Retired Navy admiral to give keynote At HERO Campaign’s 15th-year celebration

April 12, 2015 – A retired U.S. Navy rear admiral who grew up in Atlantic City will be the keynote speaker at the John R. Elliott HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers’ 15th anniversary brunch in July.

Rear Admiral Mark H. Buzby, who retired in 2013 after 34 years of service in the Navy, grew up in the Dennis Hotel on Atlantic City’s Boardwalk; the Buzby family welcomed guests at the Dennis for more than 105 years. The Dennis is now owned by Caesars Entertainment.

Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club will be the site of the July 19 event celebrating the HERO Campaign’s 15th year. The HERO Campaign is a non-profit organization that seeks to prevent drunk driving by promoting the use of safe and sober designated drivers. It was established in memory of Navy Ensign John Elliott of New Jersey, who was killed by a drunken driver in July 2000, two months after graduating with distinction from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

Buzby retired as Commander, Military Sealift Command.  In that post, Buzby commanded the day-to-day operations of 150 logistical and special-mission vessels for the Navy and other services. Prior to that posting, Buzby commanded the AEGIS destroyer USS Carney, Destroyer Squadron 31, the Surface Warfare Officers School, and Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay.

Rear Adm. Buzby also was instrumental in having the Navy Fleet Forces Command join the state of Virginia in adopting the HERO Campaign in 2008.

“We are honored to have Adm. Buzby as our keynote speaker,” said William Elliott, chairman of the HERO Campaign.  With his dedication to our country and his unselfish commitment to the service of others, he epitomizes the spirit of the HERO Campaign and our son’s legacy.”

At the United States Naval Academy, John Elliott was named the HERO of the Year for his service to his fellow midshipman as a Human Education Resource Officer.  Each year, the Academy’s  1000-member graduating class participates in a senior character and leadership program, offered in Ensign Elliott’s memory.

In November 2014, Buzby was elected as president and COO of the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA), the first former navy officer to lead the organization in its 70 year history.

Buzby is a 1979 graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., and holds masters degrees from the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I., and from Salve Regina University, also in Newport. He graduated from Admiral Farragut Academy in 1975.

Home today for Buzby and his wife, Gina, is Norfolk, Va., but he still makes regular trips to the Jersey Shore area.

Earlier in his Navy career, Buzby served in the frigate USS Connole, hydrofoil USS Aries, cruiser USS Yorktown,  destroyer John Paul Jones, and cruiser USS Shiloh.

In 1983, he was chosen as the Atlantic Fleet Junior Officer Shiphandler of the Year.

Buzby also had postings that included serving on the staff of the U.S. Sixth Fleet, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, Chief of Naval Operations staff, and as operations briefer to the Chairman of the JCS and the secretary of defense.

Since retiring, Buzby has been a maritime affairs consultant for Carnival Cruise Lines, the Raytheon Corporation, and Regeneron. He serves on the Board of Directors of Northeast Ship Repair Co, and the Admiral Farragut Academy in St. Petersburg, FL.

Rear Admiral Mark H. Buzby poses with William Elliott at a recent memorial ceremony.

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