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Incredible Past, Unlimited Future
Look Back 25 Years; Look Forward 25 Years

January 8 - January 9, 2012
Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, FL

The C-PORT Conference opened on Sunday, January 8 with our USCG partners presenting valuable information from the State of Search and Rescue from CAPT David McBride to a report on TSAC (Towing Safety Advisory Committee) from Joe Frohnhoefer, committee member and C-PORT Director.  LCDR Wade Russell and Mr. Roy Murphy gave an overview of the USCG Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise explaining the purpose of the center along with a synopsis of the current state of vessel inspections and how it may impact our industry. Mr. Ike Eisentrout and Dr. Laura Gillis of the USCG National Maritime Center gave an update of the workings of the NMC with particular attention given to the new updated standards applied to medical reviews.

Our NASBLA (National Association of State Boating Law Administrators) partners updated the attendees regarding the BOAT Program detailing the importance of national standards of performance that will afford our industry the opportunity to work in arenas they have heretofore been excluded.

The day ended with a Welcome Reception including a lively NFL Football Playoff Game.  Networking and team building was the theme of the night.

Monday, January 9 began with our Keynote Address presented by Mr. Ray Martino, President, Travelers Ocean Marine. John Fulweiler provided legal perspectives regarding “Salvage Wars” while CDR Wayne Arguin, USCG SERT (Salvage Engineering Response Team) provided insight into the service provided by his elite group.  DeeAnn McMillen, T&T Bisso, gave a brief overview of her company’s work as Mauricio Garrido, President T&T Bisso was pulled away by salvage operations needing his attention. DeeAnn graciously stepped in to provide input to the group. 

Breakout sessions included The Spin-How to Get “Good Press” by Ms. Diana Reed, Executive Producer, WSVN-TV; Managing the Deadly Dangers of Distractions, presented by Kent Dresser, President, Confident Captains/Ocean Pros and Meet the Board, a networking session providing attendees the opportunity to meet and discuss issues relevant to their businesses directly with the C-PORT Board of Directors. 

C-PORT members were honored with lifesaving awards presented by CAPT McBride at the conference luncheon. The luncheon was held on the 14th Floor of the hotel with stunning views of the bay as a backdrop. Also presented at the luncheon was the first Compass Rose Award given to Lee McCune, posthumously. Accepting on behalf of her late husband was Diana McCune. The Compass Rose Award is given to the person in the industry who embodies the essence of true direction symbolized by a compass rose.  This award is presented to someone who is dedicated to making the marine assistance industry better through their hard work and desire to make boating an enjoyable experience for everyone they meet.

The Annual C-PORT Membership Meeting followed the Conference General Sessions. Chris Shaffner, Chairman, presented the 2012 C-PORT Action Agenda highlighting the priorities of the association for the coming year. John Andrews and Roger Slade were unanimously reelected to another term as Directors. Charlie Meyer, Director, introduced the newly formed regional chapter, Eastern Inland Marine Assistance Association, to the membership. Anniversary pins were distributed as members were honored for their continued support of the association.

The meeting adjourned to allow everyone to prepare for the 25th Anniversary Gala.  CAPT Steve Sawyer, President AFRAS, USCG (Ret) honored C-PORT member Jon Gridley, Sea Tow Clarks Hill Lake along with Jim Masiongale for their heroic efforts in saving the life of a young child and firefighter on the afternoon of July 4, 2011. C-PORT honored CAPT Dave McBride with stories and wishes for future success as he prepares to retire his position at USCG. Dinner was served to over 130 guests. The evening continued with guests dancing and enjoying each other’s company in a non-work environment.

C-PORT thanks all that attended this informative, valuable event. We especially thank our speakers for their time and contribution to our industry and our sponsors and exhibitors whose support and participation make these events possible.