HIMC Speaker Bios

Roger Guenther, Executive Director for Port HoustonRoger Guenther 
Executive Director
Port Houston

Roger Guenther was named the Executive Director of Port Houston in January 2014. With 34 years of experience at the port, Guenther brings operational leadership and a proven track record to the position. He oversees the efficient and effective operations of Port Houston’s public facilities, which handle a diverse range of imports and exports including container, general cargo, breakbulk, and bulk commodities and include the area’s largest breakbulk facility and two of the most efficient container terminals in the nation. Mr. Guenther is also responsible for advocating for ongoing improvements and maintenance of the Houston Ship Channel (HSC) in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The HSC is the busiest federal waterway in the U.S. and ranked number one for waterborne tonnage. More than 200 public and private terminals conduct business alongside the HSC and together support $802 billion in annual economic value.

Prior to becoming Executive Director, 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 last three decades.

In 2016, Mr. Guenther was elected president of the Texas Ports Association and served through September of 2020. He currently serves on numerous boards and committees including the Texas Department of Transportation’s Texas Freight Advisory Committee, the Port Authority Advisory Committee, the Board of Visitors of Texas A&M University at Galveston, Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) Advisory Council, the Port Terminal Railroad Association, the Greater Houston Port Bureau, and the Board of Directors of the National Association of Waterfront Employees. In 2021, he was appointed by Governor Gregg Abbott to the board of the Gulf Coast Protection District. Most recently, he was appointed to the Maritime Transportation System National Advisory Committee by Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Transportation.

His awards and honors include: 2017 Bronze Award Recipient-Houston International Seafarers, 2018 Humanitarian Award (Philanthropic Male)-Latino Learning Center, and 2018 Most Admired CEO-Houston Business Journal.

Mr. Guenther earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University and has an MBA in International Trade and Finance from the University of St. Thomas.

A native of Baytown, Texas, he grew up close to the Houston Ship Channel and Port Houston. Mr. Guenther currently resides in Galveston along with his wife Fabiana, and has two children, Tyler and Emily.


 


Peter Jankowski, SVP of Research at Greater Houston PartnershipPatrick Jankowski 
Senior Vice President of Research
Greater Houston Partnership

Patrick oversees the research department which provides information gathering, data analysis and economic forecasting the Partnership’s ten divisions.

Prior to working as an economist, Jankowski worked as a business writer for Houston Magazine, Houston City Magazine, Houston Engineer and Houston Business Journal. The fact that three of those four publications are no longer in business is not a reflection on his ability as a writer.

Mr. Jankowski is a frequent speaker on business and economic issues and has served as an expert witness in cases regarding local business trends. The fact that three of the four clients he worked for in the past ten years are no longer in business is not a reflection on his ability as an economist.

Jankowski is a past board member of the National Association for the Business Economics, the NABE Foundation, The Houston Economics Club, and the Council for Community and Economic Research. The fact that he’s held leadership roles in so many research organizations indicate he’s a nerd.

Jankowski received his economics degree from the University of Texas at Austin, which makes for interesting family gatherings. His son and eldest daughter graduated from Texas A&M. “I always remind my children, ‘They may get their education from Texas A&M, but it’s paid for by my UT degree.’ His youngest daughter wisely decided to attend Texas State University in San Marcos.

Jankowski has worked for the Greater Houston Partnership, and its predecessor, the Houston Chamber of Commerce, for 39 years. That would be a record for most employees.  He’s also been married to Olga Jankowski for 40 years, which is a record for most marriages. Both have been wonderful experiences.


 


Lori Brownell, Director of Channel Development Port HoustonLori Brownell
Director of Channel Improvement
Port Houston

Lori Brownell joined the Port as Director of Channel Improvement in September 2019 and is the design and construction Project Manager for the Houston Ship Channel Expansion Channel Improvement Project, known as Project 11. Lori joined the Port from Taylor Engineering, where she was the Director of Waterfront Engineering and spent 20 years working on dredging, navigation, and dredged material management area design project for the State of Florida and multiple ports, as well as coastal and port related civil/structural infrastructure projects.

