1 WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22, :30 8:45 REGISTRATION 8:45 9:30 OPENING REMARKS President, GNOBFA Karl C. Gonzales Gulf South Marine Transportation, Inc. Harahan, Louisiana Seminar Co-Directors Alan J. Savoie Cooper/Consolidated 111, LLC Hahnville, Louisiana Thomas G. Grantham Ingram Barge Company Port Allen, Louisiana Seminar Co-Moderators Maurice C. Hebert, Jr., Esq. Maurice C. Hebert, Jr., LLC ADR Inc. River Ridge, Louisiana Marc C. Hebert, Esq. Jones Walker LLP Keynote Speaker Rear Admiral Kevin S. Cook Commandant, Eighth Coast Guard District United States Coast Guard 9:30 10:30 WHEN IS MY EMPLOYEE A JONES ACT SEAMAN TO ME OR MY CUSTOMER? 10:30 10:45 BREAK -- Maybe or maybe not? -- Then, if I am not sure, what do I pay, compensation or maintenance and cure? What if I make the wrong decision? -- Do I have to own the vessel to be a Jones Act employee? -- If I don t own the vessel, do I owe my employee the warranty of seaworthiness? -- How does this borrowed employee or alternative employer concept work and who is responsible for what? Randall K. Theunissen, Esq. Allen & Gooch Lafayette, Louisiana Attorney 10:45 12:15 CERTAIN ISSUES TO CONSIDER IN THE MARITIME PERSONAL INJURY 12:15 1:30 LUNCH I. MY EMPLOYEE IS INJURED -- Who gets to pick the doctor for treatment? -- Can the employee refuse the company doctor? -- Now what does the employer do? -- If possible, do I immediately take statements? -- Do I take a written or recorded statement from the employee? Why one over the other? How soon do I do this? Do I give the employee a copy? -- What about the other employees whether a witness or not? II. THE EMPLOYEE FILES A JONES ACT LAWSUIT AGAINST MY COMPANY -- Do I have to give the statements taken to the other side at some time or the other? -- What about surveillance film I might take of the employee? -- How does an Independent Medical Exam (IME) come about? Am I entitled to one? Can the employee leave the company doctor and have me pay for a doctor his lawyer sends him to? -- Can any dispute over a doctor or IME affect payment of maintenance and cure? -- Suppose the employee is working somewhere before reaching maximum medical cure, do maintenance and cure payments continue? Moderator: Marc C. Hebert, Esq. L. Blake Jones, Esq. Scheuermann & Jones LLC Plaintiff Attorney Ronald L. White, Esq. Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP Houston, Texas Defense Attorney 1:30 3:30 ETHICS AND PROFESSIONALISM WHICH MUST/SHOULD BE ADHERED TO IN A COAST GUARD, CIVIL OR CRIMINAL MARINE INVESTIGATION I. THE INVESTIGATION -- What maritime activity can cause an investigation to be considered? -- When, how and why is an investigation undertaken? What complaint, incident or paperwork is required to make this decision? -- What factors are relied upon to justify such an investigation?
