James Given, Anil Mathur and Joseph Pyne Named USS Admiral of the Ocean Sea Awards Winners

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(Image Courtesy: Oil Tanks)

The United Seamen’s Service (USS) 2019 Admiral of the Ocean Sea Awards (AOTOS) will be presented to James Given, President of the Seafarers International Union of Canada; Anil Mathur, President and CEO of Alaska Tanker Corp.; and Joseph Pyne, Chairman of the Board of the Kirby Corporation. The maritime industry’s most prestigious award will be presented at the 50th annual AOTOS gala at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, New York City, on November 1, 2019. During this event, a number of American seafarers will receive recognition for specific acts of bravery and heroism while at sea.

In announcing the recipients, Lieutenant General Kenneth Wykle, USA, (Ret.), AOTOS Committee Chairman, said: “This year the USS AOTOS Committee reached far and wide to Montreal, Canada, Beaverton, Oregon and Houston, Texas, to find three deserving and outstanding leaders all of whom were heartily endorsed and deemed deserving of the AOTOS Award. Jim Given, a maritime labor leader in neighboring Canada has worked in a spirit of cooperation with American seafarer unions on mutual issues. Anil Mathur heads an American shipping company dedicated to carrying crude oil from Alaska to its various markets. Finally, Joe Pyne chairs Kirby Corporation, the premier tank barge operator in the United States.” General Wykle added: “USS is proud to recognize their many accomplishments that have positively impacted our industry.”

Jim Given hails from a family of SIU members. His grandfather joined SIU in 1953 and his father and brothers are all seafarers. He joined the union in 1979. He sailed for 13 years in the deck department on ferries, tankers, self-unloaders, bulk carriers and cement carriers. He served as a union official for 22 years in various capacities starting as dispatcher in Thorold. Active in the International Transport Federation, he was ITF Cruise Ship Campaign Director for four years in Florida and member of the ITF Seafarer Section Committee.

The most significant seafarers union in Canada, the SIU of Canada has been serving unlicensed seafarers since 1938. The union represents the majority of unlicensed seafarers working aboard vessels on the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River and on the East and the West Coasts. In addition to vessels operated in Canadian waters, SIU members also have the opportunity to work aboard vessels delivering cargoes internationally.

Prior to joining Alaska Tanker Company, Anil Mathur worked for British Petroleum (BP) for 20 years in management, corporate planning and facilities engineering. He also spent five years at Cities Service Company in engineering and in research and development. Mr. Mathur earned an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley, a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Tulsa, and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, in India. Mathur is an alumnus of Harvard Business School.

Alaska Tanker Company (ATC) was created in 1999 by Keystone Shipping Company, (37.5%), OSG Ship Management (37.5%) and BP Oil Shipping Company, USA (25%) to consolidate all of BP’s Alaskan crude-oil shipping requirements into one operating company.

Joe Pyne started his career with Houston-based Kirby in 1978, and has held numerous executive positions including Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, President, and Executive Vice President and as President of Kirby Inland Marine from 1984 to November 1999. He has served the company as a Director since 1988. Mr. Pyne has also served in various operating and administrative capacities with Kirby Inland Marine from 1978 to 1984. He retired effective April 30, 2018 and continues to serve Kirby as Chairman of the Board in a non-executive role.

Kirby Corporation is the premier tank barge operator in the United States, transporting bulk liquid products throughout the Mississippi River system, on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, along all three U.S. Coasts, and in Alaska and Hawaii and is also a leading nationwide service provider and distributor of diesel engines, transmissions, parts, industrial equipment and oilfield service equipment.

The AOTOS Award commenced in 1970 and has honored more than 80 industry leaders since its inception. Now marking its 50thanniversary along with the 75th anniversary of United Seamen’s Service, its present President Edward Morgan noted: “Whether operating 144 service centers in 1942 to look after American seafarers and the military or ensuring we honor our true industry leaders as Admiral of the Ocean Sea, USS has continued to be an important presence in the American maritime industry.”

Proceeds from the AOTOS event benefit USS 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 number of heroic American seafarers who will be recognized for their bravery at sea.

For AOTOS 2019, Michael Sacco, President of the Seafarers International Union, is Dinner Chairman. F. Anthony Naccarato of American Maritime Officers Service and Joseph Cox will be National Committee Co-Chairmen.

USS continues to provide community services for the U.S. Merchant Marine, the American Armed Forces, and seafarers of the world. USS, a non-profit agency established in 1942, 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.

Sea News, June 13