She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a registered professional engineer (in Texas and Florida) with the designation of Diplomate-Navigation Engineering from the Academy of Coastal Ocean Port & Navigation Engineers (ACOPNE). Lori is also an active member, serving in various leadership and technical committee roles, in the American Society of Civil Engineers, Coasts Ocean Ports and Rivers Institute (COPRI), ACOPNE, and Western Dredging Association (WEDA).


 


Jeff Davis, Chief Port Operations Officer at Port HoustonJeff Davis
Chief Port Operations Officer
Port Houston

Jeff Davis serves as Chief Port Operations Officer for Port Houston. His principal responsibilities include management of all cargo movements through the port’s Barbours Cut and Bayport Container handling facilities, the general cargo terminals and oversight of the port’s equipment and facility maintenance activities. He is also responsible for maintaining positive working relationships with customers, facility users, government entities, ship pilots and labor. Additionally, he ensures that important port values in the areas of safety, security and environmental stewardship are integrated into its operations.

Mr. Davis began his maritime career working as a stevedore for 15 years. He joined the port in 1994 working in various capacities at the port’s Barbours Cut Container Terminal. He was promoted to Container Operations Manager in 2000. With the opening of the Bayport Container Terminal in 2007, he was promoted to Managing Director, Container Terminals. In 2015, he was appointed to Chief Port Operations Officer.


 


Port Houston's Chief Port Infrastructure Officer Rich ByrnesRich Byrnes
Chief Port Infrastructure Officer
Port Houston

Rich Byrnes is the Port’s Chief Infrastructure Officer. His team supports regional commerce and trade by focusing on Port Planning, Construction, Asset Management, the Houston Ship Channel, Freight Mobility, Environment, and Technical Analytics. Rich is a frequent speaker on topics including the Houston Ship Channel Expansion, the Port’s 2040 Plan, and Sustainability.

Rich’s career spans engineering, operations and consulting across transportation and oil & gas industries. Starting at the South Pole, Antarctica managing supply chain, he moved into oilfield engineering in Saudi Arabia and Syria, and later led business and technical consulting units at Schlumberger and Halliburton. He has consulted with energy and transportation corporations and governments world-wide on strategy, organization, and performance improvement.

Rich holds two Master’s from MIT, in Ocean Systems Management and in Technology and Policy; a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from UC Santa Barbara; an Associate’s in Mathematics from Long Beach City College; and leadership certificates from Texas A&M.

He has also taught Leadership at Texas A&M and Strategic Management at the University of Maryland. Rich lives in the Houston area, is on the Board of STEM-E Youth Career Development Program and has been an avid supporter of STEM education and youth sports.


 


Dominic Sun, Director of Trade Development Port Houston
Dominic Sun
Director of Trade Development
Port Houston

Dominic Sun was named Director of Trade Development in January 2019. He has 29+ years of professional experience with ocean carriers, domestic and international freight forwarders, and global 3PLs in the US. His most recent position prior to joining the port was as Director of Strategic Accounts with CMA CGM, the world’s third largest ocean carriers, where he had a 11-year tenure and held expanding roles in the US West and Gulf Coasts.

Sun earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance with concentration in Real Estate from University of Southern California.


 


Jonathan Gold
Vice President, Supply Chain & Customs Policy
National Retail Federation

Jonathan Gold is vice president of supply chain and customs policy at the National Retail Federation. In this role, Gold is a primary spokesperson and is responsible for representing the retail industry before Congress and the administration on supply chain, international trade, product safety and customs related issues impacting the retail industry. While with NRF, he has been a leading advocate of the value of trade and global value chains to the U.S. economy.

Prior to joining NRF, Gold served as a policy analyst in the Office of Policy and Planning for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). He joined CBP in May 2006 and was responsible for providing policy guidance on issues surrounding maritime cargo security and trade-related matters. Gold also worked on implementation issues surrounding the SAFE Port Act and other issues within the agency including CBP intelligence reform, pandemic flu and trade facilitation.

