Page 1


Gregory Thorp


is published biannually by the Communications Office of The Seamen's Church Institute (SCI). Bruce G. Paulsen, Esq. Chairman, Board of Trustees The Rev. David M. Rider President & Executive Director

IN THIS ISSUE A Spectrum of Care


SCI Mountain Challenge


The Flip Side


A Culture of Safety


seamenschurch.org 212.349.9090 Fall 2019 Volume 111/Number 3

Remembrance Donations


Active Ministry


Your contributions help us answer any request without hesitation. Visit donate.seamenschurch.org/give to contribute online, mail your check using the attached envelope or call 212.349.9090 to give over the phone with a credit card.

At the Helm




A SPECTRUM of CARE Photograph ©2018 Stephanie de Rouge

Alaskan pilot Paul Merrill remembers receiving a Christmas at Sea package as a young cadet on an American flag ship in the mid-1980s: toothpaste and toothbrush, socks, lip balm, and a brown hand-knit watchcap gift-wrapped in a shoebox.

Mariners often resemble the valiant, resilient heroes of old Hollywood westerns, courageous and stoic. Think Brad Pitt’s character in Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood. If Christmas at Sea is elegant in its simplicity, SCI’s mariner advocacy work dazzles in complexity. After 29 years of service with SCI, Douglas B. Stevenson, Esq., retired this year as Director of the Center for Seafarers’ Rights. Doug bequeaths a proud legacy of work that allows each of us in the SCI community to stand a little taller.

“It was a nice surprise, but I remember feeling confused at first. We were so much more fortunate than the international seafarers, who often arrived unprepared for the American Northeast’s cold. And even before 9/11, it was a lot harder for those guys to go ashore for supplies. Shouldn’t they be getting these packages?” Paul asks. “But looking back, I realize how much that hat meant to me. I was young and alone on Christmas in the middle of a long contract, and this homemade cap was like something someone’s mom or grandma would make.”

Over the course of his career, Doug has acted as trusted advisor and champion to thousands of individuals entangled in difficult legal dilemmas while employed on ships far from home. “Seafarers are very highly skilled, trained people but also highly vulnerable to exploitation and abuse,” says Doug. “They are the most important people in our lives that nobody knows about. We don’t see the ships. We don’t know the seafarers. We don’t realize that almost everything we consume worldwide has traveled on a ship.”

Thirty-five years later, Paul still carries his Christmas at Sea (CAS) knit. “It was such a terrific gesture! I’ve been super fortunate in my career, and I appreciate the gift even more now than I did back then. I keep the cap handy in my back pocket and pull it out whenever the weather turns cold.”

In addition to offering free legal aid to individual seafarers, Doug and SCI have played a vital role in thought leadership and influence in maritime policy on the global stage. The following areas are just three of many international issues where Doug’s vision and industry enhanced seafarers’ lives and well-being.

Since the CAS program’s inception in 1898 during the Spanish-American War, SCI has heard countless stories like Paul’s. Decades of anecdotal evidence demonstrate the profound power of this simple act of kindness in the lives of the mariners who receive them. These stories gain particular poignancy when considering the recipients.

The Aftermath of Piracy

Since the early 1990s when focus centered on attacks in the Strait of Malacca between Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, SCI has addressed the issue of piracy with an emphasis on the physical and psychological consequences 3

of the attacks on our seafarers. Doug challenged the international response to piracy at the time by pursuing the problem from the mariners’ vantage point, asking questions like: “What happens to the seafarers who have been attacked by pirates? Do they resume seafaring careers? Are they still fit to work on ships? Do they need continuing medical care, and if so, do they receive it? Do they receive any help in dealing mentally and emotionally in the aftermath of surviving a pirate attack?” By early 2007, in response to emerging piracy presence off the coast of Somalia, Doug formally proposed that the maritime industry devote attention to the impact of piracy on seafarers. Those proposals fell largely on deaf ears. But Doug remained persistent. “The dramatic increase in Somali pirate attacks in 2008 and 2009 finally prompted international response; however, most of the attention was given to vessels’ cargoes, not to the seafarers,” says Doug. “Almost all of the anti-piracy discussions and measures were devoted to such issues as the use of force, arming merchant ships, and prosecuting pirates. Scant attention was given to providing for those seafarers and their families who experienced the scourge of piracy. Of the five United Nations Security Resolutions on Piracy off the coast of Somalia, none mentioned protecting seafarers as a need for action.” That year, Doug addressed the United Nations General Assembly with a call to devote attention to seafarers and their families. In addition, SCI partnered with Mt. Sinai Medical School to conduct the first clinical study of the effects of piracy on seafarers’ mental health. By 2010, the effects of piracy on seafarers and their families gained a foothold on the international agenda, and virtually all of SCI’s 2007 proposals were initiated: the International

