Jayson Robinson.

Robinson Named Vice President of Vigor Fabrication

Jayson Robinson has been named Vigor’s Vice President of Fabrication, taking the helm of the complex and marine fabrication divisions with facilities in Clackamas and Portland, Ore. and Vancouver, Wash.

Robinson joined Vigor, a Titan Acquisition Holdings company, as the director of quality in 2018 and has been serving as the assistant vice president since last fall. He now assumes the responsibility of maintaining and growing Vigor’s team and positioning the company in key end markets, including nuclear, aerospace, infrastructure and marine vessels.

Robinson takes over a department that has recently added leaders to other key positions, including Kit Brown as head of the Complex Fabrication team.

Prior to Vigor, Robinson was general manager for eight years at Boring, Ore.-based manufacturer Marks Brothers, Inc., where he led the implementation of the company’s strategic plan, entry into new end markets and growth.

From 2002-2011 he was president and general manager of NDE Professionals, Inc., a Portland-based consulting business where he supported operational leadership for several companies, as well as leading a trade school.

“His experience training new entrants into the trades will be key as Vigor works with industry peers in addressing a worker shortage,” the company said in a statement.

Robinson, who has worked in the industry since 1996, began his new role in mid-March. He is based at Vigor’s Clackamas facility.  

Diego Gonzalez.

González Appointed Port of Oakland’s Government Affairs Manager

Diego González has been appointed to the position of Government Affairs Manager at the Port of Oakland, the port announced March 21.

González brings legislative advocacy and policy experience to his new role after serving eight years as a Port Governmental Affairs Field Representative. He most recently served in the Acting Manager position for the previous six months.

In his new permanent position, he’ll lead the port’s governmental advocacy strategies with the port’s advocacy team, trade organizations and stakeholders.

“I look forward to working with our team and our government leaders to ensure investments continue to further our commitment to zero-emissions operations while creating good-paying, local jobs,” González said in a port-issued statement. 

Before coming to the Port of Oakland, González was on the staff of former Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Alameda)  where he worked on a range of policy and stakeholder engagement activities.

González currently serves on the Board of the Alameda Chamber and Economic Alliance and has served as a member of the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee and Vice-Chair of the California Democratic Party Chicano Latino Caucus. 

“Helping to ensure further investment in Oakland’s working waterfront and airport will be my goal for the coming years,” González said. 

He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Davis.  

José Cuadrado.

Cuadrado Named Global CEO of Yanmar Compact Equipment

Effective April 1, José Cuadrado has been appointed Global Chief Executive Officer for Japan-based Yanmar Compact Equipment (Yanmar CE), and Chairman of the Board at Yanmar Holdings Co., Ltd.

He replaces Giuliano Parodi who, for six years led Yanmar CE. Parodi has transferred to manage the Yanmar Group’s Strategy Division as Chief Strategy Officer. 

In a career spanning more than 25 years, Cuadrado brings with him a wealth of relevant construction, industrial and automotive experience, working at leading brands that include Ingersol Rand, Doosan and CNH Industrial.

He joined Yanmar CE in early 2023, where he is managing director of the company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region; markets that equate to a third of the company’s global sales.

A search has begun for his replacement, and Cuadrado is combining both Global CEO and EMEA roles from his current base in Europe until his successor is appointed.

In his new role Cuadrado is responsible for leading increased organizational integration and improving financial performance, as well as product development.

“I fully support our current strategy to become a leader in the compact equipment industry,” Cuadrado said. “To achieve this, we will continue our journey to become a truly global company, focusing on extending our product portfolio and strengthening our dealer network across all major markets.”

A Spanish national, Cuadrado holds a master’s degree in business & economics from University of Valladolid in Spain.  

OMSA Announces Board of Directors Additions

The Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) announced in mid-March that four CEOs have joined the organization’s Board of Directors: Wes Bordelon of Bordelon Marine; Stacy Jo Stanley of Offshore Oil Services, Inc.; David Dantin of Odyssea Marine; and Lasse Petterson of Great Lakes Dredge and Dock.

“I am thrilled to be joining OMSA’s leadership team and work to create a promising future for the American offshore marine industry,” Bordelon said in an OMSA-issued statement. “American energy production is expanding in new ways and it is up to us to make sure we are the ones to see it through.”

“OMSA’s advocacy ensures that American companies can continue to provide state-of-the-art fleets and qualified mariners to an array of industries, from oil and gas to renewables and offshore wind,” he said.    

