With a great deal of enthusiasm and camaraderie, the Panama Maritime 2015 recipients of the Maritime Award were announced by the Conference Organising Committee. Captain Orlando Allard, Chairman of the Conference said that several well-deserving nominations had been received for each of the five categories, but that as is usually the case, only one for each category had to be selected by a vote of the Committee. This year a category has been added, Excellence in Journalism, in order to recognise the important role of that writers, columnists, reporters and journalists play in communicating industry´s challenges and opportunities.
The president of the Awards Subcommittee, Mr. Belisario Porras, said that In previous versions of the Conference, high profile international companies and individuals have been selected for the Maritime Excellence Award, as well as for the coveted Social Responsibility Award y por supuesto the Maritime Personality Award. Navios Shipping was awarded the Maritime Excellence Award durante Panama Maritime X y Evergreen durante Panama Maritime XI. Wallenius Wilhelmsen and VT Shipping have been honoured with the Green Shipping Award, for their policies and practices to insure conservation of the marine environment. The Social Responsibility Award has been bestowed upon companies such as Manzanillo International Terminal and Astilleros Industriales.
This year, Mediterranean Shipping Company, MSC, has been selected for the Maritime Excellence Award, which is the highest award given by the Panama Maritime World Conference & Exhibition to the entity or person who has made a positive impact on the maritime local and international community during recent years. MSC´s accomplishments relating to quality in operations, safety and security, innovation and other contributions to sustainable development in the shipping sector are thus recognised.
The President of MOL Panama, Julio De La Lastra has been awarded the Maritime Personality plaque for his many contributions to the local and international maritime, port and logistics industry, particularly to the training of young Panamanians. Michele Labrut, the America’s correspondent for SEATRADE Publications (UK), has been the first recipient of the Journalism Excellence Award for her more than 30 years in Panama, as an accomplished writer and reporter. Her contributions to the local and regional maritime, port and logistics industry through objective reporting and coverage of Panama´s most important milestones has not gone unnoticed and are now being recognised.
The Social Responsibility Award is again awarded to Manzanillo International Terminal for their labour policies and practices; commitment to the improvement of employees working conditions and the advancement of the community in general. MIT´s continued support of the Panama Maritime Conference & Exhibition since the very beginning has also been taken into consideration. The Green Shipping Award has been won by the Mar Viva Foundation, with a long tradition of implementing best practices and green shipping policies, projects and programmes on behalf of preserving the marine environment for future generations. Special Honorary Meritorious Awards will also be presented to H.E. Wiebe de Boer, the Ambassador of The Netherlands in Panama, who during his tour of duty has become a very active member of the Panamanian maritime community and has contributed a great deal to the success of the Panama Maritime Conferences over the years. Mr. Theodore “Ted” James, the editor and publisher of The Bulletin, will also be recognised. The Bulletin is a highly respected weekly newspaper specialising in maritime, port and logistics news and has been published in Panama for over 30 years.