Transport Workersʻ Federation (ITF) established a resource program for seafarers and their families affected by piracy, a clinical study was completed, guidelines on caring for seafarers following a pirate attack were prepared, and industry best practice guidelines, including caring for seafarers, were adopted. “In reality, the risk of being captured by Somali pirates remained extremely low,” says Doug, “however, the incidents incur major repercussions as deterrents to recruitment for seagoing careers. The maritime industry’s spotlight on caring for seafarers successfully countered this deterrent. And with processes in place providing for purposeful care and therapies for seafarers affected by piracy, SCI positively influenced retention as well.”

Maritime Security vs. Individual Rights

During the aftermath of 9/11, Doug offered a steady and expert voice. Within moments of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) ordered various security restrictions in ports around the United States. From Tuesday, September 11 until Friday, September 14, the Coast Guard did not allow ships to enter New York Harbor. No crew, American or foreign, was allowed to leave its vessel. This restriction did not begin to ease until October, and only then on a caseby-case basis. During this time, chaplains from SCI visited seafarers restricted to their ships in the Port of New York and New Jersey. SCI chaplains helped seafarers contact their families, provided up-to-date information on port conditions, dispelled rumors, and generally provided a reassuring, calming presence to seafarers. “Based on its unique experience in the Port of New York and New Jersey, SCI was particularly qualified to positively influence the development of post-9/11 security laws and regulations,” says Doug. “Our position was very simple: That seafarers should be viewed as part of the maritime security team and not as potential terrorists; that seafarers should be allowed to transit terminals to go on shore leave; and that chaplains should have access to vessels in terminals, especially during heightened security conditions.” Doug also attended to the demoralizing and demonizing effects of orders to post armed guards on ships whose crews had been detained on board by federal immigration authorities. “We considered this requirement to be counter-productive because it discouraged seafarers from cooperating with security officials, and it also cost shipowners a lot of money,” says Doug. “Thanks in part to our and other maritime ministries’ efforts, ships are rarely



required by federal authorities to post armed guards to keep detained seafarers aboard.” The principles recommended by Doug during the 9/11 crisis were incorporated into the Maritime Transportation Security Act and its regulations, and in the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code. SCI continues to monitor seafarers’ shore leave through annual surveys with data from port chaplains in our and other U.S. ports, providing the Coast Guard and other regulators with objective data on shore leave. Policy decisions, such as the regulations on Seafarers’ Access to Maritime Facilities that was promulgated on April 1 of this year, are based in part on this research.


“When shipowners abandon their ships, the repercussions to their crews are enormous,” says Doug, “and it produces a severe blight on the maritime industry.” SCI’s advocacy work on abandonment, pursued diligently over an extensive period of time, ultimately produced results. One of our first initiatives was a 1998 Roundtable convened with a forum of major maritime stakeholders, including federal authorities and shipowners, to discuss the relevant issues and propose solutions to eliminate abandonment. SCI’s recommendation, which considered the concerns of some shipowners who did not want to create a system where “the good guys bailed out the bad guys,” increased the obligations for all ship owners to maintain proof of financial responsibility to pay crew repatriation and some wages as a condition of port entry. With the leadership of the U.S. Coast Guard, SCI’s proposals were ultimately adopted in the 2014 amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 and to United States domestic legislation in the 2014 Abandoned Seafarers’ Fund (46 U.S.C. 11113). To the casual observer, SCI services may appear to be a byzantine quilt of focus and programs. In reality, each component represents a thoughtful and appropriate response

to the great and small needs of the world’s mariners. Doug’s department provides a germane example: The Center for Seafarers’ Rights has been renamed the Mariner Advocacy Center (MAC) in reflection of SCI’s intention to extend our legal and political efforts to the protection of river mariners. “In his quiet ministry, Doug’s contributions to the maritime industry have been enormous,” says SCI President & Executive Director the Rev. David Rider. “If you are a professional mariner working today, your life has been improved in some way because of Doug’s efforts.” “During my 45-year career in the International and U.S. domestic shipping industries, I have had the pleasure of working with many remarkable people,” says Rich du Moulin. “As Chairman of Intertanko (representing the international tanker industry), a member of many corporate and industry boards, and best of all — former Chairman of the Seamen's Church Institute — I have never come across any one person who has worked so hard and effectively for the well-being of mariners. Doug has filled a unique role, and his vision and leadership are admired worldwide. As a member of the Seamen's Church family, Doug has been able to focus on the mariner without business or political constraints. The many corporate supporters of SCI have understood the importance of Doug’s role, and remarkably have not tried to curtail these mariner-oriented activities even if they might complicate their operations. I hope there is another Doug Stevenson out there somewhere!” Doug Stevenson exemplifies our deep commitment to the mariner, and to the highest ideals of the maritime industry. At SCI, it has been our pleasure and delight to serve alongside one of the best of us. With your help, we hope to honor Doug’s legacy in the future. For weekly updates on SCI news, follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/seamenschurch. To receive a complimentary subscription to this biannual publication, please email nvanepps@seamenschurch.org. 5




