The National Maritime Historical Society

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2017 Annual Awards Dinner – A Very Special Night!


The National Maritime Historical Society is honored to recognize three most esteemed recipients at its gala 2017.  Annual Awards Dinner Chairman George W. Carmany III, previous recipient of the NMHS Distinguished Service Award, and Dinner Vice Chairman Christopher J. Culver, invite your Sponsorship support for this event.  Please see the Sponsorship Package for details on this spectacular event!

Support this year’s Beacon of Light educational initiatives.  The Silent Auction is open and the Live Auction is now online as well – let us do the bidding for you!  See the extensive array of items this year, and call  914-737-7878 ext. 0 or email to be set up with your own personal bidding representative!

NMHS will present the NMHS Distinguished Service Award to Brian D’Isernia, American sailor, fisherman, shipbuilder, and maritime heritage preservationist, whose career spans nearly 50 years. Founder and owner of a four vessel commercial fishing enterprise out of New Bedford, Massachusetts, Mr. D’Isernia progressed from commercial fishing into vessel construction, opening the Eastern Shipbuilding Group of Panama City, Florida, in 1976. Today, Eastern’s history includes a portfolio of over 350 vessels. Mr. D’Isernia built a steel hull replica of Columbia, the historic 141’ Gloucester fishing schooner which had been built at the A. D. Story shipyard of Essex, Massachusetts, designed by William Starling Burgess. Brian D’Isernia discovered the original lines plan of the Columbia in the Essex Shipbuilding Museum in Massachusetts. He took the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream of bringing a significant piece of maritime history back to life. 24th Commandant of the US Coast Guard, Admiral Robert J. Papp Jr., USCG (Ret.), will present the award.

Captain Bert Rogers, Executive Director of Tall Ships America, will receive the NMHS Distinguished Service Award. He has served as bosun, rigger, mate, captain and educator aboard many sailing school vessels and traditional sailing ships. Between 1985 and 1993, he developed, directed, and served as captain for programs aboard  schooner Spirit of Massachusetts, sailing from Penobscot Bay to the north coast of South America conducting sail training and ocean education programs. Captain Rogers joined forces with Alix Thorne and became executive director of Ocean Classroom Foundation, which taught sail training aboard schooners Harvey Gamage, Spirit of Massachusetts and Westward. He is a major influence in the preservation of the skills to maintain and operate historic ships, and in the promotion of the public’s interest and appreciation of tall ships, and in supporting the continuing professional education and safety standards for those crewing today’s tall ships. His dedication is unwavering. Sea History editor Deirdre O’Regan will make the presentation.

NMHS overseer, Philip J. Webster, will receive the David A. O’Neil Sheet Anchor Award. Mr. Webster is the active founding chairman of the National Maritime Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C., of which there have been seven successful dinners promoting the signifi cance of our maritime heritage in the nation’s capital. The dinners support our efforts to advocate for federal funding for the maritime heritage community and fl ourish as a result of Mr. Webster’s leadership, commitment and vision. As a trustee he served as a progressive Development Chairman. He has written for Sea History. Mr. Webster comes from a family of mariners; his great grandfather was a clipper ship captain; his grandfather was the author of the 1927 Old Sailing Ships of New England. He has been a dynamic trustee and overseer whose vision and talent have been of great benefit to the Society.  George W. Carmany III will present the award.

Richard T. du Moulin, award-winning yachtsman, will be Master of Ceremonies. The US Coast Guard Academy Cadet Chorale, directed by Dr. Robert Newton will provide the entertainment.

For more information on sponsorship or tickets, please see the Sponsorship Package and contact Vice President Wendy Paggiotta by email at or by phone at 914-737-7878, ext. 235.

We thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you soon!

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