Port Manatee’s senior communications manager, Virginia Zimmermann, is The International Propeller Club of the United States’ International Member of the Year, selected from among more than 6,000 members throughout the world.
Zimmermann received the global honor at an Oct. 17 luncheon during the maritime industry group’s 93rd annual International Convention and Conference in New Orleans.
“We are exceptionally proud of Virginia for having been chosen for this prestigious award,” said Carlos Buqueras, Port Manatee’s executive director. “Not only does this well-deserved honor acknowledge Virginia’s outstanding accomplishments in advancing the Port Manatee Propeller Club, but, moreover, it recognizes the significance of Port Manatee in the worldwide maritime arena.”
Established in 1922, The International Propeller Club of the United States is a business network and service organization with more than 80 affiliates at ports throughout the world, with total professional membership of more than 6,000. The Port Manatee club was founded in 2002.
Zimmermann, who earlier this year received recognition as Port Manatee Propeller Club Member of the Year and Southeast Region Propeller Club Member of the Year, was cited for working with the local board of directors in quadrupling the number of members in the Port Manatee affiliate to 130 in fewer than two years.
Zimmermann, currently serving as the Port Manatee club’s second vice president, also received acknowledgment for her role in bolstering the chapter’s outreach efforts, including via the Manatee Chamber of Commerce’s annual Ship-Shape Showcase, and for generating support for Propeller Club college scholarships awarded to local high school students pursuing maritime industry careers. She also has put her communications skills to use in revamping the Port Manatee Propeller Club’s website.
“Virginia’s tireless volunteer efforts have been critical to the rejuvenation of the Port Manatee Propeller Club into a vibrant organization serving the maritime industry and greater community alike,” said maritime consultant Billy Roy, current president of the Port Manatee Propeller Club.
Located “Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico,” Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal, with 10 40-foot-draft berths serving container, bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The port generates more than $2.3 billion in annual economic impact for the local community, while supporting more than 24,000 direct and indirect jobs, without levying ad-valorem taxes.