Approximately six hundred maritime community leaders assembled Friday, January 24, 2014 at the Charleston Area Convention Center to celebrate the 88th Anniversary of the Maritime Association of SC, at which time its new Board of Directors was introduced and several distinguished supporters were honored. Honorees included Senator Lindsey Graham, who received the Association’s Gadsden Award; state Representative Leon Stavrinakis who was recognized as Legislator of the Year; and SC Stevedores Association Executive Director Billy Adams, who accepted the Beacon Award.
Senator Lindsey Graham addresses the Maritime Association of SC after receiving the 2014 Gadsden Award.
Senator Lindsey Graham addresses the Maritime Association of SC 
after receiving the 2014 Gadsden Award.
Senator Graham received the Gadsden Award because of his exemplary leadership and sustained support of our maritime industry – particularly with regard to his efforts ensuring the harbor deepening effort gained funding and traction.  Noting that he had just arrived from the Inland Port dedication, Graham reiterated his belief that our Port is the state’s economic engine and that the Inland Port combined with a deeper Charleston Harbor is a game-changing linkage and investment that will shape our state’s future.  He urged the Maritime Association to focus on using the Inland Port to build more relationships in the Upstate in order to have an even louder and more effective voice. Acknowledged as a bipartisan leader in the SC House, Rep. Stavrinakis was introduced as Legislator of the Year for his unwavering support of the Port’s proposed cruise terminal at Union Pier and the new container terminal at the old Navy Base.  “Working to ensure future job growth at the port while maintaining our precious quality of life in Charleston is personal to me,” said Stavrinakis, “and I will continue to work as hard as I can to secure Charleston’s position as one of the most successful ports in the country.” SC Stevedores Association Executive Director Billy Adams was given the Beacon Award for his long and distinguished career on the waterfront.  Hailed as a respected facilitator by both labor and management, Adams is viewed as instrumental in helping maintain the needed working relationships on the docks to keep our Port operating efficiently and effectively. Pam Zaresk, President of the Maritime Association of SC, lauded the awardees saying, “I cannot think of three more deserving people.  Without Senator Graham’s support, harbor deepening would be ‘stuck in the mud,’ so to speak; Rep. Stavrinakis has shown true courage and commitment to the port through his vocal support of the proposed cruise terminal; and Billy Adams decades of service and contributions to our maritime community cannot be overstated.” Also during the meeting portion of the event, 2013 Chairman Steve Kicklighter of McAllister Towing passed the gavel to 2014 Chairman D. Loy Stewart, Jr. of Detyens Shipyards.  Stewart introduced his 2014 Executive Committee, which includes: Hal Burton, Vice Chairman (Premier Logistics Solutions); Judd Willard, Treasurer (T. Parker Host); Pat Barber, Secretary (Superior Transportation); and Steve Kicklighter, Immediate Past Chairman (McAllister Towing). New Directors to the Board include:  Jon Archer (Moran Charleston), Debbie Herndon (Norton Lilly – Georgetown), Jeff McWhorter (Palmetto Railways), Mel Pinks (Odfjell Bulk Terminals), Bratton Riley (Maybank Industries), and Coleman Thompson (Hunter Transportation). They join current Board members:  John Alvanos (ILA, Local 1771), Leonard Bailey (ILA, 1422-A) , David Barber (Carolina Shipping), Bill Bean (Ports America), Liz Deaton (Argents Express), Lionel D’Souza (Norton Lilly), Sam Hines (K&L Gates), Barbara Locklear (JF Moran), Rob New (Charleston Port Services), Jim Newsome (SC State Ports Authority      ), Chris Parvin (Mediterranean Shipping Co.), Anthony Perez (American Roll-On Roll-Off), Kenneth Riley (ILA, 1422), Rob Roberson (Nucor Steel), Jessica Sage (Charleston’s Rigging & Marine Hardware), Max Sanders (APM Terminals), Whit Smith (Charleston Branch Pilots Assoc.),  Andy Thomas (First Tennessee Bank), Jeff Winkler (The InterTech Group), Larry Young (SSA Cooper), Steve Young (Dockside Logistics). Closing the meeting, Chairman Loy Stewart, Jr. accepted Senator Graham’s challenge to grow the MASC presence in other parts of the state, stating that will be his primary goal over the course of the year.  He thanked those in attendance and asked for their support in that endeavor.