President's Message
Koen Van Goethem

I would like to start by expressing my gratitude to all of you for your motivating commitment to our association. This is the only way we can move forward together.

It is an honor to have been elected as President of the Cordage Institute. I’ll try to live up to your expectations and serve the association in the common interest of its members and the general interest of the industry. Together with our board members, strengthened with Wilco Stroet and Brent Gerdes, I’ll continue working on the long-term strategy which was presented to you. We’re moving more and more international in thinking globally in the world of Cordage while maintaining our important national position in standardization.

I want to thank Luis Padilla, our Past President, for his dedication during his two terms and his vision on the future of our association. We’re lucky to be able to count on him on the Board of Directors for the coming years.

At the beginning of June, we all gathered for our 4th Joint Conference with Eurocord at the Lansdowne Resort near Washington, DC. The comments were very positive on a technical level (thanks Sarah Padilla and all technical chairs), an organizational level (thanks Pete Lance and James Wolfington) and on the speakers during the Technical Seminar and the General Business Session.

Progress in joint efforts from both associations through CIRTS, ISO, and different taskforces are moving us closer to each other.

Sim Whitehill was selected to receive the Gale Foster Award of Merit for his long-term efforts on behalf of the Cordage Institute, and this award will be presented to him during the fall meeting in October.

Keith Buzzell and Loet Hoppe were given the Richards Technical Contribution Award for their continuous commitment to the Technical Subcommittees.

Wishing you all a wonderful end of this summer and looking forward to meeting you at the Fall Technical Meeting (October 16-17, 2019 in Philadelphia, PA).
Cordage Institute Happenings
Sim Whitehill with his daughter, Elizabeth Huntley, at the Cordage Institute’s 2005 Annual Conference
Sim Whitehill Selected to Receive the 2019 Gale Foster Award of Merit
Sim Whitehill, a Past President and long-time member of the Cordage Institute, was unanimously elected by the Cordage Institute’s Board of Directors to receive the 2019 Gale Foster Award of Merit. Named after the well-respected former Cordage Institute Technical Director, the Gale Foster Award of Merit is presented to individuals who have contributed outstanding service to the organization and to the industry over a substantial period of time. 

Sim served on the Cordage Institute’s Board of Directors from 1997 to 2008, and he served as President from 2001 to 2005. The award will be presented during a special dinner with the Board of Directors on October 15th.
Introducing the New Cordage Institute Directors
Below are brief introductions to members who were recently elected to their first terms on the Cordage Institute's Board of Directors.
Brent Gerdes
Honeywell International

Brent Gerdes is currently a Global Product Marketing Manager for Honeywell International, where he is responsible for the marketing and strategy development and implementation for the Spectra® fiber business serving the rope, cordage, and netting business areas for Honeywell’s Packaging & Composites business unit.

Brent has over 27 years of experience in engineering, business development, program management, and business management in the textiles and composites fields.

Brent holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nebraska.

He lives in the Charlotte, NC area with his wife and three children. In his free time, Brent enjoys time with his family, boating, hiking, biking, and fishing.
Wilco Stroet
Lankhorst Ropes

Wilco Stroet is Senior Vice President Global Maritime, WireCo WorldGroup. He is Managing Director at Lankhorst Ropes in the Netherlands, including Lankhorst Ropes USA. In the United States, he is Managing Director at Phillystran Inc. Mr. Stroet has over 20 years industry experience and applied commercial and technical knowledge in the field of synthetic and steel wire ropes.
Mr. Stroet has held senior roles in Lankhorst Ropes’ Maritime and Offshore Divisions, including responsibility for its subsidiaries Lankhorst Ropes UK and Lankhorst Euronete España, and the sales activities (maritime and offshore) of Lankhorst Euronete Portugal. He has represented Lankhorst on the board of Scan Rope Marine, Eurorope and Eurocord. Within the WireCo Group, he is also Global Industry Director Maritime, and responsible for the Middle East. Mr. Stroet recently rejoined Lankhorst Ropes after spending three years as Managing Director of a leading offshore engineering consultancy.
Mr. Stroet studied Economics at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and has recently followed several courses on strategic issues.
Don't Miss the Fall 2019 Technical Meeting in Philadelphia
The next meeting of the Cordage Institute's Technical Committee will be held on Wednesday, October 16th and Thursday, October 17th. In addition, the Cordage Institute's Board of Directors will meet on Wednesday, October 16th.

