The 28th International Maritime Hall of Fame Awards dinner, to be held on May 18, 2022 at The Lighthouse, Pier 61, at Chelsea Piers in New York City, will celebrate the induction of six global shipping leaders, one of them posthumously, into the Maritime Hall of Fame. The Maritime Association of the Port of New York and New Jersey (MAPONY/NJ) has been the proud sponsor of the Maritime Hall of Fame since its inception.
The honorees, all of whom have shown unwavering leadership and dedication to advancing the industry through innovation, determination and volunteerism. This distinguished group, announced by MAPONY/NJ Executive Director Stephen Lyman, are:
•Gary Cross, President and CEO, Maher Terminals LLC
•Michael J. DiVirgilio, Principal, Michael J. DiVirgilio & Associates
•Roger Guenther, Executive Director, Port Houston
•Vincent J. Marino, President and CEO, and the late Anthony V. Marino, Executive Vice President, The Marino Group
•John A. Witte, Jr., President and CEO, Donjon Marine Co., Inc.
“The international maritime industry is rich in extraordinary leaders who play pivotal roles in moving world trade and who provide support services for these engines of commerce,” said Mr. Lyman. “The six people we honor this year have represented a broad spectrum of leadership within the global transportation industry and have earned the respect of their colleagues worldwide, deserving of this honor. We anticipate a record turnout for the event.”
Gary Cross began his career at Maher Terminals, which operates the largest privately held marine terminal in North America, in 1978 in the company’s safety department. He then moved into the operations division, where he spent the next 17 years. He was promoted to Vice President and General Manager of the Tripoli Street Terminal in 1994. Soon after, he moved into the sales and marketing department in 1996 as Vice President and was made Senior Vice President in 2004. In 2009, Mr. Cross was promoted to Executive Vice President, and in April 2013, was appointed President and CEO of Maher Terminals and Maher Terminals Holding Corp., the marine terminal Maher developed in Prince Rupert, British Columbia.
Michael J. DiVirgilio, Principal of Michael J. DiVirgilio & Associates, a maritime consulting firm, is an industry veteran who has held several executive management positions over his nearly 50-year career. Much of that time was with NYK Line (North America) as Senior Vice President, North America Sales, followed by Senior Vice President, Marketing and Liner Management. In addition, he served as Senior Vice President Business Development with its subsidiary Ceres Terminals until his retirement from the company in 2014. Throughout his career, Mr. DiVirgilio has served as an advocate for the industry by volunteering his time to trade associations dedicated to supporting the maritime and intermodal community. He is the president of the Maritime Association of the Port of New York/New Jersey and has served on the Board of Directors for over 10 years. He is also a long-standing member of several industry boards.
Roger Guenther was named Executive Director of Port Houston in January 2014. With 34 years of experience at the port, Mr. Guenther brings operational leadership and a proven track record to the position. Previously, he served as Deputy Executive Director of Operations and was responsible for all container and breakbulk cargo operations, management and construction of capital development projects, facility and asset maintenance, and real estate interests. Since joining Port Houston in 1988, Mr. Guenther has served in various capacities related to facilities management, including master planning of the Bayport Container Terminal, redevelopment of the existing Barbours Cut Terminal, and procurement of all container handling cranes and equipment over the past three decades.
Vincent J. Marino is President and CEO and his brother, Anthony V. Marino, who passed away in August 2021, was Executive Vice President of The Marino Group, founded by their parents more than 50 years ago. For four decades, the Marino brothers worked together to lead a network of container maintenance and repair, refurbishment, over- the-road repair, equipment modification/sales, and drayage facilities serving the East Coast, Gulf, and Midwest markets. Vincent Marino is responsible for all operational aspects including labor relations, customer relations, facilities planning, and future expansions. His career spans 48 years in the shipping industry.
The late Anthony V. Marino will be remembered as much for his astute business knowledge as for his legendary charitable work and generosity. At the time of his passing, the International Longshoremen’s Association President Harold Daggett said: “Like many of us, Anthony grew up in this industry and earned the respect and admiration of both labor and management.” He and his brother were familiar sights at any industry event or milestone throughout the East and Gulf Coasts. A Brooklyn native and NYU alumnus, the “gentle giant” as he was known, followed his brother to carry on the innovative business and company founded by his late father and his mother, Vincent Edward Marino and Elaine Lacqua Marino.
John A. Witte, Jr. is President and CEO of Donjon Marine, Co., Inc., officially taking over for his father in January 2021. After spending his youth following his father as he built Donjon Marine from a two-man operation, Mr. Witte initially was a Diver and Salvage Technician and has also served as an Assistant Salvage Master, Salvage Master, and Project Manager. He served as Project Manager for the Federal Salvage Response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the Gulf of Mexico. Over his forty plus years with Donjon Marine, Mr. Witte has participated in, and ultimately directed, Donjon’s activities in virtually all of Donjon’s Marine and related activities.