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Richards joins shipping association board

Working together: Kevin Richards, left, of the Bermuda Business Development Agency, with BISA board members Felicia Govender, James Watlington, Angelique Burgess and Clive Langley (Photograph supplied)

Kevin Richards has joined the board of the Bermuda International Shipping Association.

Mr Richards is a business development manager with the Bermuda Business Development Agency, and one of his areas of focus is shipping.

He described the shipping association as “an important part of Bermuda’s shipping ecosystem”.

He added: “Historically, BISA has been a strong voice in Bermuda’s shipping industry and the organisation is dedicated to attracting more young Bermudians to a variety of careers.

“I look forward to working with BISA members to help grow this important sector.”

The association was established in 1995 and relaunched in 2013. It brings together maritime-related shipping interests on the island to promote Bermuda as a global shipping jurisdiction. BISA also provides support for local students planning to enter the field.

Angelique Burgess, deputy chairman of BISA, said: “Kevin has been involved with many shipping industry initiatives over the last two years to attract more business to the island and I’m confident he will be committed to assisting BISA achieve its goals and objectives.”

At the BDA Richards has worked closely with industry stakeholders to help reinvigorate the island’s shipping sector and encourage new business to Bermuda, including superyachts around the America’s Cup events. He leads a BDA shipping industry focus group whose members comprise related sectors, from insurance, ship-management and yacht marinas to the world-class ship registry administered by the Bermuda Shipping and Maritime Authority, which became an autonomous non-governmental unit last year.

Mr Richards said: “With the recent maritime renaissance in Bermuda, Bisa’s role has become increasingly important. The organisation will play a central part in determining the extent of growth we will see going forward.”

BISA supports students in the maritime field through mentor programmes such as the Bermuda Sloop Foundation and the Bermuda Sea Cadets Corps, and awards scholarships to those pursuing shipping-related careers.

An example is this summer’s voyages for students being offered aboard Spirit of Bermuda.

Three opportunities for teenagers include the Girl’s Coastal Skiller Voyage, from July 10 to 14, for students aged 14 or above; a month-long co-ed Overseas Voyage with tallships for students aged 16 and above, which starts on July 20, and a Boys’ Coastal Skiller Voyage from August 28 to September 1 for students aged 14 and above.

Additionally, BISA is partnering with the Bermuda Sloop Foundation to offer a $1,500 scholarship to a Bermudian middle-schooler to attend Spirit of Bermuda courses. Applications are now being accepted for the Charlotte Watlington Student Voyage Scholarship, which must be submitted by June 30.

Mr Richards said: “There are opportunities for Bermudians in the maritime sector.

“Our island has a rich maritime history, so it’s important to have career opportunities for ship captains and engineers, marine pilots, ship managers, accountants and insurance professionals.

“By building a pipeline of talent, Bermuda will be able to provide the human capital necessary to make growth in this sector sustainable and provide the diversification our economy needs to thrive.”

For more information on Spirit of Bermuda opportunities for students, e-mail: education.manager@bermudasloop.org.

For more information on the Charlotte Watlington Student Voyage Scholarship, e-mail: stephen.rossiter.bda@gmail.com