John — who’s a good guy — said, ‘I’m sure you will never bring this up again.’ I said I wouldn’t, but of course, I never pass up an opportunity to tell it.”



Senior Vice President – Stevedoring Operations Cooper Marine & Timberlands Corp.

“This year I plan to take the fun aspect to another level. I’m going to focus even more on the camaraderie and the fact that I am raising money for a great organization. I’ve been in the business for 28 years and have seen the help and assistance that SCI provides to mariners firsthand. They are totally worthy of our support.”

“During the award ceremony in 2017, I felt rather proud that I was one of 19 people recognized for participating in every Mountain Challenge from the beginning.” Wendell’s goals and objectives for the competition, however, have changed over the years.


The first challenge was more difficult than Wendell had anticipated. He vowed that he would be a serious contender the next time.


Wendell trained rigorously for the competition primarily by running and walking the levees of New Orleans, sometimes completing several workouts a day. The Cooper Team placed second among 57 teams!


Anticipating that 2017 would be his last Mountain Challenge, Wendell decided to participate for the fun and camaraderie. “All the talk when you are there is about the race and fundraising. You have the opportunity to meet people that you wouldn’t otherwise. I spent an hour with Rich du Moulin just walking and conversing along the race course. He is a really interesting guy! I discovered that he is a good friend of one of my best friends.” Despite Wendell’s best intentions, a moment of intense competition did occur that year. “Fifty yards to the finish line, John Nee with Moran Towing ran past us to join his team who were a few yards ahead. My teammate Chris Blanchard indicated he had enough gas left in the tank to race them to the finish line. So we all picked up speed and caught the finish ahead of them.

Advice for New Competitors

1. Train with the mountains in mind. “We’re flat-landers down here in Louisiana. Although I had experience hiking in Colorado, I was not totally prepared for the change in altitude in Maine that first year. Get ready for it!” 2. Bank on a beautiful view. “Before the 2013 race, I had never been to Maine. There is a picture to be had at every turn!” Taking place on land and water, the SCI Mountain Challenge parallels many of the hardships mariners face on a daily basis: the elements (facing northern New England’s notoriously unpredictable weather), isolation (teams of three work self-sufficiently on the mountain and water race courses), and physically demanding work (participants ascend approximately 3,000 feet each day). In addition to the outdoor elements, competitors participate in the “Philanthropy Challenge” to raise funds and awareness for SCI. To support SCI and your favorite team, please visit scimountainchallenge.com. 7

but I am competing in the NYC marathon this year for the first time! I trained for MC 2017 and signed up again this year because I am up for the challenge — not necessarily because I am competitive, and all I care about is winning. I still use the MC 2017 waterproof windbreaker jacket when I run in bad weather. It’s lightweight and warm, but I don’t sweat in it.

L AU RE N WILGUS Attorney Blank Rome LLP

On Mountain Challenge 2017

Lauren’s Mountain Challenge 2017 team included Leanne O’Loughlin, President/Regional Director of Charles Taylor P&I Management (Americas), and Christopher Land, General Counsel with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. “Leanne is 5’3” and Chris is 6’4”. I noticed on the morning bus that Chris was wearing his work loafers, but I didn’t think anything of it. I just figured he would change shoes once we arrived,” said Lauren. “But there we were at the starting line, the gun fired, and he was still wearing his loafers. Chris had inadvertently left his hiking boots at home! I have to give him credit — he never once complained the whole time, and that first day in the mountains is very challenging! While we were out on the trail, the SCI staff located a local sporting goods store that carried a size 13 hiking boot. They met us at the finish line, and scooped Chris up with less than an hour to rush him to the store before closing. He showed up at dinner sporting his new hiking boots. Although those boots remained on his feet for the duration of the weekend, his fame as Loafer Guy continued to grow. Leanne and I became known as Loafer Guy’s Teammates! We made the decision to transfer to the Junior Varsity level for the second day, since we were already out of the competition. I didn’t mind. I thought it was hilarious! We met a lot of nice people on the Junior Varsity course, and Chris received a medal for The Best Sport at the Awards Ceremony. We laughed the entire time about it!”

