With an emotional touch, the most successful Posidonia exhibition so far, came to an end, with the organization of YES to Shipping Forum 2022 on Friday 10 June, which was honored by the presence of the President of the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS), Mrs. Melina Travlos, the former President of the UGS Mr. Theodoros Veniamis and the Founder & President of the Exhibition, Mr. Themis Vokos.
School and University students from 14 to 29 years old, attended the Forum, which was carried out with great success. YES to Shipping forum is being organized since 2016 at the last day of every Posidonia Exhibition, to encourage open dialogue among academic and non-academic institutions, executives, and young people and is now institutionalized.
Due to the pandemic-induced cancellation of the 2020 event, Posidonia 2022 was the first Posidonia experience for many students. Taking that into consideration, YES to Shipping Forum 2022 was designed to benefit the participants to the fullest, providing them with the opportunity to meet various shipping companies and discuss with maritime executives.
In the first part, the young attendees visited more than 30 booths of the exhibition, under the guidance of one of the 50 volunteers of YES (Young Shipping Executives) Forum for each group. This way, in addition to learning about the subject and activity of the companies, they also were able to hand their CV directly to executives of these companies, thereby increasing their chances of working in the shipping sector.
In the second part, all participants gathered in Posidonia Conference Hall and had the opportunity to hear the thoughts and advice of successful people from the industry.
Mrs. Melina Travlos noted that "shipping is its people, people who were inspired, and inspiring, so that our shipping is led, but also maintained over the years at the top of the world."
"This is also my personal bet as president of the UGS, to inspire young people to participate actively and effectively in our shipping, in our future," she added.
Remarks were also addressed by the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy, Mr. Ioannis Plakiotakis and the Minister of Education and Religious Affairs, Mrs. Niki Kerameus.
The speeches were followed by a special tribute and an award ceremony from 13 students to Mr. Theodoros Veniamis for the 13 years of his presidency at the UGS.
He stressed that "young people should have dreams. But if you dream of working and offering in shipping, in any country, yes, you must love and be in love with shipping ".
"If you are devoted to shipping, you will progress," said Mr. Veniamis.
The President of the UGS called Mr. Veniamis her "mentor" in her opening speech, thanking him for what he has done at the helm of the Union all these years.
In his turn, the President of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping Mr. George Pateras referred to Mr. Veniamis and thanked him from the bottom of his heart for what he did for Greek Shipping, while the Vice President of the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, George Alexandratos, during his speech was referred to “the man” Theodoros Veniamis, as opposed to the shipping personality, that he is mostly known for.
In the third and final part, the participants were able to talk directly with more than 65 shipping executives, addressing them questions, and listening to what they had to share with them, based on their experience.
Danae Bezantakou, Concept Founder of YES Forum, said about this year’s event: "YES Forum 2022 was really a great success, a coordinated effort not only of the volunteers but also of the whole shipping community".
"We achieved the goal of having about 600 young people in one room, together with shipping executives, ship-owning companies and academics. What’s very important is that after two very difficult years, we managed to reach our goal to be together, stronger and to go for Posidonia 2024. We would also like to thank our supporters for their valuable help", she concluded.