The SS United States Conservancy has presented the Blue Riband Award to Advisory Council member Casper van Hooren for his tremendous efforts on behalf of the SS United States.
Casper has provided invaluable counsel to the Conservancy as the former owner of the famed Dutch steamship, the SS Rotterdam. Casper oversaw its initial conversion into a successful stationary mixed-use attraction in Rotterdam, where today it is a thriving hotel, meeting venue, and tourist attraction. Though he will based in Europe, Casper will remain involved with the Conservancy and is as passionate as ever about saving America's Flagship.
From left: Conservancy board member Joe Rota, van Hooren, and Executive Director Susan Gibbs
"The redevelopment of the SS United States is all about making exceptions," Casper said. "She won't be a ship, and she won't be a building. At first, she doesn't ask too much of us. It's not about golden faucets. It's not about marble floors. It's about making her safely accessible to the public so we can continue with storytelling and with entertaining and inspiring today's and future generations."
Casper began his career at ‘Royal Borsumij Wehry’, an international Dutch trading company. He then founded a Dutch-based software development company ‘Techxx’ in 1997. After ten years, he proudly left the company via a management buy-out and re-invested his capital in the redevelopment of significant heritage real estate, including the SS Rotterdam.
Casper expressed appreciation for the opportunity to work for the Conservancy and advance redevelopment plans for the SS United States. "The Conservancy has brought me so many beautiful people with different backgrounds and opinions," he said. "However, they all have one thing in common: Saving the SS United States. And the journey continues..."
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