16 individual scholarships bestowed to supply chain, logistics and transportation students and academic institutions

The Containerization and Intermodal Institute (CII) honored Mr. Joseph Gregorio Sr., Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Pacific Crane Maintenance Company, LLC, with the 2022 Connie Award yesterday in front of nearly 400 transportation industry experts gathered at the Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach, CA.

Additionally, the CII Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Captain Lynn Korwatch, Executive Director of the Marine Exchange of the San Francisco Bay Region.

Each year, Connie Award recipients are honored for their significant contributions to containerization, global trade, and the transportation industry, as well as their innovative spirit and the excellent example they set for students studying to pursue careers in the industry. This year, CII is also bestowing its Lifetime Achievement Award, which is presented to industry leaders for their overall body of work that has impacted trade, transportation, supply chain and logistics.

From left: CII Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Captain Lynn Korwatch, Executive Director of Marine Exchange of the San Francisco Bay Region and CII Connie Award recipient Joseph S. Gregorio, Sr., CEO and Chairman of Pacific Crane Maintenance Corporation, LLC (PCMC)

2022 Connie Award Honoree – Joseph S. Gregorio, Sr.

In his presentation remarks, Steve Blust, CII President, noted that Joseph S. Gregorio, Sr. is a 40-year veteran of the cargo transportation maintenance industry and PCMC co-founder in 1990.

"Joe founded PCMC with the goal of providing quality repairs and dependable solutions to the world's 10 largest shipping lines. He worked tirelessly over the years to build PCMC into what it is today, which is the largest maintenance and repair service provider to the marine industry, as well as the largest employer of ILWU mechanics on the west coast, with over 950 full-time mechanics," Mr. Blust remarked.

During Mr. Gregorio’s speech, he thanked his colleagues, customers, ILWU, PMA and the Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland and The Northwest Seaport Alliance for their support; it was the trust they had in him and PCMC that has been the key to company’s success. He recognized the employees of PCMC as the “heart and soul” of the company, and acknowledged the support he received from his family, who serve as his rock. For the family members who work for PCMC, he thanked them for their commitment to make PCMC bigger, better, stronger while preserving the company’s legacy.

Mr. Gregorio has always prioritized and continuously monitored the safety of all PCMC personnel. PCMC, including PTSC and its other subsidiaries, has received several safety awards in recognition of outstanding performance, including the Gerald H. Halpin - Safety Excellence Award from the Signal Mutual Indemnity Association for the 2019-2020 fiscal year as a result of its safety-first culture.

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient – Captain Lynn Korwatch

Captain Lynn Korwatch, Executive Director of the San Francisco Bay Region Marine Exchange, was also honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. "CII is delighted to honor Captain Korwatch, a true industry pioneer, by bestowing this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award," said Mr. Blust.

"Captain Korwatch has been a ‘first’ throughout her illustrious career, including one of the first women to graduate from California Maritime Academy, one of the first to obtain a Master's license, the first female captain of a U.S. deep sea merchant vessel, as well as the first female executive of the Marine Exchange of the San Francisco Bay Region,” remarked Mr. Blust. More than 3,500 vessels pass through the harbor annually, and the Exchange, which was established in 1849, is in charge of managing vessel tracking, communications, and tug escorts.

CII Scholarship Program

In a separate ceremony that took place before the Connie Award event, CII recognized its industry education mission by awarding scholarships to students specializing in supply chain, logistics and transportation as well as the academic institutions that are training the future of our industry. California State University Maritime Academy and EXP as well as students from California State University, Long Beach and University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business, were presented with 16 scholarships.

"The incredible generosity of our donors enables CII to uphold its education objective and encourages top talent to continue pursuing a career in our industry," said Chris Brooks, CII Vice President, who presented the scholarships.

Since its inception in 1992, CII has given more than $1 million in scholarships. Companies can support ongoing industry education by purchasing scholarships through CII, which start at $1,000.

Commenting on the Connie Award event at Long Beach, Mr. Blust said: "We are very pleased to see such a large industry turnout for the Connie Awards here at Long Beach. It speaks well to CII, the prestigious Connie Awards and its honorees. And we owe it to all of our supporters. Our Connie Award events would not be possible without their continued generous support."

CII was founded in 1960 and has been presenting the Connie Award since 1972. It has become the most coveted honor in the field of containerization and its ancillary industries. Among the 70 recipients to date are containerization founder Malcom McLean, Mario Cordero, William J. “Bill” Shea, Jr., Eugene Seroka, Michael Wilson, Bruce Fennimore, James McKenna, Knud Stubkjaer, John Wolfe, Richard Steinke, Captain S.Y. Kuo, Matthew Cox and Robert Pfeiffer.