On Training

“For me personally, I started running in 2017 for the first time. I used to say I only run if someone is chasing me, 8


The event really brings people together. There was a lot of talk about Mountain Challenge at Silver Bell, and I worried it was too late to enroll. We were probably the last team to sign up!”

Unintentional Networking

“Although the challenge is not marketing in the traditional sense, you naturally want to hike with people that you like and it is way more fun than the typical cocktail party. Two of the partners at my firm are participating this year with clients and friends. It is such a great bonding experience! I really enjoyed the company of the people that I met in 2017 and we have remained friends.”

Shout Out to Fellow Competitors

“I met Kelly Bryant [Senior Account Executive/Broker, SVP for Aon Risk Solutions] on the varsity course last time. What an inspiration! She was undergoing knee surgery the weekend after the race, and competing with her knees wrapped, so you know she was in pain. She is incredible! She had such a great attitude and finished the course. I hear she is running a marathon this year. I also hiked with Gary Field [Steamship Insurance Management Services], Laura Moore [McAllister Towing & Transportation] and Caroline Fuller [Willis New York] when I switched to the JV course. Gary and Laura were so funny and made the second day even better than the first! Of course, you prefer to hike with people when you enjoy their company.”

Advice for New Competitors

“You should definitely do a couple of practice hikes (if possible) to train for the altitude and, most importantly, pack the right shoes!!!”


In 2008, I began my career on the river as a towing vessel deckhand for American Commercial Barge Lines. There were a lot of benefits. The maritime industry pays very well, so I could provide for my family. I also love the fact that you don’t have to earn a college education to advance. With a high school diploma or GED in hand, a hard-working young person who thrives in the outdoors can secure a position as a deckhand. In a few years, you can earn as much as a loan officer, and still have six months off a year without any responsibilities except taking care of your family. On the flip side, living on boats for a month at a time is difficult. You may have to endure loneliness, and feelings of isolation, emptiness, and guilt for not being with your children. Sometimes this absence creates relational problems with your life partners. Your children may rebel and become self-destructive because of their feelings of abandonment. At 28 days, my first trip on the MV Miss Kay D felt like a long trip. My back hurt. I felt guilty for leaving my family. My Lead did not treat me very well. I felt alone. Few bridges and fleets appear on that long stretch of river flowing between Greenville, Mississippi and Memphis − just water, sand, and trees for miles. Engaging in distractions while living on metal atop water proved a challenge, and sometimes when fog sets in, so did my feelings of dreariness. When extensive, these experiences can sink a mariner into a haze of depression, particularly those of us who already have a genetic disposition for it. I learned today that 58 people took their own lives in Baton Rouge in 2017. On the rise for the last 20 years, Americans are killing themselves more and more often, and 74% of these victims are men. Suicide ranks tenth in the U.S. as the cause of death, ages 15 to 55 being the most vulnerable. Most have no known history of mental illness, and the main cause is traumatic relationship problems. The high-profile suicides of Anthony Bourdain, Kate Spade, and Robin Williams have cast a bright light upon this darkness of our collective American soul. However, rarely does

one read the word, suicide, in an obituary. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) statistics, along with anecdotal evidence in my experience as a chaplain, lead me to believe that we mariners are particularly vulnerable to using suicide as a means of dealing with our emotional trauma. “Are you thinking about suicide?” are difficult words to say out loud. But what a relief they bring! They are lifesaving words. When we are in the dark waters of despair, all we need is a little light to live one more day, and take actions that awaken us to life in all its power. We possess an intensely strong will to live. A little connection, a little conversation, a little turning toward a spark of light may be all that is required for someone to decide to live and get help. Another important CDC statistic is that the majority of those who seek help, ultimately find a way to live. A net constructed below the Golden Gate Bridge catches people who attempt suicide. Almost all who have survived say that immediately after they jump, they realize they had made a big mistake. If you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255 or tell someone right now. Say those words out loud: “I am thinking about killing myself. I need help right now.” This need is the reason that the Seamen’s Church Institute provides Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. I attended ASIST in May 2018 with facilitators Dr. Naomi Walker and Captain Kelly Jones, learning ways to keep people safe from suicide. My prayer is that ASIST will become such a high priority for maritime companies that they start sending their vessel captains to this training. Captains have direct contact with mariners, who at ages 18 to 55, fall within the vulnerable range. ASIST may also be a way to reach those captains who are vulnerable themselves. The truth is that relationships are more difficult for those who are absent from their families for extended periods of time. I am thankful that I am a part of an organization that is offering help to my fellow mariners. 9

