Ken Johns Receives Connie Award

Two Who Made a Difference

Joseph Bonney   Dec 5, 2011 8:44PM GMT  The Journal of Commerce Online

The Containerization and Intermodal Institute chose well in selecting recipients of awards at CII’s annual New York-New Jersey luncheon.

R. Kenneth Johns, CEO of R.K. Johns Associates and longtime Sea-Land executive, received CII’s Connie Award. Washington attorney Stanley O. Sher was presented the organization’s lifetime achievement award.

The biggest surprise was that Johns and Sher, with a combined total of more than 100 years in the industry, hadn’t already been honored by CII.

Containerization wouldn’t have taken off the way it without being properly sold to customers, or without the development of a supporting system of laws, regulations and commercial practices. Johns and Sher played big roles.

Ken Johns signed on as containerization pioneer Malcom McLean’s first management trainee immediately after graduating from Auburn University. Johns helped sell sometimes doubtful customers on containerization, rose to president of Sea-Land Service and has remained a respected industry leader.

Stan Sher’s impact was on the legal/regulatory side. A founding partner of Sher & Blackwell, which merged with Cozen O’Connor last year, he has represented ocean carriers since 1960. Along the way he’s been involved in virtually every major legislative, regulatory and judicial development affecting the industry over the last 50 years, including the 1984 Shipping Reform Act and 1998 Ocean Shipping Reform Act.

Accepting his award, Sher contrasted containerization’s comparatively peaceful legal climate today with the turmoil and controversy that prevailed during containerization’s formative years of the 1960s and 1970s.

Johns cited the industry’s need for deeper harbors and improved rail connections to handle larger ships, and said beleaguered container ship lines need rate stability to generate the profit they need for continued investment.

“We need something to stabilize the pricing system,” Johns said. “Today it’s a spot market – the rate that exists today doesn’t exist tomorrow. How can you build a business on that if you are a carrier, or if you are a customer?”

— Contact Joseph Bonney at Follow him on Twitter @josephbonney.

R.K Johns Accepting Connie Award

R.K Johns Accepting Connie Award

Connie Award Carafe Presented to R.K. Johns

  Dec 6, 2011 3:28PM GMT

The Journal of Commerce Online – Press Release

Connie Luncheon Held at The Newark Club, December 5; Stanley Sher Given Lifetime Achievement Recognition

NEWARK, N.J. (December 6, 2011) – The Containerization & Intermodal Institute (CII) presented the 2011 Connie Award to Robert Kenneth (Ken) Johns, former president of Sea-Land Service Inc., for his significant influence in containerization in worldwide trade and transportation. The Connie Awards luncheon was held Monday, December 5 at The Newark (NJ) Club and marked 40 years of Connie Awards.

A Lifetime Achievement Award was also presented to Stanley Sher, a maritime attorney in Washington D.C., who has participated in virtually every major legislative initiative and judicial proceeding affecting the regulatory and competition laws governing international shipping in recent history.

“In a career lasting more than 50 years, Ken Johns is universally recognized as a leader of the international containerized ocean shipping industry,” said Allen Clifford, CII president. “Today, the majority of all international trade is transported via the system of containerized ocean shipping that Johns was a key participant in developing from its very beginning. His more recent work in innovative port consultation has broadened his contributions to our industry.”

William Ralph presented Mr. Johns’ award. Mr. Johns served as Sea-Land’s president and chief operating officer from 1979-87. Under Johns’ leadership, Sea-Land prospered as one of the world’s largest, most innovative and successful transportation companies. He joined Sea-Land in 1957 when it was a then-newly organized company in Mobile, Alabama, founded by Malcom McLean. Mr. Johns worked his way through various levels of company management relocating from Mobile to Tampa to Jacksonville to New Orleans and ultimately to New Jersey.

Following his retirement, Ken Johns founded The Hampshire Management Group, Inc., of which he serves as chairman and chief executive officer. The company has been involved in numerous innovative and successful businesses that primarily serve the ocean shipping industry, including, among others: Network America Lines, Inc. (international ocean shipping specializing in trade with the former Soviet Union), Oiltest, Inc. (oil, petrochemical and marine fuel testing and inspection services) and R. K. Johns & Associates, Inc. (maritime business consulting).

In 2001, Johns was inducted into the International Maritime Hall of Fame. He also received Auburn University’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed upon an alumnus by the University. He is a Director of the Chapel of the Four Chaplains, a past Chairman of the National Maritime Council and a Director of the McLean Container Center.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is tendered to those who have not been operationally involved in transportation but have made contributions in support businesses. Stanley Sher is a founding partner of Sher & Blackwell, which joined Cozen O’Connor in 2010. Stan represents international ocean carriers as well as other companies before federal agencies, the courts, and Congress. Before founding Sher & Blackwell in 1991, Mr. Sher spent 30 years in private law practice in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Sher spearheaded industry-wide negotiations on shipping law reform that led to the passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998. He previously represented a large coalition of ocean carriers before Congress during its review and passage of the Shipping Act of 1984, and was selected by the Federal Maritime Commission to serve on the federal advisory committee that reviewed the success of that law. Over the past 40 years, Mr. Sher has participated in virtually every major legislative initiative and judicial proceeding affecting the regulatory and competition laws governing international shipping. Mr. Sher was also an inductee into the International Maritime Hall of Fame in 2009. Jeff Lawrence and Marc Fink presented his award.

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