The American Caribbean Maritime Foundation (ACMF) has announced that Mike Maura, Jr. CEO of Nassau Cruise Port Ltd., will serve as the Chairman of the distinguished 2021 Anchor Awards Gala. This highly anticipated annual affair is the premier fundraising event for the ACMF, at which it recognizes and honors top regional performers in the maritime industry. This year, the distinguished honorees are Alyse Lisk, Senior Vice President of Technology & Operational Excellence at Tote LLC and Harriat “Harry” Pershad Maragh, former Chairman and CEO of The Lannaman & Morris Group of Companies (posthumously).
The ACMF is a United States non-profit organization whose mission is to “alleviate poverty and transform lives in the Caribbean through maritime education and community development.” Past honorees of the Anchor Awards include Michael Bayley, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International; Rick Sasso, Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises USA; Rick Murrell, Chairman of Tropical Shipping; and Win Thurber, Chairman, President & CEO of Norton Lilly International.
Mr. Maura, Jr., expressed his enthusiasm about participating in this year’s gala and fundraising efforts. “These honorees are incredibly inspirational. Harry paved the way for locals, like me with dreams of impacting the sector in the region; and Alyse is a role model for the highest level of professionalism in the industry, and of course for women and girls as we seek to encourage more women to participate.”
The grand affair will be held on Friday, November 5, 2021, at the historic New York Yacht Club in Manhattan, New York. The fundraising goal of the gala is to bring in $250,000 to support the education of the next generation of Caribbean maritime professionals. The Foundation provides full-tuition scholarships and grants to Caribbean nationals who plan to work in the industry and qualify to attend any one of these three academic partners - the Caribbean Maritime University in Jamaica, University of Trinidad and Tobago, and the LJM Maritime Academy in The Bahamas.
“I firmly believe that education is the most empowering force in the world,” Mr. Maura Jr. shared. “As a part of our support of the event, two Nassau Cruise Port Ltd. scholarships will be established and awarded to Caribbean maritime students this year. I think that it is incumbent upon us as regional maritime professionals to help ensure that our best and brightest young minds have access and opportunities in such a vital industry.”
“Seafarers and those who support them make the world go round,” Mr. Maura, Jr. continued. “If we, as Caribbean maritime professionals, do not support and push the development of this sector, we will put the growth of all our economies at risk. If we want to remain competitive in the cruise and maritime sectors, we must give our children a chance – as engineers, navigators, managers, artists, and specialists of every sort – to be a part of it. All of our futures depend on it.”
Geneive Brown Metzger, President of the ACMF, explained why Mr. Maura, Jr. was selected to chair this year’s gala. “Mike is a certainly a trailblazer, so we are very excited to have his support and that of Nassau Cruise Port Ltd. this year. He is a champion in bringing people together and believes strongly in supporting our communities, and that’s what the ACMF is all about – reducing poverty and improving lives through education and advancement. Events like these and those who support them are critical in moving our nations, and our region, forward.”
“We have received great support for this event from our strategic partners over the years including Michael Bayley and the team at Royal Caribbean International, Tropical Shipping, the Caribbean Shipping Association, and many other organizations and private donors and for this we are exceedingly grateful,” she noted. “Every year, however, the need increases. There are many ways to get involved, and every dollar counts.”