Bob Paliama receives 2007 Friend of Chile award
Mr. Paliama, who is president of Delaware River Stevedores, based here, received the award, which is presented annually to an outstanding member of the regional community with a strong commitment to fostering increased commercial and trade relations between Chile and greater Philadelphia. The award is presented at the annual award luncheon hosted by the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia.
This year, the meeting was held in a ballroom overlooking the Delaware River. About 250 members of the Delaware River produce community attended the Nov. 15 event.
The meeting was presided over by outgoing Chilean Chamber President Robert Blackburn, who is senior deputy executive director of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority and who is being succeeded in his Chilean chamber post by Mr. Paliama.
Among those praising Mr. Paliama at the event was Mariano Fernandez, Chile's ambassador to the United States.
The award was presented by Richard Zolty, senior vice president of AIG Longshore, which is part of the Philadelphia-based insurance company American Home Assurance Co.
Mr. Zolty outlined the highlights of Mr. Paliama's life. A native of Chicago, Mr. Paliama attended Colgate University as a War Memorial Scholar and graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He subsequently pursued postgraduate work at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he was an Edward R. Murrow fellow.
After working for the Illinois Department of Business & Economic Development, Mr. Paliama joined the Lavino Shipping Co., where he held several positions of increasing responsibility. In 1988, he began his tenure at Delaware River Stevedores, becoming its president in 1990. Since then, Mr. Paliama has transformed Delaware River Stevedores into a major stevedoring operation in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
Mr. Zolty said that Mr. Paliama "has worked tirelessly both here and in Chile to develop and grow a strong trade relationship that has become so important to our region. He has also been instrumental is working with labor to develop viable contracts, which have increased the competitiveness of the Philadelphia area ports."
Mr. Paliama's achievements include being a 1993 recipient of the Philadelphia "Forty Under 40" award, which recognizes individuals under 40 years of age for their contributions to the local business community. In 1998, the Port of Philadelphia Maritime Society honored him as Man of the Year. In 2000, the Senate and General Assembly of the state of New Jersey honored Mr. Paliama for his work in the port of Camden.
Delaware River Stevedores manages the Tioga Marine Terminal, which works with CSAV, the Chilean Line and other refrigerated cargo carriers, in receiving fruit from Chile. The firm is also involved in providing dock labor for other ports on the Delaware.
Ambassador Fernandez spoke of Chile's economic growth. He noted that a Nov. 14 earthquake had tragically killed two people in northern Chile, but added that the death toll was low considering that it was a powerful 7.7 earthquake. The disturbance will not affect produce exports, he said.