I joined WorkBoat in 1997, and since then Bollinger Shipyards has been very forthcoming with information about their shipyards. From Boysie Bollinger, Eric Bollinger, Chris Bollinger and marketing head Robert Socha on down, they have been great to work with and willing to discuss whatever projects were in their sheds. They have always understood the value of publicity that comes from being a part of the boatbuilding coverage that appears in WorkBoat. It was a fair give and take between newsmaker and reporter. I’ve tried to set up similar relationships with all the companies I deal with. For the most part, it has worked. With Bollinger, it worked very well.
For months, many of you have heard the rumblings about Edison Chouest Offshore buying out Boysie and Chris Bollinger. Today, an official announcement from Bollinger said that Ben Bordelon, grandson of the founder and the company's new chairman, president and CEO, and Chouest have acquired all assets and stock of the Lockport, La., boatbuilder. I haven’t had much contact with Ben over the years, but when I have, I found him to be both personable and professional. I wish him well.
As for Edison Chouest, they have always kept things close to the vest. ECO chief Gary Chouest has a tight grip on everything at ECO and its affiliates. I expect the same will be true with the new Bollinger. It’s hard to argue with that kind of success.
Selfishly, I hope Bollinger can somehow retain its autonomy and continue to tout its newbuild projects. But I fear that won't be the case. My thanks to all the Bollingers and their employees for the way you’ve treated me and WorkBoat over the years. I hope that you feel I have replied in kind.
Merry Christmas to all …