2 WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22, Can the USCG, DEQ, EPA together or individually, or any other governmental agency possibly be involved? What about the U.S. Attorney s office? -- What can this investigation lead to as it proceeds forward? -- The USCG wants to board my vessel and talk to the crew, what position can the vessel owner take? II. THE TARGET(S) -- Can the target(s) be my company, employees or me as an owner or officer? -- How does a target seek protection from day one be it the company or a person? -- What are the pitfalls made by targets during any marine, civil or criminal investigation? -- How does a target seek protection in an investigation in which the government is seeking statements, documents, company records, access to facilities or employees, etc.? Is there any protection? -- What should a target watch for from any government investigator, i.e., can a target be taken advantage of by an investigator? How can this be avoided? -- Are there expressed or implied ethical and professional obligations imposed on the investigation agencies? III. THE END -- What can happen at the end? Moderator: Marc C. Hebert, Esq. Chief Judge Brian A. Jackson, Esq. United States District Court, Middle District of Louisiana Baton Rouge, Louisiana Chief Judge Dee Taylor, Esq. Liskow & Lewis APLC Criminal Defense Attorney Damon A. Rodriguez Coast Guard Investigative Service Special Agent in Charge Captain Benes Z. Aldana, Esq. United States Coast Guard Staff Judge Advocate 3:45 5:15 THE RECEIPT AND RELEASE I. THE DO S, DON TS AND WHAT IFS HOW TO HANDLE A SETTLEMENT OF A SEAMAN WHO IS -- Not represented by an attorney? -- Represented by an attorney? -- Still under medical care and has not reached maximum medical cure (MMC). Can the case still be settled? -- Wanting to release his/her attorney and settle directly with the employer can this be done and how should it be handled? -- Is a settlement agreed upon in a Mediation valid and enforceable? Can either side back out? II. THE CASE IS NOW SETTLED WITH/OR WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY REPRESENTING THE SEAMAN -- How should the Receipt, Release and Hold Harmless Agreement be drafted and what language should it contain? How does the employer or attorney get it executed are some procedures better than others? III. PROBLEMS THAT CAN ARISE IF THE SEAMAN IS -- Wanting to break the Receipt, Release and Hold Harmless Agreement which the Seaman and/or his/her attorney agreed to and/or executed? What factors are considered in the enforceability or validity of a Seaman s Release? Is this dispute decided by a Judge or Jury? -- Wanting to be re-hired after the case is settled -- does the Employer have any legal obligations to rehire the seaman? -- What about the American Disability Act (ADA)? Can a seaman s rights under the ADA be waived in the Receipt and Release? Moderator: Marc C. Hebert, Esq. Simon Tonkin, Esq. Tonkin & Mondl, LC St. Louis, Missouri Defense Attorney Roy Dripps, Esq. Armbruster, Dripps, Winterscheidt & Blotevogel LLC Alton, Illinois Plaintiff Attorney 3:30 3:45 BREAK
3 WEDNESDAY KARL C. GONZALES is President of the Greater New Orleans Barge Fleeting Association and executive vice president of Gulf South Marine Transportation, Inc., a local marine towing company. Mr. Gonzales attended Loyola University and served as clerk to the Hon. Douglas A. Allen and the Hon. James M. Lockhart, Jr., Judges of the First Parish Court for the Parish of Jefferson, LA. In 1981, Mr. Gonzales was hired as vice president and thereafter elected as president of RLB Boat Company, Inc. and Mid-Gulf Transportation Company, Inc., both located in Harvey, Louisiana. He is also president of River Ridge Enterprises, Inc. and vice president of Gulf South Marine Brokers, Inc., a local marine brokerage firm. Mr. Gonzales is a current member of the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Association of Waterways Operators and Shipyards (L.A.W.S.). He is a former vice president of The Mariner s Club of the Port of New Orleans, and is active in several marine-related and charitable organizations. ALAN J. SAVOIE, Seminar Co-Director and past president of the Greater New Orleans Barge Fleeting Association, is Vice President of Cooper/Consolidated 111, LLC. He has served in many capacities in the marine industry since Mr. Savoie is formerly co-owner of Marine Centre, Inc., Kathryn Rae Towing, Inc. and LSK Towing, Inc., all local towing companies. Mr. Savoie has served in numerous GNOBFA capacities over the years. THOMAS G. GRANTHAM is Vice President of the Greater New Orleans Barge Fleeting Association, Seminar Co- Director, and Continuing Education Coordinator. Prior to joining the marine industry in 1990, he served six years in the United States Navy Nuclear Power Program. Employed by Capital Fleet in 1990, he served as vice president of Capital Fleet until the company was acquired by Ingram Barge in Mr. Grantham is now a manager of vessel engineering for Ingram vessels in the Gulf area. He is a licensed vessel operator and holds a tankerman endorsement issued by USCG. He is a member of East Baton Rouge Local Emergency Planning Committee, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War