United Seamen's service names 2012 AOTOS Award honorees

awardJUNE 27, 2012 —The United Seamen's Service says it 2012 Admiral of the Ocean Sea (AOTOS) Awards will be presented to Niels M. Johnsen, CEO and Chairman of International Shipholding Corporation; Captain Robert Johnston, Senior Vice President and Head of U.S. Flag Strategic Business Unit for Overseas Shipholding Group, and United States Senator Mary Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana.

The awards will be presented at a gala marine industry dinner and dance to be held at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers, New York City, on October 26, 2012. Recognition will also be given to American Seafarers for specific acts of bravery and heroism while at sea.

Announcing the recipients, General Kenneth Wykle, USA(ret.), Chairman of the USS AOTOS Committee, said: "Niels M. Johnsen represents the finest in ship management just as Bob Johnston brings seagoing and operational excellence to our industry. Senator Landrieu has spent her career in elected office bringing a leadership voice to efforts that benefit all Americans." He added: "It is our honor to honor these three with the AOTOS Award this year." General Wykle is also President of the National Defense Transportation Association.

Niels M. Johnsen joined International Shipholding Corporation in 1970 after service in the U.S. Army. He has been Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of International Shipholding Corp. since 2007. He also serves as Chairman of International Shipholding's principal subsidiaries Central Gulf Lines, Inc. and Waterman Steamship Corporation. Since 1988, he has served on the company's board of directors. He is a native of New Jersey and a 1967 graduate of Tulane University.

International Shipholding Corporation and its subsidiaries are engaged in waterborne cargo transportation, which includes pure car/truck carrier services, roll on/roll off, breakbulk/bulk carrier services, domestic coastwide services, container vessels, multi-purpose vessels, and rail ferry transportation. Subsidiaries operate 38 vessels and include Central Gulf Lines, Inc.; Waterman Steamship Corporation; LCI Shipholdings, Inc.; CG Railway, Inc.; LMS Shipmanagement, Inc.; and East Gulf Shipholding, Inc. International Shipholding Corporation maintains offices in Mobile, Alabama; New York, New York; Shanghai, China; and Singapore as well as a network of agencies in major cities worldwide.  

Captain Robert Johnston is Senior Vice President and head of the U.S. Flag Strategic Business Unit of OSG, including U.S.- flag technical operations based in Tampa, Florida. From 2005 until current recent appointment, Captain Johnston was head of OSG's Shipping Operations. In this role he established numerous programs focused on improved safety, environmental and operational performance of the OSG's International and U.S.-flag fleet. Prior to that, he held numerous positions including Chief Commercial Officer and Vice President of U.S. operations, where his responsibilities included the operation of the OSG U.S -flag fleet. He was promoted to Senior Vice President in 1998.

Before coming ashore in 1976, Captain Johnston served on crude oil tankers and product carriers in capacities ranging from Third Mate to Master. He joined OSG in 1969. Captain Johnston holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marine transportation from SUNY Maritime College and is a graduate of the executive program at Dartmouth University's Tuck Business School.

Captain Johnston is Vice Chairman of Intertanko. He is a member of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) Council and the ABS Classification Committee. He is president and member of the board of the American Maritime Association as well as a member of the board of the Transportation Institute. He is a past chairman and committee member of the Alaska Tanker Company (ATC) and a past board member of OSG America LLC.

Senator Mary L. Landrieu was first elected to public office at the age of 23. In 1996, after serving eight years as a Louisiana state representative and two terms as State Treasurer, she became the first woman from Louisiana elected to a full term in the U.S. Senate. Senator Landrieu is currently the chair of the Senate Small Business Committee, chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security and a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committees. The nonpartisan Congress.org has ranked Senator Landrieu as the tenth most effective legislator in the Senate.

Senator Landrieu has beena leading voice in Washington for the Gulf Coast recovery effort. In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the failures of the federal levee system, she secured billions in recovery dollars and has worked extensively to jumpstart recovery projects.

As one of the chairs on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Landrieu is a strong and effective supporter of the important Subcommittee on Homeland Security. She is also a member of the Energy Committee, coauthored the landmark Domenici-Landrieu Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, which was signed into law in 2006.  

United Seamen's Service provides community services for the U.S. Merchant Marine, the American Armed Forces, and seafarers of the world.  A non-profit agency established in 1942, it operates centers in six foreign ports in Europe, Asia, and Africa and in the Indian Ocean, and also provides seagoing libraries to American vessels through its affiliate, the American Merchant Marine Library Association.

All proceeds from the AOTOS event benefit community services abroad for the U.S. merchant marine, seafarers of all nations, and U.S. government and military overseas. The recipients will share the evening with a group of American seafarers who will be honored for acts of bravery at sea.

Information about the gala, tickets and advertising journal is available from USS AOTOS Coordinator, Barbara Spector Yeninas at aotos@bsya.com or (732) 817-0400 extension 16.

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