Before joining CBP, Gold spent nearly a decade with the Retail Industry Leaders Association holding several government relations positions including director and then vice president of international trade policy before being named vice president of global supply chain policy in January 2005.
Gold currently serves on the Department of Commerce’s Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness. He has previously served on the Department of Homeland Security’s Commercial Customs Operations Advisory Committee (COAC) and on the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Advisory Committee on Distribution Services.

Gold graduated from American University in Washington, DC in 1994. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in international business with a concentration in finance.


 


Kim Vaccaro
Director of Global Operations
The Home Depot

Kim Vaccaro is the Director of Global Operations for The Home Depot. Kim’s responsibilities include overseeing origin, ocean, and air operations for the 3rd largest US importer. Kim is also responsible for all operational procurement (origin, ocean, air, dray, transload), import data transmissions, import visibility solutions, and cross functional strategic initiatives associated with Home Depot’s import operations. Kim joined The Home Depot in 2010 and has held various roles within Import Operations, Inventory Management and Global Supply Chain Solutions. Prior to joining The Home Depot, Kim worked for Mitsui OSK Lines and held various project and operational roles within the AP Moller-Maersk Group (Maersk Line and APM Terminals).


 


Melissa Contrevo
Director of International Logistics
Five Below

Melissa Contrevo is an accomplished international supply chain professional with more than 15 years of progressive experience providing exceptional leadership and strategic solutions to maximize profits while decreasing operational expenses. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Operation Management from Southern New Hampshire University and is also a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. Her expertise covers a wide range of functions including strategic analysis, import/export operations, transportation and logistics, warehousing, 3PL implementation and management, freight optimization, negotiating carrier contracts, benchmarking, and business systems analysis. Melissa held positions of increasing responsibility in many key Supply Chain functions, including inbound logistics, import operations, international transportation, distribution operations, international operations, and financial planning.

Melissa is currently the Director of International Logistics at Five Below where she utilizes her experience to oversee all international logistics and operations. In this role she is responsible for recruitment and professional development of the logistics team, forwarder implementation and management, negotiating multi-million dollar contracts, as well as driving efficiencies within the supply chain. Melissa is motivated and passionate about her career which drives her to support the goal of ensuring on time deliveries to keep the customers satisfied.


 


Ty Reasonover, Trade Development Manager
Ty Reasonover
Trade Development Senior Manager
Port Houston

Ty C. Reasonover is Senior Manager, Trade Development at Port Houston. With over 12 years of experience in international trade, vessel operations, and business development, Ty brings unique value to the port’s revenue developments.

In his current position, he is responsible for growing the organization’s revenue portfolio, Port Houston’s promotional activities in Asia, and promotion of the Port’s capabilities for handling containerized and project cargoes.

Ty graduated from Texas A&M University, Galveston Campus, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Maritime Administration. Upon graduation, he began a career in the breakbulk and project cargo industry.

Having spent a large part of his career in Shanghai, Reasonover has developed an in-depth working knowledge of Mandarin Chinese and Eastern Asian culture and business practices. That knowledge has been useful in working for the Port, both in the United States and in Asia.

Reasonover resides in Katy, Texas with his wife and two daughters.


 


Giancarlo Morgera
Executive Vice President, Export Liner Services
MSC USA

Giancarlo is an accomplished senior executive with over 40 years’ experience in the maritime industry. He serves as Executive Vice President, Export Liner Service, based at MSC USA’s New York headquarters.

Giancarlo joined MSC as Port Captain in 1989, working vessels for MSC and the Chilean flag operator, Empremar to Latin America. In 1992, he was promoted to Trade Manager for relay services, South Africa and Australia and in 1998 he took over the role of Vice President. In 2004, Giancarlo was promoted to Senior Vice President for Trades and since 2013, he’s been serving as Executive Vice President for all liner aspects.

Earlier in his career, Giancarlo worked as Deck Officer with D’Amico Societa’ di Navigazione in Rome, Italy. He then received his Captain’s license while travelling on board MSC to Africa and the Indian Ocean islands in 1987.

He graduated from the Merchant Marine School in Sorrento, Italy.


