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Keynote Speakers

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Tuesday, September 26th, from 1:40 - 2:00 PM

Vice Admiral Joanna Nunan

14th Superintendent of the United States Merchant Marine Academy

Vice Admiral Joanna Nunan assumed command of the United States Merchant Marine Academy on December 8, 2022. She is the first woman in Academy history to hold this role.

Nunan, who spent more than three decades in the U.S. Coast Guard, has commanded units at multiple levels, both afloat and ashore. Before her retirement, she was the Coast Guard’s Deputy for Personnel Readiness. In that role, she oversaw the Coast Guard’s entire personnel enterprise, including the recruitment, training, support, and retention of all active duty, reserve, and civilian personnel. She also supervised the Coast Guard Academy and served on its Board of Trustees.  

She also served as the Assistant Commandant for Human Resources. In that role, among her many responsibilities, she helped spearhead efforts to expand diversity and inclusion in the Coast Guard, including formulating policy changes focused on increasing the retention of women in the service. She also served as a member of the Coast Guard’s Sexual Assault Prevention, Response, and Recovery Committee.

Earlier in her career, she served as the Military Advisor to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and John Kelly, as well as the Military Assistant to Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. She also served more than nine years at sea—including commanding two buoy tenders—and previously served as the Commander of the Ninth Coast Guard District and as Commander of Coast Guard Sector Honolulu. 

A Bridgeport, Connecticut native, Nunan graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1987 and received her Master of Business Administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic. She also holds several Coast Guard merchant marine licenses, including Master of vessels of not more than 1,600 gross tons and 3rd Mate on vessels of unlimited tonnage upon oceans. 


Tuesday, September 26th, from 2:00 - 2:20 PM

Byron Miller - Chief Commercial Offices with the SCPA.

Byron Miller leads all sales, marketing, and business development efforts at SC Ports, growing and diversifying South Carolina’s cargo base.

Byron joined SC Ports in 1993 and worked in many leadership positions across the organization.  Since he joined the commercial group in 2012, the Port of Charleston has earned the title of the nation’s fastest-growing top 10 seaports.

Byron held several roles including director of sales where he worked collaboratively with many of SC Ports’ largest customers in the automotive, manufacturing, and distribution sectors and helped to develop solutions for their end-to-end supply chain objectives.

A South Carolina native, Byron has been active with various professional associations and community organizations and was previously named the Charleston region’s “Transportation Leader of the Year” and the Propeller Club Member of the Year.

He earned bachelor’s degrees in business and French from The College of Charleston, with a concentration in global logistics.

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Tuesday, September 26th, from 3:30 - 4:00 PM

Gordon Schreck - Retired - Distinguished Visiting Adjunct Professor of Admiralty and Maritime Law at the Charleston School of Law

Since his retirement from active practice in 2018, Gordon has held an appointment as Distinguished Visiting Adjunct Professor of Admiralty and Maritime Law at the Charleston School of Law, relying on his 50-plus years of experience representing the world's leading shipping lines and their marine insurers in a wide range of maritime disputes and casualties, including cargo loss and damage, salvage and towage, personal injuries and death, and marine-related oil and hazardous chemical spills. As the Port of Charleston emerged as one of the nation's leading ocean container ports, Gordon's practice focused largely on intermodal container shipping litigation, representing virtually all of the major containership operators requiring legal assistance here. He has served as lead trial counsel in numerous high-profile maritime cases, working closely with ocean carriers' in-house counsel and their marine hull and P&I underwriters, for which he has been recognized in Chambers USA.

A former director of the Maritime Law Association of the US, Gordon continues to serve on its ad hoc committee supporting the ratification of the U.N. Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea (the "Rotterdam Rules"). He is also an at-large representative on the U.S. Coast Guard's Maritime Security Committee for the Port of Charleston and serves as Chair Emeritus of the Maritime Association of South Carolina.


Wednesday, September 27th, from 9:00 - 9:20 AM

Vice Admiral Peter W. Gautier -Deputy Commandant for Operations U.S. Coast Guard

Vice Admiral Peter W. Gautier assumed the duties of Coast Guard Deputy Commandant for Operations (DCO) in June 2022. In this capacity, he is responsible for developing operational strategy, policy, guidance, and resources that address national priorities. This oversight of Coast Guard missions, programs, and services includes intelligence; international affairs; cyber; the maritime transportation system; commercial regulations and inspections; search and rescue; maritime security; law enforcement; defense operations; environmental response; contingency planning; and the operational capabilities of a cutter, boat, aviation, shore, and deployable specialized forces.

