AMO’s Bethel, Crowley’s Pennella Receive AOTOS Awards

August 2010

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The United Seamen’s Service 2010 Admiral of the Ocean Sea Awards (AOTOS) will be presented to Thomas J. Bethel, national president of the Seafarers-affiliated American Maritime Officers (AMO) and William A. Pennella, vice chairman and executive vice president of SIU-contracted Crowley Maritime Corporation.

The presentations will take place Nov. 12 in New York City, according to a late-June announcement from the United Seamen’s Service (USS).

“Tom Bethel and Bill Pennella represent strong leadership in the maritime industry and will be honored for their significant contributions to American seafarers and American commerce,” said Richard Hughes, chairman of the USS AOTOS Committee and president of the International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO.

“Notably, both Crowley and AMO provided much-needed humanitarian relief services to Haiti after January’s devastating earthquake,” he added. “AMO’s response was to man many of the U.S.-flagged vessels. Crowley’s response was to unload Haiti relief cargo containers filled with water and meals in the Dominican Republic to be trucked across the border into Haiti.”

The AMO is an autonomous affiliate of the Seafarers International Union of North America. It is one of the nation’s largest unions of U.S. merchant marine officers, and has contracts covering domestic deep-sea, Great Lakes and inland waters merchant vessels and American-flag ships serving internationally in commercial trades and military support roles.

Bethel, an SIU hawsepiper, has served the AMO in several capacities since coming ashore in the mid-1980s, including executive vice president, assistant vice president, executive board member and representative. He has also served for eight years as senior member of the legislative staff of AMO inWashington, D.C.

Pennella began his maritime career in 1968 with Sea-Land Service. He held various management positions with Global Terminal and Container Services and United States Lines before joining Crowley in 1987.

Crowley is a 118-year-old, privately held, family and employee-owned company which provides diversified transportation and logistics services in domestic and international markets.

During the past 23 years, Pennella has continued to lead the growth of Crowley Maritime Corp. through his positions as vice chairman and executive vice president.

As a member of the company’s board of directors, he has been instrumental in the acquisition of several Crowley subsidiaries including Marine Transport Lines.

Pennella is a graduate of Rutgers University with degrees in psychology and business and is currently a member of the advisory board for The United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point.

The USS reported that in addition to the two AOTOS recipients, other honorees will include American maritime unions “who will be presented with plaques recognizing their collective extraordinary response to the Haitian disaster.”

All proceeds from the AOTOS event benefit USS community services abroad for the U.S. Merchant Marine and those of other free world countries.


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Thomas Bethel, President, American Maritime Officers


William Pennella, Vice Chairman, Executive VP, Crowley Maritime Corporation