By John Parrott, President and CEO
Foss will be celebrating its 130th anniversary in 2019. As we step into the new year, it is worth looking back and remembering all that Foss has accomplished and the challenges overcome that have led up to thecelebration of its 13-decade milestone.
Over the course of 2018, Foss and its family of maritime companies haveworked tirelessly to meet the safety requirements of our customers while also looking ahead to ensure Foss’s relevance within the industry over the next century.
There are many things to celebrate. First and foremost, I am excited about our safety record this year, which has been stronger than ever as we continue to be truly mindful of our motto of being “always safe.” Our number one goal is to send everyone home safely at the end of every shift, whether in the fleet or shoreside. We have done a much better job at meeting this goal, and for that I thank everyone — customers, vendors, and employees alike.
I am also excited about our new strategy and direction. With a new emphasis on regional offices at Foss and the reliable support from our family of towage companies, we are in a much stronger position to meet our commitments. Foss’s new structure with an emphasis on skilled general managers is making us more nimble and responsive to our customers’ needs in each of the markets we serve.
Change, even positive change, comes with challenges and sorrow, especially when those changes impact members of the Foss family. In September our Rainier Shipyard after decades of service closed its doors. A true testament to the men and women who worked there is the ongoing fact that most of the vessels they built will continue to serve Foss well into the future. We are also sad to see some of our good friends moving on, including the retirement of Scott Merritt, a true green-andwhite fixture, after 34 years of dedicated service.
With these changes have come opportunities, with new people joining the company, and many others stepping up into new roles and responsibilities. The COO position will be in good hands, as Will Roberts takes over the role, while his commercial responsibilities are being handled by Jeff Horst in his new role as VP of Sales and Marketing. We should be proud of the fact that 100 percent of the new GM roles were filled from within our ranks. Each of these moves has opened up and provided new responsibilities throughout the organization.
I am also very excited about our new-build program, because it marks our commitment to the industry that we have been a part of for so long. The laying of keels, on the first four of these ASD 90-ton harbor boats, is a fitting way to celebrate our 130 years of maritime operation.
Finally, what I am most enthusiastic about in the coming year is to be continuing to work with the amazing people within our industry and our family of companies. We have always been a family business at heart, and we will collectively strive to continue our goal to be the best at what we do. It’s a family I’m proud to be a part of.