New NLUS Black Sea Council
Readies for Spring Chartering
By PETER ATKINSON, Deputy Editor
Anew Navy League council is
being formed in the Black Sea
region of Europe, with members
representing Bulgaria, Romania and
the United States. The Black Sea
Council already has signed up the
25 members required to receive its
Navy League charter, as well as several community affiliates.
Organizers expect the council, the
first of its kind in Eastern Europe, to
receive its formal charter this spring.
A half-dozen Black Sea Council
members were in the Washington
area in early December, and
stopped by Navy League headquarters in Arlington, Va., for a tour
and to meet with National Vice
President for Strategic Planning
John Tozzi, who welcomed them
in the stead of National President
J. Michael McGrath, who was
Executive Director Stephen R.
Pietropaoli and Salvador Chai-rez, senior director of Membership, also met with the council
From the left, John Tozzi, national vice president for Strategic Planning; Black
Sea Council member Dragos Draghici; Mircea Basescu, a member of the
Black Sea Council’s Executive Board; Jack Maybank, president of Maybank
Industries LLC, a Black Sea Council community affiliate; and David K. Shimp,
the Black Sea Council’s first president, stand with the bust of President
Theodore Roosevelt at Navy League headquarters. The Black Sea Council,
the Navy League’s first in Eastern Europe, will be chartered this spring.
The group included three
Americans with strong ties to the
region — Jack Maybank, president
of Maybank Industries LLC, an
international maritime professional services company based in
Charleston, S.C., that is a Black Sea
Council community affiliate;
David K. Shimp, vice president for
program development with Maybank Industries, who will be the
council’s first president; and Cmdr.
Gary Herbert, U.S. naval attaché to
Romania, who will join the council
upon his retirement from the service this year.
Joining them were Mircea Basescu, a member of the council’s
Executive Board and the brother of
Romanian President Traian Basescu, and council member Dragos
Draghici, both of Bucharest. Each
received his Navy League membership pin during the visit from Tozzi.
“Having a council like the Black
Sea Council is a wonderful thing to
hear,” he told the group. “Thanks
for considering doing this.”
The strategic and commercial
importance of the Black Sea has
grown dramatically in recent years
as nations along its shores have
emerged from decades of Communist rule, according to Herbert.
Constanta, Romania, and Varna,
Bulgaria, are now key commercial
ports, and the U.S. naval presence
has increased in the region. Last
summer, the guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul and U.S. Coast
Guard Cutter Dallas delivered humanitarian supplies to the Georgian port of Batumi after fighting
broke out between Georgia and
Russia over the breakaway region
of South Ossetia.