Clay Maitland , International Registries, Inc.

Clay Maitland, International Registries, Inc.

Clay Maitland has worked in the shipping industry since graduation from law school in 1968. Clay has been employed by International Registries, Inc. for over 43 years and is now a managing partner and an owner of the company, which administers the Marshall Islands Ship Registry – the third largest registry in the world, and which is now one of the best-known yacht registries. He is President of the Trust Company of the Marshall Islands (TCMI), the statutory Maritime Administrator of the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Prior to the year 2000, Clay held similar positions with regard to the maritime administration of the Republic of Liberia.

Clay was born in London, England on December 28, 1942. His father was a pilot in Bomber Command of the Royal Air Force, and was lost with his plane, a B25 Mitchell bomber in March of 1943. Clay’s mother was a native New Yorker, and he came with her to the United States in 1946, aboard RMS Queen Elizabeth.

Clay was educated at schools in Connecticut and received his B.A. degree from Columbia University in 1964, and his law degree from New York Law School in 1968. He was admitted to the New York Bar in 1969 and became associated with the admiralty law firm of Burlingham Underwood & Lord, where he worked until 1974. After a brief stint as admiralty counsel at Union Carbide Corporation, he joined what is now International Registries, Inc. in 1976.

Larry Rutkowski , Seward & Kissel LLP

Larry Rutkowski, Seward & Kissel LLP

Lawrence Rutkowski is a partner in Seward & Kissel’s Corporate Finance Department. Larry has practiced law since 1979. He joined Seward & Kissel as a partner in 1992.

Larry is head of the firm’s Maritime and Transportation Finance Group, a cross section of attorneys within the firm from the Corporate Finance, Corporate Securities, Litigation and Tax departments with expertise on matters of interest to clients in the transportation industry and is a member of the firm’s Business Transactions Group. In such capacity, Larry has worked on matters ranging from the formation of joint ventures, asset finance transactions, secured and unsecured lending, registered and unregistered securities transactions, mergers and acquisitions and cross border leases to restructurings and bankruptcy. In addition to representing clients in the transportation and financial services industries, Larry’s practice has included considerable experience in equipment finance and in the energy sector.

Greg Chase , Reed Smith LLP

Greg Chase, Reed Smith LLP

Greg Chase is a partner of Reed Smith LLP and leads an agile, entrepreneurial team in the New York office that handles the more complex and sophisticated transactions the sector now demands.

Greg and the team advise clients on a broad range of finance and private equity matters. This includes advising major lenders, operating companies, and equity investors on all aspects of the financing of ships, offshore assets, and other related capital equipment, including syndicated and bilateral pre- and post-delivery debt finance, ECA-backed loan facilities, sale and leaseback transactions, structured financings, residual value guarantees, and related collateral arrangements.

They also advise on a range of corporate matters and transactions, including private equity transactions, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate restructurings in the shipping industry. Greg has acted for lenders in some of the larger ship finance transactions in the market.

He is a director of New York Maritime, Inc. as well as a director and founding member of Young Shipping Professionals – New York, Inc.

Levent Sadikoglu , First Capital Advisors LLC

Levent Sadikoglu, First Capital Advisors LLC

Peter Shaerf , AMA Capital Partners LLC

Peter Shaerf, AMA Capital Partners LLC

Peter Shaerf joined AMA in 2002. Peter started in the industry over 43 years ago and worked for many years as a shipbroker for container and dry cargo vessels through a company he founded, The Commonwealth Group. He also operated a small Caribbean liner service while working for a firm of British shipowners. He has extensive experience in vessel valuations and has performed such work for financial institutions and Government clients.

Peter is a director of privately owned Interlink Maritime and has served on the boards of numerous publicly listed shipping companies, most recently having served as Deputy Chairman of Seaspan Corporation. He is Chairman Emeritus of the New York Maritime Association (“NYMAR”), an organization dedicated to the promotion of New York as a maritime business center. He is also a member of the American Bureau of Shipping and on the U.S. government MTSNAC shipbuilding and ship finance committee and a member of the editorial board of Lloyds List.

F. Humera Ahmed,  LISCR, LLC

F. Humera Ahmed, LISCR, LLC

F. Humera Ahmed is Vice President of Legal and Business Development of the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR), the US-based manager of the Liberian Registry.

