Legislator Awards

Starting in 1998, GLMTF has recognized members of the Great Lakes delegation in Washington who have made significant contributions to keeping waterborne commerce on the Lakes a key component of the nation’s transportation system by presenting them a Great Lakes Legislator of the Year Award. The selection process is not easy. The Great Lakes delegation is one of the best in Washington. Listed below are those the Task Force has honored to date.

2016

Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI)

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Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI, eight from left) accepts his award as Great Lakes Legislator of the Year.  Joining him (l-r) are Mark Ruge, KL Gates; Stewart Fett, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding; Mark Barker, Interlake Steamship; Marla Thibodeau; Todd Thayse, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding; John Thibodeau, Key Lakes/Great Lakes Fleet; Robert Nichol, American Maritime Officers and Chief Engineer on the CASON J. CALLAWAY; Ryan Hoernke, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding; Mike McDermott, Grand River Navigation; Tom Wiater, Central Marine Logistics; Jim Weakley, Lake Carriers’ Association; Brian Lester, Central Marine; and Thad Birmingham, Mayor, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

Congressman David Joyce (R-OH)

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Rep. David Joyce (R-OH, fifth from left) accepts his award as Great Lakes Legislator of the Year from Great Lakes Maritime Task Force. Joining him were (l-r) Tom Curelli, Fraser Shipyards; Aaron Bensinger, Central Marine Logistics; Brenda Otterson, American Maritime Officers Service; Andrew Strosahl, Transportation Institute; Mark Barker, The Interlake Steamship Company; Thomas Rayburn, Lake Carriers’ Association; Steve Fisher, American Great Lakes Port Association; and Jeffrey Freeman, Fincantieri Marine.

2015

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

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Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH, fifth from left) accepts his 2015 Great Lakes Legislator of the Year Award from representatives of Great Lakes Maritime Task Force in Washington, DC on October 1, 2015. Gathering to honor the Senator were (l-r): Marcy Twete, ArcelorMittal; Tom Dower, ArcelorMittal; Jennifer Lindsey, U.S. Steel; Mark Burtschi, ArcelorMittal; John Rothrock, American Maritime Officers; Jim Weakley, Lake Carriers’ Association; Mark Barker, The Interlake Steamship Co.; Jim Patti, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots; Jeff Freeman, Fincantieri USA and Beau Boulter, Fincantieri USA.

2014

Congressman Bill Huizenga (R-MI)

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Representative Bill Huizenga (R-MI, right) accepts his 2014 Great Lakes Legislator of the Year Award from Mark Pietrocarlo, American Steamship Company.

2013

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

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Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN, sixth from left) accepts her 2013 Great Lakes Legislator of the Year Award.  Joining the Senator were (l-r) Steve Fisher, American Great Lakes Ports Association; Jim Henry, Transportation Institute; Glen Nekvasil, Lake Carriers’ Association, James R. Barker, The Interlake Steamship Company; Gregg Ruhl, Great Lakes Fleet; Bob Mondron, Carmeuse; Betty Sutton, Administrator, St. Lawrence Seaway; John DeCrosta, American Maritime Officers; and Mark Burtschi, ArcelorMittal.

2012

Congressman Bob Gibbs (R-OH)

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Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH, third from left) accepts his Great Lakes Legislator of the Year Award from GLMTF officers (l-r) Don Cree, American Maritime Officers; Jim Weakley, Lake Carriers' Association; and John Baker, Sr., ILA Great Lakes District Council.

2011

Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-MI)

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Michigan Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-MI, fourth from left) accepts her award as Great Lakes Legislator of the Year. Joining the Congresswoman were (l-r) Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI); Don Cree (American Maritime Officers); Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH); Bill Yockey (ILA); Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH); Tom Orzechowski (Seafarers International Union); and John Baker (ILA).

2010

Congresswoman Betty Sutton (D-OH)

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Ohio Congresswoman Betty Sutton (D-OH, fourth from left) accepts her award as Great Lakes Legislator of the Year. Joining the Congresswoman were (l-r) Jim Weakley, LCA; John Baker, Jr., ILA Great Lakes District Council; Torey Zingales, MEBA; Don Cree, AMO; Tim Buxton, Steelworkers; Mark Barker, Interlake Steamship; and Dana Byrne, Cliffs Natural Resources.

