Another industry meeting?

I think industry meetings can be important and useful. The fact that there are too many of them dilutes the product as a whole, I know. But if the meeting features relevant topics discussed by intelligent, experienced experts, it’s usually worth the effort. 

From Gulfport, Miss., to Bayou La Batre, and Mobile, Ala., to Pensacola and Panama City, Fla., and beyond, there are a plethora of shipyards, big and small, building some of the most sophisticated and dependable workboats in the world. And yet that region gets less publicity than many other boatbuilding sectors of the U.S. Something is wrong with that.

Consequently, the one-day WorkBoat Professional Series Regional Summit:Changing Landscape of Shipyards will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, at the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Point Clear, Ala. One of our first objectives was to hold the summit at a top shelf venue, and we’ve succeeded there.

But the real question is why another of these meetings. Well, we think the topics we’re going to discuss are important to every shipbuilder in the U.S., but we’re going to look at these concerns as they relate to Gulf Coast yards in particular.

There will be three main panel discussions: The Changing Face of Personnel, The State of the Industry in the Gulf, and Financing the Future. Members of these panels will include Joe Dahl, vice president & general manager, Signet Shipbuilding and Repair; Richard McCreary, vice president, commercial business development, BAE Systems; Jeff Allman, manager, workforce and training strategy, Ingalls Shipbuilding; Tom Church, managing partner, Marine Financial; Andy Stockett, managing director, Four Bridges Capital; and Ronnie Evans, director, commercial marine finance, Key Bank.

The summit will also include our popular round table networking sessions, where attendees will have the chance to discuss what they have just heard from the panelists.

We’ve heard some concerns about giving away trade or company secrets during these discussions. That’s not it at all. The day will be about discussing, in a general but meaningful fashion, topics such as personnel concerns and financing with others along the Gulf Coast who have the same concerns as you. That’s it. That simple.

I’ll be there on the 16th, and I hope you will be too. 

About the author

Ken Hocke

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.

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