NEW YORK, NY, December 13, 2021—The United Seamen’s Service 52nd annual Admiral of the Ocean Sea (AOTOS) Award was presented to David Heindel, secretary-treasurer of the Seafarers International Union of North America, AFL-CIO; Ms. Kathy Metcalf, President and CEO of the Chamber of Shipping of America; and William Woodhour, President and CEO of Maersk Line, Limited.
Anthony Naccarato was awarded a special AOTOS to honor his more than five decades in the American maritime industry.
The traditional silver statuette of Christopher Columbus—the first Admiral of the Ocean Sea—was accepted by the three honorees at a gala dinner held December 3, 2021 at the New York Sheraton Hotel and Towers and attended by more than 600 attendees—the largest maritime industry gathering since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic.
LTG Kenneth R. Wykle, USA, (Ret.), Chairman, USS AOTOS Committee, noted: “Well, they said it couldn’t be done. But we did it. With more than 600 people gathered here—all of us healthy and vaccinated—we have once again shown that the AOTOS award is respected and the dinner one not to be missed, “ he said. ”It is great to see you all and it is a testament to USS and to our recipients that once again we can fill the ballroom at the Sheraton. The AOTOS award dinner continues as the premier American flag maritime event. Indeed, this is the place to enjoy an evening out, see and speak with the other maritime leaders and show your support for our dedicated seafarers. With such deserving recipients, we are pleased to continue the rich 52-year history of this prestigious event.”
David Heindel began his shoreside career with the SIU in 1973. Prior to that, he sailed on deep-sea vessels as a member of the engine department before coming ashore in 1980 to work as a patrolman in his native New Orleans. He has been the secretary-treasurer of the SIU since February 1997.
Since August 2002, he has been vice chairman of the International Transport Workers’ Federation’s (ITF’s) Seafarers’ Section and has worked here and abroad with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the International Labor Organization and the International Maritime Organization on shipboard and port-security issues as well as the international project for a new Seafarers Identity Document. He helped protect mariners’ rights under the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (which took effect July 2004), and continues to lead the ITF’s delegates at the International Bargaining Forum which secures new agreements for tens of thousands of mariners worldwide. He is a graduate of the program for entry-level mariners conducted at the union’s affiliated training facility in Piney Point, Maryland.
Kathy Metcalf has led the Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA)in Washington since 2015. Previously since 1997, she was the chamber’s director of Maritime Affairs. The CSA represents U.S.-based companies that either own, operate or charter vessels engaged in the domestic and international trades and companies that maintain a commercial interest in the operation of such oceangoing vessels.
Previously, Kathy was Manager, State Government Affairs (Midwest) for the Sunoco Refining and Marketing Company; Manager, Regulatory Affairs for Sun Refining and Marketing Company and worked for Sun Transport, Inc.in various shoreside positions and as a third mate on product and crude tankers. She attended the Seagoing/Shoreside Management Development Program (Third Mate/Asst. Port Captain) at the Gulf Oil Corporation from 1978 to 1981. Ms. Metcalf is a graduate of the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY.
William Woodhour, who was called away and was unable to personally accept his award, has been President and CEO of Maersk Line, Limited, since 2016. MLL is an American company, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, that provides U.S. flag transportation, ship management and maritime technical services to The US Navy’s Military Sealift Command, government and commercial customers and employs American seafarers.
Bill Woodhour has spent his entire maritime career with the Maersk organization. He joined the company in Madison, NJ, in 1991, working in sales and marketing for Maersk Line for 18 years. He was named Senior Vice President in North America for Maersk Inc. until moving to Copenhagen as Vice President of Maersk Line, returning to the US to assumed leadership at MLL five years ago. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware University of Delaware – Lerner College of Business and Economics and attended Harvard Business School.
Anthony Naccarato has spent more than 56 years in both maritime management and labor, most recently at Crowley Maritime Corp. He is president of American Maritime Officers Services. He also is Chairman of the USS Executive Committee.
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 shared the evening with a group of American seafarers who were honored for acts of bravery at sea. These included seafarers from Military Sealift Command, Pasha Hawaii and Crowley.
For AOTOS 2021, Michael Sacco, President of the Seafarers International Union, is Dinner Chairman. Anthony Naccarato of American Maritime Officers Service and John L. Degurse, Jr., Esquire, USS Legal Counsel, will be serving as National Committee Co-Chairmen. Edward Morgan is President and Roger Korner is Executive Director of USS. USS AOTOS Coordinators are Barbara Spector Yeninas Associates Inc.