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April 20, 2004

DeSimone named COO of Staten Island Ferry

New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall announced today that "an expert in maritime operations and training has been selected as the new Chief Operations Officer for the Staten Island Ferry."

Captain James C. DeSimone, "whose background includes a unique blend of vessel operations, shore-side management and training and educational experience, in both the private and public sectors," will assume the duties as COO for the Staten Island Ferry early next month.

"We received more than 120 resumes for our new COO position from qualified candidates throughout the country," Commissioner Weinshall said. "Of all the candidates, Captain DeSimone's strong and diversified background in maritime training, management and operations makes him uniquely qualified to become the first-ever COO of the Staten Island Ferry. Captain DeSimone will be instrumental in ushering the Staten Island Ferry into a new era."

The Chief Operations Officer will be part of DOT's executive staff, will report to the Department's First Deputy Commissioner, and will be paid a salary of $150,000. After he begins, Captain DeSimone will establish a new management team for the Staten Island Ferry.

Captain DeSimone, who is a Bronx native, is currently Vice President of Operations for the Brooklyn-based New York Water Taxi and oversees all aspects of the marine operations for that company. Prior to joining New York Water Taxi, from 1996 to 2003, he was Senior Vice President of Operations with the Cleveland-based Great Lakes Group, where he was responsible for the overall marine operation of a 51-vessel fleet providing services across the Great Lakes, in Florida , the Caribbean and in the Hawaiian Islands.

From 1987 to 1996, Captain DeSimone was Commandant of Cadets and Master of the Training Ship at the State University of New York Maritime College at Fort Schuyler , New York , where he was responsible for all college activities external to academic affairs and the operation of college training ship.

Prior to that, from 1973 to 1987, says the Department of Transportation, Captain DeSimone worked at various steam companies in all shipboard capacities from Able Seaman up to, and including, Master. He also served as port captain and cargo surveyor for various ship and cargo owners.

CaptainDeSimone earned a Master of Business Administration, Management and International Business from Manhattan College in Riverdale. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine Transportation and Economics from the State University of New York Maritime College in Fort Schuyler and a Professional Certificate in Chartering from the Association of Shipbrokers and Agents in New York . He also earned a United States Coast Guard License – master of steam or motor vessels of any gross tons upon oceans, radar observer, first-class pilot any gross tons upon the waters of Port Everglades, Florida and Prince William Sound, Alaska .

His appointment is described as "a significant development in Staten Island Ferry operations." On February 12, 2004, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Commissioner Weinshall released the results of an extensive report regarding Staten Island Ferry operations conducted by the Global Maritime and Transportation School at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point , New York . One of the key GMATS recommendations was establishment of a new Staten Island Ferry management structure, with the COO offering a key leadership role. The new COO also will lead the effort to implement the first-ever Safety Management System at the Staten Island Ferry.

GMATS also recommended better training, enhanced safety, greater use of technology, more employee accountability and the establishment of a three-member bridge team in the pilot house.

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