A C U LT U R E O F S A F E T Y by Jonathan Burson, eLearning Business Relations Manager

Why does your company spend money on training? In my experience, most organizations budget for training in response to requirements stipulated by external entities. Subchapter M clearly delineates training areas that must be provided to each individual mariner including new hire orientation, duties associated with the execution of the company’s Safety Management System (SMS), execution of operational duties, and execution of emergency duties. Oil Companies International Marine Forum’s (OCIMF) Tanker Management and Self Assessment (TMSA) dictates another set of training requirements, this time by clients. Company leadership may view compliance to these requirements as a necessary evil; an expenditure of time and money mandatory to pass audits, continue operations, and maintain clientele. However, through a shift in mindset and following a clear process, training can do so much more! Training, when properly aligned with business needs, can propel companies to excellence in operations and safety in a meaningful and measurable way. Training can lower incident rates, elevate performance, and even positively affect the bottom line. Training can transform company culture. The shift in mindset is straightforward: “We train to drive risk out of our organization.” Pursuit of risk reduction through training fosters a spirit of continuous improvement and ownership of work. Rather than a necessary evil, this commitment can be embraced and recognized as a company 10


asset experienced at all levels of the organization from the deckhand to the CEO. This shift also places the responsibility of determining training topics where it belongs — within the organization. The internal customization of training topics is very important because this process aligns resources spent on training with business needs. The official position of the U.S. Coast Guard as stated by CDR Nicole Rodriguez, Chief of Prevention Department stationed in the Houston-Galveston Sector, encourages this approach. “The purpose of the Safety Management System is not to sit on a shelf. It should not be a paper tiger,” says CDR Rodriguez. “The SMS is meant to be a responsive, living document that eventually changes culture.” The process in its simplest terms is: 1) identify unacceptable risk; 2) create a plan to remove the risk; 3) execute the plan; and 4) measure the results. Using the wheelhouse as an example, the risk analysis can and should come from three sources: wheelhouse observations (in-house or third-party), near miss reporting, and incident reporting. These three systems will reveal findings that may entail over-dependence on Rose Point Navigation Systems (Rose Point), not adhering to The Rules of the Road, improper use of radar, not following company procedures and more. Any of these findings would represent unacceptable risks in the fleet that should be addressed. After pinpointing the risk, partner with your training department or third-party training provider to devise a plan

Donations to SCI Made in Remembrance January 1 - August 1, 2019

In Memory of Elizabeth Appleby Ms. Megan Dellinger In Memory of A. Allen Attenborough, Jr. STD Charlotte and Jonathan Dunaief to close the identified gaps and thus remove them. In my opinion, a blended solution of simulation, instructor-led, and online training is most effective in accommodating a majority of learning styles.

In Memory of Thomas Boyde Ms. Anne E. Gerken

Then, execute your plan. The training administered in this step is fully aligned with business needs because it directly targets risks specific to your company intentionally. This process is a night and day difference to the one-size-fits-all approach of training only to meet requirements.

In Memory of John Godkin Mr. Tony Godkin

Finally, measure the results. Measurement may be calculated through key performance indicators (KPI) for near misses and incidents as well as the results of the wheelhouse observation program. Your KPIs should improve, and your wheelhouse observation program should demonstrate that the targeted behavior or skill has improved. This process should be continuously repeated allowing each new evolution to identify and remove new risks. “When conducting an investigation, we examine the role of the company SMS as a factor in understanding how and why an incident happened. We ask ourselves if strong policies and procedures are in place to keep it from happening again,” says CDR Rodriguez. “The SMS will tell us if previous near misses have been used as lessons learned to address issues that may not have been captured fully in the original documentation. Is there a root cause or a complacency within the company that placed personnel at risk? Is this an accident that could have been prevented?” The Seamen’s Church Institute is deeply committed to our mission as an advocate for the mariner. Our Center for Maritime Education is well positioned to help any company remove risk and cultivate a culture of safety employing this process. Through our partnerships with the Safe Mariner and the ACTion Group, we provide wheelhouse observations both on-board and through simulation. We can tailor our training to your specific business needs by developing specific training interventions that leverage simulation, instructor-led training, and online learning. See seamenschurch.org/cme for more information about our eLearning offerings, and education centers in Paducah and Houston.