organizations. Mr. Grantham has served on various GNOBFA committees and in different capacities since MAURICE C. HEBERT, JR., ESQ., Seminar Co- Moderator, formerly an attorney with Liskow & Lewis, APLC, retired in 2004, but maintains his license to practice law and engage in special projects, mediation and arbitration. He joined ADR Inc., a New Orleans Mediation/Arbitration firm as a member of its panel and as the head of its Maritime, Environmental and Toxic Tort section. He graduated from LSU in 1959 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He is a professional and registered Electrical and Environmental Engineer, (Retired) in the State of Louisiana. He graduated from Loyola University School of Law in He served as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Richard Putnam. Mr. Hebert is admitted to numerous state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Hebert has served on numerous marine educational boards for both industry and educational institutions. He is a member of the GNOBFA Advisory Board and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Louisiana Association of Waterways Operators and Shipyards (L.A.W.S.). He has been a speaker at numerous maritime and law related seminars, is the Co-Founder of the River and Marine Industry Seminar, and has served as moderator of all of the prior River and Marine Industry Seminars. MARC C. HEBERT, ESQ., Seminar Co-Moderator, is a senior partner with Jones Walker and practices with the Admiralty & Maritime, Business & Commercial Transactions, Commercial Litigation and Government Relations groups. He was an Adjunct Professor at the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law from , is a member of the GNOBFA Seminar Committee, was Chair of the Greater New Orleans Port Safety Council for 2011 and is currently on the Board of that organization, and is Vice-Chairman of the Board and sits on the Executive Committee of the Mississippi Valley Trade & Transport Council. From 1995 to 2002, he worked for the U.S. House of Representatives Government Reform and Oversight Subcommittee on National Economic Growth, Natural Resources, and Regulatory Affairs and thereafter Bracewell & Patterson in Washington, D.C. before returning to New Orleans. Mr. Hebert graduated from Tulane University in 1991 with a B.A. in Economics, received his J.D. from Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans in 1994, and earned his LL.M. in Environmental Law from The National Law Center, George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in He is admitted to practice in Louisiana and Virginia, the District of Columbia, Federal Court in the Southern District of Texas, and before the U.S. Court of International Trade. REAR ADMIRAL KEVIN S. COOK serves as the Commander of the Eighth Coast Guard District headquartered in New Orleans, and is responsible for U.S Coast Guard operations spanning 26 states, including the Gulf of Mexico coastline from Florida to Mexico, the adjacent offshore waters and outer continental shelf, as well as the inland waterways of the Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, and Tennessee River systems. At the time of his flag officer selection, Rear Admiral Cook was serving as Chief of Staff for the Thirteenth Coast Guard District, Seattle, WA. Subsequent flag assignments include Director of the Operations Command Implementation Team in Portsmouth, VA; Director of Prevention Policy in Washington, DC; and, Deputy Commander of the Atlantic Area in Portsmouth, VA. Previous duty assignments include three tours afloat: CGC MADRONA as a deck watch officer; CGC BITTERSWEET as the Executive Officer; and CGC COWSLIP as the Commanding Officer. His tours ashore include assignments as a staff engineer in Hazardous Materials Division where he later returned as Division Chief. As Director of Prevention Policy, he was responsible for many of the Coast Guard s Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship missions affecting waterways management, domestic and international shipping, recreational and fishing boats, and port facilities throughout the nation. Rear Admiral Cook has held a
4 WEDNESDAY variety of field positions supporting the Marine Safety, Security, and Environmental Protection mission areas; at Marine Safety Office Hampton Roads, Virginia, Marine Safety Office Houston-Galveston, Texas, as Executive Officer, and subsequently Commanding Officer. For two years following 9/11, he also directed maritime homeland security operations through command of the regional Task Unit covering waters from Freeport, Texas, eastward to Lake Charles, Louisiana. In 2010, he served as the National Incident Commander s representative to BP headquarters for oversight of well containment activities in the Deepwater Horizon response. A native of Freehold, NJ, he graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1979 with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Ocean Engineering. Rear Admiral Cook also earned a Master of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University. He is a 1999 graduate of the U.S. Army War College, and later served a one year appointment as the Coast Guard Fellow to Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Coast Guard Commendation