Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Holland America Line Hosts 22nd Annual South Florida Business Leaders’ Luncheon for Seafarers’ House at Port Everglades

Holland America Line hosted the 22nd annual South Florida Business Leaders’ Luncheon for the Seafarers’ House aboard ms Oosterdam on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford was in attendance to celebrate the long-standing partnership with the local organization. During the event, Seafarers’ House honored Bob Swindell, the 2017 Business Leader of the Year. Swindell is president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, Broward County’s official public/private partnership for economic development.

“Seafarers’ House is a vitally important organization for our crew when our ships are visiting Port Everglades, giving them a place to turn for guidance or simply relax when they are so far away from their own homes,” said Ashford. “I’m thrilled that I was able to come in from our Seattle headquarters and attend the luncheon, which is a highlight of our community giving season in South Florida.”

Swindell, a lifelong Broward resident, has served in several business and community leadership roles. He was appointed commissioner for the Florida Board of Harbor Pilot Commissioners by Florida governors Martinez, Chiles and Bush; and in 2012, Governor Scott appointed him to the Board of Pilot Commissioners for a two-year term. He serves on several boards including CareerSource Broward, United Way of Broward County, Junior Achievement of South Florida, Winterfest and the Broward Education Foundation. He is a past chairman of the Florida Economic Development Council (FEDC). Since October of 2005 he has served on the Florida Atlantic Research & Development Park Authority as an appointee of the Broward County Commission. Swindell also served on the board of directors for NAIOP and Enterprise Florida.

“Holland America Line and Seafarers’ House have built an incredible relationship over the years, and it’s because of our community partners that we’re able to provide so many services to the deserving crew members that visit Port Everglades,” said Lesley Warrick, executive director of Seafarers’ House. "Every year we look forward to our annual luncheon on board a Holland America Line ship, and we’re thankful for another memorable event and the generous cruise donation that we raffled off to raise funds."

Seafarers’ House at Port Everglades is a multi-faith cooperation that is open throughout the year as a safe, friendly place where mariners can connect with their families, relax or get emergency assistance if needed. Seafarers’ House offers many services including low-cost international phone calls, free transportation, internet access, counseling services and recreational facilities. Seafarers’ House hosts more than 150,000 visitors annually by cruise and cargo ship crew members. For additional information visit

Photo © Linda Coffman,

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