Seventy-five years ago, Classification Societies  took the lead in technical support and guidance. Class also led the way in the statutory and survey support work, innovation, and development of the industry. Today, three-quarters of a century later, we have an industry that is more complex, innovative, and cutting-edge than ever before – an industry that cannot rely on one sector to bear the immense responsibility for technical support. Increased regulation has changed the way industry operates and created the opportunity for high-quality flags like the Republic of the Marshall Islands  to expand its technical support role. As a partner in the flag State inspection process, the Registry has experts with competencies in areas that did not exist 75 years ago and today we work closely with our partners at Class to help RMI flagged vessels navigate the regulatory environment.

Recognizing that innovation requires more responsibility on the part of the flag State, IRI has expanded its bandwidth and competencies over the last several decades. Thanks to a strong team of experts spread across our 28 worldwide offices, we continue to adapt to further increase our bandwidth. As Theo Xenakoudis, Chief Commercial Officer and Simon Bonnett, Chief Maritime Officer have grown into their leadership roles they have focused on expanding our training and quality control opportunities, brought on additional service providers, and specialized technical vendors, and expanded the depth of our client services reach. This has created an opportunity for expansion of capabilities throughout the organization. As our regional footprint continues to expand, Annie Ng, Head of Asia and Managing Director of the Vancouver Office has been instrumental in working hand-in-hand with our regional partners and clients in Asia. With the changing regulatory environment, Meredith Kirby, General Counsel and Alison Wilson, Senior International Counsel continue to engage with the international regulatory community with regard to sanctions and international cooperation; while Nick Makar, Senior Vice President, Maritime Administration / Regulatory Affairs has led the growing International Maritime Organization (IMO) delegation. Fleet operations and technical support are the heart of our client services and Brian Poskaitis, Senior Vice President, Fleet Operations and Dave Wamsley, Senior Vice President, Technical coordinate with the regulatory affairs teams to maintain our high operating standards in light of regulatory changes. John Gallagher, Senior Vice President, Client Relations has been instrumental in client outreach during this shift, and Laura Sherman, Director Marketing and Communications / Operations Technology Officer continues to deliver communications and outreach activities on a global scale.

 Expanding bandwidth and capabilities throughout our offices and departments allows IRI to evolve and take full advantage of the opportunities this period of innovation has brought. Those opportunities have come in the form of new partnerships and collaborations with Class, as well as shipyards, naval architects, industry stakeholders, and more. We continue to look for ways to support research and development projects around the world, to provide the flag State perspective on emerging technologies and new designs so that we are well positioned in our technical support, expertise, and services to our clients.

IRI’s internal investment looks ahead to the future as well. To support the next generation of industry professionals, the Registry is actively strengthening existing and developing new internship programs to give students hands-on experience and training in the industry. We aim to teach the next generation of maritime leaders not only the technical skills for success, but also our organizational culture of excellence and client service. Thanks to these programs, we’ve been able to bring students and young professionals into our offices around the world, to teach, to learn, and to hopefully strengthen the future of our industry as it evolves.

No matter how the world and industry change, we are looking ahead to the future, and will remain focused on the most important aspect of our business – service to our clients.