JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019 • FOGHORN 5 LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR John Groundwater you to not hesitate to contact us—we are here to help. In the new year, I also encourage you to take advantage of a vast array of PVAtraining materials, tools and programs. These include valuable resources such as the PV A Deckhand Training Manual, the PVA Senior Deckhand Training Manual and numerous PVA safety training DVDs and manuals. In addition, the PV A Online Crew Training Program helps members take their current crew training programs to the next level. The program is sponsored by PVA and managed by PVA Member Learning Management Systems. Don’t Forget the PVA Flagship SMS Program Now may be the time to consider implementing a company Safety Management System (SMS) to improve your operational efficiencies while also enhancing safety. And, PVA can help you do this. PVA’s Flagship SMS is a voluntary safety manage- ment system that is tailored specifically for PVA member vessel operators. The PVA Flagship SMS was developed by PVAMembers, in coopera- tion with the Coast Guard, through a Chartered Working Group under the PVA/ Coast Guard Quality Partnership. The PVAFlagship SMS will allow you to better manage and enhance vessel and shoreside operations and safety by focusing on continuous improvement in a variety of functional areas. An easy-to-use manual, which is scalable to your business, will allow you to smoothly implement this program. In addition, the PVA Flagship SMS has been formally recognized by Coast Guard as an acceptable method for developing and implementing a company specific voluntary SMS. Adopting an SMS such as Flagship could result in a reduced scope of inspections under the Coast Guard Risk Based Inspection policy. PVAstaff stands ready to discuss the many benefits of implementing the PVA Flagship SMS and to guide you through the implementa- tion process. PVA Annual Convention at MariTrends 2019 We have a tremendous convention planned for you this month—January 17-20 in New Orleans. The PVA Annual Convention at MariTrends 2019 is growing by leaps and bounds. It offers the largest MariTrends exhibit floor in Best Wishes for a Safe and Prosperous 2019! Looking back, 2018 was a banner year in terms of industry expansion and health. New vessel construction, the emergence of new technologies and innovations contributed to an exciting year. A strong U.S. economy drove increased corporate and consumer spending, which in turn contributed to an excellent business climate. As a result we saw increases in new orders and construction of innova- tive ferry boats and water taxis in most of our major met- ropolitan areas. For example, cities such as Washington D.C. and Tampa, FL , among others, developed exciting and vibrant new water- fronts which encouraged an expansion of waterborne transportation options as well as public entertain- ment venues. Such develop- ments are important because they focus public attention on the many economic and recreational benefits that passenger vessels offer. PVA; Growing to Serve Members P VA’ s m e m b e r s h i p continues to grow. Net new membership in PVA in 2018 outpaced that of 2017; which was also a banner year for PVA from a new member per- spective. Our association is clearly growing, and this is important because this strong membership growth allows us to better represent your interests on Capitol Hill, with the regulatory agencies, and in developing training and other tools to assist you in your businesses. The PVA Membership Committee, and staff, are con- stantly broadening marketing outreach to prospective new PVA member companies. This work is critical to our association. If you know of a company in your area who you believe would benefit from becoming affiliated with PVA, please let me know. I look forward to hearing from you. PVA Staff Expertise and Programs at Your Fingertips As you enter 2019, please remember that your PVA membership provides you with a vast array of benefits, services and programs. PVA staff possesses far-reach- ing experience in Coast Guard, regulatory, legislative, security, legal, insurance and other matters related to passenger vessel operations. They are available to answer your most pressing operational questions and I encourage EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CONTINUED ON PAGE 50 Potomac Water Taxis now regularly ply the waters of the Potomac River in Washington D.C.