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AOTOS Recognizes Trio for Contributions Made to the U.S. Maritime Industry


The United Seamen’s Service (USS) presented its Admiral of the Ocean Sea (AOTOS) Awards to three individuals who have spent their careers promoting a strong U.S. maritime industry at the agency’s annual dinner-dance in New York on November 15.

The three individuals receiving awards represented a cross section of the industry: US Rep. Peter King (R-NY);  Philip W. J. Fisher, president of Chas. Kurz & Co.; and Emanual “Manny” Rouvelas, a maritime attorney who is a partner at K&L Gates in Washington, DC. 

King, an 11-term congressman, serves on the Homeland Security Committee and chairs its Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. He also is a member of the Financial Services Committee and Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

It doesn’t matter if the issue is cargo preference or the Jones Act, U.S. shipbuilding or dredging, King consistently has been in the forefront in the fight for a strong U.S. maritime industry. Whenever maritime is under attack, he can be depended upon to fight for what’s best for the U.S.-flag maritime industry.

King also has been a leading advocate for workers’ rights. He received nationwide recognition for his efforts to secure justice for the survivors of Superstorm Sandy.

Fisher has had a long and storied career. Besides his position with Chas. Kurz & Co., he is Executive Vice President of Keystone Shipping Company and President of the Tanker Service Committee.

He joined Keystone and its parent company, Chas. Kurz & Co., 47 years ago as chief financial officer. He has spent his career involved in working with the U. S. government; maritime labor; major shippers; multinational oil, chemical and transportation entities; and other sectors of the American shipping industry.

Known to one-and-all simply as “Manny,” Rouvelas is, as the AOTOS Committee described him, “a recognized authority in maritime law. For three decades Mr. Rouvelas has traveled globally to advise the CEOs of many of the world’s leading shipping companies. He often works with the executive branch, Congress, and foreign embassies and governments on international trade and transport matters.”

Prior to founding the Washington, DC, office of Preston Gates (which merged into K&L Gates in 2007), Rouvelas was counsel to the Senate Committee on Commerce and chief counsel for its Merchant Marine and Foreign Commerce subcommittees.

During the ceremony, the officers and crews of six different U.S.-flag vessels were recognized for providing extraordinary service in rescue attempts and relief operations occurring around the world.

The USS is a non-profit agency providing community services to U.S. merchant mariners, American armed forces and global seafarers in Europe, Asia, Africa and in the Indian Ocean.


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