genuinely trust your business partner.

A mentor or industry leader who greatly influenced you:

I would like to mention Ulrich Ulrichs, former CEO of RickmersLine, and now CEO with BBC. He inspired me with his sharp mind and his passion for the business. He not only had trust in my abilities as a young professional, but also empowered me and gave me the opportunity to grow. Also, with Wallenius Wilhelmsen, I am surrounded by great leaders who motivate me to further develop my professional and leadership skills.

Professional background:

I am an industrial engineer specializing in international transport management. I studied at one of the oldest maritime universities, Seefahrtsschule Elsfleth in Germany. This certainly had a huge impact on my career path. After graduating in 2007, I jumped straight into the breakbulk industry with Rickmers-Line in Hamburg. After a great seven years with them I moved on to a new challenge Wallenius Wilhelmsen in 2014. As senior manager sales Germany, my team and I are responsible for one of the biggest breakbulk markets for Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean.

Management style:

First of all, I see myself as part of the team. Success is a team effort, and a leader is always only as good as the team. Leading by example is certainly the most important mantra for me. I would never expect something from my team members that I wouldn’t do myself.

Long-term professional goals:

Our industry is traditionally conservative when it comes to technological innovations. For me it’s one of my priorities to play an active role in leading our industry into the next century of digitalization.

Your role as a developing industry leader: I would like to continue the legacy of inspiring breakbulk personalities and create my own unique footprint.

Most important industry issue:

I see the implementation of IMO 2020 as from Jan. 1, 2020, as a huge challenge for the shipping industry in general and in particular for the breakbulk segment. This new rule increases the operational costs tremendously, and the challenge will be whether our customers are willing to fully absorb these costs. BB www.breakbulk.com  BREAKBULK MAGAZINE  41

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In this special section from Breakbulk magazine, meet the group of professionals selected as Breakbulk’s NEXTGen – the next generation of le...

Breakbulk's NEXTGen: A Look at Tomorrow's Leaders in the Breakbulk and Project Cargo Industry  

In this special section from Breakbulk magazine, meet the group of professionals selected as Breakbulk’s NEXTGen – the next generation of le...

Profile for breakbulk