by Susannah Skiver Barton, Foundations & Social Media Manager
On Wednesday, October 24, the Seamen’s Church Institute’s (SCI) Houston Center for Maritime Education hosted 130 supporters at the annual Maritime Training Benefit Luncheon. Event chairman Joseph H. Pyne of Kirby Corporation joined the Reverend David M. Rider, SCI’s President and Executive Director, and Richard T. du Moulin, Chairman of SCI’s Board of Trustees, to celebrate reaching the fundraising goal of $85,000. The Luncheon supports SCI’s maritime education programs both in Houston, TX and Paducah, KY.
CME–Houston, established in 2001, trained 698 mariners from 18 companies in 2011 in navigation, safety and emergency procedures and other areas. Attendees at this year’s luncheon, representing a variety of maritime industry companies in and around the Port of Houston, observed a special milestone reached only the day before—recognizing Dante A. Minaya, an employee of Kirby Florida Bunker Group, as the 6,000th mariner trained at the facility.
Congressman Kevin Brady of the 8th District of Texas delivered the keynote address. A member of the US House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee, he spoke about the vital place of the Port of Houston within the state of Texas and its relationship to the national economy. He also admired SCI’s contributions to the maritime industry and port community, admitting that even in a simulator “I don’t have my sea legs.”
This year, SCI pushed forward its state-of-the-art maritime training programs with two new developments. An upgrade to its Houston Transas simulator allows for advanced training and assessment of mariners’ skills. Additionally, this year the Institute initiated an e-Learning component designed to give mariners and companies greater flexibility in reaching training goals.
View photos from the event here.