Debbie Jones appointed WISTA Sri Lanka President

Debbie Jones, Correspondent Manager P and I Division at GAC Shipping Ltd. was elected as the President of Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association  (WISTA) Sri Lanka during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) that was held on 29 October at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel while commemorating seven years of the Sri Lankan branch of WISTA.

Jones brings in a wealth of knowledge and experience in the shipping industry to lead and achieve the objectives of WISTA Sri Lanka. Shermans Logistics CEO/Director Diruni Chanmugam was elected as the Vice President. A.P. Moller Maersk Country Sales Manager Randima Krishnaratne was elected as the Secretary, South Asia Gateway Terminals Executive – Commercial and Marketing Kalani Dassanayake was elected as the Deputy Secretary, Hayleys Advantis General Manager – Shared Services Shiyamalee Karunanayake was elected as Treasurer, and Hapag-Lloyd Lanka Assistant Manager – Customer Service Co-ordination Kanchana Bopitiya was elected as the Assistant Treasurer.

This event was graced by Rohan De Silva who celebrated 50 years of yeoman service and inspiring leadership to the shipping and logistics industry in Sri Lanka. Rohan De Silva became the recipient of “WISTA Personality of the Year 2021” recognising his contributions; as he has supported WISTA Sri Lanka throughout their journey being a WISTA Sri Lanka ambassador. De Silva shared his remarkable journey with life-long experiences, challenges he successfully overcame, and sharing gratitude towards the people that touched his life and assisted him in his success.

The newly elected Executive Committee for the year 2021/22 consists of SALOTA International Director Nilu Mediwake Wickremasinghe, WorldLink Shipping Colombo Director Swabha Wickramasinghe, McLarens Group Management Consultant – Shipping and HR Services Anoma V. Ranasinghe, A.P. Moller Maersk Head – Customer Experience Sujani Kumarasinghe, Mountain Hawk Express Licensee of FedEx CEO/Director Chamila Bandara, Regency Teas General Manager – Operations Amali Mudunkotuwa, McLarens Lubricants Assistant General Manager Shalinie de Silva, GAC Marine Services Assistant Manager – Operations Felicita Alwis, Prudential Shipping Lines General Manager – NVOCC Surangi Gunasekera, Hambantota International Port Group Senior Manager – PR and Communications Chandula Rambukwella, Mac Supply Chain Solutions Manager – Key Accounts Management Sharmala Fernando, McLarens Group Management Group Director – Legal Dharshanie Illukpitiya, CMA CGM Lanka Senior Executive – Sales and Marketing Kajini Ediriweera, Wilhelmsen Meridian Navigation Director – Operations Maleena Awn, Sri Lanka Ports Authority Deputy Chief Finance Manager Himalika Perera, and Hellmann Worldwide Logistics Senior Executive – Customer Solutions and Business Development Ruwini Perera.

The Executive Committee will work towards implementing many initiatives in accordance with the WISTA Sri Lanka mandate on improving gender parity and women empowerment in the industry.

Addressing the gathering, newly elected President Debbie Jones expressed her confidence in leading WISTA Sri Lanka to be a strong force in the industry during a very challenging period. She also stressed on the importance of empowering women and encouraging more of them to join the workforce as currently women representation in the shipping and logistics industry in Sri Lanka remains at a mere 3%. She also spoke about how the dynamics have changed where the new normalcy allows for more flexible work patterns and hybrid work environments.

Hayleys Advantis Ltd. was the official logistics partner for the event and South Asia Gateway Terminals continue to power WISTA Sri Lanka as the corporate partner and will extend their support for yet another successful year of activities that promote and strengthen gender diversity and women empowerment in the industry.