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Honorees Announced for National Maritime Awards Dinner

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Image: On the Waterfront: Washington DC in 1899, by Patrick O’Brien

By MarEx 2018-03-14 19:28:00

William C. Baker, J. Willard Marriott Jr. and Donald T. “Boysie” Bollinger will be honored by the U.S. maritime community and the National Maritime Historical Society at the 8th annual National Maritime Awards Dinner on April 25, 2018, at the historic Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. Dr. Timothy Runyan and Denise Krepp, co-chairs for this year’s gala, announce that the National Coast Guard Museum Association is our new partner in the event.

The dinner will be held once again in the historic Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. In addition to supporting the educational initiatives of the Society, the partnership with the National Coast Guard Museum Association will have the added benefit of supporting the development of the new museum and the incredible history of the US Coast Guard. Ground has been broken for the facility on the New London waterfront in the same homeport as the US Coast Guard Academy and its square-rigged training ship, the barque Eagle. Additionally, holding a prestigious maritime awards dinner in the nation’s capital gives us an opportunity to join maritime organizations across the country in advocating for federal funding in support of our common maritime heritage—so we are indeed excited. We will honor three extraordinary people at the dinner:

J. Willard Marriott Jr. served as executive chairman and chairman of the board of Marriott International, Inc., after serving as CEO for forty years, before stepping down in March 2012. He built the company into a global business with more than 6,500 properties in 127 countries, and approximately 675,000 employees. Mr. Marriott served as a supply officer aboard USS Randolph from 1954 to 1956, which he calls a great learning experience that helped launch his hospitality career. Marriott International has a “Spirit to Serve” philosophy, fostered by Bill Marriott, to provide extensive corporate support to America’s returning veterans. Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, USN (Ret.), immediate former Chief of Naval Operations will present the award.

William C. Baker is the president and CEO of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the largest non-profit conservation organization dedicated solely to preserving and restoring the Chesapeake Bay. With more than 200,000 members, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is a fierce advocate working to protect and restore a national treasure and integral part of America’s maritime heritage through advocacy, education, litigation, and restoration. Mr. Baker is focused on one goal— “Saving the Bay”—by achieving a clean, healthy, and productive estuarine system that will serve as a model for other marine conservation organizations worldwide. Mr. Baker is the recipient of the Washingtonian of the Year Award, as well as the 1992 Presidential Medal for Environmental Excellence, the nation’s highest environmental honor. Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland will present the award.

Donald T. “Boysie” Bollinger, former chairman and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards, Inc., will receive the National Coast Guard Museum Association’s Alexander Hamilton Award. After a long career providing quality construction of vessels for both military and civilian use, Mr. Bollinger continues to be recognized for his generosity and philanthropic giving to maritime heritage preservation and organizations. His influence and dedication have benefited many groups, most especially the United States Coast Guard Foundation and the National World War II Museum. For his unwavering support, the National Coast Guard Museum Association is honored to recognize this icon within the maritime industry. Former United States Secretary of Homeland Security and Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Ridge will present the award.

Prior award winners have included broadcaster Walter Cronkite, global ocean conservationist David Rockefeller, Jr., America’s Cup winner Ted Turner, ocean explorer Dr. Robert Ballard, Princess Anne of the United Kingdom, U.S. Senators John Warner and Barbara Mikulski, Congresswoman Helen Delich Bentley, the National Geographic Society, Conservation International, and a wide range of maritime authors and artists, nautical educators, sea services leaders, maritime industry executives, ship designers and builders, undersea explorers, and competitive yachtsmen.

The National Maritime Awards Dinner brings together annually the entire American maritime community to celebrate the sea and those who live and work on it. Attendees include oceanographers, conservationists, environmentalists, the sea services, the merchant marine, the cruise industry, maritime museums, historic ships, educators, maritime authors and artists, boat designers and builders, and sea explorers. The Dinner is co-sponsored by the National Maritime Historical Society, now in its 55th year, and the National Coast Guard Museum Association.

Master of Ceremonies is Annapolis’ own Gary Jobson, competitive sailor, television commentator and author, President of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, Past President of US Sailing, and Vice President of the International Sailing Federation. Video introductions of the recipients will be presented by Richardo Lopes. Entertainment will be provided by the Mariners Chorus of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, directed by Dr. Katherine Meloan. The combined Sea Services Color guard will present the colors. Acclaimed marine artist Patrick O'Brien will chair the Washington Invitational Marine Art Exhibition, offering guests a chance to meet the artists, see their paintings, and perhaps purchase a favorite.

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Video by Patrick O’Brien featuring his work On the Waterfront: Washington DC 1899, one of the paintings on display and for sale at the gala.

Tickets for this traditionally sold-out event start at $275 per person or $3,000 per table. To register, please visit www.seahistory.org/2018nmad. There are several sponsorship opportunities available as well, which may be reserved with Burchenal Green, President, National Maritime Historical Society, at burchenalgreen@seahistory.org or 914-737-7878 x223.

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