Medal, and Coast Guard Achievement Medal. Additionally he was recognized by the National Propeller Club as the Port of Houston Maritime Person of the Year for RANDALL K. THEUNISSEN, ESQ. is a partner in the Lafayette office of Allen & Gooch. After earning his law degree at Louisiana State University in 1977, Randy was licensed with the Louisiana Bar. He has also been licensed with the Texas Bar since Randy is recognized by Martindale-Hubbell as an AV rated attorney and is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts Eastern, Western and Middle Districts of Louisiana and Southern District of Texas. Randy has been named among top lawyers in Louisiana by A.M. Best and was most recently recognized among Super Lawyers in Louisiana. Among his clients and peers, Randy s expertise within his maritime practice is well recognized, and he routinely participates in various industry speakers forums. In 2006, he was a featured speaker at the annual SEALI seminar, with the topic Update on Maritime Cases in the Fifth, Ninth & Tenth Circuits. He has achieved proctor status with Maritime Law Association of the United States, and Master designation with American Inns of Court. L. BLAKE JONES, ESQ., is the managing partner of Scheuermann & Jones. His practice includes admiralty and maritime, personal injury, criminal defense, products liability, and medical malpractice law. Blake received his Juris Doctor from Tulane Law School in 1972 after studying at the University of Belgrade in Yugoslavia. He currently serves as a National Board Member for the St. Jude s Ranch for Children and is the former president of the New Orleans Coalition. Blake is an appointed Louisiana mediator with over 80 resolved cases. RONALD L. WHITE, ESQ. is a partner at Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith in Houston, Texas where his practice focuses on admiralty, maritime, and energy litigation. He is a 1977 graduate of the South Texas College of Law, as well as a University of Texas alumni. He has repeatedly been rated by his peers as one of the Best Lawyers in America, and is currently an Admiralty and Maritime Law Lawyer of the Year. CHIEF JUDGE BRIAN A. JACKSON, ESQ. received his J.D. degree from Southern University School of Law, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the Southern University Law Review, and his LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center. Judge Jackson was a member of the U.S. Department of Justice for over 16 years, during which time he practiced law as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, an Associate Deputy Attorney General, and as the court-appointed United States Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana. In 2002, he entered private practice as a partner at the law firm of Liskow & Lewis, where he practiced in the firm s commercial litigation section. He also served as chair of Liskow s white collar defense practice group and a member of the firm s board of directors. In 2010, he was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. Judge Jackson is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a member of the National Association of Former United States Attorneys, and a member of the Federal Judges Association. He previously served on the admissions committee for the Louisiana Supreme Court, during which time he wrote the examination on Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Evidence. In 2013, Judge Jackson was appointed by Chief Justice John Roberts to serve on the Judicial Resources Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. DEE TAYLOR, ESQ. is an experienced criminal litigator who concentrates her practice in the areas of complex white collar criminal law, environmental criminal litigation, health care fraud, environmental compliance, and internal corporate compliance investigations. She helps companies and individuals prevent, prepare for, and respond to white collar criminal matters in the areas of environmental regulations, health care, and labor regulations. Ms. Taylor also represents both corporations and individuals in areas including search and seizure warrants, grand jury investigations, and criminal prosecutions. Immediately prior to joining Liskow & Lewis, Ms. Taylor served for more than 21 years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, United States Attorney s Office,, where she specialized in long term, complex white collar investigations and trials. She has successfully tried cases in virtually all sections of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Ms. Taylor worked directly with the Coast Guard and EPA-CID on more than 40 APPS and Clean Water Act investigations and prosecutions, in addition to DOI-OIG investigations and prosecutions of violations of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. She served on the Department of Justice Environmental Crimes Policy Committee. Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, Ms. Taylor organized and led Louisiana s first oil/brine pollution initiative, resulting in the successful prosecution of numerous cases against corporations and individuals. Ms. Taylor has