Joseph Farrell III (left) and Joseph Farrell Jr.

Joseph Farrell III Named CEO of Resolve Marine 

Joseph Farrell III has been named the new Chief Executive Officer of vessel salvage, emergency response and specialized marine services provider Resolve Marine. Additionally, Resolve Marine founder Joseph Farrell Jr. has been named Chair of the company’s Board of Directors.

Both appointments were in effect as of late February.

Farrell III had previously been appointed to the roles of Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer in January 2023. In that capacity, he met with clients and prospects in Asia, Europe, and the Americas, led the expansion of the company’s marine training and firefighting school, and launched a new facility in Tacoma, Wash., which expanded the Florida company’s presence on the U.S. West Coast.

In addition, he established a government relations department and appointed a new chief financial officer and chief human resources officer. His leadership team oversees line and support operations worldwide.

In total, Farrell III has 18 years of experience in field operations at Resolve Marine. He holds a B.S. in marine engineering from Massachusetts Maritime Academy, an M.S. in ocean engineering from Florida Institute of Technology, and an MBA in finance from Cornell University.

“I am extremely proud to expand on what my father has built: a global services business that brings agility to solving marine problems,” Farrell III said in a statement.

Commenting on his son’s ascension to lead the company, Joe Farrell Jr. said that Joe II “brings deep knowledge of this business and a rigorous leadership style,” adding that the company’s Board of Directors was “excited about the next chapter of the company under his stewardship.”

In addition to its Tacoma office, Resolve Marine has locations near Anchorage and Dutch Harbor, Alaska.  

Stephen Hennessey.
Jim McKenna.

McKenna Retires After 20 Years; PMA Announces New President-CEO

The Pacific Maritime Association, the organization representing West Coast shipping lines and terminal operators, has a new president and CEO.

The PMA announced Feb. 13 that longtime Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Stephen Hennessey had been chosen for the top job via a unanimous vote by PMA’s 11-member Board of Directors.

Hennessey takes the reins from Jim McKenna, who is retiring after serving as president and CEO for 20 years.

“PMA is in great hands with Steve Hennessey and the rest of our incredible leadership team and staff,” McKenna said. “I am proud to have led this great organization for two decades, and have tremendous confidence that the PMA team will ensure that the West Coast remains the top North American gateway for maritime trade.”

Also, Chief Financial Officer Michael Wechsler and General Counsel Craig Epperson are expected to remain in their roles on the PMA’s executive leadership team.

“Steve Hennessey is uniquely prepared to build on Jim’s legacy and usher PMA into the next era,” the PMA board said in a statement. “We have tremendous confidence in Steve to carry forward PMA’s mission, keep the West Coast ports competitive and maintain their leadership role in the global economy.” 

After gaining experience in management roles within the shipping and trucking industries, Hennessey started with PMA in 2004 as vice president of labor relations in Southern California. As COO, he provided “leadership and direction on labor relations, strategic plan implementation, contract administration and arbitration, management of industry training and safety programs and oversight of jointly operated dispatch halls,” according to the announcement. 

In a statement, Hennessey said he is honored to lead PMA.

“Our work supports a significant percentage of the nation’s GDP, as well as millions of quality jobs nationwide across a wide range of industries,” he said.  

Sid Voorakkara.

Port of San Diego CommissionerVoorakkara Sworn In

The San Diego City Council has appointed public affairs specialist Sid Voorakkara as the Port of San Diego’s newest commissioner, replacing Commissioner Emeritus Rafael Castellanos, who resigned in January.

On Feb. 20, Voorakkara was sworn in by Councilman Kent Lee to the seven-member board that governs the port.

Voorakkara is a senior partner at ArroyoWest, LLC, which offers communications, public affairs and strategic planning services to the public and private sector. He’s also a commissioner of California’s Health, Safety and Workers’ Compensation Commission.

Previously, he was field director at the United Nations Foundation, deputy director for external affairs at the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development under Gov. Jerry Brown and a program manager at nonprofit grantmaking organization The California Endowment.

“Sid brings a deep well of knowledge and vast experience to the Board of Port Commissioners,” said Board Chairman Frank Urtasun. “He will hit the ground running and be of great service to the people of California and help us deliver on our promise to all San Diegans.”  

Annie Oryall. Photo: Marine Group Boat Works.

Marine Group Boat Works’ Oryall Honored by Manufacturers & Technical Assoc.

