Mr. Mark O'Neil, President, Columbia Shipmanagement Ltd., received the award for taking initiatives to drive his organization, Columbia Shipmanagment, toward a digital and smarter future with the latest initiative being the inauguration of a high-tech Performance Optimisation Control Room in Cyprus with the view to optimize vessel performance.

Presenting the award Mrs. Athena Kanellatou, Regional Director – Mediterranean, Macgregor saidYou can achieve anything you want if you have the courage to dream it, the intelligence to make a realistic plan and the will to see the plan through to the end...Today, we acknowledge Mr. Mark O'Neil, a descent ex-soldier with career in the army, a successful lawyer, an open-minded maritime professional advisor, a forward-thinking leader. A visioner with s mission to optimize the shipping industry following the paths of digitalization. He, who knows best that to win a battle is to assess your standing point, to focus on the target, to use all available means and to collaborate, being alert and think constantly in order to maintain the balance among safety and comfort. 

Accepting the award Mr. Mark O’Neil stated I think that all of you who are engaged in management are aware that successful leadership has much to do with willingness and ability of people who you lead... I accept this award not only on my behalf, but on behalf of the entire Columbia workforce. Congratulations to the Columbia family. 

 Mark O'Neil is the President of Columbia Shipmanagement Ltd. He is a maritime lawyer by profession with an in-depth knowledge of the shipping, ship management, banking and offshore sectors. Mark is a passionate advocate of performance optimization within the shipping and ship management industry through digitalization. He explores ways that demonstrate Columbia’s commitment to its clients and to the provision of thoroughly modern, digitalised and optimised services. One of his latest initiatives toward that end is the inauguration of a high-tech Performance Optimisation Control Room in Cyprus. Columbia Shipmanagement has embraced the benefits of digitalisation in its new Performance Optimisation Control Room, a collaboration project with Tototheo Maritime. The Control Room optimizes vessel performance by connecting technical, marine, crew, and commercial management functions, manned 24/7 by qualified personnel. ‘’Digitalization is one of the means toward optimization but needs to overcome the ignorance and vested interest that every company normally has. However, when you enter into this process, you have to lead from the top’’ Mark commented during Transas Global Conference 2018.

This is a special category award for any individual person that provided industry leadership and contributed towards smarter shipping throughout his/her career, after consideration and review of a list of “Editor’s Pick” nominees by the SAFETY4SEA Team. SMART4SEA Awards are held annually within the scope of awarding industry’s outstanding practices for e-navigation, connectivity, energy efficiency, cyber security, training and smart shipping technology. Other winners of the 2019 SMART4SEA Awards are: NAVTOR for the e-Navigation Award, Marlink for the Connectivity Award, d’Amico for the Energy Efficiency Award, ABS for the Cyber Security Award, Magsaysay Maritime Corporation for the Training Award, StealthGas for the Technology Award and Mr. Peter Broadhurst, Inmarsat for the Personality Award.

Find photos from the awards ceremony at Flickr and explore more about the nomination & voting procedure and the winners of 2019 SMART4SEA Awards at