Best wishes to our friends Mike Sacco, Dave Heindel and Augie Tellez

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Mike Sacco, a valued longtime friend to our union and the legendary central figure in the maritime labor community for generations, made it official at the close of the 2023 AFL-CIO Maritime Trades Department conference outside Orlando on February 17 - Mike retired at age 86 as President of the MTD and subsequently as President of the Seafarers International Union of North America.

As President of American Maritime Officers, and as a Vice President of the SIUNA, I offer personal best wishes and gratitude to Mike for his counsel to and confidence in me, and for his service to the SIU in several administrative positions since he came ashore in 1960, rising to the SIU Presidency in June 1988. I know that Mike's devotion to the labor movement at sea and ashore will not wane, even as Mike and his gracious wife, Sophie, enjoy their personal time together.

With this labor leadership transition well underway, I congratulate my longtime personal friends and principled associates Dave Heindel as the new SIU and MTD President and SIU Executive Vice President Augie Tellez.

Dave Heindel, the humble-hearted son of New Orleans, has done extraordinary work for merchant mariners in the U.S. through the SIU and worldwide through the Seafarers' Section of the International Transport Workers' Federation and other influential international organizations. His election to succeed Mike Sacco reaffirms the stability and security that have distinguished the SIU throughout its history.

The honorable Augie Tellez and I go back many years - as far back as SIU headquarters in Brooklyn. I have always admired Augie for his astute observations on union business and important political and legislative developments in Washington, where we often worked together. I also enjoy Augie's biting wit - the quick one-liners that undercut the hardened beliefs and strategies of our industry's critics.

We in AMO also congratulate Tom Orzechowski as the new SIU Secretary-Treasurer and Bryan Powell as the duly appointed SIU Great Lakes and Inland Waters Vice President. We stand ready to assist this new SIU administration in every way.

I am forever proud to note once more that American Maritime Officers emerged through the SIU as the Brotherhood of Marine Engineers, which was chartered by Paul Hall as an SIU affiliate in May 1949.

Paul Doell
National President

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