2018 Maritime Dinner Honors Shell Oil Company for a Century of Commitment, Safety on the Houston Ship Channel

The Bayou City Event Center was homeport for the evening of August 18 as the maritime community dropped anchor to recognize Shell Oil Company for nearly one hundred years of operational excellence in the Houston port region. Queen of the Fleet sponsors Enterprise Products Partners L.P., ExxonMobil, Kirby Corporation, Port Houston, Richardson Companies, and Shell helped make the celebration a voyage to be remembered.

City of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaimed August 18, 2018 as “Shell Oil Company Day” in Houston.

Public officials, dignitaries, and industry leaders offered recognition for Shell’s exceptional record of support of the Houston maritime community for nearly a century, and more particularly, its drive toward improving shipping in the port of Houston and globally. Proclamations citing August 18, 2018, as “Shell Oil Company Day” in Houston and Harris County were made by City of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Jack Morman. Mayor Turner particularly praised Shell for their shore side efforts in providing volunteers and continuing financial support for post-Hurricane Harvey recovery and building greater resiliency throughout the Houston area.

“There is no way that I could positively lead the City of Houston without having strong corporate support, and I want to acknowledge Shell Oil Company for what it has done and for what it continues to do,” said Turner. Commissioner Morman echoed the mayor’s accolades, and added a personal note of appreciation for Shell’s strong support in his home town of Deer Park. “I can’t thank them enough for all they do in my community,” stressed Morman.

“I can’t thank Shell enough for all they do in my community,” stressed Commissioner Morman.

The recognition program included a video highlighting Shell’s maritime operations in the port of Houston. The presentation emphasized Shell’s commitment to industry collaboration in advancing efficiency and safety on the Houston Ship Channel. “The more efficient the Houston Ship Channel is, it benefits everyone because there are less ships moving from dock to dock, more cargo being moved per move, (and) less pollution,” said Captain Mark Mitchem of the Houston Pilots as part of the video’s featured commentary. The video also spotlighted Shell’s Zero Heroes safety initiatives and their Annual Maritime Leadership Weekend at Texas A&M Galveston.

“The Shell Maritime Leadership Weekend is important to our students for the mentorship they get from Shell and the personnel who come down to see us,” said RADM Michael Rodriguez, USMS, Superintendent of TAMU-Galveston Texas Maritime Academy, in the video. “Getting that real-world experience from folks who are out there, doing the work every day is just invaluable to our program and our students.”

Keynote speaker David Grzebinkski, president and CEO of Kirby Corporation, offered his unique perspective as a vendor company on Shell’s commitment to safe maritime operations.

“Every oil company, big or small, will tell you they are committed to safety – and they are. However, it is what Shell does to achieve … to keep these goals is a big part of why they are being honored tonight,” said Grzebinksi. “I remember the first time one of our crews stopped a job for Shell because of an unsafe condition at a dock. Shell did not complain. Shell did not exert any commercial pressure or suggest disciplinary action. No, in fact they asked us to bring our mariners to their office where they gave them an award . . . Shell people at every level, from the top to the bottom, show a deep personal concern for their vendor’s people.”

April Bailey/Amegy, Lori Ryerkerk/Shell, CAPT Diehl/Port Bureau

A replica of the USS Constitution was presented in recognition of Shell by April Bailey, the executive vice president of commercial banking for Amegy Bank and chair of the Port Bureau’s Dinner Committee. Lori Ryerkerk, executive vice president for Shell Global Manufacturing, accepted the award on behalf of Shell.

“It is really my honor tonight to accept this award on behalf of the 3,500 maritime and shipping employees around the world and more than 6,000 Houston-based employees of Shell we have here,” said Ryerkerk.

In confirming Shell’s dedication to improving the maritime industry, Ryerkerk noted a collaborative effort between Shell, the Greater Houston Port Bureau, and key maritime companies to optimize vessel transits in the Houston port region. “Increasing efficient movements is the final part of how we collectively will sustain the Houston port region as the premier petrochemical port manufacturing complex in the U.S.”

The Greater Houston Port Bureau’s 89th Maritime Dinner was an evening of fine dining, fellowship and recognition enjoyed by more than 700 attendees. The Port Bureau is privileged to serve the port region and to honor leaders and companies offering outstanding commitment to Houston’s maritime community.

  • Date September 26, 2018
  • Tags 2018, 2018 Dinner, 2018 Sept