Leaders for Change

Ship Operations Cooperative Program

The first chapter of SOCP is now a reality at MMA.  The Ship Operations Cooperative Program is a non-profit organization of maritime industry professionals whose goal it is to provide beneficial innovations in ship and other maritime operations through the identification, development and application of new methods, tools and technologies. It’s overall objective is to improve the safety, productivity, efficiency, security and environmental performance of U. S. vessel operation.

MMA’s SOCP’s Future Leaders chapter hopes to motivate cadets to network with maritime professionals in today’s shipping industry.  It will also give them a chance to listen to guest speakers and attend future conferences. This year’s officers are: 2/C Michael Bentley, President; 1/C Spencer Meine, VP;1/C Ryan Ridge, Treasurer and 3/C Andie Painten, Secretary.

Bentley, currently an International Maritime Business major and Junior, graduated from Sacred Heart High School, Kingston, MA. He is the driving force behind the new group. This cadet interned for Capt. Christian Volkle at APL Maritime, Ltd. during the Summer of 2016.  “During my time with this company, I sat in on SOCP webinar meetings with Chris and learned about what this program is all about.  I also learned that APL is one company involved in this program.  Others include MARAD, Canadian Shipping Lines (CSL), Crowley Tankers, and a few others.  After completing my internship with APL and during my junior year fall semester of 2016, I was asked by Chris Volkle, who is an 80s graduate of Mass Maritime, to start the first student chapter of future leaders for SOCP at the Academy.  We are the first to start a group out of all other U. S. maritime academies,” he said. 

Bentley hopes to work on the operations management end of a shipping company or container terminal after graduation.  “MMA has helped open my eyes to the many operations, safety, logistics and business opportunities there are in the maritime industry.  The addition of this new SOCP chapter on campus will only expand industry networking possibilities, bringing that dream job a bit closer,” the cadet concluded.