John R. McLaurin, President of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA), a West Coast maritime trade association representing ocean carriers and marine terminal operators on a variety of local, state and federal issues, was awarded the 2013 Connie Award presented on the West Coast by the Containerization & Intermodal Institute (http://www.containerization.org). The industry-wide dinner event honoring Mr. McLaurin was held Thursday, September 26, at the Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach, CA.
Connie recipients are recognized with the prestigious award for significant influence on containerization in world trade and transportation and are honored for innovative spirit in their careers and at their respective companies, as well as for their positive influence on the industries they serve. Mr. McLaurin has been in his present position since 1995.
“John McLaurin was a real favorite for this year’s award that focused on his leadership and the commitment of PMSA to the variety of issues with which all are involved,” said Michael DiVirgilio, CII President and Senior Vice President of Ceres Terminals. “This includes the environment, the citizens, community, economic programs, the California transportation policies-which also impact national subjects-and the lobbying he has led in these areas.”
On behalf of its members, PMSA, which has offices in San Francisco, Long Beach and Seattle, is involved in community affairs and legislative and regulatory issues in California and the state of Washington. The organization provides its membership with information services, including regular updates on shipping industry matters, as well as a clearinghouse for environmental practices across the industry.
“Most recently, PMSA has provided funding for the whale spotter app but also is funding over flights for NOAA personnel and a poster for placement onboard commercial vessels, identifying whales and who to contact regarding the species and location,” said Mr. McLaurin. Several members are also allowing NOAA scientists to board their vessels while transiting the California coast as observation platforms for locating whales
Marine scientists looking for new ways to reduce the number of whales struck and killed off California’s coast by massive commercial ships have turned to a familiar tool: mobile devices. An app called “Whale Spotter” uses crowd-sourcing to gather data, allowing sailors, fishermen and marine scientists who spot whales to plot their location on an interactive map. The app is the latest development in collaboration between shipping companies, government officials and scientists to reduce whale strikes. The shipping industry supported development of the application as another tool in a new arsenal being created to reduce the strikes.
In addition, the PMSA Foundation was established in 2004 as a part of its commitment to help member companies give back to their communities. The Foundation provides financial and in-kind support to educational, charitable, environmental and non-profit programs that benefit California and Washington State port communities and promote awareness of the maritime industry. The PMSA Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit charitable organization led by a Board of Directors. It is supported by individual and corporate gifts as well as proceeds from events such as the PMSA annual luncheon. The PMSA Foundation has raised much-needed funds for a diverse range of community needs including services for seafarers, the disabled, homeless and students.
Mr. McLaurin has a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from the University of California at Davis and a law degree from Southwestern University School of Law. In addition to PMSA, Mr. McLaurin has also worked for the Marine Spill Response Corporation, American President Lines and the American Petroleum Institute. Married to Lisa Green McLaurin, they have two daughters. Mr. McLaurin has been active in a variety of efforts and programs dealing with special education for children and adults with autism.
At the Connie Award event, CII also carried out its industry education mission by presenting scholarships to students studying logistics. CII presented two $1,000 scholarships to Ericka Penaloza and Jannet Reyes, both students currently enrolled in the Global Logistics Specialist program at California State University (CSU). CII also awarded the International Trade Education Program, an organization offering early international trade education to high school students, with a $1,000 grant. The Journal of Commerce awarded $1,000 to Paloma Salmeron Vasari, who is enrolled in the Marine Terminal Operations Professional program at CSU. The Port of Oakland also presented a scholarship to Ryan Wilson, a CSU student in the Global Logistics Specialist program. Crowley Maritime Corporation continued their annual scholarship award to three cadets from California Maritime Academy. Cadet Jeff Harcq, Cadet Andrew Leonard, and Cadet James McSweeney were on hand to receive their respective scholarship at the dinner.