In Memory of David C. Cates, USN Mr. Nicholas D. Humez

In Memory of Baxter Graham Mrs. Carol Graham In Memory of Christian Hackwell Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hackwell In Memory of Lucienne Litchfield SubCom LLC In Memory of Edward T. Lynch Sapna Brahmbhatt In Memory of Walter Potts Mr. Paul Thibodaux and the Rev. Deacon Louise R. Thibodaux In Memory of Harry Skallerup Mrs. Janet Scappini In Memory of Roger A. Vaughan, Jr. Mr. and Mrs. John C. Bierley Bowen Hanes & Company Inc. Mr. and Mrs. Harold J. Bowen, III Mrs. Patricia Calafell Mr. Michael Cimino Gardner Russo & Gardner LLC Mr. and Mrs. Allan Geer Mr. Ben Hill, III Mr. James Lockwood Lonni, Greg, and Elizabeth Kehoe Mr. and Mrs. Burke Lopez Ms. Patricia Mitchell Ms. Courtney Pastor Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Reed Ms. Mary Ann Sliwinski Ms. Susan Stokes Mrs. Jeffrie van Loveren


Ministry on the River places a full array of services and resources at the mariner’s disposal.

As members of the team of first responders on the Mississippi River system and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, SCI’s Ministry on the River (MOR) chaplains take their responsibilities in a crisis very seriously. MOR ministers the only network of pastoral care on the American inland waterway, and it operates around the clock, every single day of the year. Because of SCI's expertise and personal experience, our chaplains are particularly adept in facilitating the healing process for those employed on the river. We know firsthand the stresses that accompany record-breaking high water or isolation from family during the holidays. The mariners’ frequent assertion that “the whole fleet is affected” when an incident occurs is echoed by SCI Senior River Chaplain, the Rev. Kempton D. Baldridge. “People may assume if there were no fatalities, harm was averted. Survivors ought to be able to bounce back, return to work, and go back to normal life. That’s simply not the way it works. Even in the absence of fatalities or serious injuries, mariners can be profoundly affected by such an existential event as a vessel sinking, burning, or capsizing. It’s every sailor’s worst nightmare, mine included.” Helping mariners cope and recover after tragedy is the headline-grabbing element of SCI’s pastoral care — the service that typically springs to mind at mention of our Ministry on the River program. However, while dramatic and 12


vital, crisis response represents only a small sliver of our chaplaincy’s capabilities. MOR places a full array of services and resources at the mariner’s disposal. We perform pre-marital counseling, wedding ceremonies, funerals, and baptisms. We are trained in suicide intervention, career counseling, and parental education. We christen towboats, drydocks, and dredges. We connect mariners to mentors and peers. Chaplains even offer a network of attorneys willing to work with mariners pro bono to prepare wills and powers-of-attorney.† If the U.S. waterways were a college campus, MOR might be a combination Faith and Service/ Health and Counseling/Career Advisement/Admissions and Financial Aid/Campus Events Office. Perhaps most importantly, our ministers stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the mariner on a daily basis. Turn Services Crewboat Captain Cristina Del Castillo provides a case in point. SCI’s Chaplain Thomas Rhoades’ initial acquaintance with Captain Del Castillo occurred during a RiverWorks Discovery’s Who Works the River Career Education event held in New Orleans. Moved by her presentation to students, and recognizing that they shared a common interest in educating young people on the value of a maritime career, Chaplain Rhoades introduced himself to the Captain. The two increased their involvement with RiverWorks both through big picture planning in committee work, and as industry representatives in the interactive career days designed for high school juniors and seniors.

