Capt. Richard Phillips is in Grand Rapids today.

Capt. Richard Phillips (Photo: The Harry Walker Agency)
Capt. Richard Phillips (Photo: The Harry Walker Agency)

Phillips was captain of the MV Maersk Alabama during its hijacking by Somali pirates in April 2009; and his heroics were chronicled in the Oscar-nominated 2013 film "Captain Phillips" starring Tom Hanks.

Tonight, he is the keynote speaker for Davenport University's Excellence in Business Dinner Gala, a black-tie fund-raiser for Davenport University Foundation student scholarship funds, at DeVos Place.

This morning, he spent time with me on 100.5 The River. I was filling in for Andy Rent on the "Andy Rent Show" along with guest host Tim Harris. Andy is currently on vacation in Hawaii, where he's on a group tour with YMT Vacations and listeners of 100.5 The River.

Phillips, a 58-year-old Winchester, Mass., resident, authored "A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs and Dangerous Days at Sea," about his experience and remarkable rescue by the U.S. Navy.

He and his crew of about 20 were hijacked aboard their container ship off the coast of east Africa for five days in April 2009; it was the first hijacking of a U.S. ship in more than two centuries. Columbia Pictures' movie "Captain Phillips" was largely based on Phillips' book.

Here's part of what he had to say.

This morning, I also had the great pleasure of talking with Davenport President Richard Pappas; Wolverine World Wide CEO and Chairman Blake Krueger, being honored tonight with Davenport's Peter C. Cook Excellence in Business Award; Mike Jandernoa, former Perrigo Corp. CEO and chairman and the namesake principal of Jandernoa Entrepreneurial Mentoring; and Davenport Chancellor Emeritus Donald Maine, with the latter having Davenport's College of Business named after him and executive director of the M.E. Davenport Foundation.

These men are all contributing to our community here in Grand Rapids and West Michigan -- in addition to Davenport -- in ways large and small in terms of talent, time, treasure and their passion for where we live.

Facebook Drawing for Gala Tickets

In addition, thanks to everyone who entered our Facebook drawing for a pair of tickets to the Davenport gala from listeners of 100.5 The River, Channel 95.7 and Classic Hits 98.7 WFGR. The lucky winner was Sue Harkema Jeurink.

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