Maritime Hall of Fame Honors Marine Visionaries
- C Duff Hughes (Photo:Maritime Association of the Port of New York & New Jersey)
- Christopher Wiernicki (Photo:Maritime Association of the Port of New York & New Jersey)
- Robert P Kusiciel (Photo:Maritime Association of the Port of New York & New Jersey)
- J Hughes (Photo:Maritime Association of the Port of New York & New Jersey)
- Symeon P Palios (Photo:Maritime Association of the Port of New York & New Jersey)
- William Payne (Photo:Maritime Association of the Port of New York & New Jersey)
The Maritime Association of the Port of New York and New Jersey founded the Annual International Maritime Hall of Fame in 1993 to recognize maritime visionaries who, through excellence in their company, organization or services, best exemplify the qualities of futuristic thinking that guides the maritime industry.
Funds raised from the Awards evening promote educational services for the sector and, whilst all previous honorees are from within the global maritime and related transportation industries, in 2013 former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg was recognized.
The leaders honored were:
C. Duff Hughes, President, The Vane Brothers Company
Celebrating 25 years as President of Vane Brothers, Hughes has overseen the company’s transition from a Baltimore-based ship chandlery, established in 1898, to a major marine transportation provider with 150 vessels operating out of seven locations along the U.S. East Coast.
Hughes joined Vane Brothers as a junior partner in 1980 and, leading up to Vane’s 100th anniversary in 1998, spearheaded the construction and acquisition of a fleet of tugboats and barges greatly broadening the bunkering business.
Robert (Rob) P. Kusiciel, Vice President, Integrated Supply Chain Logistics and Transportation, Honeywell International, Inc.
Before joining Wal-Mart, he was the Vice President of Product Development for i-Scope, an Internet-based start-up of global order fulfillment systems and, prior to that, spent 15 years with global industry leaders in transportation such as Sea-Land Service, Hapag Lloyd, APL and Cast North America. Kusiciel holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Marketing from the University of Illinois.
Symeon P. Palios, Chairman and CEO, Diana Shipping, Inc.
Palios is a qualified naval architect and engineer and has been actively involved in the shipping industry for his entire working life.
He purchased his first ship the m.v. “SEMIRA” in 1969, after forming Diana Shipping Agencies S.A., a company he served as its Managing Director and President.
After purchasing and operating a number of cargo vessels capable of carrying both dry and wet cargoes for over 30 years, he formed Diana Shipping Inc., and in February 2005 became its Director and Chief Executive Officer.
Since 2011, Palios has been a Board Member of the Maria Tsakos Foundation which is closely involved in matters affecting maritime technology and the marine environment.
Following graduation from UC Berkeley in 1976, Payne joined the San Francisco office of Kerr Steamship Company in 1978. Then in 1989 he was recruited to NYK Line (North America) which was in the process of opening its own offices in lieu of using a general agent.
Promoted to Vice President of Liner Operations and Customer Service in 1999, in 2006 he became Senior Vice President of Marketing, Pricing, and Trade management for the Transpacific and Transatlantic services for NYK Line.
In 2008 Payne became COO and Executive Vice President rising in 2011 to President of NYK Line (North America).
Christopher (Chris) J. Wiernicki, Chairman, President and CEO, American Bureau of Shipping, Inc.
Wiernicki is an internationally recognized naval architect and business leader.
He joined the American Bureau of Shipping in 1993 and has served in many positions in the organization. Prior to American Bureau of Shipping, Wiernicki was President and CEO of Designers and Planners Inc., one of the leading naval architecture firms in the U.S.
Wiernicki holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Vanderbilt, a Master of Science in Structural Engineering from George Washington University.
Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Joe Hughes, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc., Manager of the American P&I Club.
A past President and current Director of the Maritime Association of the Port of New York and New Jersey, Hughes was himself honored in the 2011 International Maritime Hall of Fame and is a well-known figure in the marine insurance industry internationally.