About AMC - Board of Directors
The AMC Board of Directors is made up of six representatives appointed by our member companies, and six representatives appointed by the Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association.
Chairman, AMC Board of Directors
Marshall Ainley took over as M.E.B.A.ís President in January 2014. A 1982 graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY, he linked up with the Military Sealift Command, Atlantic, working in the Construction Representative Division for four years. In this capacity he was involved with contract administration and technical oversight in shipyards during major vessel conversions. Marshall then sailed with MSC for the next six years and earned his Chief Engineerís license and Group 1 membership in the M.E.B.A. While working out of the union halls, he attended graduate school and obtained a Masterís Degree in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. For the nine years before assuming the presidency he sailed with Maersk Line Limited as Chief Engineer.
R. Christian Johnsen
Vice Chairman, AMC Board of Directors
A partner in the firm and a member of its board of directors, Chris Johnsen received his Bachelor of Science in Commerce from the University of Virginia in 1982, and his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Tulane University Law School in 1985. He was admitted to the Louisiana Bar later that year and has worked continuously with Jones Walker since completing his law degree. Since opening the firm's office in Washington, D.C., in 1990 and being admitted to the District of Columbia Bar in 1991, Mr. Johnsen has built a strong team of government relations professionals who represent clients in the maritime, energy, and defense industries, numerous institutions of higher learning and several state and local government entities. He provides his clients with a broad range of government relations assistance, including advice on a wide variety of legislative and regulatory matters facing the maritime industry. He has developed strong relationships with the key committees on Capitol Hill with general jurisdiction over transportation and maritime issues (the Senate Commerce Committee, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee) and the tax writing committees with jurisdiction over maritime tax and trade matters (the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee).
Over the years, Mr. Johnsen has been deeply involved in numerous legislative matters affecting the maritime industry, including the Maritime Security Acts of 1996 and 2003, numerous Coast Guard Authorization Acts, the landmark tonnage tax legislation, the repeal of Subpart F shipping income provisions, the Jones Act, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, the Water Resources Development Act of 2007 (WRDA 2007) and legislation to implement numerous Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). Mr. Johnsen also represents International Shipholding Corporation, and its US flag subsidiaries, Central Gulf Lines, Inc., Waterman Steamship Corporation, and Sulphur Carriers, Inc., in Washington on all matters relating to the Federal government. In addition to his work on Capitol Hill, he has developed close ties with the principal Federal agencies involved with the promotion and/or regulation of the U.S. maritime industry: the Department of Transportation, the Maritime Administration (MarAd), the United States Coast Guard, the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), the Export-Import Bank of the United States, the Department of Agriculture, the United States Trade Representative, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
Mr. Johnsen is the past President of the Propeller Club of Washington and currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of the Coast Guard Foundation. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the American Maritime Congress, a research and educational organization dedicated to informing the public, the media, and our legislators in Washington on the issues and policies affecting the U.S.-Flag merchant marine and maritime industry. Additionally, he sits on the Advisory Board of the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia.
Phillip J. Shapiro
Philip J. Shapiro is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Liberty Maritime Corporation, a New York based ship management company, which is the operating entity for five 84,000 DWT and three 50,000 DWT dry bulk carrier vessels owned by Liberty Shipping Group LLC as well as one PCTC - Roll On/Roll Off vessel owned by Alliance New York LLC. Today, Liberty operates the largest privately held U.S.-Flag pure dry bulk carrier fleet. The Liberty fleet has successfully transported over 28 million tons of US origin food aid on over 500 voyages to more than 40 countries worldwide as well as other preference cargoes for various US government agencies including the Departments of Agriculture, State, and Defense.
Liberty Global Logistics LLC (LGL) represents a diversification for the Liberty Group into the international PCTC commercial trade. As the President and CEO of LGL, Mr. Shapiro has formed a strategic alliance with the owners of the 2005 built MN ALLIANCE NEW YORK and Hoegh Autofiners. This ship is one of the newest and most modern commercial vessel in the U.S.-Flag fleet and the Maritime Security Program.
Prior to founding Liberty in 1988, Mr. Shapiro served as Vice President and General Counsel of Apex Marine Corporation. Before joining Apex Marine, he practiced corporate and real estate law for two years with a law firm in New York City.
He is a 1974 graduate of Columbia University, and received his JD from Hofstra University Law School in 1978.
Mr. Shapiro currently serves as a Director on a number of private and public corporate and charitable boards including the NYSE listed OMI Corporation, United Seamen's Service and the American Maritime Congress. He is an elected member of the American Bureau of Shipping and serves on its North American Committee as well as its ABS Council. He also serves as an Associate Trustee of the North Shore - Long Island Jewish Health System, the largest health care provider on Long Island, and a member of its Executive Associate Trustee Committee.
He is married to Janet, and they have two children, Joshua and Brooke. They reside in Brookville, New York.
Eric L. Mensing
Eric Mensing, President and CEO of APL Maritime Ltd and Vice President of Government Affairs/Trade for APL Ltd., is the companyís senior executive in Washington, D.C. A 29-year veteran of the ocean transportation industry, he manages APLís relationship with the U.S. Government, all itís business with the U.S. Military and their U.S. Flag fleet of 18 vessels.
Mr. Mensing oversees the companyís legislative program on Capitol Hill and maintains contact with federal agencies that regulate international shipping and freight management. A member of APLís Liner Executive Committee, he also manages the companyís trade with the U.S. Government, primarily the Department of Defense.
After graduating from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Mr. Mensing joined APL in 1981 as a shipís officer / Management Trainee. He held various sales and operational positions for the company on the West Coast before becoming General Manager of APL operations in the Middle East and, later, Canada.
