In the past, I have railed against government regulation, called for recreational boater licensing and even dredged up old stories and anecdotes about the history of the inland rivers and the characters that navigate them. This time, however, my column is all about my daughter, Capt. Terri Bernstein, and how proud I am of her.
This month in Houston, Terri will assume the presidency of the Passenger Vessel Association. Her peers recognized Terri’s dedication to both the industry and to PVA. I am very proud of Terri. She grew up in a very challenging family business, became a licensed mariner and then decided to seek the leadership of the association that represents the interests of the passenger vessel industry.
In 1988, I was elected president of the National Association of Passenger Vessel Owners (NAPVO), the precursor to PVA. Back then PVA was made up of a small group of passenger vessel operators primarily located on the inland river system. It was a small association run by volunteers, and the issues we had to deal with seemed nearly insurmountable.
Terri represents the next generation of leaders in our industry. They are young, bright, energetic and passionate about the passenger vessel industry. They meet the challenges facing the industry head on, while creatively looking for opportunities that will promote change and continuous improvement in passenger vessel operations.
Terri takes the helm of a more complex association than the one I headed up 25 years ago. She will be faced with many more challenges than I had to deal with. The issues the industry must tackle continue to grow and lead times for responding to the challenges are shrinking.
I am confident that Terri and her PVA colleagues will continue to make solid progress improving safety, security and risk management. They will develop clear and sophisticated messages for lawmakers and regulators and will call for regulation that is more coordinated and economically justified. They will build upon the credibility and reputation of PVA to work for the betterment of our industry.
I believe that Terri, PVA and its leaders are definitely up to the task.