5 WEDNESDAY been a speaker on environmental crimes, corporate compliance issues, health care fraud, and search and seizure warrants. DAMON A. RODRIGUEZ began his agent career with the Naval Inspector General in in Washington, D.C. He then became a Special Agent with CGIS from in New Orleans, LA. In 1996, he transferred to the EPA-CID where he served as a field agent, the Resident Agent in Charge, and Acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge over the span of SAC Rodriguez returned to CGIS in 2009 as the Special Agent in Charge, Gulf Region, where he presently is in charge of eight offices. SAC Rodriguez served four years in the U.S. Navy from SAC Rodriguez has a B.S and M.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Southern Mississippi. CAPTAIN BENES Z. ALDANA, ESQ. is the Chief Legal Officer for the Eighth Coast Guard District headquartered in. He is responsible for providing legal advice to the district commander and oversees the provision of legal support to over 4,000 active duty, reserve, and civilian personnel at over 80 operational units in 26 states. Previously, he served as Chief Counsel, Legal Engagements Division, U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, charged with advancing the U.S. military s efforts in rule of law and human rights in Africa. He also served as the primary legal advisor for Theater Security Cooperation including maritime security capacity building efforts. Captain Aldana s other legal assignments include: Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, Thirteenth Coast Guard District; Military Trial Judge; Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington; Trial Attorney, Environmental Enforcement Section, U.S. Department of Justice; Deputy Chief, Coast Guard s Office of Environmental Law; Legal Assistance & DCL Program Manager, Coast Guard s Office of Legal Policy and Program Development; Senior Appellate Government Counsel, Coast Guard s Office of Military Justice; Command & Operational Law and Claims & Litigation Attorney, Coast Guard s Maintenance & Logistics Command Pacific; and Trial Counsel, Naval Legal Services Office West. As an out-ofspecialty tours, he served as Executive Officer, Base Seattle; Commanding Officer, PSSU Seattle; and Chief, Personnel Division, Integrated Support Command Seattle. In the aftermath of 911, he was deployed as the Legal Advisor to the DoD Criminal Investigation Task Force, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, charged with conducting investigations of detainees captured in the War on Terrorism. Captain Aldana is a Cum Laude graduate of Seattle University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science (Honors Program). He received a J.D. from University of Washington School of Law and admitted to practice in the State of Washington. Captain Aldana is active in the American Bar Association, currently serving as a board member of the ABA Rule of Law Initiative and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He has also served as Chair of the Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division, Assembly Speaker of the Young Lawyers Division, and a member of the House of Delegates. Captain Aldana s awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Coast Guard Meritorious Service Medal, four Coast Guard Commendation Medals, the Army Commendation Medal, two Coast Guard Achievement Medals, and two Commandant s Letters of Commendation, as well as various team and unit awards. Non-military awards include the ABA Outstanding Young Military Lawyer Award, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association's "Best Lawyer Under 40, and the American Bar Foundation Fellows Outstanding Chair Award. SIMON TONKIN, ESQ. has specialized in admiralty law since 1982 and has extensive litigation experience before state and federal courts. A member of the Missouri and Illinois Bars, Mr. Tonkin was educated at Johns Hopkins University (B.A., 1971), Cambridge University (Dip. Crim., 1975) and the University of Wisconsin (J.D., 1978). Before entering private practice, Mr. Tonkin was an Assistant Missouri Attorney General ( ). Mr. Tonkin served as adjunct assistant professor, Saint Louis University School of Law, as chairman of the Admiralty Law Committee of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, and as a member of a merit selection commission for a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Maritime Law Association of the United States, and the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis. Mr. Tonkin has been designated a Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyer and his firm is listed in the Martindale Hubbell s Register of Preeminent Lawyers in admiralty law. He is a frequent speaker on topics involving maritime law at GNOBFA and other seminars. ROY DRIPPS, ESQ. is a partner in Armbruster, Dripps, Winterscheidt & Blotevogel, LLC, in Alton, Illinois. He has tried many Jones Act cases, including disputed status and limited liability matters, and successfully handled maritime cases in state and federal courts in Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia. He has 85 reported decisions, including Lewis v. Lewis & Clark Marine, 531 U.S. 438 (2001). He has published numerous articles in law journals including the University of San Francisco Maritime Law Journal. He is a frequent CLE speaker.
