Throughout our company’s history, we have had as a tradition to once a year gather “sea and land” for an Operations Meeting. We get together for a status update, technical discussions, and most importantly: socialising.
Photos and stories from the meeting have always had their place in our magasine Sjøfartstidene, and 2021 was not an exception: Last year’s meeting was long-awaited since it was not possible to arrange in 2020 due to Covid. Unfortunately, only one shift was able to attend before high numbers of Covid infections struck again. Even though it might feel like we are back to where we started in terms of Covid, we are careful optimists hoping that we’ll be able to repeat last year’s success later this year.
BY BJARNE LAASTAD // PYX
– Our operations meeting is very important. In an ideal world we should have them more often than once a year. It’s essential to gather all our colleagues, so we who work onshore can get to meet them and, not least, so that they meet each other. There’s a great combination of technical discussions and socialising. It’s important for us that our experienced and knowledgeable colleagues stay with the Company, and we hope that these gatherings contribute to strengthening our shared sense of belonging”, says CEO Kristian Helland Vea.
Vea used the occasion to thank our seafarers for their efforts during the pandemic. He presented status updates of the company and the fleet and spoke about Østensjø’s sustainability action plan and hydrogen propulsion project. CFO Ervin Horn presented the financial status for the various companies and the individual vessels.
Master of Edda Fram, Karl Petter Konradsen, has been with Østensjø Rederi since 2007, and has participated in many operations meetings.
– These meetings mean a lot. They are important for building relations, to feel like we have something in common, and they show us what the Company targets and goals are and how we are one team in achieving them. It is easy to feel alone on each of our vessels, and then it is good to be able to meet and share experiences, get to know our colleagues better, so that we know where we are at, and can more easily pick up the phone and call each other if you need help, says Konradsen, who among other things had a chat with Carl Berg, 2. Engineer on Edda Flora.
– This is my first operations meeting, and I’m really looking forward to meeting my colleagues, says Berg.
It was also the first time for Chief Officer Kåre Worren from Edda Fauna.
– I started my apprenticeship on old Edda Freya 17 years ago, and have since also worked on old Edda Frende, Edda Fjord and Edda Fonn. A lot of the faces are familiar here, and I’m looking forward to meeting both old and new colleagues, says Worren.
Chief Officer Mikael Kainulainen from Edda Frende has also worked on several vessels within the fleet.
– This is one of the great things with Østensjø. There are always opportunities available if you want to try something new. Although Østensjø is not the largest shipping company, we’re often the first to try out new technologies and new ways of doing the work. I feel like part of a family here, and I’m looking forward to meeting my good colleagues and getting an overview and listening to Østensjø Rederi’s plans for the future, Kainulainen says.
Cato Belsnes is 2. Engineer on Edda Sun and feels well informed about what’s going on at the company.
– It’s good to come here and get all the updated information, and always exciting to hear the budget review. After a while in the company I’ve come to know many of the people here, but it’s always nice to see some new faces. he says. Martin Eide Nordvik, 2. Engineer on Edda Fides, knows Cato from the time they worked together on Edda Fjord and Edda Sun.
Chief Engineer Lars Henriksson started at Østensjø as an Engine Cadet and has now been with the company for 13 years. After many years on Edda Fides, he has now spent the last few months on Edda Fjord.
– I find that experience transfer between the vessels at these meetings is very useful. It’s always interesting to hear about technical issues, which are usually unproblematic, and I’m excited to hear about the company’s future plans, he says.
As a relatively new employee, HR & Administration Manager Janne Lie Flage was also attending her first operations meeting.
– Bringing people together at an event such as this is very important. It’s a great opportunity for those of us working onshore to meet our colleagues working on the vessels, she says.
Both curling and pistol shooting at the shooting range were on the social program.
– I think I’ll be staying off the ice, but I’m quite good at shooting, says Flage with a smile.
– When I lived in the US, we used to practice shooting every Sunday. It was fun, but also very American and it wasn’t exactly something that I kept up after I moved back home, she laughs.