Canadian Sailings | Source: American Great Lakes Ports Association
A delegation of Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway maritime industry leaders held day-long meetings September 28 with Wisconsin state political leadership.
Briefings covered the economic impacts of Great Lake/Seaway shipping to Wisconsin’s economy—8,800 jobs and $1.4 billion in business revenue, as well as the investments being made within the navigation system by both public and private entities, and the maritime trade opportunities that are essential not only to the state, but to the region, nation and to the world.
State agency leaders from Transportation, Economic Development and Administration participated in a roundtable discussion with industry CEOs. Topics ranged from the importance of the Soo Locks and ballast water management, to harbor dredging and the Harbor Assistance Program, as well as the potential impact of marine sanctuaries.
A meeting with Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch provided another opportunity for industry leaders to reinforce key messages about Great Lakes/Seaway shipping and its importance to the state. Each member addressed the relevance of the Great Lakes/Seaway system to their business or organization. Mark Barker, President of The Interlake Steamship Company, said, “These meetings have brought the different segments of the maritime industries together as one group to reinforce the important part that the marine transportation mode plays in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. We stressed the need to continue to view the navigation system as one entity that provides significant economic value for the bi-national region.”
At the conclusion of that meeting, Dean Haen, President of the Wisconsin Ports Association, presented a plaque to the Lt. Governor.
“It is a pleasure to be here today to recognize the importance of the Harbor Assistance Program and to thank the state leadership for its support,” he said. “This program plays a key role in enhancing port and shipyard infrastructure which keeps cargo moving to customers throughout the region and internationally.”
The day closed with a meeting with select legislators from around Wisconsin to discuss the local impact of the Great Lakes shipping industry to the state’s economic bottom line in terms of jobs and revenue. Paul Pathy, President & CEO of Fednav Limited, said, “The access today to key decision-makers has been important to Fednav as we continue to make significant investments in new ships built specifically for the Great Lakes. These ships also include outstanding environmental characteristics which are fundamental to our company’s ongoing environmental commitment. In addition to the new ships, we have made substantial investments in equipment at our terminal facilities in the state to ensure the safe and efficient handling of cargo for our customers.”
The partnership delegation included:
Craig Middlebrook, Deputy Administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC)
Kevin O’Malley, CFO of SLSDC
Paul Pathy, President & CEO, Fednav Limited
Mark Barker, President, The Interlake Steamship Company
Mark Pietrocarlo, VP, American Steamship Company
Dean Haen, Port Director, Port of Green Bay
Paul Vornholt, Port Director, Port of Milwaukee
Todd Thayse, General Manager, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding Company