Humera brings to her new role at LISCR nine years of experience as an attorney at Blank Rome LLP, where she focused on maritime transactions, finance issues and business development. She holds a law degree from the School of Law at Rutgers University in New Jersey. 

Before joining LISCR, she helped clients to negotiate and structure transactions under US and foreign law, and regularly advised on vessel-secured financings, ship purchases and sales, maritime bankruptcies and restructurings, vessel charters and corporate governance for domestic and foreign companies.

Tasos Aslidis , Euroseas Ltd. / Eurodry Ltd.

Tasos Aslidis, Euroseas Ltd. / Eurodry Ltd.

Dr. Tasos Aslidis has been the Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors of Euroseas Ltd. since September 2005. He has also been a member of the Board of Managers of Euromar since its inception in March 2010. Prior to joining Euroseas, he was a partner at Marsoft Inc., an international consulting firm focusing on investment and risk management in the maritime industry.

Dr. Aslidis holds a Diploma in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens (1983), M.S. in Ocean Systems Management (1984) and Operations Research (1987) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Ocean Systems Management (1989) also from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Nicolas Bornozis , Capital Link, Inc.

Nicolas Bornozis, Capital Link, Inc.

Since 1996, Nicolas Bornozis is the founder, President and CEO of Capital Link, Inc., an international investor relations and financial advisory group. It assists listed companies and capital markets related organizations to develop and maintain access to European and North American investors. Capital Link has offices in New York, London and Athens and a partnership in Oslo. It is a leader in Investor Relations for listed shipping companies, U.S. Closed-End Funds and ETFs and international companies accessing the U.S. and European markets. Capital Link has received Awards from Lloyds List and from Intercontinental Finance Magazine for its work.

As an extension of its core activity of Investor Relations, Capital Link also organizes 12 large scale investment conferences annually in Athens, New York, London and Shanghai. The Annual Capital Link Invest in Greece Forum in New York attracts over 1,000 delegates, has an 18-year track record and has been established as the main platform for updating the US business, financial and investment communities on the developments and outlook of the Greece economy and investment and business opportunities in Greece.

Brian Devine , Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

Brian Devine, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

Brian P. Devine is the Head of Transport, United States in Norton Rose’s New York office and his practice focuses on the representation of financial institutions and borrowers, with a particular emphasis on maritime related assets.

Brian, who is a member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States, counsels clients in the United States and internationally in areas such as: finance and security arrangements; insolvency matters; mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures; debt and equity offerings; sale and purchase; international commercial transactions and disputes; and corporate governance and structure.

Brian's representative experience in ship finance and corporate matters includes representing international (such as Republic of the Marshall Islands and Liberian) and domestic financial institutions and vessel owners in the acquisition, finance, registration, enforcement, joint venture, offering and other transactional documents as well as the formation, restructuring and mergers of offshore and domestic entities. He has also handled matters involving international taxation and commercial litigation; general commercial litigation and bankruptcy; and administrative law.

Gordon Downes,  New York Shipping Exchange, Inc.

Gordon Downes, New York Shipping Exchange, Inc.

Gordon Downes is the CEO of New York Shipping Exchange, Inc. 

Gordon has well-balanced perspective from all sides of the shipping industry. Prior to joining NYSHEX, Gordon was an executive at SABMiller, a large multi-national shipper. He has also held numerous leadership positions at Maersk Line, the world's largest shipping line, and Damco, a global freight forwarder. Gordon has lived and worked in Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.

Gordon holds an MBA from the University of Cambridge, as well as a bachelor of commerce degree majoring in maritime economics and a post graduate degree in maritime law. 

Hara Gisholt , Core Assurance CR Marine

Hara Gisholt, Core Assurance CR Marine

Hara Gisholt serves as the Director of Maritime & Legal Affairs of Core Assurance CR Marine. She is responsible for identifying new opportunities for the firm, fostering strategic relationships and overseeing internal legal matters relating to the marine practice of the company.

Prior to joining Core Assurance CR Marine, Hara served as a Vice President at one of the world’s largest ship registries for twelve years where she led the global legal team and created collaborative relationships with worldwide private and public owners as well as ship financiers. Hara has authored several articles published in publications such as Marine Risk International and Offshore Investment and has presented at various industry conferences.

Hara earned her law degree (J.D.) from Hofstra University School of Law and has been a member of the New York State Bar since 2005. She was later admitted to the U.K. Roll of Solicitors in 2010. She is a New York-licensed P&C broker. Hara is on the board of directors of the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce where she serves as Treasurer and on the board of directors of New York Maritime Inc. (NYMAR).