 


American Cotton Shippers AssociationMichael Symonanis
Director, Strategic Network
Louis Dreyfus Company

Michael has worked for over 15 years at Louis Dreyfus Company and is based in Memphis, Tennessee. Prior to joining LDC, Michael worked with ocean carriers NOL and APL for fourteen years in sales and operations roles.

Michael completed his undergraduate degree at Iowa State University in business and international studies. He earned a Master of Professional Studies in Supply Chain Management at Penn State University, and a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership at Gonzaga University. In May, Michael completed an AILA International Fellowship at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Within American Cotton Shippers Association (ACSA), Texas Cotton Association (TCA) and Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTC), Michael works on supply chain initiatives and policy focused on US agriculture export competitiveness with other shippers, suppliers, and stakeholders. He volunteers as Vice Chair, National Shipper Advisory Committee supporting the Federal Maritime Commission. In these roles, he furthers LCD’s commitment to address industry and national opportunities and challenges led for so many years by his colleagues Sheila Bracken and the late Steve Wyman.


 


Nadia Scornaienchi
Director of North American International Trade Operations
Dow Chemical

Nadia Scornaienchi is the North American International Trade Operations Logistics Director for Dow. She is responsible for overseeing Containerized Cargo and Air logistics operations as well as Import and Export Compliance, Duty Optimization, Foreign Trade Zone program and Supply Chain Security registrations. Her organization partners with Dow businesses, joint ventures and external suppliers ensuring safe and complaint movement of Dow products globally.

Nadia has 15 years of international supply chain experience working in trade advocacy, business operations, planning and logistics. She has lead supply chain organizations in a variety of markets including energy, biocides, resins and bulk liquid commodities.

Prior to joining Dow, Nadia spent 6 years as an improvement leader within Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and a year with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation where she provided legislative support for the biotechnology and alternative energy sectors.


 


Ricardo Arias, Manager of Trade Development Port HoustonRicardo Arias
Trade Development Manager
Port Houston

Ricardo Arias has been a member of Port Houston’s Trade Development department since April 2003, advancing to his present position of Trade Development Manager over the next two years.

In his present position, Arias is responsible for business development involving U.S. Midwest interests, Latin America and promotion of Port Houston’s capabilities for handling steel products, project cargo, perishables and coffee. He promotes and generates international and national trade that benefits the local economy by educating the public and maritime industry interests about the high quality of various subjects offered by Port Houston.

Arias is a 1995 graduate of Houston Baptist University where he earned undergraduate degrees in business administration and marketing. Upon graduation he began a career in international transportation and logistics.

Mr. Arias has worked in business development and operations management for trucking, third party logistics, freight forwarding and steamship companies with an emphasis in business development in Latin America.


 


Robert Jacquet
Vice President of Commercial
BBC Chartering USA

Robert Jacquet graduated from Texas A&M Galveston in 2001 with a bachelor of science degree in Maritime Administration.

He started as a trainee for BBC Chartering USA in 2001. Worked in Singapore 2005/2008 for BBC Chartering and Clipper Projects Joint Venture company, Asia Project Chartering. In 2008 Rob returned to Houston and assumed the position of Vice President of Commercial at BBC Chartering USA.


 


Andrew Young
Logistics Manager
Bechtel Global Logistics Corporation

Andy Young is a Logistics Manager at Bechtel Global Logistics providing technical and commercial expertise for the management of critical equipment across Bechtel projects. His focus is on developing strategies and implementing transport solutions based on safety and best practice that reduce risk and cost (Transport Assurance). Andy’s Bechtel experience includes three years as the OG&C Functional Logistics Manager, two years as the Chartering Supervisor for the Wheatstone LNG Project and two years in the field as the In-Country Logistics Manager for the Curtis Islands LNG projects. Prior to Bechtel, Andy worked as a Technical Project Logistics Manager for Alstom Power in Switzerland and prior to that he was a Commercial Manager (Sales, Tendering and Project Management) for Abnormal Load Engineering in the UK.