RiverWorks Discovery’s Career Education events currently take place in 15 cities, and a member of SCI’s ministry team provides coverage for each one. “We are so appreciative of the relationship that RiverWorks has with SCI,” says RiverWorks Discovery Program Director Errin Howard. “From the moment Tom stepped into the role, he has been a credit to the program. He and Kempton share an exceptional viewpoint and a valuable network within the industry.” In addition to active participation in organizations like RiverWorks, Chaplain Rhoades furnishes support to Captain Del Castillo that is tailored to her specific needs. As a female in the industry who is transitioning from blue to brown water, the Captain faces unique challenges. Chaplain Rhoades connected Captain Del Castillo to her mentor Chaplain Associate Joy Manthey, the first female river pilot on the Lower Mississippi. “Chaplain Rhoades calls to check on me and helps me with my career. I don’t like to admit it, but we cannot always get home for everything important. We miss out on a lot of life,” says Captain Del Castillo. “But I can have private conversations about it with him, and know that he understands what I am going through because he has worked as a deckhand and cook on a towboat.” For SCI Chaplains, “going wherever the river flows” means overcoming obstacles alongside our mariners, and attending to their interests, large and small. (Just before Thanksgiving last year, Senior Chaplain Baldridge handdelivered a jar of pumpkin spice and a bottle of almond extract to a towboat passing through Paducah after an “urgent request” by the cook!) “Ministry on the River sends a message to mariners: ’You are not alone out there,'" says Errin. MOR initiates this messaging to mariners as early as possible. This summer, SCI Chaplain Associate Karen Sherrill attended Carlisle & Bray’s new hire training at the invitation of C&B’s Safety, Training & Compliance Manager, Larry Cox at the company's Hebron, KY facility. Last July, SCI Chaplain Baldridge and Chaplain Associate Bill Alford paired up to provide pastoral outreach for the 280 newly-arrived plebe candidates at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY during “Plebe Indoc,” 18 long days of intensive orientation. Chaplain Rhoades’ ongoing attention to RiverWorks events demonstrates MOR’s commitment to the mariner from the start of their professional career. Just as they would in leading a brick-and-mortar church congregation, SCI Chaplains thoughtfully cultivate relationships with mariners and management. Those relationships, developed through frequent on-board visits, are central to SCI's mission. “No one is going to confide in you if they don’t feel comfortable around you,” says Chaplain

Rhoades. “And the boat owners will not even call you during a crisis if they don’t trust you. You won’t step foot on that boat without their trust.” Dawn Lopez, Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations at Associated Terminals and Turn Services, speaks to the heart of what is to be gained with a comprehensive understanding of SCI services. “Someone like Chaplain Rhoades brings a different perspective. He is thinking holistically about the mariner. Over time, I’ve come to appreciate what an asset he is to the team, and how much Ministry on the River offers in prevention. SCI’s initiatives, like the ASIST training for example, provide proactive programming.” Founded in 1996, SCI’s river chaplaincy established the first of its kind on the Inland Waterways. Two decades later, SCI still maintains the only “deckplate ministry” on the Western Rivers with its two full-time Chaplains and forty Chaplain Associates doing what they do, afloat and ashore, every day. “People think of church as a building that you attend. They don’t think about the church coming to you,” says Chaplain Rhoades. .†Mariners receive pro bono legal services from Ohio Navy Judge Advocate General (JAG) officers. Though Chaplain Baldridge retired from the Navy Reserve in 1998, he drills monthly with the Ohio Navy at Camp Perry Joint Training Base on Lake Erie. 13

at the H E L M

1. Who were some important mentors and role models for you?

Maritime executive Gary Vogel, graciously (and bravely!) agreed to be the first featured interview of our new At the Helm column. In this premier installment, we explore concepts in management, company culture, and personal values with one of the major leaders and innovators in the maritime industry. Since September 2015, Mr. Vogel has served as Chief Executive Officer and Director of Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. in Stamford, Connecticut. Prior to joining Eagle, Mr. Vogel was Chief Executive Officer and a Director of Clipper Group Ltd., one of the world’s leading privatelyheld ship owning and operating groups. He graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Transportation as well as a U.S. Coast Guard Unlimited Tonnage 3rd Officers License. Mr. Vogel currently serves on the Board of Directors of Ship Finance International and the Lloyd’s Register North America Advisory Committee, and is also a former Board Member of the American Institute for International Steel.



No doubt my father was my greatest mentor and role model. He was someone who literally started in the mailroom while attending Brooklyn College and proceeded to run that same company over a 48-year career. The combination of his work ethic, moral compass, and humility are qualities I try to emulate every day — with varying degrees of success, I might add. More specific to shipping, I have been very fortunate to work for, and with, many great people over 30 years; most notably of whom was Torben Jensen, the Founder of Clipper Group, for almost 15 years. Beyond these two, there are literally dozens of people whose leadership style has had a meaningful impact on how I approach opportunities, challenges, and business relationships today. Every interaction is an opportunity to learn what you want to become, and also perhaps, what you don’t want to become. Aside from personal experience, I am also a huge fan of books by business leaders. I am currently in the middle of Shoe Dog, Phil Knight’s book about Nike, which is truly inspiring!…And one of my favorites of all time was Lou Gerstner’s book about transforming IBM, entitled Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance?