Hara is a resident of New York City. She enjoys spending family time with her husband and their two young boys as well as traveling for leisure, particularly to her native country, Greece.

Keith Heard , Lennon, Murphy & Phillips LLC

Keith Heard, Lennon, Murphy & Phillips LLC

Keith W. Heard has practiced maritime law since 1980, concentrating on matters in litigation and arbitration. Keith’s work on litigated matters has included the defense of claims for cargo damage, shortage and loss, including liquid, dry bulk and containerized shipments. It has also included work on collision and other casualty cases, including claims for General Average contribution, as well as the defense of matters involving the assertion of maritime liens. Keith’s work on arbitrated matters has included the prosecution and defense of claims for breach of charter parties, Service Contracts and other types of maritime contracts. The charter party matters have involved claims for failure to pay charter hire, contract cancellation, vessel misdescription, damage to main engines due to contaminated bunkers and other causes, demurrage, safe berth claims, cargo damage and hull damage to ships.

Keith has advised shipowners and charterers on ways to handle and resolve operational disputes arising under charter parties in an effort to facilitate contractual performance and avoid the need for formal dispute resolution proceedings. In addition, he has successfully represented parties in mediation, resulting in the cost-efficient resolution of various litigated matters.

Keith has assisted cargo shippers in reviewing Service Contracts and bills of lading and liner operators in re-drafting ocean bills of lading. In addition, he has provided advice on amendments to specific contractual provisions in bills of lading, Service Contracts and charter parties.

Joseph E.M. Hughes , The American P&I Club

Joseph E.M. Hughes, The American P&I Club

Joseph Hughes has served as chairman and CEO of the managers of the American Club, an International Group mutual which celebrates its centennial in 2017, for nearly twenty-two years. Joe also oversees the activities of Eagle Ocean Agencies, Inc., an affiliate of SCB, which operates the Eagle Ocean Marine and Eagle Ocean America insurance facilities, the latter as a coverholder for underwriters at Lloyd's. He also serves on the board of American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company, Ltd., a Cyprus-based hull underwriting investment of the American Club.

Having graduated from Oxford University, Joe was called to the Bar of England and Wales, thereafter specializing in maritime commercial law before commencing his career in marine insurance. Prior his arrival in the United States, Joe worked for other P&I clubs in the United Kingdom and Norway, latterly serving as chairman of the global marine practice of Jardine Insurance Brokers, a leading Lloyd’s broker in London.

In addition to his corporate responsibilities, Joe is chairman of the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA), a director (and former president) of the Maritime Association of the Port of New York and New Jersey, a former chairman of the Association of Average Adjusters of the United States, a director of New York Maritime, Inc. (NYMAR) and a member of the National Cargo Bureau. Joe also serves on the classification committee of the American Bureau of Shipping, and the North American advisory committee of Lloyd’s Register. He is a 2011 inductee of the International Maritime Hall of Fame, and was designated one of the top ten global marine insurance personalities on the 2015/16 Lloyd’s List One Hundred.

John Kimball , Blank Rome LLP

John Kimball, Blank Rome LLP

John D. Kimball is a member of Blank Rome’s Maritime Emergency Response Team (“MERT”). 

John Kimball concentrates his practice in the areas of admiralty and maritime law and commercial litigation. He has more than 30 years’ experience both domestically and internationally and counsels clients regarding maritime matters, including:

Additionally, John has served as a party-appointed arbitrator or chairman of panels in SMA and ICDR arbitrations.

Chambers USA states that John “has a wealth of experience in the maritime industry who has ‘excellent knowledge and experience in supporting the client,’” and has honored him with a “Star Individual” ranking, which is only given to lawyers with exceptional recommendations in their field, noting that he is “renowned for his prowess in marine insurance issues” and highlighted as “an absolutely top choice for these matters.” Chambers adds, “Clients are ‘extremely satisfied,’ finding him to be a ‘top expert who has a combination of subject matter expertise and many years of litigation experience.’” Chambers Global calls him “talented, well prepared and methodical.” Commentators say “he really is excellent.”

John is an adjunct professor at New York University Law School, where he teaches the course in admiralty law.

