Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Business

Capt. John C. Timmel receives prestigious Parke Wright III Award

We might give the shipyard a passing glance as we drive along the Selmon Expressway.

We might look out at a ship from Bayshore Boulevard and reflect for a moment on this city's long ties to the maritime industry.

For the most part, however, shipping and boating's strong connection to the community tends to be more afterthought than thought for many.

But it is one of the county's economic engines, along with tourism and agriculture. And those most involved with maritime pursuits can't imagine where the industry would be without Capt. John C. Timmel.

Last week, Timmel received the Leadership Tampa Alumni Parke Wright III Award for his leadership, which may be best illustrated by his efforts as the founder of the American Victory Ship Mariners Museum at the Port of Tampa.

A humble Timmel quickly credited colleagues for his success.

"Leadership Tampa is a network of friends who are leaders in their own areas of expertise," Timmel said. "By having those friends and by calling them and asking questions, asking for their assistance to get things done, they push you from a comfortable level to a level of discomfort to get things done.

"They give you the strength to take a chance and follow what your soul tells you do."

Timmel, a native of Fort Walton Beach, came to Tampa in 1984 to be a harbor pilot. He grew to become a leader in a number of harbor pilot and maritime industry organizations, then branched out into other community organizations. He currently serves as Mayor Bob Buckhorn's maritime liaison and on Congresswoman Kathy Castor's National Academy Selection Committee.

"What he's done for the maritime industry, what he's given back to the community, has been Herculean," said Yacht StarShip owner and captain Troy Manthey. "No one has dedicated more time to the cause than John."

It's the American Victory, however, that represents Timmel's crowning achievement. In 1999, he discovered the SS American Victory, a ship commissioned in 1945 to ferry various military cargo shipments, in a Virginia warehouse.

Timmel decided to bring the ship to Tampa and renovate it.

"I remember docking it at dry dock at the shipyard," said Timmel, who was joined by an enthusiastic group of supporters. "We looked at each other and said, 'Now what are going to do?' "

Timmel capitalized on the contagious spirit of the project and rallied the troops. After 80,000 volunteer hours and $3.5 million, the ship emerged in 2003 as a passenger-ready, floating museum.

Today, it serves as a beacon for the past, present and future. It reminds us of those who served back in the day, its status as a museum draws supporters to the port and its appeal attracts the next generation to the industry.

"We would like to become the education outreach arm of the Tampa Port Authority," said Timmel, who added that a number of teenagers have learned about and gone into the maritime industry after visiting the ship.

Timmel is particularly proud of the Scouts who have created projects for the ship to earn Eagle Scout status.

Timmel conceded that generating ongoing support for the American Victory remains a challenge after the Great Recession, but he remains determined to help the project and preserve an important part of maritime history.

"It's an American treasure," he said. "There are only four vessels of its kind in operation: Baltimore, San Francisco and Los Angeles."

Timmel's efforts have put Tampa's maritime industry in pretty good company.

That's all I'm saying.

Comments
Career Q&A: What to do when your boss is stealing

Career Q&A: What to do when your boss is stealing

Q: I strongly suspect that my boss is stealing from our employer. As the property manager for this apartment complex, she handles all payments, deposits and other financial matters.A few weeks ago, I accidentally discovered some suspicious discrepanc...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Pinellas is at the center of a rise in Florida flu outbreaks

Pinellas is at the center of a rise in Florida flu outbreaks

Feeling a little sniffly or scratchy or stuffed up? It may be the flu, and you donít want to wait around to see a doctor this year. This is not the time to write off flu-like symptoms, Tampa Bay area health officials and doctors warn. The influenza v...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Italian Butterfingers? Nestle selling candy business for $2.9B

Italian Butterfingers? Nestle selling candy business for $2.9B

Associated PressNEW YORK ó Swiss food and drink giant Nestle is selling its U.S. candy business to Italyís Ferrero for about $2.9 billion in cash. Ferrero will take over iconic chocolate brands Butterfinger and Crunch bars, as well as the sugary Nerd...
Updated: 6 hours ago
23 seek vacant PSC post

23 seek vacant PSC post

There is another Mariano seeking a job in Tallahassee.Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano, the father of state Rep. Amber Mariano, R-Hudson, is seeking an appointment to the Florida Public Service Commission, the powerful board regulating Florida ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
St. Petersburg’s apartment boom is spreading west

St. Petersburg’s apartment boom is spreading west

ST. PETERSBURG — Still more apartments are coming to St. Petersburg, this time to the Edge and Grand Central Districts just west of downtown. The new projects, all by out-of-state developers and more moderately priced than those downtown, will...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Florida raises insurance regulation grade from C to B

Florida raises insurance regulation grade from C to B

When it comes to regulating insurance, Florida is slowly improving. The Sunshine State raised its grade from a C in 2016 to a B in 2017 on the "R Street 2017 Insurance Regulation Report Card." It ranked No. 15 among all states.The annual report, writ...
Updated: 8 hours ago

US travel industry launches plan to reverse tourism decline

Associated PressNEW YORK ó Travel industry representatives sounded an alarm Tuesday over declines in international tourism to the U.S. and announced plans to reverse the trend. Organizers of the new Visit U.S. Coalition portrayed the decline as long-...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Raymond James advice for small to mid-sized companies about activist shareholders? Prepare and listen

Raymond James advice for small to mid-sized companies about activist shareholders? Prepare and listen

Shareholder fights between activist investors and publicly traded companies are getting nastier, especially in some industries, and a lot of them donít involve corporate giants like General Motors and Procter & Gamble.In 2015, according to Raymond Ja...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Dow bursts through 26,000 in record seven trading days

Dow bursts through 26,000 in record seven trading days

The Dow Jones industrial average blew past 26,000 Tuesday for the first time ever, coming only a week after hitting 25,000 and showing further evidence that the long-running bull market is alive and well."There are several reasons for markets to melt...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Arizona-based AFI Mortgage opens St. Petersburg branch

Arizona-based AFI Mortgage opens St. Petersburg branch

Times StaffAFI Mortgage, a subsidiary of an Arizona-based bank, is opening its first Florida locations in St. Petersburg and Lakeland. Its parent company, AmeriFirst Financial Inc., specializes in mortgages. "This Florida team is innovative, knowledg...
Published: 01/16/18