Diane Luensmann, Vice President, Government and Strategic Communications for the Canaveral Port Authority, has been named Maritime Person of the Year by the Propeller Club of Port Canaveral for 2024. She has worked at the Port Authority since 2017, bringing her decades of experience in federal government, state government and the private sector. Diane earned a Master’s degree from the U.S. Naval War College in National Security and Strategic Studies. Her private sector experience includes serving as the first female to be President of a full-service New England Ad agency. Her federal experience includes serving as Communications Director and Deputy Chief of Staff for members of the U.S. House of Representatives. In state government she served as Liaison to the Democratic Governors Association. She also worked as Maritime Policy Director for the American Maritime Congress.
Since joining the Canaveral Port Authority, Diane has used her extensive experience in government relations and policy initiatives, and communications and marketing to promote the mission and interests of Port Canaveral, the world’s second busiest cruise port, at the local, state, and federal government levels. She has been a major force in getting federal and state legislation passed and policy improvements made on a wide range of issues that have impact far beyond just Port Canaveral and the State of Florida. An example is that she was instrumental in getting a federal law passed to create a maritime security zone controlled and enforced by the U.S. Coast Guard for the safe and secure splashdown and recovery of space launch assets when it became apparent after the first manned capsule return mission that there was not adequate authority included in existing law. Diane has been involved in planning and deploying innovations and industry cutting edge achievements such as LNG ship fueling at Port Canaveral and strengthening port partnerships with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. She has worked to improve emergency response and port safety for Florida ports with the successful passage of Florida legislation to improve hurricane evacuation procedures and helping the port receive funding for a new fire boat and emergency rescue response equipment. In addition to all her work directly impacting the maritime industry, Diane is a strong advocate for maritime education and has helped bring Maritime Academy cadets to Port Canaveral for training and internship opportunities.
Congratulations to Diane Luensmann, the Propeller Club of Port Canaveral’s Maritime Person of the Year!




Our next event is the annual Maritime Day ceremony, harbor tour, and luncheon on Saturday, May 25 at Rusty’s Seafood & Oyster Bar, Port Canaveral at 10:00 am.  Mrs. Branden Leay Villalona, Director of the Maritime Administration South Atlantic Gateway Region Office will be joining us for this event.  A memorial ceremony at Rusty’s will be followed by a Harbor Tour aboard the Space Coast River Tours vessel Blue Dolphin for a laying of a wreath on the waters of the harbor.  Lunch will follow the tour at Rusty’s.  Online registration coming soon!



Bob Sielski is a long-time member of the Propeller Club of Port Canaveral and is currently serving as club Secretary for the sixth year in a row.  Bob has had a long and distinguished career as a Naval Architect.  He earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan and his Master of Engineering and Doctor of Science in Structural Engineering from the George Washington University.  Some of his career highlights include developing a guide for the design and construction of aluminum marine structure that has become a standard reference for aluminum ship structures, working with the Naval Sea Systems Command, and advising the Office of Naval Research on its Ship Structure Reliability program.  He received the Distinguished Service Award in 2011 from the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers and was elected a Fellow in 2012.  He has worked on and chaired committees with the Marine Board of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Society of Naval Engineers.

Bob has shown his dedication to the mission of the Propeller Club of Port Canaveral by volunteering not only as Club Secretary but also faithfully attending the club’s Keep Brevard Beautiful Clean Up days and serving on the Education Committee.  Bob is very passionate about the club’s maritime education efforts and scholarship program.  He has served as an evaluator for awarding the club’s scholarships for many years and in recent years he has taken the lead on the scholarship application evaluation team, developing a matrix to assist in the process.  He advocates for the continued development of the club’s Scholarship Endowment to provide funding for future scholarships.   Bob is also passionate about the club’s support for the Canaveral Port Ministry and is always part of the group of members who attend the Ministry’s annual Gala.  In his spare time Bob is an avid marathon runner.  He has run a marathon in all 50 states and in London and has run half marathons in Antarctica and on the Great Wall of China!   Congratulations to our Member of the Year, Bob Sielski.


Dr. Mark Rendell, Superintendent Brevard Public Schools, was the guest speaker at the May Propeller Club Annual Education Luncheon. He gave an update on Brevard Schools highlighting the many college prep programs such as AP, Dual Enrollment, Cambridge and International Baccalaureate, as well as the many Career & Tech Ed programs available across the county. He mentioned that Brevard Public Schools continues to be an academically high achieving school district and that decision making at the highest level is driven by the impact on teachers and students in the classroom. Dr. Rendell noted that he often gets questions as to what happened to vocational programs and he replies that they never went away, the name has been changed to Career & Technical Education. He highlighted some of the unique programs available including the Rockledge High School HELM Maritime Studies program. 

Propeller Club of Port Canaveral Scholarship winners and graduating Seniors from the HELM Maritime Studies Program at Rockledge High School were recognized at the May Luncheon. Superintendent Rendell helped recognize the students.  The Propeller Club awarded six scholarships this year to students from High Schools throughout Brevard County who are going into a maritime related field of study including maritime academies, engineering, marine sciences, business, emergency management and law enforcement. Total scholarships awarded amount to $9,000 with an additional $5,000 to previous winners of the Club’s recurring scholarship that total $2500 per year for four years. Graduating Seniors from the RHS HELM program shared some of their future plans including two students planning to attend maritime academies. Other college majors include Construction Management and Biology.



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