C-PORT, the Conference of Professional Operators for Response Towing, held its 24th annual conference and membership meeting Jan. 24-26 in Long Beach, Calif.
"This year's conference focused on the changing business climate facing our industry," executive director Tina Cardone said in a statement. "We were honored to have Capt. Gabriel Kinney, U.S.C.G. (Ret.) and president of the [Association for Rescue At Sea] present the keynote address and excited to welcome Mauricio Garrido, president, T&T Bisso, and president of the [American Salvage Association] as our guest speaker at the C-PORT awards banquet."
The annual membership meeting was held Jan. 26 and it included the signing of a revised Coast Guard-C-PORT partnership agreement and joining with others in the maritime industry to address concerns Congress created with proposed amendments to the Jones Act body of law.
During the meeting, Cardone introduced the newly elected 2011 board of directors. Elected to the executive committee were Chris Shaffner, chairman; Phil Delano, vice chairman; Ethan Maass, secretary; and Steve Winkler, treasurer.
The 2011 board also includes returning directors John Andrews, Joe Frohnhoefer, Charlie Meyer, Roger Slade and Chris (Mac) McCarthy. Terry Hill was newly elected to the board.
Sessions included an update on the Coast Guard's search-and-rescue policy, a presentation on salvage invoicing strategies, information from the Towing Safety Advisory Committee, a presentation from the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and a session on social media.
C-PORT also presented lifesaving awards to marine assistance operators. The award winners were Roger and Nika Slade, Richard Vitale, Daniel McAndrew, Kevin Freestone, Doug Miller and Michael Crouch, and John and Trish Aydelotte.