NEW YORK – With the mighty Hudson River and its great maritime history as a backdrop, the Seaman’s Church Institute (SCI) not only honored in style at the elegant dining hall of Pier 60 three titans of the maritime industry, including Angeliki Frangou, it raised $1 million to support programs that assist the men and women who are the backbone of the industry, and their families.
Frangou, the chairman and CEO of Navios Maritime Holdings, Inc. was the principle honoree of SCI’s 38th Annual Silver Bell Awards Dinner on June 4 where Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to Captain Robert E. Johnson, who just retired from a 45-year career at Oversees Shipholding Group that began as Third Mate on an oil tanker in 1969, and Dr. Craig E. Phillip, who spent 35 years in leadership positions throughout the transportation industry.
The guests who filled the banquet hall at what was once Pier 60 of the Port of New York were welcomed by the Rev. David M. Rider, who invited Right Rev. Andrew M.L. Dietsche, the Episcopal Bishop of New York to offer the invocation. ”We ask your protection for all who are sailing on the seas now and you blessing on the honorees and their families and all mariners,” he said, and asked blessing for their families.
Prior to the dinner three musicians in traditional Celtic garb – including two bagpipers – honored the memory of those lost at sea through the ages and the video presentation included sailors expressing their thanks for the SCI’s assistance.
Closing remarks were presented by Richard T. du Moulin, the chairman of SCI’s Board who also served as the event’s chairman. When he introduced her, he said “In an industry dominated by men known by their last names, such as Onassis, it’s refreshing that everyone around the globe knows and respects Angeliki.”
After outlining her personal achievements, he noted she is considered a pioneer, her being steeped in the traditions of five generations of sea captains notwithstanding. He added that she was not gifted her first ship. The loan she received from her father, Captain Nicholas Frangou, was paid back promptly as success came quickly, and now her groups employ some 500 staffers and 5000 mariners.
“Her success has been influenced by her engineering training and Wall Street background has changed the way maritime commerce is done…and her business acumen is supplemented by the human element,” which is reflected in her concern for her companies’ personnel, du Moulin concluded.
As she thanked SCI for the honor, congratulating her fellow honorees and warmly acknowledging her global staff, in whose behalf she accepted the award, Frangou beamed with pride in her industry – “we feed and clothe the world,” she said, and echoed the words spoken earlier that “shipping connects more people than Facebook.”
Frangou thanked her father, brothers and forebears, many of them captains, and described the bond they all have with those who sail on their ships as a “sacred pact.”
“I never turn off my cell phone. I must always be available,” she said. “We are different from other industries, in our concern for the physical safety and spiritual well-being of crews,” and who are away from their families for months at a time,” and she praised the work of SCI “which picks up where we leave off, at the shoreline.”
Nicolas Bornozis, founder and president of the Capital Link, the international investor relations and financial advisory group who also promotes business between the U.S. and Greece, told TNH “Angeliki is well-known and very respected not only for her business success but also for upholding very high ethical standards through very transparent ways of operating…that impacts everything she does, through her colleagues, the mariners who work for her group, to the investors who entrust her with their investments. When you can combine great business acumen with morality, ethics and success, it is unique.
Maritime Attorney John Stratakis told TNH “SCI is an organization that plays right to Angelike’s hear because he all know her as a top-notch business person but her philanthropy shines through her support of an organization like this. You can’t say enough about people like that and the example that they set for the rest of us.”
Stratakis and Corinna where happy to be at Chelsea Piers to honor their friend and her companies, but it would be hard to top the Navios thrill they experienced last week in the shipyard of Japan Marin United in the Sea of Japan when the latter christened the ship Navios Amber. “She cut the cord and smashed the champagne bottle…it released balloons and streamers and launches the ship,” he said.
There was interest in the description – presented with humor by du Moulin – of the “Text Your Pledge” that enabled guests to add to the funds collected straight from their cellphones. He said about $30,000 was collected at last year’s event and if the guests tripled that, the 2015 gala would raise a total of $1 million for the cause. By the end of the evening they reached the goal. Navios had contributed $50,000 prior to the event and donated $20,000 that evening.
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