Captain’s Corner – Inauguration of Change

In 1993, I was privileged to serve as a Military Aide to USCG Rear Admiral Lockwood during the 52nd inauguration ceremonies. When the inauguration committee asked for volunteers for the big day, I quickly replied and was fortunate to be selected. For me, the ceremony and traditions transcended candidate preferences or political allegiances.

The Admiral’s day kicked-off with the Congressional Medal of Honor recipient’s breakfast. It was a moving and humbling experience to meet with those whose sacrifice in military service has been so extraordinary. Afterwards, it was time for the swearing-in as the President-elect took the oath of office, followed by the President and Vice President leading the procession of military regiments, citizens groups, bands, and floats down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. Once the White House was reached, the President and the flag officers enjoyed the parade from the Presidential Reviewing Stand. My position was standing at the back of the reviewing box several rows behind President Clinton.

While standing in the back of that reviewing box, I knew change was coming. Although this year I will be sitting on my couch during the ceremony, I already have the same feeling: change is coming. President-elect Trump will follow much of the inauguration day traditions we did 24 years ago, but after the parade passes we need to be paying attention to opportunities that may result from the change he has promised.

In the first 100 days of Trump’s administration, I will be interested to see how infrastructure, transportation, and security needs fit into his presidential agenda. Such priorities as building and maintaining quality roads and bridges, strengthening the nation’s manufacturing base, streamlining regulations, and helping U.S. manufacturers export their goods around the globe hold the potential to be particularly beneficial to our ports. At the same time, pending change is the harbinger of uncertainty in business. The supply chain, ever vigilant for cost effectiveness in moving the goods, generally favors predictability over the unproven. Thriving companies are usually known for providing a strong level of assurance and predictability for customers.

One strong factor in successfully navigating changing times is access to reliable information. Data gathering occurs in many ways, from utilizing sophisticated processes to simply connecting up with the right person at the right time. Our upcoming line-up of Commerce Club luncheon speakers reflects our dedication to providing our members with access to experts to help them understand how their companies can come out ahead. In February, we’ll host Robert Kaplan, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, for an interactive question and answer session with the audience. Then in March, Mike Emerson, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Director of Marine Transportation Systems Commandant, will join us from D.C. to discuss the potential impacts of modernization on the waterways.

At the Port Bureau, we have been promoting the port region, hosting opportunities for networking, and providing members access to quality data through 13 presidential administrations. We stand ready to do the same and to adapt to the changes this one administration may bring.
Happy New Year!

  • Date January 13, 2017
  • Tags January 2017