Female leaders of the island’s shipping industry have launched a Bermuda chapter of the WISTA, the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) announced. Bermuda is the 40th country to join the global organisation, whose members are women in management positions in the maritime transportation business and related trades worldwide.
Economic Development Minister Dr. Grant Gibbons congratulated the new WISTA Bermuda chapter during Wednesday’s official launch, held at Bacardi International headquarters in Hamilton. Attendees included 17 local industry founding members, along with representatives from Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA), the new Bermuda Shipping & Maritime Authority (BSMA), Department of Marine and Ports, and the Bermuda Sloop Foundation.
“I would like to congratulate the new WISTA executive members on the launch of their Bermuda chapter,” said Minister Gibbons. “Bermuda has a strong legacy of maritime administration dating back to the formation of the Bermuda shipping registry in 1789. WISTA’s emphasis on career development, education and networking will contribute to the professional development and opportunities for women executives, and strengthen the overall competitiveness of our shipping and trading sector.”
WISTA, which has chapters across the world from Finland to Sri Lanka, is a networking organisation that seeks to promote education of its members, drive career success, and act as a liaison with other related institutions and organisations worldwide.
“WISTA is a major player in attracting women to the shipping industry and supporting women in management positions. We are very proud to be a part of this respected organisation and we believe it will benefit our industry’s female executives, and Bermuda in general,” said Angelique Burgess, WISTA Bermuda President, BSMA Board member, and General Manager, Concordia Maritime (Bermuda).
Jeanne Grasso, a Partner with Blank Rome, in Washington, DC who represents WISTA International’s Executive Committee, travelled to Bermuda for the launch and applauded local female shipping executives for having the vision for a chapter. The number of WISTA associations worldwide continues to grow, she said, with Bermuda joining four other new members this year, including Brazil, Georgia, Monaco and Morocco.
“This is great news for the jurisdiction and a strong boost for our island’s evolving shipping ecosystem,” said BDA Business Development Manager Kevin Richards. “It will better enable us to showcase Bermuda’s top-tier shipping registry, our world-class talent and our advantageous domicile to a global audience.”
Burgess said she was delighted the chapter was up and running after almost 18 months of work and thanked founding members, particularly Marilyn Feldman, President, Shoreline Managers, who will serve as Vice-President of WISTA Bermuda and Appleby Partner Tammy Richardson-Augustus, the chapter’s Chief Legal Officer. Over the next few months, WISTA Bermuda will launch a membership drive, Feldman noted.
“We would like to encourage women working in the industry to join WISTA Bermuda so they can take advantage of the many opportunities afforded by being part of this international network,” said Feldman. “These include the ability to empower by engaging and experiencing the influence of networking on both a personal and civic level.”
Both Burgess and Feldman will attend the 36th WISTA International Annual General Meeting & Conference taking place onboard the MS Koningsdam November 9–13 from Fort Lauderdale.