The Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) held its annual Maritime Training Benefit Luncheon April 20 in Houston to highlight and raise support for the organization’s Center for Maritime Education, which offers the inland and blue-water communities simulator training and meeting space in both Paducah, Ky., and Houston.
Those two training centers host more than 1,800 mariners each year, with SCI’s online learning platform serving more than 10,000 crew members. And that’s in addition to the organization’s pastoral care, crisis response and legal advocacy missions.
At this year’s event, SCI also honored Dennis Steger, longtime industry leader and founder of Channel and Lynchburg shipyards. Steger is a former chairman of the Shipyard Council of America and Lone Star Bank. A resident of La Porte, Steger has taken on civic leadership roles over the years, along with serving as vice president and a longtime supporter of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
“It was truly an honor to present a legend like Dennis Steger with the Lifetime Achievement Award, given all that he has done for mariners throughout the inland and Gulf regions,” said the Rev. Mark Nestlehutt, SCI’s president and executive director.
Austin Golding, president and CEO of Golding Barge Line, and Clark Todd, president and CEO of Blessey Marine Services, chaired the event, which also featured a “mariner reflection” by J.R. Miller, captain aboard Golding Barge Line’s mv. Sarah Golding. Cherrie Felder, vice president of Channel Shipyard, offered introductory remarks honoring Steger.
The Rev. Christine Brunson, SCI’s newest chaplain, assigned to the Houston region, offered the opening benediction for the event, while Capt. Stephen Polk, director of SCI’s Center for Maritime Education, spoke on the topic of “excellence in training.”
SCI has been serving mariners for more than 180 years through its presence within the ports of New York and New Jersey, on the inland waterways and along the Gulf Coast. For more information, visit www.seamenschurch.org.
Caption for photo: From left: Austin Golding, president and CEO of Golding Barge Line; SCI Board Chair Bruce Paulsen, partner , Seward & Kissel LLP; Lifetime Achievement Award winner Dennis Steger, founder of Channel and Lynchburg Shipyards; the Rev. Mark Nestlehutt, SCI president and executive director; and Clark Todd, president and CEO of Blessey Marine Services. The Maritime Training Benefit Luncheon was co-chaired by Golding and Todd. (Photo courtesy of Seamen’s Church Institute)