 


Rina Lawrence
Economic Development Manager
Port Houston

Rina Lawrence is Economic Development Manager for Port Houston. In her role, Mrs. Lawrence interacts with brokers, developers, site selectors and real estate professionals, attracting real estate opportunities designed to bring new cargo to Port Houston. She also oversees the Port Authority’s Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) No. 84, which is the largest FTZ in the United States and consists of more than 65 FTZ sites within the larger zone.

Before taking this role, Mrs. Lawrence served as Port Houston’s Marketing Specialist since 2013 and was instrumental in the port’s recent rebranding, strategic marketing efforts and ongoing brand management to raise awareness across the port’s target audiences. She joined the organization in 2012 and has also held a position in Government Relations.

She has served on various committees, including Port Houston’s 2020 Strategic Plan Design Team, which is responsible for shaping and driving the overall direction of the organization. Mrs. Lawrence graduated with honors from The University of Houston and is a recent graduate of the Center for Houston’s Future.


 


Adriana Cruz
Executive Director, Economic Development & Tourism
Office of Governor Greg Abbott

In October 2019, Adriana Cruz was appointed to lead the Governor’s Economic Development and Tourism Office. The Office markets Texas as one of the world’s premier business and travel destinations. As Executive Director, Cruz provides leadership to Business and Community Development, Economic Development Finance, Texas Tourism, Texas Workforce Investment Council, Texas Music Office, and the Texas Film Commission.

Cruz has more than 20 years of leadership experience in economic development, marketing, and international business. Prior to her appointment to lead the Texas Economic Development and Tourism Office, Cruz was President of the Greater San Marcos Partnership, the regional economic development organization established to encourage and nurture economic growth in San Marcos, and Hays and Caldwell Counties. Previously, Cruz was the Vice President of Global Corporate Recruitment for the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

In April 2020, Cruz was appointed by Governor Greg Abbott to the Strike Force to Open Texas, a team of nationally recognized private and public leaders to advise the Governor on safely and strategically reopening the state of Texas. In January 2020, Governor Greg Abbott appointed Cruz to the Advisory Council on Cultural Affairs, and named her vice chair of the council. In 2021, the Governor appointed Cruz to the Texas Freight Advisory Committee. She also serves on the Texas Economic Development Council and the Texas Workforce Investment Council. In addition, from 2016 to 2019, she served on the Texas Economic Incentives Oversight Board, to review the efficiency of Texas’ incentive programs.

In 2016, she won the Austin Business Journal’s Profiles in Power: Central Texas Women of Influence Award. Cruz holds a B.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Texas at Austin, has been married for 34 years to her husband Rik, and has three grown children living in the Austin area.


 


B.J. Simon
President/CEO
Baytown-West Chambers County Economic Development Foundation

B. J. Simon is President/CEO of the Baytown-West Chambers County Economic Development Foundation: www.baytownedf.org. Simon, at the Foundation since 2005, engages in most aspects of economic development including business recruitment, retention & expansion, business development, labor analyses, workforce development, public policy, market research, marketing, retail development, contract administration, and strategic planning.

Simon serves on the boards of various civic and professional organizations including the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) Gulf Coast Economic Development District (Vice President), the H-GAC Air Emission Reduction Credit Organization (Director), the H-GAC Transportation Advisory Committee, and the Baytown Housing Authority.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Simon’s professional experience encompassed contributions in the upstream, midstream, and downstream oil and gas industry, including 2 decades in the petrochemical industry with ExxonMobil and the Cities Service Company, holding assignments in quality engineering, process improvement, and organization development.


 

 

Trae Campble
Director, Environmental Affairs
Port Houston

Trae Camble is Director of the Environmental Affairs Department at Port Houston. Trae has been with the Port since 2015. Trae’s focus at the Port has been to reduce emissions from Port operations and to work with external stakeholders on sustainability initiatives.

Trae is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Trae earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA.

Trae began in the environmental field with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality as an Environmental Scientist and has also worked in the oil and gas field as an Environmental Manager and Training Manager. He has extensive experience in planning, permitting, and inspections in the oil and gas industry, maritime, and public sector.