2009

Representative Brian Higgins (D-NY)

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At Great Lakes Maritime Task Force’s 14th Annual Briefing of the Great Lakes Delegation held in Washington, DC on April 2, 2009, Representative Brian M. Higgins (D-NY-27) received GLMTF's 2009 Great Lakes Legislator of the Year Award. Pictured here is Rep. Higgins with GLMTF’s Officers and New York-based members in attendance at this year's event: (l-r) James H. I. Weakley, Lake Carriers’ Association; Kevin P. McMonagle, American Steamship Company; John D. Baker, Jr., Great Lakes District Council-ILA, AFL-CIO; Rep Higgins; Donald Cree, American Maritime Officers, AFL-CIO and Toledo Port Council, MTD, AFL-CIO; and Noel L. Bassett, American Steamship Company.

2008

Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH)

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Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH, second from left) accepts her Great Lakes Legislator of the Year Award. Joining her were (left-right) Mark Barker (Interlake Steamship Company), Pat O'Hern (Bay Shipbuilding Company); Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), and Dan Smith, American Maritime Officers.
Congresswoman Tubbs Jones died on August 20, 2008. She was a great friend of Lakes shipping and will be long missed.

2007

Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI)

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Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) accepts a framed photo of the Training Ship State of Michigan presented to him to recognize his selection as Great Lakes Legislator of the Year. Joining the Congressman were (left-right) John Tanner (Great Lakes Maritime Academy), Bill Yockey (ILA), and John D. Baker, Jr. (Great Lakes District Council, ILA).

2006

Senator Carl Levin (D-MI)

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Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) was unable to attend GLMTF's Briefing, so his brother, Congressman Sander Levin (D-MI, fourth from left) accepted the award on his behalf. Joining Rep. Levin were (left-right) Congressman Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), Congressman James L. Oberstar (D-MN), James H.I. Weakley (President of GLMTF in 2006), Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Congressman Dale E. Kildee (D-MI), and Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI).

Also, in 2006, GLMTF gave Rep. James L. Oberstar (D-MN) its Iron Man Award.

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Congressman James L. Oberstar (center) accepts his Iron Man Award from Great Lakes Maritime Task Force in Washington on September 29. The award recognizes Rep. Oberstar’s support for the iron mining, steel and Great Lakes shipping industries. Pictured with the Congressman are (l-r) Steven Fisher, American Great Lakes Ports Association; C. James Patti, Maritime Institute for Research and Development; Brian Schoeneman, Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association; Charles Crangle, American Maritime Officers; John Cullather, House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Transportation; Karen Phillips, Canadian National Railway; Larry Evans, Transportation Institute; and James H. I. Weakley, Lake Carriers’ Association.

Learn more about the Iron Man Award.

2005

Senator Debbie A. Stabenow (D-MI)

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Senator Debbie A. Stabenow (D-MI, center) holds the photo of vessels transiting the locks at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, that was presented to her in recognition of her selection as Great Lakes Legislator of the Year in 2006. Joining her were (left-right) Todd Brdak (Michigan Maritime Trades Port Council), Daniel L. Smith (American Maritime Officers), Bill Yockey (International Longshoremen's Association), and Tom Orzechowski (Seafarers International Union).

Congressman Mark Green (R-WI)

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Congressman Mark Green (R-WI, right) accepts his Great Lakes Legislator of the Year Award from Patrick J. O'Hern, Bay Shipbuilding Company. Rep. Green represented Wisconsin's 8th Congressional District (Green Bay area) from 1999 to 2007.

2004

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)

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Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH, left) accepts her Great Lakes Legislator of the Year Award from Task Force officers and members in 2004. Joining her were Mark W. Barker (The Interlake Steamship Company), Jerry K. Welsch (American Steamship Company), Robert F. Dorn (The Interlake Steamship Company), James H.I. Weakley (Lake Carriers' Association), and Chris Tewell (GATX).

Congressman Vernon Ehlers (R-MI)

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Congressman Vernon Ehlers (R-MI, left) holds a framed photo of Great Lakes vessels that was presented to him in recognition of his selection as Great Lakes Legislator of the Year Award in 2004. Joining him is Bill Yockey of the International Longshoremen's Association

2003

Senator George V. Voinovich (R-OH)

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Senator George V. Voinovich (R-OH, fifth from left) accepts his Great Lakes Legislator of the Year Award in 2003 from members of the Task Force and friends. Joining him were (left to right) Michael J. Siragusa (Oglebay Norton Marine Services Company), Dick Gabel (ILA), John D. Baker (Great Lakes District Council, ILA), James H.I. Weakley (Lake Carriers' Association), Mitch Hecht, (ISG), Tim Buxton (United SteelWorkers of America, District 1), Mike LaWell (ISG), and Daniel L. Smith (American Maritime Officers).

Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI)

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Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI, third from left) accepts his Great Lakes Legislator of the Year Award in 2003 from Task Force officers (left to right) Daniel L. Smith (American Maritime Officers), James H.I. Weakley (Lake Carriers' Association) and Task Force member Bill Yockey (ILA).

2002

Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH)

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Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH) addresses the Task Force's Informational Briefing for the Great Lakes Delegation before receiving his Great Lakes Legislator of the Year Award in 2002. DeWine served in the U.S. Senate from 1995 until 2007 and currently teaches at Cedarville and Miami Universities in Ohio.

Congressman Dave Bonior (D-MI)

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Joining Congressman Dave Bonior (D-MI, third from left) as he accepts his Great Lakes Legislator of the Year Award in 2002 were fellow House members (left to right) Bart Stupak (D-MI), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), and James L. Oberstar (D-MN).Congressman Bonior retired in 2003 and now heads American Rights at Work.

2001

Congressman Peter J. Visclosky (D-IN)

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Congressman Peter J. Visclosky (D-IN, center) is joined by Task Force officer Daniel J. Smith (left, American Maritime Officers) and member Charles T. Crangle (right, American Maritime Officers Service) upon receiving his Great Lakes Legislator of the Year Award in 2001.

Congressman Jack Quinn (R-NY)

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Due to a family emergency, Congressman Jack Quinn (R-NY) was unable to accept his award in person. Rep. Quinn retired in 2004 after six terms in the House.

2000

Congressman David R. Obey (D-WI)

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Congressman David R. Obey (D-WI, fifth from left) holds a photo of a U.S.-Flag Laker loading coal at Superior, Wisconsin, that was presented to him to honor his selection as Great Lakes Legislator of the Year in 2000. Superior is in the Congressman's district. Joining him were (left to right) Don Willecke (Western Great Lakes Pilots' Association), Jim Driscoll (Marinette Marine Corporation), Jan and Paul Halverson (Western Great Lakes Pilots' Association), Fred Shusterich (Midwest Energy Resources Company), Davis Helberg (Seaway Port Authority of Duluth), and Adolph Ojard (USS Great Lakes Fleet, Inc.).

Congressman Steven C. LaTourette (R-OH)

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Congressman Steven C. LaTourette (R-OH, right) accepts his Great Lakes Legislator of the Year Award in 2000 from then Task Force President James J. Driscoll (Marinette Marine Corporation).

1999

Senator Spencer Abraham (R-MI)

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Senator Spencer Abraham (R-MI) addresses the Task Force prior to receiving his Great Lakes Legislator of the Year Award in 1999. Senator Abraham later served as Secretary of Energy under President Bush. He currently is Director of Avera, Inc.

Congressman James L. Oberstar (D-MI)

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Congressman James L. Oberstar (D-MN, second from left) holds a plaque honoring his selection as Great Lakes Legislator of the Year Award in 1999. Joining the Congressman were (left to right) Task Force officers George J. Ryan (Lake Carriers' Association) and John D. Baker (Great Lakes District Council, ILA), as well as Congressman Steven C. LaTourette (R-OH).

1998

Senator John D. Glenn (D-OH)

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Senator John D. Glenn (D-OH, second from left) accepts his Great Lakes Legislator of the Year Award in 1998. Pictured with the Senator are Task Force members Stuart H. Theis (Oglebay Norton Marine Services Company), Dick Gabel (ILA), and Daniel L. Smith (American Maritime Officers). Sen. Glenn retired in 1999 after 25 years in the Senate.

Congressman Louis Stokes (D-OH)

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Congressman Louis Stokes (D-OH, second from left) accepts his award as Great Lakes Legislator of the Year in 1998. Pictured with the Congressman are (left to right) George J. Ryan (Lake Carriers' Association), Tim Buxton (United Steelworkers of America, District 1), John D. Baker (Great Lakes District Council, ILA), and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH). Rep. Stokes retired in 1999 after 30 years in the House.