Key Speakers Announced for Upcoming "Rebuilding America & Creating Jobs: A Maritime Initiative"

By MarEx 2011-08-15 13:37:42

The Maritime Executive will host a national Maritime Initiative, "Rebuilding America and Creating Jobs," in Baltimore on October 12 & 13, 2011, the beginning of a national campaign to jumpstart the American economy that will continue throughout 2012 and right up to Election Day in November. Today, the Jones Act generates $100 billion in economic activity while providing employment for more than 500,000 Americans. While this is a good start, much more can be done through the Jones Act to rebuild America's industrial base and generate hundreds of thousands of desperately needed new jobs.

America's marine highways have been underutilized for decades due to failed federal policies and inadequate funding mechanisms. Today, while the infrastructure is in place, U.S. vessel operators, shipbuilders, training institutions and port authorities have been overlooked as vital assets in the U.S. economic recovery plan. The Maritime Executive, with your support, aims to change that perspective in Congress and, most importantly, among the American people through a media campaign titled Strong Ships for America and a series of strategic Jones Act conferences.

Meet some of the key speakers participating in the conference:


John E. Graykowski

Master of Ceremonies 

John Graykowski offers perspective and knowledge gained over thirty years of professional activities ranging from receiving a Presidential appointment to the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), serving in a variety of senior staff positions in the United States Congress and as an attorney and general counsel directly involved in business operations for clients and a multi-national corporation.

John began his professional career in the U.S. House of Representatives and concluded that aspect of it 15 years later as Counsel to the United States Senate Merchant Marine Subcommittee. In this time, he served two Congressmen, as Legislative Director to a United States Senator and in several senior staff positions on the Senate Commerce Committee. He developed legislative expertise in transportation, agriculture, communications and energy policy.

As Deputy and Acting Administrator of MARAD, John was responsible for the management and direction of the agency and was involved in all aspects of maritime program implementation which included the Maritime Security and VISA national security programs; negotiation of international maritime agreements and development of the maritime transportation system (MTS) initiative. Following enactment of the National Shipbuilding Initiative (NSI) and expansion of the Title XI loan guaranty program, he directed agency efforts to revitalize U.S. commercial shipbuilding industries resulting in over $4 billion in new vessel construction.

He complemented his government service with tenure in three Washington, D.C. law firms representing clients in the transportation, health care, natural resources and maritime industries. He then moved into a senior management position at Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, where he managed corporate legal affairs vessel marketing and government relations.

Today John continues to work with the maritime industry as a principal for Maritime Industry Consultants, offering his diverse experience to the public and private sectors to create the necessary bridge between corporate objectives and public policy.


H. Clayton Cook, Jr.

Panel Moderator 

H. Clayton Cook, Jr. is a Counsel in Seward & Kissel LLP's Corporate Finance Group.  Clay has been engaged in private law practice or U.S. government service since 1960.  He served as General Counsel of the Maritime Administration from 1970 through 1973.  There he was responsible for the legal aspects of the implementation of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970, and for the drafting of the Federal Ship Financing Act of 1972 which governs MarAd's current Title XI program.

Clay has advised clients in the structuring and implementation of transactions involving the construction, ownership and financing of U.S. flag vessels totaling in excess of $4 billion, and in related dealings with the U.S. government.  His client assignments have included numerous Title XI and leveraged lease financings and precedent setting CCF projects.  His CCF work has included: the CCF program’s first use in leveraged lease financing transactions; the first and only shipyard CCF award; and the development of computer programs to measure CCF benefits in vessel purchase and leveraged lease financing transactions.

Clay has represented major non-citizen mineral industry and leasing company interests on citizenship and citizen leasing issues in the ownership, operation and chartering of vessels in our coastwise and Great Lakes trades and fisheries.

Clay commenced practice with Sullivan & Cromwell in 1960.  He joined Pepper, Hamilton & Scheetz in 1965, where he was elected to the partnership and served as Sun Oil Company’s senior tax counsel before becoming General Counsel of the Maritime Administration.  At the completion of his government service, Clay joined Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft where he was the partner responsible for developing Cadwalader's Washington-based international maritime practice.

Clay is a Life Member of The American Law Institute, a member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States (Maritime Finance Committee) and a member of the American and District of Columbia Bar Associations. 


Charlie Papavizas

Panel Moderator

Charlie Papavizas is a partner of Winston & Strawn’s Washington, D.C. office who concentrates his practice in administrative, legislative, and corporate matters, primarily in the maritime industry.

Mr. Papavizas is frequently consulted on the application of U.S. coastwise laws (Jones Act) to cargo, passenger, and vessel movements and investments in U.S. companies.

Mr. Papavizas has extensive experience in advocacy on behalf of maritime clients before various federal agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Maritime Administration, and the U.S. Congress. Such clients have included U.S. and foreign vessel owners and operators, investment banks and other financial institutions, shipyards, ship managers, and marine equipment suppliers.

Mr. Papavizas is recognized for shipping and maritime law in the 2008 and 2009 editions of Who’s Who Legal and by Chambers USA in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010, and the 2007 and 2008 editions of Washington D.C.’s Best Lawyers. He is also listed in the 2008 Guide to the World’s Leading Shipping and Maritime Lawyers.