John is a prolific writer and speaker both domestically and internationally on legal issues facing the maritime industry. He also presented the 2005 Donald O’May Lecture on Maritime Law at the University of Southampton, England and the Fifth Cadwallader Memorial Lecture at the London Shipping Law Centre in 2002. John enjoys playing golf and writing songs.

Martin Lunder , Nordea Bank

Martin Lunder, Nordea Bank

Martin Lunder is Head of Shipping, Offshore & Oil Services at Nordea Bank's New York branch covering clients located in the Americas.

Martin joined Christiania Bank og Kreditkasse ASA (now Nordea) in New York in 1989. Prior to that he worked for Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company. He holds a MBA and a BS from the University of Oregon.

Martin was born in Norway and lived there until he moved to the United States for his studies.

Molly McCafferty, Guardian Navigation

Molly McCafferty, Guardian Navigation

Molly McCafferty is General Counsel at Guardian Navigation. Guardian owns and operates a fleet of dry bulk carriers engaged in international trade. Guardian also manages shipping pools of handy and supramax dry bulk vessels for third party owners. She graduated from Newcomb College of Tulane University with a B.A in International Relations and a minor in Economics. Molly also earned a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Miami. She is on the Board of Governors for the Society of Maritime Arbitrators and on the Board of Directors for the CMA Education Foundation.

Kevin O’Hara , AMA Capital Partners LLC

Kevin O’Hara, AMA Capital Partners LLC

Kevin O’Hara rejoined AMA in 2012 and has since been involved in the restructurings of Toisa Ltd. (Ch 11), Harkand, CMA CGM, Eitzen Chemical and ZIM as well as M&A, valuation work and fairness opinions in both the Jones Act and international shipping markets. Prior to rejoining AMA, he spent seven years in the banking sector with BNP Paribas, Fortis (acquired by BNP Paribas) and DNB Bank. As a Director in the Shipping & Offshore team at BNP Paribas in New York, Kevin handled strategic clients in the Americas and also worked on several restructurings. Kevin joined Fortis in 2007, focusing on the shipping sector while also assisting on specific clients and projects in offshore oil services. From 2004 to 2007, Kevin was a Vice President and account manager in the Offshore team at DNB Bank. Prior to DNB, Kevin worked for four years as a Vice President at AMA. Kevin started his career in shipping finance in 1997 at The First National Bank of Maryland.

George Pierot,  Jacq. Pierot Jr. & Sons, Inc.

George Pierot, Jacq. Pierot Jr. & Sons, Inc.

George Pierot is a S&P/Project Financer Broker at Jacq. Pierot Jr. & Sons, Inc., and serves as a Director on both the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce and NYMAR Boards. Prior to joining Jacq. Pierot Jr. & Sons, he spent four and a half years as an originator for CIT Maritime Finance (part of the CIT Group), focusing on both senior term loans and finance leases. He completed his undergraduate studies at the George Washington University (class of 2011), and his Masters in Cass Business schools Shipping, Trade and Finance program (Class of 2013).

James Power , Holland and Knight LLP

James Power, Holland and Knight LLP

James H. Power is a partner in Holland & Knight's New York office and practices in the areas of international law, admiralty law, transportation law, environmental law, public law and general civil litigation. He focuses generally on marine casualties, cargo cases, charter party disputes, maritime liens, government bid protests, marine pollution, seamen's claims and variety of other maritime and non-maritime matters. Mr. Power has extensive experience handling large complex litigation cases and is presently senior counsel on the multi-billion dollar oil pollution spill case involving the vessel Prestige on behalf of the Kingdom of Spain. He argues motions in numerous Federal and State Courts and represents clients in federal mediation and in maritime arbitrations. Mr. Power conducts numerous onboard investigations for both civil and criminal claims against vessel interests.

Mr. Power assists lenders and buyers in the sale and acquisition of vessels and advises parties on various maritime and regulatory aspects involved in such transactions. He represented the secured lender in the high profile Millenium Seacarriers bankruptcy. Representation in this multi-tiered litigation involved a series of successful maritime lien priority judgments favorable to the secured lender.

Jeffrey Pribor , International Seaways, Inc.

Jeffrey Pribor, International Seaways, Inc.