Highlights of the Cordage Institute and Eurocord's 4th Joint Conference
The 4th Joint Conference of the Cordage Institute and Eurocord was held on June 2-5, 2019 at the Lansdowne Resort and Spa in Leesburg, Virginia. The full conference program included the Annual Technical Seminar, a Business and Industry Meeting, Technical Committee Meetings, and plenty of networking opportunities.

Knots & Notes
by Sarah Padilla, Cordage Institute Technical Director
Back by popular demand, the Knots and N otes section of RopecordNews will inform you of the standards being developed by the Cordage Institute, as well as by other industry organizations. As we develop this section of the newsletter, please let us know what type of content is of interest to you by sending an email to or 
Standards Update
Updates from the Cordage Institute Standards subcommittees on how things are progressing since the last newsletter
The Standard Review
Updates from other standards bodies that are relevant to the cordage industry.
Editor's Note : The below article was cited during the presentation by MaryLee Haughwout titled "Lost Fishing Gear - Marine Debris Prevention Strategies & Solutions" at the Cordage Institute and Eurocord's 4th Joint Conference.
Escape Cord Degradation Rates in Port Townsend, Washington
By Robyn Redekopp, Wendy Fisher, Morgan Neal, Donald Velasquez, Stephan Frenzl - Snohomish County Marine Resources Committee, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife
Abstract: Derelict fishing and crabbing gear has become a widespread issue throughout Puget Sound. The Northwest Straits Commission has been a leader in removing derelict gear throughout the Sound; however, little scientific information is available about the factors influencing mortality rates from derelict gear. By better understanding the impact and factors involved with derelict gear, we can develop strategic and prioritized removal efforts to minimize the impact on marine resources. This study aimed to determine degradation rates of different types of escape cord (also known as “rot cord”) used on Dungeness crab traps in Puget Sound. This study tested three arrangements of escape cord (rings, panels, and hooks) with five different kinds of material, with different thicknesses when feasible. Study results indicate that hemp, jute and sisal degrade more rapidly than cotton cord, and thus would allow for crab to escape earlier from derelict crab traps. However, social and political barriers may be in place that limits commercial, tribal and recreational crab harvesters from using alternative biodegradable materials. Further research on escape cord degradation rates in different marine environments, in addition to developing targeted education and outreach programs among each user group, is needed to improve stewardship of Puget Sound’s Dungeness crab and other marine resources. 

Potential Employer and Employee Pitfalls Under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act
By Bob Weil,  Law Office of Robert J. Weil, PLLC
In my work with non-profit organizations, there has been no shortage of issues that arise in the employment law setting. These matters range from negotiating executive contracts to responding to claims of discrimination or workplace harassment, questions about the application of the wage and hours laws, interpretation of non-competes, and so on and so forth.  

However, one federal employment statute that on occasion requires a “deeper dive” when it comes to carefully applying the facts to the law is the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act, more commonly referred to as the FMLA.  

In this short article, I want to point out a few provisions of the statute and FMLA regulations that may be overlooked and thus create avoidable liability exposures. 

Member News and Press Releases 
Christian Rheault Appointed President & CEO of Samson
Samson announced the appointment of Christian Rheault as CEO, effective July 1, 2019. 

Rheault comes to Samson with a strong combination of multinational experience. Most recently he was CEO of Greene, Tweed, a US-based global supplier of custom sealing engineered solutions for aerospace, oilfield, semiconductor, petrochemical, and power. Prior to that, he was CEO of C&D Technologies, a company that manufactures systems for energy storage in standby backup power systems. Along with his business leadership experience, Rheault has held roles in engineering, manufacturing, and marketing management, at equipment manufacturer Kulicke & Soffa and also where he started his career, at IBM Canada.

