SAFETY4SEA: How did it come about that you joined shipping industry and your field of expertise specifically?
Carleen Lyden Walker: I grew up on an island in Michigan south of Detroit where the Detroit River and Lake Erie meet, which was the busiest waterway in the world after the Suez Canal. I was fascinated by the ships! After college I worked in the flagship office of Ogilvy & Mather Advertising in New York. In 1992 I applied this expertise to the commercial maritime industry I loved.
S4S: What about your current job/ role most excites you and why?
C.L.W.: I thrive on change and innovation. No two days of my life are the same because as the industry evolves daily, so does the work that needs to be done to support it. That makes for an exciting, dynamic, energizing life! I feel that every day I have the honor of making a difference in this industry!
S4S: When you think of the word successful who's the first person who comes to mind and why?
C.L.W.:Angeliki Frangou heads the list. She is not only a brilliant financial engineer who is committed to excellence in shipping, but she also brings the historic values of a true shipping person into her decisions. She well understands the importance of quality in shipping and people, and demonstrates it often. There are many excellent reasons why her employees revere her!
S4S: Who is/was the most influential person/mentor to you & why ?
C.L.W.: There are three: Clay Maitland, Morten Arntzen and Jim Lawrence. Jim gave me my start in commercial shipping, with enough independence to contribute towards change and improvement. Clay is so brilliant, and a natural born lecturer, that spending time with him is like traveling with Google constantly at hand. Morten is the first person to call me creative which was powerful.
S4S: What is the best and what was the worst piece of advice you've ever been given and why?
C.L.W.: The best piece of advice was to “Live your dream- and dream big”! Express your hopes and desires and they will come to be—perhaps not as you envisioned them, but in the way they were intended to be. The worst piece of advice was to give up on positive change (I chose to ignor it)!
S4S: What is the most worthwhile career investment (in energy, time, money) you’ve ever made?
C.L.W.:Long ago I committed myself to promoting the welfare of the maritime industry. I strive to make everything I do benefit the industry in some fashion: environment, maritime heritage, promoting companies and products, communicating the value proposition of the industry to the public, honoring the industry and providing opportunities for the industry to join forces to elevate its performance.
S4S: If you could give a piece of advice to your 18-year-old-self one thing, what would it be and why? What piece of advice should you ignore?
C.L.W.:Don’t try to decide what you are going to do for the rest of your life now. Be open to what life presents to you and you will be AMAZED!!! Ignore people who try to limit you in what you want to accomplish. If it feels right, and is for the right reasons, persevere!
S4S: In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your business life?
C.L.W.:I see daily evidence of the need for sustainability; this is a movement that has been growing since “The Silent Spring” by Rachael Carson was published in 1962. Over past 5 years, it is becoming recognized in the maritime industry as not only the right thing to do, but as a competitive edge to most companies who embrace sustainability!
S4S: What would you like to change in the current maritime landscape and your area of expertise specifically and why?
C.L.W.:My driving wish is for the public to understand the value proposition of the shipping industry and accord it the respect it is due. We need to be recognized for the critical role played as, literally, the engine of global trade and not cast as disreputable, ungoverned cowboys rather than the highly regulated, professional industry which we are.
S4S: What is your personal motto?
C.L.W.:To quote Woody Allen: “80% of success in life is showing up”. Another favorite is “I only have one reputation to lose.” The bottom line is to show up for life—and behave with integrity when you get there!
Carleen Lyden Walker is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of NAMEPA (North American Marine Environment Protection Association) leveraging off her experience as a marketing and communications professional in the commercial maritime industry with over 40 years of experience. She specializes in identifying, developing and implementing strategic marketing and communications programs that increase the visibility and effectiveness of NAMEPA as well as the development of educational resources promoting marine environment protection. She works to develop strategic alliances between industry, regulators, conservation groups and educators to “Save the Seas”.
In 2015, Ms. Lyden Walker was appointed as Maritime Ambassador by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). She is a member of WISTA (Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association), the Connecticut Maritime Association, INTERTANKO, The National Press Club, WIMAC (Women in Maritime Association, Caribbean) and is a Past-President of the Propeller Club Chapter of the Port of NY/NJ. She was also elected to the Board of Trustees of the Coast Guard Foundation, Tall Ships America Foundation, Billion Oyster Foundation, American Caribbean Maritime Foundation and the New Era Academy Transportation Technologies Program in Baltimore. She sits on the Board of Gibbs & Cox.
Ms. Lyden Walker is also Chief Executive Officer of Morgan Marketing & Communications, is Chief Evolution Officer of SHIPPINGInsight, and the Founder of the Consortium for International Maritime Heritage. In 2010, she was awarded the Certificate of Merit by the United States Coast Guard and in 2014 a Public Service Commendation for her work on World Maritime Day and AMVER, respectively. She held a USCG Captain’s license.