Nola Propeller Club To Honor Joel Whitehead

The New Orleans Propeller Club will honor Rear Adm. Joel Whitehead, retired former commander of the Eighth Coast Guard District, as the 2021 Maritime Person of the Year. Whitehead will be recognized for his contributions to the maritime industry of Greater New Orleans.

The 87th annual Maritime Person of the Year Gala will be held November 2.

Whitehead is executive vice president of the International Propeller Club of the United States in Fairfax, Va., and president of J. Whitehead & Associates Inc., a maritime consulting firm in metro New Orleans. He retired from the Coast Guard in 2009 as commander of the Eighth District, where he was responsible for operations in 26 states including the entire Gulf of Mexico.

Whitehead is the immediate past president of the International Propeller Club, the vice president of the Greater New Orleans Council of the Navy League of the U.S. and a member of the board of directors of the New Orleans Propeller Club. He also currently serves on a National Academy of Sciences study to recommend engineering and regulatory solutions to improve small passenger vessel safety. In addition, Whitehead serves on Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’ Military Advisory Council.

Sign up for Waterway Journal's weekly newsletter.Our weekly newsletter delivers the latest inland marine news straight to your inbox including breaking news, our exclusive columns and much more.

A 1975 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy, Whitehead also holds a master’s degree in public administration from the State University of New York at Albany. He completed fellowships as a national security fellow at Harvard University and as a fellow in foreign politics and international relations at M.I.T. He holds a merchant marine license as Master of Vessels of less than 1,600 Gross Tons upon Oceans and as 2nd Mate of Unlimited Tons upon Oceans.

For more information about the event, visit