 


Lee Kindberg, Head of Environment & Sustainability, North America Maersk

Lee Kindberg
Head of Environment & Sustainability, North America
Maersk

Kindberg is Head of Environment and Sustainability for Maersk in North America, responsible for vessel compliance and initiatives, stakeholder outreach and customer support on supply chain sustainability in North America.

Dr. Kindberg currently serves on the Marine Board of the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine and the Transportation Research Board’s Standing Committee on Marine Environment. She served on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act Advisory Committee and Mobile Source Technical Review Subcommittee and co-chaired the EPA Ports Workgroup from 2014-2016. She is also active in the Clean Cargo initiative, a global group dedicated to assessing and improving the environmental impact of shipping.

Dr. Kindberg received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Alabama and a Doctorate in Chemistry from the University of South Carolina. She completed the Competent Boards Certificate program and was granted their Global Competent Board Designation (GCB.D) in January 2020. (https://competentboards.com/). She has an extensive background in the chemical industry, where she was Director of Government Relations & Environmental Science for the Hoechst Celanese Fibers & Specialty Chemicals Groups. She was active in national and state industry groups and served on the Boards of several state chemical and industry associations. She joined Maersk in 2005.


 


David Cummins
President & CEO
Blue Sky Maritime Coalition

David Cummins is President of the Blue Sky Maritime Coalition, a non-profit, strategic alliance formed to accelerate the transition of waterborne transportation in Canada and the United States toward net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Prior to his current role, Cummins worked as an executive with Shell with more than 35 years’ experience covering many locations around the world as well as many diverse businesses and skill areas. Cummins was Shell’s Commercial and Business Development Manager for Shipping & Maritime, Americas, and before that served as Vice President of Shell Korea Limited, managing relationships with Korean shipyards and heavy industry. Cummins previously contributed to Shell’s success in global strategy development, change management, commercial deal making, new business development, strategic customer account management, divestment and portfolio deal teams, capital project planning & execution, technical management, and corporate redesign.


 


Maria Aguirre, Director of Community Relations Port HoustonMaria Aguirre
Director of Community Relations
Port Houston

Maria Aguirre joined Port Houston in 2021 and is the Director of Community Relations. She has 10 years of experience in social responsibility and community relations. She has worked in Oil and Gas, non-profits, and government entities

Prior to joining the Port, Aguirre worked at Avenue CDC where she served as the Director of Community Initiatives. Her accomplishments include securing over a million dollars in grants and leading the community revitalization efforts for the Northline Community. She was also part of implementing the BUILD health challenge grant that helped refer 700 homes to the Health Department Lead Abatement program.

Maria was also selected as the 2020 Houston Texans Campeón de la Comunidad, which honors an outstanding leader in the Latino community who is making a positive impact on the city of Houston through service and dedication to a local non-profit.

Maria is a Cum Laude graduate of Baylor University, with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. She is also a Certified Associate in Project Management. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Psychology from Harvard University – Extension school.


 


Shareen Larmond
President
West Gulf Maritime Association

Shareen Larmond is President of the West Gulf Maritime Association, a maritime trade association representing the interests of almost 200 companies in the maritime community. Its membership includes ocean carriers, operators, ports, agents, terminal companies and stevedores located in all Texas ports as well as in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The Association primarily negotiates and administers the multi-employer collective bargaining agreements with the International Longshoremen’s Association within its jurisdiction. Her official appointment on January 31, 2018, as President made Ms. Larmond the first female and first person of color to run the West Gulf Maritime Association in all its 50-year history. It also made her the first female to head a Port Association of its kind in the country.

In 2018, Ms. Larmond increased company profits and has expanded the company’s footprint to New Orleans, Louisiana. She successfully helped in guiding employers through labor negotiations ultimately producing and implementing fourteen collective bargaining agreements ensuring a peaceful labor climate in Texas over the next several years.

In addition to her executive duties at the Association, Ms. Larmond serves as a trustee on several Taft-Hartley and managed health benefit plans with assets totaling over $1.4 billion.