Mr. Mensing was the Vice President for the Trans-Atlantic trade before taking over his current position in 2002.
Raised in Glendora, CA, Mr. Mensing lives in McLean, VA, with his wife and three older children.
Maersk Line Limited
William Kenwell was named Senior Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer at Maersk Line, Limited, on September 1, 2006.
Mr. Kenwell joined Maersk Inc. in February 2004 as the Director of Integrated Marketing and has extensive sales, marketing and general management background in the transportation and logistics industry. For 29 years, from 1971-1999, he was with Sea-Land Service in the United States and Asia. During his career at Sea-Land, he was in charge of Global Sales, Corporate Marketing, Pacific Rim Sales and Marketing, the Hawaii-Guam Service, Buyers Consolidators and Sea-Land Logistics.
He also served with CSX Transportation, where he was Vice President of Sales for North America from 2001-2003, and where he managed CSX's international offices in Europe, Mexico and Latin America, as well as the logistics services company Transflo. Prior to this, Mr. Kenwell was Vice President of Partner Relations for GT Nexus, a leading logistics software solutions provider.
Mr. Kenwell earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Villanova University, and completed the Executive Marketing Program at the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College. He is a life member of the National Defense Transportation Association.
Mr. Kenwell is domiciled at Maersk Line, Limited's Arlington office.
Keystone Shipping Company
American Ship Management
Bill Van Loo
Bill Van Loo has served as M.E.B.A.'s Secretary-Treasurer since 2006. He is a third-generation member who graduated from the Calhoon M.E.B.A. Engineering School in 1983 and shipped out for 17 years. As an engineer he shipped out on freighters, tankers and containerships calling on ports in Europe, South America, Asia, Africa and North America. He holds a Chief Engineers License.
He was a key cog in a rank and file push to solidify the Unionís democracy in the early 1990s. His hands-on approach and attentiveness has resonated with the membership which has validated his candidacy for office in every election since 2001. Members first ushered Bill into office a decade ago as the Unionís Branch Agent in Baltimore then re-elected him three years later. His ability to multi-task, his contract savvy and experience along with a strong work ethic made him the natural choice to ascend to the District Executive Committee Ė the Unionís governing body Ė in 2006. He has also served as a Delegate at five National M.E.B.A. Conventions.
Bill has been very involved with local labor and maritime associations and his knack for political networking is paying dividends at HQ which is located at the foot of Capitol Hill. He also heads up M.E.B.A.ís Political Action Fund.
Bill harbors deep connections with M.E.B.A.ís School in Easton, MD where he, his wife Vicky and daughter Ali reside. He founded the Calhoon Alumni Association and championed the project to build the beautiful new Memorial Park on School grounds that honors fallen merchant mariners. He is also Chairman of the M.E.B.A. Merchant Marine Memorial Foundation.
Adam Vokac is M.E.B.A.ís Executive Vice President serving at our Union hall in Oakland, CA. This is his second stint with the Union as an official having worked as our Representative in the port of Honolulu for three years beginning in 2008. In that role, he helped improve service to the membership and boosted M.E.B.A.ís political presence in Hawaii by strengthening ties with local unions, politicians and support for the Jones Act. Alongside then-Executive V.P. Mike Nizetich, he helped negotiate a nine-year contract with Norwegian Cruise Lines that won large pay raises as well as substantial increases in contributions to the Training Plan, the AMC and M.E.B.A.ís Joint Employment Committee.
Adam graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point as Valedictorian in 2000. Immediately after the ceremony he drove to M.E.B.A. New York/New Jersey hall and joined the Union.
Soon after beginning his shipping career, he sailed with Alaska Tanker Company then continued his education at MIT and earned Masterís degrees in both Mechanical Engineering and Ocean Systems Management. Adam served as Permanent 1st A/E aboard the NCL-America vessel PRIDE OF AMERICA for many years and recently earned his Chief Engineerís license.
Chris Guerra was elected in December 2010 as the Atlantic Coast Vice President for MEBA and his office is located in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Chris most recently served as the MEBA New York/New Jersey Patrolman and also served as the MEBA Director of Inland & Harbor Contracts. Prior to his union official career, Chris was an active sailing engineer for MEBA.
Phil Sistrunk is M.E.B.A.ís Gulf Coast Vice President serving at our Union hall in New Orleans.
As a young man, Phil joined the U.S. Navy and served in Vietnam. Upon returning to civilian life, he worked on push-boats as a Deckhand and Tankerman up and down the Mississippi River and inter-coastal waterways. The son (and grandson) of oilfield workers, Phil was encouraged to follow suit, which he did, working as a Roustabout, Roughneck, Derrickman, and Motorman. He eventually worked his way up to Licensed Coast Guard Chief Engineer of MODU unlimited and Offshore Installation Manager.
After the Offshore Drilling industry hit a slump, he switched over to the shipping industry and started at the bottom as a hawsepiper. He sailed with the NMU and later, with the SIU. He then joined the M.E.B.A. and shipped out as an Assistant Engineer on a variety of vessels including the CAPE TRINITY, OVERSEAS NEW ORLEANS and DELAWARE TRADER.
Tracy Burke graduated from Maine Maritime Academy in 1988. Worked for Interlake Steamship Co. for 20 years. Served as Chief Engineer on Interlake's first steamship to diesel conversion project on the LEE A. TREGURTHA. Worked through the New Jersey hall with APL and MLL. Served as Chief Engineer aboard the USNS SGT. MATEJ KOCAK prior to becoming the current MEBA Branch Agent in Norflok, VA.