Posted on November 9, 2022
Kommer Damen, who built Damen Shipyards into a household name in shipping, received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Dutch Maritime Awards Gala in Rotterdam Monday night. It adds to a growing and hard-earned collection of accolades for his decades of service to the industry.
Kommer Damen, 78, took over the family shipbuilding business from his father and his uncle in 1969. He retooled its organizational structure to focus on series production, modular construction, and in-stock, ready-to-go vessels. The concept worked, and over the decades, Damen has expanded to include a constellation of 35 newbuild and repair yards in ports around the world. The company also owns a good share of its own supply chain for components, like anchor chain and winches.
Kommer Damen still has an active hand in the business and serves as group chairman. His son Arnout Damen is the CEO of Damen Shipyards Group; daughter Annelies Damen serves on the firm’s board; and daughter Rose Damen runs Amels/Damen Yachting, the group’s successful luxury brand.
In addition to his shipbuilding empire, Kommer Damen supports the arts, notably the Nederlands Dans Theater, a contemporary dance company based in The Hague. He serves on the Dutch Maritime Council and represents the Netherlands as Honorary Consul to Mexico. He is a past board member of the Netherlands Maritime Technology Association (NMT) and the Dutch Maritime network, among other board roles.
Bas Ort, chairman of NMT, presented the lifetime achievement award on behalf of the Dutch maritime sector. The accolade adds to Kommer Damen’s growing collection, which also includes the royal Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau, honorary citizen of the city of Gorinchem, Offshore Support Journal Leader of the Year and Seawork Lifetime Achievement Award.