May 4, 2015
About 650 guests were at the Greek Shipping Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Dinner 2015 as many leading participants in today’s shipping industry gathered to pay tribute to some of the greats of Greek shipping’s past.
Highlights of the gala dinner event included the announcement of the Inductees for 2014 – John N. Goulandris and Alkimos G. Gratsos – as voted for by the members of the Greek Shipping Hall of Fame Academy, as well as spots in the event to remember the 20 other Inductees, elected in past years.
Gregory Hadjieleftheriadis gave the ’15 Minutes of Fame’ speech, now a tradition at Hall of Fame annual dinners. Mr Hadjieleftheriadis, a former President and CEO of Eletson Corporation who has received numerous industry awards and distinctions, both in Greece and internationally, spoke about marine transportation as the architect of globalisation – and the role of seafarers at the heart of it. “All of us, as responsible citizens of the world, must work to eradicate the barriers that divide. We need to endorse policies which further the actualisation of true globalisation,” said Mr Hadjieleftheriadis. “This is what the greats of the Greek Shipping Hall of Fame have done and what they would have desired us to continue to do.”
Impressive industry support for the event was led by ABS, Clarksons Platou and the Liberian Registry as Co-Lead Sponsors of the Induction Ceremony & Dinner 2015. Vassilios Kroustallis, Regional Vice President ABS said, that all the Inductees in the Hall of Fame were distinguished by their vision, determination, acumen and ability to lead and inspire others. “Their achievements and legacy deserve to be recognised by our shipping community here and abroad,” he told the audience. “We welcome coming together with you once a year to acknowledge them and celebrate their achievements.”
According to Andi Case, Chief Executive of Clarksons Platou, Greek shipping is “the powerhouse of the shipping industry”, internationally. “Greece is number one in shipping – the largest tonnage owner, the largest value owner – that is a very, very significant story for Greece in today’s economic climate,” Mr Case said. “That is a fact that I hope those in power actually hold dear and cherish the national treasure that is Greek shipping.”
Scott Bergeron, Chief Executive of the Liberian Registry, said that Greek shipowners such as Stavros Niarchos and Aristotle Onassis had helped establish the Liberian flag and that it remained the most popular open registry for Greek owners. “Greece remains the undisputed number one shipping nation in the world, and it is significant that it has demonstrated its continuing faith in Liberia – the world’s leading open ship registry in such a transparent way,” Mr Bergeron told the audience.
TMS Group, which has become one of Greece’s largest shipping groups since it was established in 1986, sponsored the welcome cocktail party for the event. Founder George Economou told guests that the group wanted to support the Hall of Fame as “an organisation that is actively trying to promote Greek shipping, which is an integral part of the Greek economy”. He said, “We are going through uncertain times but one thing we can all refer to is the creativity and dynamism of the Greek shipping community.”
Aegean Marine Petroleum, The Baltic Exchange, Bureau Veritas, Moore Stephens, National Bank of Greece, Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co and Thomas Miller supported the event as Premium Sponsors.
Other Sponsors were China Classification Society, ClassNK, Hellaschart, Hellenic War Risks, Lloyd’s Register, Simpson Spence Young, UK Defence Club, UK P&I Club and Vilmar International.
Qatar Airways supported the Hall of Fame’s Athens 2015 event as exclusive Travel Partner.
The Greek Shipping Hall of Fame’s Charity Partner for the event was Hellenic Hope, which received a portion of the proceeds to help its work supporting children at risk from the Greek crisis in the areas of food, health and education.
“With your generous contribution to date, we have managed to change the lives of 1,460 children,” said Tina Mavraki, one of Hellenic Hope’s Trustees, who addressed the audience.