Captain Richard Phillips takes helm at Keynote Session

Captain Richard Phillips

Thursday evening’s Keynote Session and official opening ceremony features Captain Richard Phillips, the famous sea captain whose ship was captured by Somali pirates in 2009. He became the center of an extraordinary international drama when his ship became the first U.S. ship to be hijacked in more than 200 years.

In April 2009, a small band of pirates boarded the Maersk, Alabama, a container ship ferrying food aid to East Africa. Captain Phillips protected his crew in a standoff where he offered himself as a hostage. For five days, people around the world were glued to their TV screens to watch the drama play out. Captain Phillips shared the experience in his book, “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea.” His remarkable rescue was also transformed into an Academy-Award and Golden-Globe nominated film, “Captain Phillips,” which hit the big screens in 2013.

Captain Phillips is a graduate of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy and a licensed American merchant mariner. He became captain of the MV Maersk Alabama in 2009. A resident of Underhill, Vermont, he has been married to Andrea Coggio since 1987, and they have two children, Mariah and Danny.

Sponsored by the Atlanta Chapter of the Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity and dedicated in memory of Dr. Marvin C. Goldstein, the Keynote Session will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Sidney Marcus Auditorium in Building A of the Georgia World Congress Center. All paid registrants are eligible for, and must be present, to win one of two $500 Home Depot gift cards.