James Fowler.

James Fowler Appointed to Lead Crowley Shipping

Crowley Maritime in mid-September announced that it has appointed industry leader James Fowler as senior vice president and general manager of its Crowley Shipping business unit, which serves U.S. and international maritime and logistics sectors.

Crowley offers design, construction management and operation of a diverse range of vessels, port and offshore energy infrastructure, as well as advanced energy solutions including LNG.

Its services include ship assist and harbor escort services, offshore energy installation and project management. Besides vessel design and mariner engineering group Crowley Engineering Services, Crowley Shipping also operates and manages liquid energy tank vessels and global cargo ships.

While serving in various industry and community leadership roles, Fowler also serves on the board of American Waterways Operators.

Fowler most recently served as managing director of marine and stevedoring operations for Cooper Marine and executive vice president for Blakeley BoatWorks, both based in Alabama. Cooper Marine’s operations include 22 towing vessels, 450 hopper barges and one of the country’s largest fleets of dry bulk gantry and floating derrick cranes.

“As Crowley advances its next generation of maritime services, James Fowler is ideally suited to bring the vision and leadership to help our customers, people and partners bring to reality the ports and vessels of the future,” Crowley Chief Operating Officer Ray Fitzgerald said in a statement. “His strengths as a collaborative leader will help propel Crowley forward.”

Fowler earned his Master of Business Administration with a specialization in finance from the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration at the University of Alabama. 

Robert Sappio.
Brenda Martin.

Robert Sappio, Brenda Martin Honored by CII

The Containerization and Intermodal Institute (CII) recently honored two prominent figures in the goods movement industry during its annual awards ceremony.

CII honored SeaCube Containers CEO Robert F. Sappio with the 2023 Connie Award on Sept. 13 in front of more than 300 transportation industry leaders gathered at the Renaissance Long Beach Hotel in Long Beach, Calif.

Additionally, the CII Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Brenda Martin, the retired former vice president of terminal services for Husky Terminal and Stevedoring LLC at the Port of Tacoma.

Each year, Connie Award recipients are honored for their contributions to containerization, global trade and the transportation industry, as well as their innovative spirit and the example they set for professionals who will be the industry’s future.

Sappio boasts a wealth of experience spanning over 40 years. After nearly three decades in senior leadership positions at American President Lines (APL), he served as president for the Americas region for Rickmers-Linie as well as managing director for Alvarez & Marsal.

After joining SeaCube in 2014 as its chief operating officer, he was promoted to CEO in 2017. In this role, Sappio has cemented SeaCube’s position as a leading intermodal equipment lessor with an emphasis on refrigerated equipment solutions.

 “Mr. Sappio is in the unique position to have expertise in two critical areas of the industry that dramatically impact the flow of cargo—liner shipping and intermodal equipment leasing,” CII President Steven Blust said. “Over his distinguished career, he has consistently exemplified the meaning of leadership and innovative thinking, which makes him an ideal Connie awardee.” 

Martin retired earlier this year. She began her career in 1997 as a marine manager for the American President’s Line (APL) at the Port of Los Angeles. During her tenure at APL, she was involved in offloading and commissioning APL/STS cranes at Pier 300.

Subsequently, she held various management positions, including terminal manager for Pasha Stevedoring, operations manager for APM Terminals and associate director at ITS (International Transport Services) at the Port of Long Beach.

She joined Husky Terminal in 2018 as assistant vice president of operations and was then promoted to vice president of terminal services in 2020.

Over the course of her 26-year career in the maritime industry she has, according to CII, “played a pivotal role in advancing and delivering essential terminal services that facilitate the seamless functioning of international trade, with a particular focus on the Northwest Pacific region.”

Blust said that she was being recognized in part for her “dedication to mentoring and training future industry leaders.”

“Her invaluable guidance and mentorship have fostered the development of numerous exceptional operators, many of whom have ascended to prominent leadership roles within the marine terminal sector,” CII said in a statement. “Her lasting legacy and solid foundation provide a platform for future growth and advancement.”  

Natasha Yangthito.

Natasha Yangthito Named PMSA’s New External Affairs Manager

The Pacific Merchant Shipping Association in early September announced that Natasha Yangthito is the newest addition to the organization’s Long Beach office.

In the role of external affairs manager, Yangthito takes the reins of executing PMSA’s external communication initiatives, while also nurturing stakeholder relationships, according to PMSA. Her introduction comes at a critical time for the organization as it remains committed to a future of environmentally sustainable and efficient industry practices.

“Natasha will play an important role representing the association regarding issues affecting the Southern California maritime and logistic industry which supports more than 1.5 million jobs nationally,” PMSA President John McLaurin said. “Along with her public policy work she will be enhancing and promoting our media and communications strategy.”

Yangthito is a graduate of St. John’s University with a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Government & Politics. 

Nick Kooiker.

Nick Kooiker Promoted to Deputy CEO at Port of Kennewick

In mid-July, Port of Kennewick Chief Executive Officer Tim Arntzen announced the promotion of Chief Financial Officer Nick Kooiker to Deputy CEO.

The promotion, which was announced during a port commission meeting, was part of the succession planning Arntzen has been working on for several years, he said.

“This decision has the full support of the entire team, and because we have several people who are nearing retirement, including Deputy CEO Tana Bader Inglima, who has expressed her desire to retire in a few years, we want to ensure we have a solid plan in place as we consider future staffing needs,” Arntzen explained.

Kooiker joined the Port of Kennewick as assistant auditor/accountant in 2013 after working for Benton County as a revenue systems accountant. Following his predecessor’s retirement in 2016, Kooiker was promoted to Chief Financial Officer for the Port.

Kooiker is expected to remain the port’s CFO and in his new role, has been tasked with expanding involvement with its Board of Commissioners, including helping staff board meetings, setting agendas and increasing meetings with individual commissioners and organizational partners.

Arntzen recognized that Kooiker had taken on ever-increasing responsibilities, including oversight of important capital projects, saying the promotion allows Kooiker to cultivate additional skills with an eye toward future port leadership.

“Yes, with this promotion, the port now has two Deputy CEOs,” he said. “However, I feel that is going to give us the depth of bench necessary to meet future demands and to respond quickly to any transition in employment, whether that be from a staff person leaving the company, internal adjustments, death or retirement.”

Kooiker earned his Master of Business Administration in 2021 from Eastern Washington University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Finance from the same university. He is a licensed Real Estate Broker, having held that certification for 16 years. Arntzen said that such specialized knowledge and experience is useful as the port works to sell, lease or develop property.  

Eric Cunningham.

Eric Cunningham Named Shared Services VP at Crowley

Crowley Maritime in July appointed Eric Cunningham to the role of vice president of shared services, where he is expected to focus on growing the company’s business relationships and capabilities for customers across the U.S., Central America and strategic markets.

In the newly created role, Cunningham leads the development of shared services functions, with an eye toward the growth and development of team members, as well as shaping the group’s capabilities to ensure they’re meeting the needs of current and prospective customers.

The group provides financial management, accounting and other related services for internal and external customers.

Cunningham joined Crowley with more than 20 years of experience in operations management, customer service and regulatory compliance. He previously served as the chief operations officer for One Park Financial, where he supported functions across five international markets. He also led services teams across 200 retail locations as senior vice president of operations for Oportun.

“We are excited to welcome Eric as he joins our leadership team to help strengthen the services Crowley brings to our valued customers, improve process efficiencies and propel the growth and success of our people,” the firm’s Chief Financial Officer, Dan Warner, said. “Shared Services is an important component to our strategic impact as a company, and Eric’s unique, collaborative approach to operations and customers will help lead our teams to even more success.”  

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