Jeffrey D. Pribor joined International Seaways in November 2016. Prior to International Seaways, Mr. Pribor was Global Head of Maritime Investment Banking at Jefferies & Company, Inc. Previously, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of General Maritime Corporation, one of the world's leading tanker shipping companies, from September 2004 to February 2013. Prior to General Maritime, from 2002 to 2004, Mr. Pribor was Managing Director and President of DnB NOR Markets, Inc. From 2001 to 2002, Mr. Pribor was Managing Director and Group Head of Transportation Banking at ABN AMRO, Inc. From 1996 to 2001, Mr. Pribor was Managing Director and Sector Head of Transportation and Logistics investment banking for ING Barings.

Brooke Shapiro,  Liberty Maritime Corporation

Brooke Shapiro, Liberty Maritime Corporation

Brooke Shapiro joined Liberty Maritime Corporation as the Vice President & General Counsel in 2019. Prior to joining Liberty, she spent several years as a maritime associate at Winston & Strawn LLP in New York. At Winston, she focused her practice on admiralty, maritime, government contracts, trucking, regulatory compliance, private equity investment, and general litigation.  Ms. Shapiro represented vessel owners, vessel operators, government contractors, ship managers, marine terminal operators, multi-modal logistics providers, financial institutions, and other entities engaged in transportation services.  She also represented clients in matters before the Maritime Administration, Department of Transportation, Coast Guard, Federal Maritime Commission, Surface Transportation Board, Customs and Border Protection, Government Accountability Office, and Department of Justice.  Prior to joining Winston & Strawn LLP, she was an associate at Hill, Betts & Nash where she handled both maritime litigation and corporate matters.

She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2008 with a B.A. in English, cum laude, and a minor in Crime and Justice.  She received a J.D. in 2011 from St. John’s University School of Law.

Ms. Shapiro is an elected member of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), a member of Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA), and the Chair of the New York City Bar Association’s Admiralty Committee (2018-2021). She is the first female and youngest Chair in the Committee’s history.

Robert G. Shaw , Sea Trade Holdings, Inc.

Robert G. Shaw, Sea Trade Holdings, Inc.

Robert G. Shaw is a managing director of Sea Trade Holdings Inc., an owner and operator of dry bulk cargo ships. He is also an independent director of Höegh LNG Partners L.P., listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Shaw serves on the Board of Governors of the Society of Maritime Arbitrators, Inc. and previously was the president of Navios Maritime Holdings, Inc.

Shaw practiced maritime and corporate law as an associate, and later as a partner, at the law firm of Healy & Baillie, LLP in New York City. He served as the U.S. representative member of the Documentary Committee of the Baltic and International Council and is a former chairman and former president of the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce.

Shaw received his degree from Oxford University in 1977.

John Stratakis , Poles, Tublin, Stratakis & Gonzalez, LLP

John Stratakis, Poles, Tublin, Stratakis & Gonzalez, LLP

John Stratakis is a New York attorney and partner in Poles, Tublin, Stratakis & Gonzalez, LLP, a New York law firm established in 1957. His practice is concentrated in the transactional area, with a focus on international vessel purchases and financing, and company formation in various jurisdictions. He also advises international investors in the purchase and finance of New York real estate and acts in connection with estate and probate matters in New York State, often those with an international component. He began his legal career as a law clerk to the Hon. Nicholas Tsoucalas, a judge on the U.S. Court of International Trade. Mr. Stratakis has been a member of the board of directors of Navios Maritime Holdings, Inc., an international shipping company, since 2005. He is a member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States, and sits on the Boards of New York Maritime, Inc., the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce, the Hellenic American Cultural Foundation and the European American Chamber of Commerce in the United States. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Corporate Governance at the LeBow College of Business at Drexel University.

Christa T. Volpicelli , Managing Director, Citi

Christa T. Volpicelli, Managing Director, Citi

Christa T. Volpicelli is a Managing Director in Citigroup’s Global Transportation Group, where she leads the firm’s U.S. maritime investment banking practice. She has worked for Citi for over 16 years. She focuses on providing M&A, capital raising and financial advisory services to clients globally, across all of the maritime areas, including the tanker, LNG, specialty offshore, containership leasing, dry bulk, container leasing, and port / terminal sectors. She has structured and led initial public offerings and subsequent equity offerings for many of the shipping companies presently listed in the U.S., and has served as structuring agent for the majority of the maritime Master Limited Partnerships. Christa additionally has worked on numerous buyside and sellside advisory engagements for various clients on a confidential basis as well as been active with companies exploring public debt alternatives. She has been named as one of Lloyd’s List “top 10” bankers within its finance category of its publication of the most influential people within the shipping sector.