Faces in the Industry: Danny James, Compass Logistics & Marine, LLC April 30, 2019
Tell us how long you’ve lived here.
I was born and raised on the waterways of Fort Lauderdale, went to Cardinal Gibbons High School (Class of 99’), and then received my congressional appointment to attend the United States Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point, NY). I left S. Florida in 1999 to attend the Merchant Marine Academy and serve in The United States Marine Corp. In 2007, I was fortunate to get orders back to Fort Lauderdale with the Marine Corps, met my wife Justine in 2008, and we are happy to call Fort Lauderdale home.
Where do you work, what is your job title, and what does your job entail?
After transitioning from active duty, I started working as an international forwarder in the logistics industry, got my customs broker license, and started Compass Logistics & Marine LLC at the end of 2017. My official title is owner, president, licensed customs broker, but those who are familiar with starting a company and building a team know we all wear many hats. Some days I am accounting, other days I am the cleaning person, sales, operations or a combination of all. Our company, Compass Logistics & Marine LLC, is a service-disabled veteran owned logistics company based in S. Florida and specializing in the marine, cruise, government industries, customs brokerage, international shipping (air and ocean), domestic, and total supply chain solutions. We use our people and service first approach along with our worldwide network to tailor solutions to meet and exceed our clients’ and partners’ needs.
How did you initially become interested in the marine industry?
Growing up in the Venice of America, “Fort Lauderdale”, and spending a lot of time on boats and around the water, I was immediately connected with the marine industry. My second job in high school was working at Sunny Isle Marina as a dock hand, which I loved. I then attended the Merchant Marine Academy, where I turned this passion into a profession as a mariner, studying celestial, terrestrial navigation, rules of the road, maritime law, ship stability, among many other marine focused courses and eventually obtained my US Coast Guard 3rd Mate Unlimited tonnage license in 2003. While at the Academy, I also spent one year at sea as a cadet, working on (7) different ships and sailing all over the world. When we started Compass Logistics & Marine LLC, I was already doing some marine and cruise business, but it was important for me that it be not only a focus of ours, but also in the company name. It is who we are, both as a US Marine & the Marine Industry.
What is your favorite or most valuable benefit of membership in MIASF?
The leadership and the people. I put such a huge value on these two things and MIASF is doing exceptional on both. It is this that allows them to do so much for the members, the community, and the Marine Industry. So many great projects and initiatives, with good people, and sound leadership driving them and making a difference. I love being a part of it and around it.
Describe some of the other community organizations or events that you are involved with or participate in.
In the last year or so, it has been a bit challenging on time due to our second child, new company growing, and still serving in the Marine Corps Reserves, but every chance I get I try to serve. For obvious and many reasons, I have a passion of serving veterans and have loved being a part of and supporting Mission United (United Way Organization which focuses on Veterans). I also have been trying to take opportunities to volunteer for MIASF when they need help and plan to continue to build on both. Over the past two years, I also had the pleasure of working with some exceptional Veterans in hurricane relief/support trips after some of the recent and devastating hurricanes. Serving is a greater calling and tremendously fulfilling. I am currently a Major in the Marine Corps, nearly 16 years, and my current US Marine Corps Command is Recruit Station Fort Lauderdale.
Tell us about your hobbies and what kinds of things do you do for fun.
I love spending time with my fam: Justine (Wife), Preston (2), Piper (6 months) and Thatcher (dog). I also love to spend time on boats, fishing, surfing and travelling.