Previously, he served as Deputy Commander Coast Guard Pacific Area, responsible for all Coast Guard missions spanning from the Rocky Mountains west to the waters off the eastern coast of Africa. From 2018 to 2020, he served as Commander Coast Guard Eleventh District in Alameda, California, directing all Coast Guard missions in California and the Eastern Pacific Ocean. During this assignment, he also served as Deputy Director for the Department of Homeland Security Joint Task Force - West. He conducted integrated joint investigations and operations along the Southern border and approached from Texas to California. His first flag assignment was as Director of Governmental and Public Affairs for the Coast Guard, where he was responsible for external engagement with Congress, the media, and other intergovernmental entities.

From 2015 to 2017, he served as the Senior Director for Response Policy on the National Security Council staff, where he coordinated policy for all hazards, domestic incident management, national preparedness exercises, and continuity. From 2011 to 2014, he commanded Sector New Orleans, directing all Coast Guard operations in southeast Louisiana. Previously, he served as the Chief of the Deepwater Horizon Action Office, which oversaw policy resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In addition, he served as Chief of Operations for the Deployable Operations Group; Chief Cargo and Facilities Division at Coast Guard Headquarters; and Commanding Officer of the Gulf Strike Team, where he responded to the World Trade Center attacks, the Shuttle Columbia Disaster, and Hurricane Katrina. In addition, Vice Admiral Gautier served as Chief of Port Operations and Marine Environmental Response at Coast Guard Marine Safety Office San Francisco and as a U.S. Delegate to United Nations and International Maritime Organization committees governing the transportation of hazardous materials. He has also served aboard two Coast Guard cutters and as Commanding Officer of Loran Station Gesashi, Japan.

Vice Admiral Gautier holds a Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, a Master of Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Michigan, and a Master of National Security Strategy from the National War College. His military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, five Legion of Merits, four Meritorious Service Medals, three Coast Guard Commendation medals, the DOT 9/11 Medal, and two Coast Guard Achievement Medals.

Wednesday, September 27th, from 9:20 - 9:40 AM

Jennifer Hedrick, President & CEO,  
Women in Trucking Association

Jennifer Hedrick, CAE, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Women In Trucking Association (WIT).  She assumes full leadership responsibilities from WIT’s founder, Ellen Voie, CAE, on March 16, 2023.  Her responsibilities are to work closely with WIT’s board of directors and staff to oversee initiatives that support WIT’s mission to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments, and minimize obstacles faced by them. 

Hedrick has 17 years of association leadership experience and is an accredited executive by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).  For five years, she led the National Industrial Transportation League (NIT League), focusing on issues across highway, rail, and ocean freight transportation.  In that role, she advocated on behalf of members to create efficiencies throughout the commercial freight transportation network.

In addition, she previously served as Vice President of Association Solutions for MCI USA, where she served as Executive Director and Strategy Manager for several associations, providing full-scale management of operations, staff teams, and outside contractors.  In these capacities, she also served as spokesperson for associations on Capitol Hill, before federal regulators, in trade and national press, and at conferences and other engagements.  Hedrick holds a Master of Arts degree from Virginia Tech and a Bachelor of Science degree from Bridgewater College.


Wednesday, September 27th, from 1:15 - 1:35 PM

Dorothea Ioannou
Chief Executive Officer at Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc., Managers of The American P&I Club

Dorothea Ioannou is the Chief Executive Officer of the Managers of the American P&I Club, the only marine liability not-for-profit mutual domiciled in the United States. The Club is one of only 12 of its kind in the world, making up the International Group of P&I Clubs; she is the first female CEO to lead an International Group club in the Group industry’s 168-year history. Holding a J.D. from St. John's University School of Law and a B.A. from CUNY, her career spans over 30 years, almost all of it in Marine Insurance. After joining the American Club in 2005 as a Claims Executive, she swiftly rose to Claims Manager, Regional Business Development Director, Global Business Development Director, Chief Commercial Officer, and then Deputy Chief Operating Officer in 2020, when she was also appointed Secretary of the Club’s Board of Directors. Winner of the 2017 Lloyd’s List Global Next Generation Shipping Award, the 2022 Seatrade Maritime Diversity & Inclusion Award, and International Personality of the Year at the 2022 Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Awards, Dorothea is active in the maritime industry and has held positions such as VP of WISTA Hellas, Chair of WISTA International Nominations Committee, served on the Piraeus Marine Club Board and the Board of Governors of the International Propeller Club of the United States – Port of Piraeus and a member of the Propeller Club Port of NY/NJ.

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