CSA celebrates 20th Caribbean Shipping Executives’ Conference in Miami
The Caribbean Shipping Executives’ Conference (CSEC) of the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA) began its mid-year conference in Doral, Miami, yesterday.
The two-day meeting, being held at the InterContinental Hotel, marked the 20th staging of the event which attracted over 250 industry leaders from across the Caribbean, and the world.
In his welcome address to the delegates, CSA President Marc Sampson said the shipping sector continues to redefine “essential” throughout the coronavirus pandemic, at a time when its impact is most evident. “The CSEC’s longevity and continued relevance are testament to the role that the association has played in advancing the regional shipping industry since its establishment,” he said.
Sampson said the programme represented issues facing the maritime industry, while noting that the collective decisions taken now will have increasing weight in the coming years. “More importantly, the respective sessions will allow us to get diverse perspectives and pragmatic solutions on how to deal with these varied issues,” he said.
“Our vision of the CSA, and by extension, the industry, is one of continued innovation, evolution and sustainability. Our collective efforts to keep the cogs of the international trade machinery going are often unrecognised but no less important in an increasingly globalised environment,” Sampson said.
The keynote address was delivered by author and leadership expert Eduardo Braun, who spoke on the topic’ People First Leadership: Chief Emotions Officer’. Braun encouraged attendees to “be the new CEOs” or “chief emotions officers”, explaining that an organisation’s culture has the power to multiply results and improve its performance. Adding that culture is created by leaders, he said everyone can be a leader and “every human being has the power to change their culture”, even though some have more authority and people reporting to them. Leadership is anchored by culture, which includes vision, people, communications and decision-making, which some consider the “soft stuff”, he said.
The other major topics of the conference’s first day included ‘The Importance of Shipping Organisations in Unifying and Advancing Private Maritime Law and Practice’, delivered by Najla King, maritime and blue economy specialist; ‘Future Dredging Plans: Enhancing Safety of Shipping and Facilitate Economic Development’, presented by Michael Amafo, director of the Maritime Authority Suriname; and ‘Cargo Flows in the Caribbean; Challenges and Opportunities’, presented by consultant Ricardo Sanchez and moderated by Philip Gray, partner at Grayship.
There was also a panel discussion on ‘Beyond the Pandemic – The Role of ICT in The Shipping Industry’, which featured Andre Williams, chief information officer at Jamaica Customs Agency; Rhett Chee Ping, managing director of Gordon Grant; Dwain Powell, director of the Port Community System Operator, The Port Authority of Jamaica; Glaister Leslie, consulting manger at Voiant; and John Gibson, senior manager at Victoria Mutual Group. The session was moderated by CEO of Advantum Frances Yeo.
Earlier in the day, the conference featured a moment of silence led by Sampson, who highlighted the impact of shipping icons Harriat Maragh, Robert Bell and Nathan Dundas.
The CSEC, which is the association’s first in-person conference since its 2019 staging in Jamaica, was moderated by CSA General Manager Milaika Capella Ras, with the vote of thanks delivered by CSA Vice-President and President of the Shipping Association of Jamaica, William Brown.
The CSA is widely regarded as the voice of the Caribbean shipping industry and was established in 1971 to facilitate development of an efficient, viable Caribbean shipping industry.