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Bethel & Pennella Selected as 2010 AOTOS Recipients


Thomas J. Bethel (left) of American Maritime Officers and William A. Pennella (right) of Crowley Maritime have been selected as 2010 AOTOS Recipients. The awards will be presents at the United Seamen's Service 41st award dinner held in N.Y. on November 12, 2010.

The United Seamen's Service (USS) 2010 Admiral of the Ocean Sea Awards (AOTOS) will be presented to Thomas J. Bethel, National President of American Maritime Officers (AMO) and William A. Pennella, Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President of Crowley Maritime Corporation.

The maritime industry's most prestigious awards will be presented at a gala industry dinner and dance to be held at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers, New York City, on November 12, 2010.

"Tom Bethel and Bill Pennella represent strong leadership in the maritime industry and will be honored for their significant contributions to American seafarers and American commerce," said Richard Hughes, Chairman of the USS AOTOS Committee and President of the International Longshoremen's Association, AFL-CIO.

"Notably, both Crowley and AMO, provided much-needed humanitarian relief services to Haiti after January's devastating earthquake," he added. "AMO's response was to man many of the U.S.-flagged vessels. Crowley's response was to unload Haiti relief cargo containers filled with water and meals in the Dominican Republic to be trucked across the border into Haiti."

American Maritime Officers (AMO) is affiliated with the Seafarers International Union of North America, AFL-CIO. AMO is one of the nation's largest unions of U.S. merchant marine officers with contracts covering domestic deep-sea, Great Lakes and inland waters merchant vessels and U.S-flagged ships serving internationally in commercial trades and military support services.

Thomas J. Bethel has served the union in several capacities since coming ashore in 1983, including Executive Vice President, Assistant Vice President, executive board member and representative. He has also served for eight years as senior member of the legislative staff of AMO in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Bethel, a marine engineer, is a specialist in collective bargaining, shipping charters awarded to U.S.-flagged vessel operators by the Maritime Administration and Military Sealift Command, and maritime policy, legislation and regulation.

He has been active in the Delaware Valley and Vicinity, Greater New York and Vicinity and Greater South Florida Maritime Ports Councils of the Maritime Trades Department (AFL-CIO). He is president of the Greater South Florida Maritime Trades Council and is the recipient of awards from the Friend of Seafarers and International House and the Paul Hall Award of Merit from the Maritime Port Council of Greater New York and Vicinity.

Crowley is a 118-year-old privately held family and employee-owned company which provides diversified transportation and logistics services in domestic and international markets by means of six operating lines of business: Puerto Rico/Caribbean Liner Services, Latin America Liner Services, Logistics Services, Petroleum Services, Marine Services and Technical Services.

William A. "Bill" Pennella began his maritime career in 1968 with Sea-Land Service. He held various management positions with Global Terminal and Container Services and United States Lines before joining Crowley in 1987.

Over the past 23 years, Mr. Pennella has continued to lead the growth of Crowley Maritime Corp. through his positions as Vice Chairman and Executive Vice President. As a member of the company's board of directors, he has been instrumental in the acquisition of several Crowley subsidiaries including Titan Salvage, Jensen Maritime Consultants, Customized Brokers and Marine Transport Lines. With a background in Human Resources and labor relations, Pennella has directed the company in its goal of being a "Great Place to Work" and has been instrumental in implementing a company wide safety and wellness program to further employee retention and productivity.

Mr. Pennella is a graduate of Rutgers University with degrees in Psychology and Business and is currently a member of the Advisory Board for The United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point.

In addition to the two recipients, other honorees will include the American maritime unions who will be presented with plaques recognizing their collective extraordinary response to the Haitian disaster.

For AOTOS 2010, Michael Sacco, President of the Seafarers International Union, is Dinner Chairman. S. Anthony Naccarato of Crowley Maritime Corporation and Samuel B. Nemirow will be serving as National Committee Co-Chairmen. Other committee members and chairmanships will be announced soon.

All proceeds from the AOTOS event benefit USS community services abroad for the U.S. merchant marine and those of other free world countries. The recipients will share the evening with a group of American seafarers who will be honored for acts of bravery at sea.

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 eight 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.

Edward Morgan is President and Roger Korner is Executive Director of USS. Information about the gala, tickets and advertising journal is available from USS AOTOS Coordinator, Barbara Spector Yeninas, barbara@bsya.com or (800) 804-5279. To contact USS directly, call (718) 369-3818.