Over the past forty-plus years, I have watched in amazement as our small family company has grown and grown. I am truly taken aback by the effort, dedication, and pride that our employees show on a daily basis. But as the years passed, I implemented a transition plan that would allow for a new generation of leadership, and as I have said in company town halls for some time, I have allowed more and more rope out for Clark and given deference to his decision making on many levels.
After spending several periods in various departments, Clark assumed the role of President in 2007, and he also served as COO for the past seven years. He has guided the company under my watchful eye and daily input to being one of the largest inland marine transportation companies in the United States. He has done a masterful job of managing the daily issues of Blessey Marine through very prosperous times as well as through market downturns and a pandemic. Today, Clark will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer of Blessey Marine in addition to the role as President. I will continue as Chairman. Over the past several years, Clark’s role has expanded while becoming a true leader in our industry. He is the incoming Chairman of the Board of American Waterway Operators, where he has been a board member for the past 10 years. He recently took over my board seat at the US Coast Guard Foundation and continues to serve on the boards of Junior Achievement, National Waterways Foundation and the Seaman’s Church Institute.
I am excited for this transition, but in practice it only mirrors what has been going on in daily management for some time. I am so proud of Clark, his contributions to our industry, his daily work ethic, and passion for our family company. With Laura at his side supporting him each and every day, he will no doubt continue to build on the successes we have made together. I am so proud of our company, our people and excited to see Clark take my vision and lead the way.