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Getting to know the ICS Membership Committee Chair
Posted on Monday, July 18, 2022
In this interview, we meet Gertrude Adwoa Ohene-Asienim
(FICS), currently Chair of the Membership Committee of the
Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS). She is also the Executive
Director of Whitestone Shipbrokers, a new company she has
established. She has been the Country Manager for PGS Ghana, Yinson
Gazania Operations and OMA Labour & Procurement
Solutions. Her goal is to encourage us all to make the most of the
chances available to us within this sector and to use the ICS to
guide the way. Gertrude, a native Ghanaian is at the top of her
game and she shares with us her passion and advice for success
within the maritime sector and the Institute.
What does your current job entail?
As a Shipbroker, Lecturer, Maritime Consultant and top business
executive I lead a multifaceted life. I have been involved in
project planning and management, handling meetings with regulators
and clients, attending board meetings, chartering offshore support
vessels, the drafting and reviewing of contracts, among many other
responsibilities. Every day is different as each day presents a new
challenge. But sharing knowledge is by far the best part of what I
do. I love maritime education and training.
What do you enjoy about this job?
A lot goes on when you work in a versatile company within the
shipping and oil & gas segment. From operations and office
management, chartering of support vessels to hosting kick-off
meetings aboard vessels to commence a project, it really doesn't
get much better than that, I think. Having worked in an environment
that has diverse sectors from Marine Geophysics, Floating,
Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) operations and
maintenance, Subsea Engineering, Shipping Agency and Logistics.
Combining my industry experience with teaching is a great asset,
one made possible by the solid foundation of the courses offered by
How does what you do fit into the overall shipping
I am in a privileged position knowing the ins and outs of both
the energy sector and the shipping segment. From interaction
with fishing communities to dealing with regulators and
stakeholders, I can appreciate the diversity of the industry as a
How has the ICS experience helped you get to where you
The ICS experience has definitely broadened my horizon. Being
involved with the Institute and all its diverse aspects have given
me much more insight into the world of shipping. I wrote my ICS
exams when I was pursuing my post-graduate degree and that
additional knowledge guaranteed, I was ahead of the game. In my
work environment, I appreciate the dimensions of the industry and
can comprehend the issues I have to deal with. Being a member of
the Institute gives you a holistic view of the industry and makes
you deeply rooted in shipping.
What advice would you give to those thinking about
studying with the ICS?
You can compare working in the maritime industry without an ICS
qualification to being in the middle of the ocean without a life
jacket. I encourage all our students to continue their association
with ICS after passing their exams. They need to participate in the
wider Institute activities by applying for membership and getting
involved to make sure they see the full picture of the enormous
benefits available to them. And there are many, from working as a
volunteer in branch committees, tutoring and mentorship to speaker
opportunities, contributing to articles in shipping network,
serving on Institute committees and so on.
What is the best thing about the maritime industry, in
It is a global industry and there are many possibilities when it
comes to working within the different sectors. You can choose an
area, specialise in it and be the best you can be in that
Does this industry have a special place in your
heart? And why?
When I was young, I wanted to be a newscaster or a flight
attendant. I love how fashionable they are. I ventured into the
world of shipping by accident. It made me realise that our very
lives depend on shipping. I couldn't have made a better choice.
How do you contribute to the Institute?
I have been involved in the Institute's affairs since 2013 when
I got my fellowship. I started as an Administrator for my branch, a
fun experience. I went on to become the Education and Training
Coordinator and was later asked by the Chairman at the time to
attend the Controlling Council meeting on his behalf. That
experience and the realisation that the ICS comprises all
"nations", made me want more.
I served as the West Africa Branch Chairman, and am currently
the Membership Committee Chairman, having functioned as a member of
the committee and subsequently the Vice Chairman. I am also part of
the Executive Council at the moment. In the field of education, I
am an Assistant Examiner and Assessor. I have never known another
Institute that has this many opportunities.
I am humbled by all these experiences that have shaped my life
for the better. The Institute is a melting pot of cultural
diversity and holds many chances to learn from others.
What new developments are in the pipeline for students
or members of the ICS to enjoy?
We want our members to appreciate the Institute's global
outreach and to clearly see the opportunities that are available to
them. The membership committee conducted a survey for Members of
the Institute last year and we received positive feedback. We have
analysed this data and are currently creating initiatives based on
The Institute offers a world of knowledge through its many
webinars that are open to members and registered students.
Going forward the Institute Membership Committee will continue
to address the most pressing topics in shipping. We are looking at
enhanced global membership benefits and are also encouraging our
members to be part of our online community by joining our social
media groups, like, click and share our stories and highlight their
own stories. Mentorship is in the pipeline for mentors and mentees.
But above all, we would love for every member to be an ambassador
of the Institute.
I am honoured to have joined the ICS family and even more
pleased to be your Membership Committee Chairman. Our Institute is
truly global and holds many untapped opportunities. So, make sure
you are next, and take that advantage to grow within the
If you are inspired by Gertrude and would like to embark on a
shipping study programme with the Institute, don't hesitateto
contact us today: T +44 (0)20 7357 9722 | E firstname.lastname@example.org | W www.ics.org.uk
Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers | Warwick House | 65-66 Queen Street | London EC4R 1EB | United Kingdom
T +44 (0)20 7357 9722 | E email@example.com | W www.ics.org.uk