Capital Link Announces 2018 Greek Shipping Leadership Award Winners

award winners
from left to right: Nicolas Bornozis, Odysseas Laskaridis, Captain Panagiotis N.Tsakos, Panos Laskaridis, Dr. George A. Gratsos, Takis Arapoglou

Published Feb 21, 2018 5:05 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Thursday, February 8, 2018, during the luncheon of the Capital Link’s 9th Annual Greek Shipping Forum, the 2018 Capital Link Greek Shipping Leadership Award was presented to Panos Laskaridis and Athanasios Laskaridis.

Laskaridis is the President of European Community Shipowners  Associations; CEO, Lavinia Corporation/Laskaridis Shipping Company, and Laskaridis is the Chairman and CEO of Lavinia Corporation, Lavinia Enterprises and Laskaridis Shipping Company. 

The award was given in recognition of their unique and extensive contribution to shipping and Greece and for the overall outstanding service to the shipping industry made by each of them individually, by their family and by their companies.

The Capital Link Greek Shipping Leadership Award is presented annually to a leader of the Greek shipping community who has gained the respect and the appreciation of the international shipping industry and who is also recognized for their wisdom, philanthropy and contribution to society.  The award aims to recognize the leaders of Greek shipping, those pioneers making a significant contribution to elevating Greek shipping to its leadership position globally.

Previous honorees were: in 2013 Captain Panagiotis N.Tsakos, 2014 Pericles Panagopoulos, 2015 Lambros Varnavides, Vice Chairman of the Baltic Exchange, Trustee of the Lloyds Register Foundation and Managing Director and Global Head of Shipping RBS 1998 to 2014, 2016 Nicolas, George and Andreas Tsavliris of the Tsavliris Salvage Group and 2017, Professor Costas Th. Grammenos CBE DSc, LRF Chair in Shipping, Trade & Finance, Chairman, Costas Grammenos Centre for Shipping, Trade & Finance, Cass Business School, City, University of London, 

The award ceremony took place during the official luncheon of the Capital Link’s 9th Annual Greek Shipping Forum at the Divani Caravel Hotel in Athens. More than 500 high level participants attended the luncheon representing the elite of the financial and investment communities, as well business and government leaders from the U.S., Greece and London.

Capital Link’s President, Nicolas Bornozis, said in his introductory remarks: “It is an honor that today we presented the Capital Link Greek Shipping Leadership Award to Messrs. Panos Laskaridis and Athanasios Laskaridis in recognition of their unique contribution to the shipping industry.”

Dr. George A. Gratsos - HELMEPA Chairman introducing Laskaridis said: “I have known Panos Laskaridis since the 1980s. He is in every way a very accomplished individual in all aspects concerning the maritime field and a leading businessman. Among other distinctions, he also has degrees in mechanical engineering and naval architecture from leading world universities. 

“His C.V. is second to no one’s. He is very involved in international shipping matters being the current President of the European Community Shipowners Association, member of the executive committees and boards of many other international shipping related organizations and learned societies. He is also involved in many land based and tourist industries. 

“Importantly he is a great philanthropist who has devoted a lot of time and effort to improve health, education and access to knowledge of the disadvantaged. He is President of the Aikaterini Laskaridou Foundation and Library with its impressive collection of books, which provides, among others, educational programs and lectures to, mostly, young people by important scholars in the arts and sciences, in order to broaden their perspective on life and culture. 

“Panos Laskaridis has also undertaken the repair of several of Greece’s historical lighthouses, upgraded Navy and Coastguard ships, has assisted in deep sea archaeological explorations and has been involved in many philanthropic activities.”

Laskaridis - President, European Community Shipowners Associations; CEO, Lavinia Corporation / Laskaridis Shipping Co. said in his speech: “I am grateful to the organisers for this prestigious distinction. I feel it reflects more on my lifelong friends and partners, my family and my brother rather on whatever people feel I have achieved.

“For over 40 years I have devoted my life to ships, shipowning and shipmanagement. I have been very lucky to meet and work with many excellent executives and shipowners, most of them more accomplished than myself, who have taught me all I know about the business.

“Shipping is today very different from what it was when I first entered work 40 years ago.  Since then, shipping has undergone a sea of change. Regulation is one of the most important.  Global versus regional regulation is another problem. Environemental concerns and public pressures are also predominant as the business looks forward into developments that will shape shipping policies over the next 20-30 years. This is the work of politicians, and it is the duty of the shipping bodies to engage strongly in these challenging discussions.

“European shipping policy is today dealing with many of the most important aspects of future policy, and it is the duty of the shipping and shipowning community through their representative associations to actively pursue these discussions. Greece is currently chairing the European Shipowners Association, and we are trying to advance these discussion to the benefit of the entire shipping industry”.

Takis Arapoglou – Chairman, Tsakos Energy Navigation (TEN) Ltd, introduced Laskaridis by saying: “It is a great honor to be asked to introduce Thanassis Laskaridis, a close friend of four decades, on the occasion of the prestigious award presented to him by Capital Link. His remarkable success of heading today a broad array of businesses, ranging from shipping to real estate, entertainment and tourism spread around the globe, is a product of great vision and astuteness. Exceptionally well informed about a vast range of topics, he has never hesitated to openly express his views on all things that matter. 

“Thanassis Laskaridis combines foresight and determination with realism in his decisions for every move. Hard working throughout his life, he always makes sure to be close to his family and loyal to his friends. His and his whole family’s focus to support good causes and to give back to the community are an additional reason to warmly congratulate him, as well as to thank Capital Link for awarding him today this very special recognition.”  

Arapoglou presented the award to Laskaridis, Managing Director - Laskaridis Shipping Company, who addressed the audience saying: “It is a privilege to be here today representing my family, and I can only hope to continue following in my father’s footsteps.

Athanasios Laskaridis, Chairman and CEO, Lavinia Corporation, Lavinia Enterprises Limited and Laskaridis Shipping Company addressed the audience through a video-message: “Global shipping is at regulatory crossroads whose effects are so far unclear. The elements of uncertainty make this business yet again a most interesting and a most challenging one. Greek Shipping in particular, having made great progress despite all odds over the last ten years , now find itself in  a rather advantageous position and with a substantially improved fleet at its disposal . Hardly however the time rest on one’s laurels when the entire Greek fleet is valued at about 100 billion U.S. dollars whilst at the same time many single multinational corporations are worth a multiple of this figure. 

“Greek shipowners can and must do more in Greece to help our country and seek to address socio-economic imbalances, which are at the present time very negatively affecting the infinite success of capitalism worldwide.”

The official lunch was sponsored by Bermuda Business Development Agency.

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