Mr. Papavizas is a member of the Technology Committee. Mr. Papavizas also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce. He previously served as a member of the board of governors of the District of Columbia Port, Propeller Club of the United States (1996-2002).

Mr. Papavizas received a B.A. in Government from Georgetown University in 1978, a M.A. in International Affairs from Columbia University in 1981, and a J.D., with honors, from the George Washington University National Law Center in 1984.


Dr. Henry S. Marcus

Panel Speaker

Dr. Marcus is Professor of Marine Systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he has taught and performed research in the marine transportation area since 1971.  Until recently he was in the Ocean Engineering Department (which has now been merged with the Mechanical Engineering Department) and also served as the Chairman of the graduate program in Ocean Systems Management.  In addition, he held the title of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Professor of Ship Acquisition for a decade.

Dr. Marcus has served as a member of the Marine Board, the Federal Transportation Advisory Group, and the Marine Transportation Systems National Advisory Council.   He has authored or co-authored six books, numerous articles, and many case studies on various aspects of the marine industry.

Professor Marcus has a B.S. degree from Webb Institute of Naval Architecture, two M.S. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a doctorate from Harvard Business School.


Matt Paxton 

Panel Speaker 

Mr. Paxton was selected to be the President of the Shipbuilders Council of America in 2007. In this capacity he advocates for a robust and expanding U.S. shipyard industrial base. Mr. Paxton is also a lawyer, focusing on maritime law and environmental issues.   

Previously, Mr. Paxton served as Senior Counsel on Maritime, Oceans and Atmosphere for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Prior to joining the Commerce Committee, he served as Legislative Director for Senator Stevens from 2004 until 2005. From 2001 to 2004, Mr. Paxton was a Legislative Assistant to Senator Stevens.

Mr. Paxton earned his B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of
Washington in 1997 and his J.D. degree from Willamette University College of Law in 2001. He is admitted to practice law in Washington State.


Cheron Wicker

Panel Speaker 

Cheron Wicker was sworn in to the U.S. Department of Transportation by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on April 26, 2010, to serve as the Maritime Administration’s Director of Congressional and Public Affairs.  She was named Director of Strategic Communications and Public Engagement in June 2011.

Mrs. Wicker is a media relations and corporate communications professional. Her career history includes a professional background in technology, energy, government contracting, and state government.

From 2003 until her appointment to the Maritime Administration, Ms. Wicker was Deputy Director of Communications with the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), one of six Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) agencies and the eleventh-largest multimodal public transit agency in the United States.

At the MTA, Ms. Wicker managed an award-winning media and communications department. She developed numerous communication strategies, led media and outreach initiatives and maintained strong relationships with the media and elected officials. She managed large transit-security grant projects, resulting in the development and implementation of the “Transit Watch” multi-modal awareness and regional emergency-preparedness campaigns. Her advocacy efforts resulted in the adoption of the Words on Wheels program, a collaboration between area middle schools and the Maryland Institute College of Art and the production of a train safety campaign. She also directed all aspects of feature-film production logistics for Ladder 49, XXX State of the Union, Invasion, Step Up, Step Up 2:The Streets and for the DIY Network’s Project Xtreme. Her efforts resulted in increased revenues, lower production costs, and positive national visibility for the State of Maryland as a film-friendly partner. As chair of a leadership task force for the American Public Transit Association Communications Committee, she developed a transit industry crisis communications plan.

Prior to her MTA service, Mrs. Wicker was Director of Media Relations at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). While at the MVA, Cheron Victoria was instrumental in working with the State legislature and the media. She developed award-winning campaigns on safety, security, new license plates, teen driving, distracted driving, and the expansion of online services.

Before entering State service, Ms. Wicker was an award-winning corporate communications and public relations professional in the private sector having worked for Digital Equipment Corporation, BGE, and a government contractor. She served on the board of directors of the American Heart Association where she assisted with rebranding and development of the Red Dress pin and Go Red for Women program.

Mrs. Wicker earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing from the Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colorado. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSSA), and a graduate of Leadership Howard County. 


Jonathan D. Kaskin

Panel Speaker 

Mr. Kaskin assumed the duties of Director, Strategic Mobility and Combat Logistics Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (N-42), in October 2000.  He was selected as member of the Senior Executive Service Jun 1987.

Upon graduation from the University of Pennsylvania (BSEE) and after being commissioned an Ensign in May 1971, he served on active duty in the U.S. Navy from August 1972 through June 1975 as Officer-in-Charge, Military Sealift Command Unit (Inchon, Korea), Executive Officer/Operations Officer, Military Sealift Command Office (Naha, Okinawa) and Executive Officer, Military Sealift Command Office (Pusan, Korea).  Mr. Kaskin retired from U.S. Naval Reserve in 2001 with the rank of Captain.

Before joining civil service Mr. Kaskin was a student and teaching assistant at Harvard University, Division of Applied Science, from September 1975 to February 1977 during which he earned a Masters of Science degree in Engineering.  From February 1978 to June 1979 he was a student and research assistant at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Ocean Engineering, where he earned a second Masters of Science degree in Shipping and Shipbuilding Management as well as a professional degree of Ocean Engineer.

Following his studies, Mr. Kaskin was employed as an Operations Research Analyst...