Originally from Quebec, Canada, Rheault has degrees in both Electrical Engineering and Business Administration, both useful in gaining 25+ years of experience within multiple industries and international organizations. Samson is expecting to quickly benefit from his strong global leadership, technology and engineering background, and strength in strategic planning and execution.

“We are looking forward to Christian joining the Samson team; we believe that his experience in leading technology companies will be instrumental to continuing Samson’s leadership in performance cordage, and expanding their market position,” shares Robert Strouse, president of Wind River Holdings®.
Anthony Veder Prepares for MEG4 with Lankhorst Ropes
With the OCIMF raising the bar for mooring equipment for oil and gas tankers, leading small scale LNG carrier, Anthony Veder, is working with Lankhorst Ropes to bring its mooring practices in line with MEG4.

Established in 1937, Anthony Veder is an integrated shipping company involved in all segments of gas shipping including petrochemical gases (Petchems), Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Ammonia, and Carbon dioxide (CO2). The company’s fleet consists of 38 modern gas carriers.

Anthony Veder has worked with Lankhorst Ropes for over 10 years; Lankhorst ropes are now used on over 95% of the fleet. Initially the company used Eurofloat mooring lines but now uses exclusively Tipto Twelve and Tipto Eight mooring lines. Available in 16 mm to 48 mm diameter, Tipto Twelve’s 12 strand braided construction makes the rope rounder, more stable, more compact and with a smoother surface. This increases abrasion resistance and, as a result, the service life of the rope. “We prefer Tipto Twelve wherever possible thanks to its flexibility and ease of handling,” says Wouter van der Veen, Nautical Expert, Anthony Veder. “Tipto Eight is used only where we need a larger diameter rope for some applications. We use Eurofloat and Nylon tails on the vessels that do offshore STS operations; the tails enlarge our operational window."

Industry News
Whale Woes: Maine Lobster Reps Agree to 50 Percent Cut in Vertical Lines
By Jessica Hathaway, National Fisherman
After months of speculation and hand-wringing, Northeast lobstermen got a clear message from NMFS at the federal Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team meeting last week: Make drastic changes, or we’ll do it for you.

“On day three of the TRT meeting, NMFS Deputy Assistant Administrator Sam Rauch… did not mince words in stating that the TRT’s job is to identify measures to reduce right whale serious injury and mortality from lobster gear by 60-80 percent,” said Maine Lobstermen’s Association Executive Director Patrice McCarron in an April 29 letter to members. “He was clear that the TRT meeting gave the fishing industry its opportunity to shape how that reduction is achieved. If we failed that task, NMFS would begin rulemaking without our advice and decide for us.”

Trained Team Rescues Whale ‘Hog-Tied’ in Rope Near Washington’s Olympic Peninsula
By CNN Wires
A trained team worked to free a humpback whale that was “hog-tied” in rope near the tip of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

The entangled whale was spotted by a fishing group with Todd’s Extreme Fishing just before noon Thursday. The group stayed with the whale to monitor its location until the Makah Tribe and U.S. Coast Guard arrived to take over the watch.

“They did exactly the right thing by keeping their distance and watching the whale so the team could quickly find it,” said Kristin Wilkinson, regional coordinator of NOAA Fisheries’ Pacific Northwest Large Whale Entanglement Response Network.

Upcoming Industry Events
September 30 - October 3, 2019
Porto, Portugal

October 7-10, 2019
Montreal, Canada
Intercontinental Montreal

October 16-17, 2019
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Embassy Suites – Philadelphia International Airport Hotel

October 27-30, 2019
San Diego, California
Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

October 27-31, 2019
Seattle, Washington
Washington State Convention Center

May 4-7, 2020
Houston, Texas
NRG Park

June 2-4, 2020
White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
The Greenbrier
The Cordage Institute |

RopecordNews is published by the Cordage Institute. The Cordage Institute is an international association of rope, twine, and related manufacturers, their suppliers, and affiliated industries. Articles appearing in RopecordNews are the views of the authors and not necessarily those of the Cordage Institute. Members are encouraged to contribute articles and items of interest by emailing them to Rates for advertising are available from the Institute.

Cordage Institute Headquarters

Peter M. Lance, Executive Director
Tel: 610-971-4854
Fax: 610-971-4859