Mark Knoy Succeeds Bruce Paulsen as SCI’s Board Chair

In February, the Seamen’s Church Institute gathered at the International Seafarers’ Center in Newark, NJ, for their first meeting of 2024. Among the agenda items was a formal transition in Board leadership. Bruce Paulsen, Esq., Partner at New York law firm Seward & Kissel, who had chaired SCI’s Board for the past six years, stepped down, and Mark Knoy, Trustee since 2008 and formerly Vice Chair of the Board, assumed the position as Chair.

Bruce successfully steered the Institute through challenging times, including the long period of restrictions imposed by the pandemic, which limited SCI’s ability to easily engage with mariners and seafarers, conduct training sessions at its facilities in Paducah, KY, and Houston, TX, and host its maritime events. Additionally, Bruce guided the transition in directorship for SCI and SCI’s Center for Mariner Advocacy.

The Rev. Mark Nestlehutt, President and Executive Director of SCI, expressed appreciation for Bruce’s exceptional leadership: “I am incredibly grateful for the stewardship Bruce provided. His vision and unwavering commitment to our mission have positioned SCI for continued growth and success. I am glad that Bruce will remain on the Board, as I will always appreciate his wisdom and assistance. I am looking forward to working with Mark Knoy in this new era of Board leadership for SCI.”

Mark Knoy’s appointment will be the first time in SCI’s history that an inland maritime leader will hold the Board Chair position. Knoy, retired former President and CEO of American Commercial Barge Lines, one of North America’s largest river transport companies, adds: “Bruce’s contributions to SCI have been invaluable, and speaking for the entire Board, we extend our sincere appreciation for his dedicated service. I am excited to step into the Board Chair role and look forward to the work ahead. It represents, for me, the latest chapter of my continuing commitment to give back to the industry and to the dedicated mariners who have given me so much throughout my career.”

The Board Chair at SCI serves a term of three years, with the option of an additional three-year term. Alongside Mark Knoy’s appointment, Brian Buckley McAllister (President & Chairman of the Board, McAllister Towing) is now SCI’s Vice Chair of the Board. In addition, SCI welcomed four new Trustees, including Aaron Barrett (Ingram Barge Company), Bud Darr (MSC Group), Jan-Willem Van Den Dijssel (Cargill), and John Hallmark (Kirby Marine).

SCI is North America’s largest and most comprehensive seafarer and mariner service agency. Through our mission areas—Ministry on the River, the International Seafarers’ Center, the Center for Mariner Advocacy, and the Center for Maritime Education—SCI is dedicated to mariner well-being, pastoral care, crisis response, maritime training, navigational and vessel safety, legal advocacy, and global policy for the vital yet often overlooked maritime workforce.

From left to right: The Rev. Mark Nestlehutt, Bruce Paulsen, Esq., and new SCI Board Chair Mark Knoy.