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Fernando Rivera appointed GM of the CSA

Published:Tuesday | May 5, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Fernando Rivera addresses delegates at the 2014 Caribbean Shipping Association Executive meeting in Miami.

Fernando Rivera

appointed GM of the CSA

Formalising his most recent role in service to an organisation and industry that he reveres, Fernando Rivera has accepted his appointment as general manager of the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA), one of the Caribbean region's most powerful maritime groups.

The announcement comes just one week ahead of the CSA's Executives Conference in the British Virgin Island, set for May 11-13.

A titan in the region's shipping industry, this Puerto Rican native's long and distinguished career is marked by significant milestones in various positions of leadership. This includes serving as the president of the Puerto Rico Shipping Association (1993-2002), where he remains its current executive director, and as president (2006-2009), vice-president (2003-2006) and acting general manager of the CSA (2013-2014).

Rivera's sojourn as a key decision maker in the CSA began in 2001, with his becoming a member of the association's General Council as Group A Representative. Two years later, he served as vice-president in the executive team headed by the first female president of the CSA, Jamaica's Corah Ann Robertson-Sylvester. He succeeded her in 2006 and served as president until 2009.

He was called on again in 2011 to serve as acting general manager ahead of the CSA's annual general meeting held in Puerto Rico. Without any expectations, he accepted this new challenge. When the next AGM was held in Panama, it seemed, again, that no one was more suited to the post, and Rivera was asked to stay on another year in the role.

The CSA returned to Panama in October 2013 for its 43rd AGM, Conference and Exhibition with another Jamaican, Kingston Wharves Limited's Grantley Stephenson as president. Past President Rivera graciously responded to a plea from his peers to continue to share his expertise in his role of acting general manager of the association.

"People will ask me what I am doing working so much at my age," shared the 72-year-old Rivera in a recent interview. "But really, as long as God gives me the health, the strength, and the passion that I have now, I will continue to help out," he added.

"The day you don't enjoy what you are doing, then it's time to quit," he said of his decision to accept the appointment that cements his role as CSA's general manager.

Rivera credits his success to the support of various compatriots, including the outgoing CSA president, Grantley Stephenson, and past presidents, Corah Ann Robertson-Sylvester and Carlos Urriola-Tam.

all types of people

"This organisation consists of all types of people. Although we are all Caribbean, we are from different cultures. You have Spanish, French, English-speaking, Dutch, and you have to deal with people on an individual basis. You've got to respect all. And really, I work for all of my members. They are all my bosses and I have to make sure that I take care of their needs as much as I can," he said.

As general manager, Rivera oversees the secretariat of the CSA, which is based at the Shipping Association of Jamaica headquarters in Kingston. He is emphatic about maintaining an open-door policy so that those he serves can easily share their suggestions about how his team can serve them better.

The secretariat provides full-time administrative support for the activities of the association's General Council; while planning content and logistics for the CSA's Caribbean Shipping Executives Conference and the Annual General Meeting, Conference and Exhibition each year.