Last week, the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) expanded its board of directors and nominated a new slate of board members for 2020 – 2021. The new members are led by incoming Chairman Minor “Tony” Cheramie III.

The new directors include:
• Ashton Laborde: President, Laborde Marine;
• Garrett Rice: Chief Financial Officer, Master Boat Builders Inc.;
• Caitlin Sause: Vice President, Sause Bros. Ocean Towing Co. Inc.; and
• Karl Senner: President, Karl Senner LLC;

The slate of nominations will be considered for confirmation by OMSA’s membership at the organization’s upcoming spring conference. “I congratulate our new and returning board of directors and look forward to having the benefit of their expert direction as
OMSA sails into the decade ahead more motivated than ever,” Aaron Smith, president and CEO of New Orleans-based OMSA, said in a statement. “The second century of the Jones Act presents countless opportunities for us to advance and strengthen our industry in exciting new ways, while always remaining true to our founding mission. With an expanded board of industry leaders reflecting the full scope of America’s marine industry, OMSA will remain steadfast in its commitment to supporting the Jones Act, fostering a safe, secure, and viable maritime sector; and providing for the hardworking men and women who make it run.”

“I am deeply honored to be named as chairman of OMSA. I have been involved continuously in OMSA for the last 27 years and I look forward to putting that history and the perspective it gives me to good use as I work with all of my fellow OMSA members to further our essential, all-American industry,” said Tony Cheramie, the new chairman of OMSA. “OMSA will continue working tirelessly to shape public policies for the benefit of the American mariners, shipyard workers, vessels operators, and members engaged in every aspect of our industry. Chiefly, OMSA will continue to ensure full fidelity to the Jones Act by all governmental authorities."

Of particular note, the slate of the OMSA board includes 12 directors that are part of multigeneration family companies (indicated by asterisks in the list below). Furthermore, a larger board is the logical result of
an ever-growing membership and will serve to better amplify the diverse voices that make up the marine industry throughout the U.S., OMSA said

“As a third-generation of a family dating back to the roots of the offshore support vessel industry, joining the OMSA Board of Directors to represent Laborde Marine and more than 170 other American companies is a high honor for me,” said Laborde. “I look forward to promoting our industry and upholding the Jones Act with my
fellow board members in the years to come.”

“A robust maritime industry underwrites America’s economic, energy, and national security,” said Sause. “When we succeed, our nation prospers and stays protected. I am so proud to follow three generations before me in service to the thousands of American households whose livelihoods are supported by the work we do each and every day.”

“My family’s company has always prided ourselves on building workboats with an emphasis on work," Rice said. "Along with my fellow Board Members, I look forward to applying that diligence toward the issues facing the American maritime industry.

”“Working for my family’s international, marine propulsion distribution and service company gives me the benefit of exposure to every corner of the marine industry,” said Senner. “I hope this broad
base of knowledge is of value to the OMSA Board of Directors as we work to address the issues facing the offshore marine transportation industry and emerging markets that provide new opportunities for the U.S. marine industry.”

Court Ramsay, the immediate past OMSA chairman and president and CEO of Aries Marine Corp.,
added: “There is no doubt that the future is bright for OMSA and our members, and that’s no accident. OMSA has been a courageous guardian of American mariners, vessels, and shipyards, and a proactive advocate for policies that ensure our industry’s long-term growth and survival. We fend off misguided attacks on the Jones Act from wherever they originate, yes, but we’re also committed to forward-looking action as seen in the Offshore Wind Committee we formed just last year. As we confront the decade ahead and all the challenges it will bring, I have total confidence that Tony and OMSA’s hardworking staff will adapt for every fight and deliver crucial victories for all of OMSA’s members.”