Ana “Annie” Oryall, a welder and shipfitter with Marine Group Boat Works, has been honored by the California Manufacturers & Technical Association with the association’s Emerging Leader Award, San Diego-based MGBW announced March 4.

The award, given March 5 in Sacramento, spotlights females in manufacturing who showcase “strong leadership potential and inspire others through their dedicated work,” according to Marine Group.

Oryall, who is one of six women in the company’s structural team of 71 welders, has been involved in building and refitting more than two dozen naval steel and aluminum workboats, dive boats and training vessels, as well as a number of San Francisco ferries and other commercial vessels, according to the company. She also serves as a mentor to new welders.

 “Not only was she the first female welder on our team, but her positive attitude, fine craftsmanship and work ethic truly set her apart. She’s a great example for everyone at Marine Group,” President Todd Roberts said.

Oryall said that having a positive attitude is key to having a successful project.

“When you start building a boat with a negative attitude, you’re already off to a bad start,” she said. “The vibe must be right. Being involved in creating something, helping your teammates, the camaraderie you get, all that builds up to a rush of emotions. And once you reach that peak, step back and see your baby, it’s a feeling you never forget.”  

Kristina Kelchner. Photo: Port of Portland.

Kelchner Hired By Port of Portland as Chief Development Services Officer

The Port of Portland has chosen Kristina Kelchner as its chief development services officer, a new role that oversees strategy for the port’s Development Services division, which encompasses engineering, environmental, planning and development and safety operations, according to the port.

Kelchner, who began her new role Feb. 22, had served as the port’s assistant general counsel since 2022, working on various matters such as leasing and development of the port’s upcoming Mass Timber and Housing Innovation Campus at Terminal 2 and strategies for environmental remediation and permitting, the port said.

Before joining the port, she was assistant general manager in the Stewardship and Development Division of the East Bay Regional Park District in Oakland, Calif.

“With her public agency background, and expertise in leading planning, environmental and engineering operations, Kristina brings a strategic and inclusive leadership style that will benefit the port,” Port Executive Director Curtis Robinhold said.

“I was impressed,” he continued, “by Kristina’s passion for our mission and her commitment to trust, belonging and inclusion, and I’m excited to have her leadership as we continue to break down barriers and connect people and local businesses to powerful opportunities.”  

Roland Schwandt.

Roland Schwandt Named Deputy CEO at SCHOTTEL GmbH

Project and sales manager Roland Schwandt has been appointed deputy CEO of SCHOTTEL GmbH, a Germany-based manufacturer of ship propulsion and steering systems, the company announced in mid-March.

Schwandt, a naval architect, joined SCHOTTEL in 2000 and began his career working in various SCHOTTEL sales segments. After briefly managing the Tug & Offshore Energy segment, in 2018 he was entrusted with the responsibility for the global sales activities of SCHOTTEL GmbH and its now 14 subsidiaries as vice president, sales.

He also worked with his predecessor, Andreas Block, and After Sales Service VP Stefan Buch on driving strategic expansion of the subsidiaries.

Alongside his role at SCHOTTEL, Schwandt is a member of the supervisory boards of SCHOTTEL’s sister companies and represents SCHOTTEL in the major maritime associations.

Earlier in the year, his predecessor Block went to work solely at industrial holding company SCHOTTEL Industries at his own request but is expected to remain closely connected to the future development of SCHOTTEL GmbH, the company said.  

Smith Chosen as New Port of Olympia Executive Director

Veteran leader Alexandra “Alex” Smith has been chosen as the Port of Olympia’s new executive director, the port announced Feb. 13.

Smith, who beat out more than 30 candidates for the top job to lead the Washington seaport, previously served as the port’s environmental programs director before working for the Washington Department of Natural Resources, according to news reports.

The port praised Smith’s “forward-thinking approach” and “her commitment to sustainability and fostering economic development.”

“We are excited to welcome Alex Smith as the new executive director of the Port of Olympia,” port Commission Chair Bob Iyall said in a statement. “Alex’s strong leadership skills, strategic vision and dedication to community engagement align perfectly with our priorities.”

Smith is succeeding Sam Gibboney, who parted ways with the port in September after serving as the port’s executive director since 2018.

Smith is expected to start her new role after port commissioners approve her contract.

Smith said she is deeply honored and excited by the commission’s decision to hire her. “I look forward to collaborating with the dedicated staff, commissioners and stakeholders to enhance the port’s operations and economic development, while also prioritizing environmental stewardship and community engagement,” she said. “Together, we will work towards the port’s continued success and contribute to the economic vitality of our region.”