The New York offices of the international law firm, Milbank, hosted the inaugural board meeting of the American Caribbean Maritime Foundation (ACMF) on May 19, 2016. The ACMF’s mission is to improve and increase opportunities for Caribbean students to study and work in the maritime and logistics fields.
“We are indebted to Milbank law firm and to one of its attorneys, Tamika Bent for pro bono counsel and board support,” says founder and president Dr. Geneive Brown Metzger, the former Consul General of Jamaica in New York. Dr. Brown Metzger is also the international chair of the Caribbean Maritime Institute, which is expected to be ratified as a university before the end of the year. She previously served as co-chair of the University of Technology in Jamaica, which conferred on her an Honorary Doctorate of Laws for her exemplary service to the University and as a public servant.
Board member, Jim Luce, who is also president of the Jim Luce Foundation, is excited about serving although he has never been to Jamaica. He has a long family history with the maritime industry and tertiary education, including family members who founded the U.S. Naval War College, and Harvard University. Serving as adviser to the foundation is the former chair of the State University of New York Global Business and Transportation Department and current lecturer in the department. Other board members are Fern Khan, Dean Emerita; Bank Street, Rhona Ramsay, Esq, managing director and associate general counsel, Mitsubishi UFG Bank; Ambassador Godfrey Eneas, president of Bahamas Agricultural and Marine Science Institute; Deniece Aiken, Esq., general counsel for the Caribbean Maritime Institute; and Dr. Errol Morrison, director general and adviser of Jamaica’s National Commission on Science and Technology.
“The maritime and logistics industries are the next frontiers with the potential to offer massive economic development opportunities in the Caribbean over the next several decades,” said Dr. Fritz Pinnock, executive director of the Caribbean Maritime Institute. “The expansion of the Panama Canal and the Caribbean geographic location between the East and West, create a unique opportunity for the Caribbean to position itself as the world’s fourth logistics point and to benefit economically from the expected level of transshipment traffic,” said Dr. Pinnock. “The Caribbean must have a trained workforce to take up the key jobs and launch businesses that will be created by the sector. If we are not ready, we’ll see these opportunities going to expatriates and revenues leaving the region,” he said.
The American Caribbean Maritime Foundation will continue to build its board of industry leaders and will focus on forming strategic partnerships with international bodies in order to achieve its mission.