Prior to her appointment as President, Ms. Larmond was employed as the Association’s General Counsel and oversaw all aspects of litigation most notably discrimination and harassment cases as well as enforcement of the multi-employer collective bargaining agreements.

Prior to her maritime work, Shareen Larmond served as General Counsel for State Senator John Whitmire, Dean of the Texas Senate. For five years, she performed advanced and complex legal and legislative analytical work in both Austin and Houston. Ms. Larmond was fortunate to have a part in many of the major criminal justice reforms that took place in 2007.

She is active in both the maritime and local communities. She is a board member for the Lower Kirby Pearland Management District. She has been a board member of the District since its statutory creation in 2007 and currently serves as the District’s President. She also serves on the Gulf Coast Workforce Board. Ms. Larmond is a Co-Administrator for the J.H. “Buddy” Raspberry Scholarship Trust Fund which awards educational scholarships for certain individuals in the maritime industry. She also held prior positions as board member at the Julia C. Hester House and Vice Chair of the Greater Houston Partnership’s State Relations Subcommittee.

Shareen Larmond received her Bachelor of Science in Corporate Communications from the University of Texas at Austin. She completed her legal education at Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of Texas, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court.


 


Alan Robb
Assistant General Organizer, International Longshoremen’s Association
President, South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District, ILA, AFL-CIO

Alan A. Robb was unanimously re-elected to a second term as Assistant General Organizer, International Longshoremen’s Association at the union’s quadrennial convention in July 2019. He was first elected to that post in 2015. A native of Houston, Texas and a 41-year-veteran of the ILA, Robb was also elected president of the South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District, ILA, in July 2018.

Robb began his career as an ILA longshoreman in 1979 where he cleaned forklifts as a member of ILA Local 1273. He also worked in maintenance with ILA Local 1330. Locals 1273 and 1330 would merge in 1983, becoming ILA Local 28 and Robb would be elected chairman of that local’s Executive Board in 1984.

Robb’s career with ILA Local 28 would culminate in 2001 with his election as President. In 2001, he also was elected a Vice President and Executive Board member of the South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District, ILA. This District represents ILA members on the Atlantic Coast from North Carolina to Florida and along the Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas.

Robb’s first appointment to the International came in 2005 when he was appointed International Representative. That same year, he was named a Representative for the South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District.

Robb was named ILA Education Director in 2013.

For the past five years, Robb has served on the board of the ILA’s Civil Rights Committee and locally, in his home port of Houston, he serves as a board member for both Houston’s East End Chamber of Commerce and the Houston Maritime Museum.

Alan Robb comes from a rich maritime history. His father was a Scottish merchant marine who met Alan’s mother aboard a military supply ship transporting military goods to Europe during the Second World War. Alan’s parents emigrated to New York City where his father worked for a steamship agency in New York City beginning in 1946. In 1948, Alan’s father took a job on the Houston waterfront with a local stevedoring company that employed ILA.

Alan Robb and his wife, Barbara are the parents of two daughters, Alex and Sydney and the family resides in League City, Texas.


 


Brian Fielkow
Strategic Advisor and Board Member
The GTI Group

Brian Fielkow is a business executive and a speaker, author, and consultant. He has presented internationally to tens of thousands of people on building vibrant company and safety cultures.

Brian serves as a strategic advisor to and board member of Montreal based The GTI Group. Previously, as the CEO and Founder of Jetco Delivery LLC, Brian grew the team to a diverse 240+ workforce, creating a cohesive culture focused on a safety-focused environment and diversity, equity, and inclusion mindset. He achieved a driver attrition rate of less than 20%, compared to the 100%+ industry average.

Brian has led his businesses with a simple philosophy: If you are strong on the inside, you become unbeatable on the outside.” Brian is a people- and capability-builder who unlocks potential in individuals and teams to maximize performance, profits, and competitive advantage.

Brian is credited with enabling 2 successful exits: The Peltz Group to Waste Management and Jetco to The GTI Group.

Brian is the author of several books and articles including Leading People Safely: How to Win on the Business Battlefield. His new book, Unbeatable Engagement, will publish in 2023.


Houston International Maritime Conference 2022