The WISTA USA 2015 AGM and Conference was held Friday, May 15, 2015 and hosted by the New York/New Jersey Chapter of WISTA USA. The topics discussed included Emerging Challenges Facing Shipping. For those not familiar with WISTA, the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association, is a networking organization for women at the management level in the maritime industry.
WISTA mission statement holds that WISTA shall:
- Facilitate the exchange of contacts, information and experiences among its members;
- Promote and facilitate the education of its members; and
- Provide liaison with other related institutions and organizations worldwide.
WISTA’s vision is that shall be acknowledged as a professional and highly reputable shipping organization with focus on improving levels of competency in the shipping industry and shall:
- Attract highly qualified people to the industry;
- Attract highly qualified people to the organization; and
- Improve level of competency through focus on education and knowledge.
A WISTA USA AGM, begins with leadership meetings the day before the official conference. On the day of the AGM, there is a business meeting for WISTA members only, which lasted approximately three (3) hours. The business of WISTA USA is discussed, items are voted on and chapters provide their chapter reports. Michelle Otero Valdes, the head of the Chalos & Co, P.C. Miami office delivered the WISTA Florida chapter report, along with Lesley Karentz, co-president for WISTA Florida.
The morning AGM was followed by a lunch and afternoon conference presentations. The Conference concluded with an AGM dinner at the India House. The India House came into being as an organization in 1914 when a group of businessmen headed by James A. Farrell, then president of United States Steel Company, in collaboration with Willard Straight, decided to create a meeting place for the interests of foreign trade. Presidents of the Lackawanna Steel Company, Dollar Steamship Company, W.R. Grace Shipping, Chase National Bank, and United States Rubber all became Governors of India House and remained active during its first two decades. The dinner was held in the properly named “Marine Room”.