Capt Heinrich Schoeller, Chairman of Columbia Shipmanagement (CSM) and the Columbia Board of Directors, welcomed over 600 invited guests, staff and senior management to a party in the grounds of the company’s offices in Limassol, Cyprus to celebrate 40 years of Columbia supplying quality shipmanagement services to the global shipping industry.
The event, which was one of the main attractions of Maritime Cyprus, attracted some of the biggest names in worldwide shipping and combined great networking with excellent musical entertainment. The Gala Dinner was the culmination of a busy day for CSM as the company was delighted to earlier welcome the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization to its offices in Limassol. His Excellency Kitack Lim took the opportunity to speak about the importance of the human element and took the time to meet Columbia’s Directors and clients. He was given a first-hand tour of Columbia’s state-of-the-art Performance Optimisation Control Room. He was accompanied on the visit by Dr. Heike Deggim, Director of the Maritime Safety Division of the IMO. CSM this week also welcomed Ms. Sadan Kaptanoglu, President of BIMCO, to its Limassol offices for a live interview on the topic of women in shipping. Ms. Kaptanoglu is a shipowner and a shipyard owner and aside from her BIMCO duties, is Chief Executive Officer of Kaptanoglu Shipping. Addressing guests at the dinner, Mark O’Neil of Columbia Shipmanagement, paid tribute to the people of Columbia “without whose help, all of the hard work and achievement would not be possible. “When I say people, I mean our hard-working crew who sacrifice so much in running the vessels we manage for our valued clients. I also refer to our fantastic shore-based staff and to our fantastic clients. We are a service-based company and we take pride in working closely with our clients every step of the way. And I would also like to thank our valued partners who help us deliver the service we are able to deliver to our clients,” he said. Mr O’Neil also paid tribute to the hard work being undertaken in boosting the number of important services now available to company clients. These include establishment of its industry-facing procurement service GenPro; Columbia’s state-of-the-art Performance Optimisation Control Room as well as the e-learning platform it has put in place together with Adobe, “which allows us to tailor the precise training packages needed by our individual seafarers,” he said. CSM has also made major gains in the offshore management sector through the establishment of CSM Energy and is delighted to be partnering MCTC Consultancy in the important area of catering and nutrition development onboard ship. “I Care and CSM Together represent the commitment adopted by the company to live by its core values, vision, mission, policies and procedures and to apply these principles of diversity and equal opportunity to everything we do,” Mr O’Neil said. “We are also the first company to have set up a 24/7 mental health hotline for our seafarers. By working with two dedicated psychologists, we can work with crew who need help. We are very proud to be able to take the industry lead through this very important initiative,” he added. Mr O’Neil finally paid tribute to CSM’s founder and Chairman Capt Heinrich Schoeller, “who established CSM 40 years ago and, as they say, the rest is history. Today is our birthday but we are proud to say that the values he put in place 40 years ago are still present today”.