The Working Harbor Committee of New York and New Jersey (WHC) will honor Capt. James DeSimone at its 14th Annual Gala Award Reception May 14 in New York City.

The event will be held from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Down Town Association, 60 Pine Street in New York. The award will be presented at 7 p.m. by Andrew Genn, senior vice president for ports and transportation with the city Economic Development Corporation.

John DeSimone

James DeSimone

DeSimone, a well-known member of the local maritime community in New York Harbor, is deputy commissioner in the city Department of Transportation and chief operating officer for the Staten Island Ferry. Prior to joining NYCDOT in 2004, he held senior management positions in the high-speed ferry and towing and transportation sectors of the maritime industry.

The WHC is a non-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen awareness of the working harbor’s history and vitality today. Now in its 14th year, the award in past years has gone executive Bethann Rooney of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, former WHC chair Roberta Weisbrod (now executive director of the Worldwide Ferry Safety Association), Capt. Andrew McGovern, president of the Sandy Hook Pilots, and John Atkins, president of Global Container Terminals.

DeSimone previously served as commandant of cadets and master of the training ship Empire State at the State University of New York Maritime College, where he was responsible for all college activities external to academic affairs, in addition to the operation of the training ship.

During his seagoing career beginning in the early 1970s, he sailed in all shipboard capacities up to and including master and as port captain for various companies. His SUNY involvement goes back to his childhood days. DeSimone grew up on the campus, where his father was a faculty member and department head.

For further information about the event, email [email protected] or call (212) 757-1600 To purchase tickets online, or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, visit