6 THURSDAY, APRIL 23, :00 12:00 TELL ME ABOUT THE VARIOUS MEDICAL TESTS THAT I READ ABOUT IN ALL THOSE MEDICAL REPORTS, THAT THE DOCTORS SO OFTEN INTERPRET DIFFERENTLY; AND THAT I SHOULD UNDERSTAND, SUCH AS 12:00 1:15 LUNCH -- X Ray -- MRI -- Myelograms -- Cat Scans -- Electromyography -- Discogram -- What else? WHAT ARE THEY AND HOW ARE THEY USED? -- How are they performed? -- What do they show? -- How can they be interpreted differently? -- A report usually notes subjective versus objective findings? What is the difference? Do test results support or contradict either? -- I want copies of these tests and reports am I entitled to them and must I pay for them? Moderator: Marc C. Hebert, Esq. Brian M. Bourgeois, M.D., F.A.C.S. West Jefferson Industrial Medical, LLC Gretna, Louisiana Occupational Medicine Najeeb Thomas, M.D. Southern Brain and Spine Metairie, Louisiana Neurosurgeon Brian A. Ogden, M.D. Ochsner Jefferson, Louisiana Radiologist 1:15 2:30 WASHINGTON UPDATE Moderator: Marc C. Hebert, Esq. Rear Admiral Peter W. Gautier United States Coast Guard Washington, D.C. Government Representative 2:30 2:45 BREAK Gary P. LaGrange, PPM Port of New Orleans Industry Representative TBD Congressional Staff 2:45 5:15 REGULATORY ISSUES UPDATE -- What does it mean to have a safety management system? -- How do you establish a safety management system? -- The use of internal v. third party audits. -- What is the difference between an element and risk-based program, and which one does my company need? -- Why do I need a safety management system? -- When Subchapter M is in effect, what will it mean to choose the Coast Guard option v. the TSMS option? -- What is the Coast Guard doing to prepare for Subchapter M inspections? -- What additional liability issues do vessel owners face with Subchapter M TSMS regulations? -- OSHA liability under existing law and how it changes, or not, under Subchapter M. Moderator: Marc C. Hebert, Esq. Jane H. Heidingsfelder, Esq. Jones Walker LLP Labor and Employment Attorney Thomas Marian, Esq. Buffalo Marine Houston, Texas Industry Representative Captain Philip C. Schifflin, Jr., Esq. Captain of the Port, Sector New Orleans United States Coast Guard Government Representative Rick Dunn SafeMARINER, LLC Houston, Texas Safety Consultant
7 THURSDAY BRIAN M. BOURGEOUIS, M.D., F.A.C.S. is a graduate of the LSU School of Medicine. He was trained at LSU's Department of Surgery and is board certified General Surgeon. He has practiced general surgery and occupational / industrial medicine on the Westbank of New Orleans and Jefferson since Dr. Bourgeois is a board member of the Jefferson Parish Medical Society and the Louisiana State Medical Society. He is a licensed medical review officer (MRO) and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He is also one of very few doctors in the state certified in the management of dive-related injuries and diver physicals. He is member of the ADCI Committee that created the current code of medical standards for divers. Dr. Bourgeois also actively trains and educates offshore medics and dive medical technicians. NAJEEB THOMAS, M.D. is a native of Louisiana and practices in the Greater New Orleans area. He completed his residency in Neurosurgery at Louisiana State University in New Orleans and trained at the world famous Charity Hospital. He completed additional training in complex spine and minimally invasive surgery in Memphis, TN, under the directorship of Kevin T. Foley, M.D. Dr. Thomas has lectured on four continents regarding the latest innovations in spine surgery. He is involved with research using stem cells in the spine as well. Dr. Thomas is currently the managing partner for Southern Brain & Spine, LLC and currently serves as the Secretary/Treasurer for the Louisiana Association of Neurological Surgeons. BRIAN A. OGDEN, M.D. earned his medical degree from LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans. He completed his internship in Internal Medicine at Ben Taub General Hospital and VA Debakey Hospital through Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He completed his residency in radiology at Ben Taub General Hospital, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, The Methodist Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital, VA Debakey Hospital, and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at Houston through Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He then completed fellowship training in MRI and Body Imaging at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. Dr. Ogden is board certified by the American Board of Radiology and has been on staff since REAR ADMIRAL PETER W. GAUTIER is the Director of Governmental and Public Affairs for the Coast Guard, where he is responsible for external engagement with Congress, the media and other intergovernmental entities. From June 2011 to July 2014 he commanded Sector New Orleans, directing all Coast Guard operations in southeast Louisiana, including the lower 300 miles of the Mississippi River. Prior to this, he served as the Chief of the Deepwater Horizon Action Office which oversaw policy resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, where he served for five months as the National Incident Command Chief of Staff. He served as the Chief of Operations for the Deployable Operations Group; Chief, Cargo and Facilities Division at Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington DC; and Commanding Officer of the Coast Guard Gulf Strike Team, Mobile, AL, where he responded in key roles in a number of major responses including the World Trade Center attacks, the Shuttle Colombia Disaster, and Hurricane Katrina. Rear Admiral Gautier s other assignments include Chief, Port Operations and Marine Environmental Response at Coast Guard Marine Safety Office San Francisco and Coast Guard Headquarters as a packaged hazardous materials transportation expert, serving as a U.S. Delegate to United Nations and International Maritime Organization committees governing transportation of hazardous materials. He has also served aboard two Coast Guard cutters and as Commanding Officer of Loran Station Gesashi, Japan. Rear Admiral Gautier graduated from the U. S. Coast Guard Academy with a Bachelors of Science in Marine Engineering in He holds a Masters of Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Michigan and a Masters of National Security Strategy from the National War College. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit (two awards), Meritorious Service Medal (four awards), Coast Guard Commendation Medal (three awards), DOT 9/11 Medal, and Coast Guard Achievement Medal (two awards). GARY P. LAGRANGE, PPM has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Port of New Orleans since Under LaGrange s direction the Port made great expansions in spite of great adversity. During his tenure, the Port opened new, state-of-the art container, cruise and refrigerated terminals. LaGrange s leadership brought the Port of New Orleans back into operation two weeks after Hurricane Katrina, the most extensive natural disaster in U.S. history. With over a decade of investment and expansion, the Port of New Orleans is now recognized as the #1 Port for logistics in America. LaGrange serves on the Boards and Executive Committees of the Waterways Council, Inc., and National Waterways Conference where he is a past President. He also serves on the Board of the Gulf Ports Association of the Americas. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board. A past Chairman, Mr. LaGrange still serves as a member of the American Association of Port Authorities Board of Directors. He is also past Chairman and past President of the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association. He is a member of the Committee of 100 Louisiana. He serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta s Advisory Council on Trade and Transportation Committee, and the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration s Port Subcommittee. He was named the Maritime Person of the Year by the Propeller Club of New Orleans in 2003 and Maritime Person of the Year by the Propeller Club of the Port of Gulfport in He was named the Man of Steel by the American Institute for International Steel (AIIS). Gary is also a member of the National Rivers Hall of Fame in Dubuque, Iowa and named to the Hall of Fame by the International Maritime Association at the United Nations in New York. In 2012, he was the recipient of the Transportation & Infrastructure Summit Excellence in Maritime Transportation Award and the C. Alvin Bertel Award in recognition for outstanding contributions to the advancement of the Greater New Orleans port area. Mr. LaGrange also received the 2012 International Achievement