New Trustees Join SCI Board

Feb 13, 2009

At recent meetings, the Board of Trustees for the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) voted to confirm the nominations of three new members. In December, the Board elected Mark K. Knoy, President of AEP River Operations based out of Chesterfield, MO and the Very Rev. James A. Diamond, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati, OH. At the Annual Meeting earlier this month, James R. Lawrence, Chairman of the publishing company Marine Money, was the third new member welcomed to the Board by David S. French, SCI’s newly appointed Chairman.

This year, the Institute is 175 years old. “Over these many years, excellent leadership in SCI’s Board of Trustees has guided the organization through the changes of the tide—both economically and in the industry,” said David M. Rider, President and Executive Director of SCI. “Visionary members of the Board have made SCI what it is today, including establishing our Centers for Maritime Education in Paducah and Houston and the Center for Seafarers’ Rights.”

According to Rider, members of the Board bring continuous perspective and experience to the helm of the Institute. SCI’s Board is made up of members from the marine industry, law firms, maritime trade publications, religious institutions, and various other organizations.

Prior to the Annual Meeting, SCI honored the service of five Board members retiring this year. The Institute hosted a special dinner at the New York Yacht Club in New York to thank retiring Chairman George M. Isdale, Jr.; Secretary Arthur L. Armitage; trustees Mrs. C. Robert Allen III, Gale Chen, and Richard S. Berry, Esq. for their many years of service. Rider commented, “These retiring Board members have given a combined 87+ years of dedicated service to SCI. It is inspiring; and for this, we are truly grateful.”

The Board of Trustees enters the Anniversary Year with several initiatives and new projects on the horizon. Slated for completion in 2009 is the renovation of SCI’s Port Newark International Seafarers’ Center.

“SCI has remained relevant by being agile and innovative,” said Rider. “Our team of leaders on the Board will make sure that during the next 175 years we continue to adapt and serve the needs of the world’s mariners.”

Brief biographies of the newly-elected Board members are below.

The Very Rev. James A. Diamond
Dean, Christ Church Cathedral, Cincinnati

Dean Diamond has served on various provincial and national committees of the Episcopal Church. In Boston, he worked extensively with interfaith programs, including a local television series, developed intercultural exchanges with teenagers, and promoted Anglo-Hispanic relations in housing and financial development. The Dean was a member of the visiting faculty at the College of Preachers in Washington, D.C. He is the President of the Community of the Cross of Nails in North America and was a member of the negotiating team working with the Alexandria Process in the Middle East. Dean Diamond and former Cincinnati Mayor Roxanne Qualls developed the Cathedral Racial Reconciliation Initiative in partnership with the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Mark K. Knoy
President, AEP River Operations

Mark Knoy is Vice President at American Electric Power’s Fuel, Emissions and Logistics group and is President of AEP River Operations, which includes responsibility for Indiana & Michigan’s River Transportation Division at Lakin, West Virginia; and River Operations’ facilities in Paducah, Kentucky; Cape Girardeau, Missouri and seven facilities in greater New Orleans, Louisiana.

Headquartered in Chesterfield, Missouri, AEP River Operations includes a fleet of 2,950 barges and 63 towboats, along with a full-service shipyard and six barge repair and cleaning facilities on the lower Mississippi River in Louisiana. AEP is the second-largest dry-bulk barge company on the inland waterways.

Knoy is a member of the Federal Reserve Board’s Industry Council.  He is a past Director of the Inland Waterways Users Board and past Chairman of both the Waterways Council, Inc. and the Midwest Region of the American Waterways Operators.  Knoy holds a U.S. Coast Guard inland river towing operators' license.

James R. Lawrence
Chairman, Marine Money
MTI Network (USA), Inc.

Jim Lawrence is a founding Partner, along with Patrick Adamson in London, of the MTI Network, the leading global public relations firm specializing in maritime crisis communications. The MTI Network has offices in 16 countries around the world.

Mr. Lawrence is Chairman of the publishing company Marine Money, which produces the monthly magazine Marine Money; the weekly online report Freshly Minted; the newsletter International Ship Registry Review; and the directory Official Guide to Ship Registries.

He is also Chairman of International Marketing Strategies, Inc., a US-based sales and marketing company providing non-US-based maritime-focused companies, governments and associations with sophisticated entry to North American markets.

Mr. Lawrence began his career in the maritime industry with Lloyd’s of London Press, managing that company’s North American business from New York City.  He is a long-standing supporter of the Connecticut Maritime Association, its Conference and Trade show, its Intern and Job Assistance programs.