2. Do you remember your first leadership role? How has your view of leadership evolved over time? My first real leadership role in business was at Van Ommeren, and it was a battlefield promotion, so to speak…Not that uncommon in shipping, where the head of the commercial desk becomes the office manager — ready or not. I remember feeling both excited and nervous, but having a strong sup-

port network was instrumental in navigating that first opportunity. I would say that I view leadership today as far more collaborative than when I first entered the workplace from the US Merchant Marine Academy. Part of that change is due to experiences and perspective, but I also think that organizations are far flatter today than they were 30 years ago. While not without risk, I firmly believe that empowering people to take responsibility and make decisions drives value creation more than trying to centralize authority… especially in a business which has a global reach and 24/7 operations.

3. What is your view on the role of company culture? I believe strongly that company culture is vitally important and something that needs to be cultivated on an ongoing basis. It was one of the first things I tried to change at Eagle when I arrived four years ago (this week!) The thing is, you can’t just put up a mission statement and change the culture overnight. It is something that has to be lived every day, and needs to come from the top. Someone once asked me on a panel what words I would use to describe Eagle’s company culture, and I answered, a performance culture. There is room for many different types of people at Eagle and clearly different roles have different levels of ability to impact the bottom line, but ultimately if everyone feels they are there to improve performance and create value, I think that is a great place to start.

4. What advice would you give someone who was beginning a career in the marine industry? How do you hire? What are you looking for in a candidate? I would give them the same advice I received a long time ago when I was coming out of school. Maybe not so shockingly, shipping was coming out of a challenging period and job opportunities were scarce. This person told me that it didn’t matter where I started… the important thing was to get into the industry, work hard, and ask a lot of questions. I would like to believe I did that, and over time I found my way from brokerage to chartering and then to management. In terms of attributes of an ideal candidate, once you check off the obligatory education and work experience requirement, I really am looking for someone with drive who shows an ability to handle responsibilities outside of the status quo. In reality, every job requires multitasking and unexpected scope. In my mind, there is always room on the team for people who are adept at handling these things and relish the opportunity to succeed and exceed.

5. Do you have a specific approach to challenges? When I face a significant challenge, I try to approach it with the ideal outcome in mind. In other words, where do we want to end up? Then, I prioritize and compartmentalize. Clearly you can’t do everything at once, especially with large and complex challenges. As my colleagues have heard me say many times…”We need to slay one dragon at a time.” Then, start with the most important items, and don’t be afraid to change your strategy. In business I believe we need to make the best fact-based decisions today, and then come in tomorrow and do the same again…although the facts may have changed or have become more clear and refined.

On approaching complex challenges:

“As my colleagues have heard me say many times…`We need to slay one dragon at a time.´ ”

6. What is the role of innovation in your work? Geared dry bulk shipping is a fairly slow-moving business, and rarely on the leading edge when seen in the context of the broader shipping world, but I believe there can be real value at being at the forefront of change and innovation. As an example; Utilizing Forward Freight Agreements (FFAs) to hedge and capture dislocations in the market is a core part of Eagle’s strategy, and something I can trace all the way back to trading Handymax FFAs in 2000 when they were first introduced. Clearly, you did not have to be there back then, but cutting our teeth and learning lessons in what was a relatively flat market proved to be very valuable when the market and volatility really took off in 2004 through 2008.

7. What are your views of SCI and philanthropy? SCI does vitally important work for seafarers who are literally the front line of our industry. As such, I believe supporting these men and women through SCI is both a responsibility and a privilege. I believe the next opportunity will be the SCI Mountain Challenge, and we are proud to have two teams entered from Eagle Bulk. 15

The Seamen's Church Institute 50 Broadway, Floor 26 New York, NY 10004 212.349.9090 seamenschurch.org


Stephanie de Rouge




Honoring River Bell Award: Del Wilkins, Illinois Marine Towing River Legend Award: James "Goat" Patterson, Osage Marine Distinguished Service Award: Our Industry's Mariners

September 26-29, 2019 For more information and to support your favorite team, see scimountainchallenge.com

October 2, 2019 Center for Maritime Education Paducah, KY


Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training October 9-10, 2019 Baton Rouge, LA

December 5, 2019 Paducah McCracken County Convention Center Paducah, KY

2020 MARITIME TRAINING BENEFIT LUNCHEON April 21, 2020 Marriott Marquis Houston Houston, TX

For a full calendar of events, please see seamenschurch.org/special-events.

Founded in 1834, the Seamen's Church Institute is a voluntary, ecumenical agency affiliated with the Episcopal Church that provides pastoral care, hospitality, maritime education, and legal and advocacy services for mariners.

Profile for seamenschurch.org

The Lookout Fall 2019  

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded