OMSA Announces New Additions to Board of Directors


Published Feb 4, 2020 3:49 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA), today announced the nominated slate of its Board of Directors for 2020 – 2021. The slate is led by incoming Chairman, Minor “Tony” Cheramie, III and includes the following new Directors:

Ashton Laborde: President, Laborde Marine
Garrett Rice: Chief Financial Officer, Master Boat Builders, Inc.
Caitlin Sause: Vice President, Sause Bros. Ocean Towing Co., Inc.
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,” said Aaron Smith, President and CEO of OMSA. “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.”

Since its enactment 100 years ago, the Jones Act (also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920) has required that all vessels that transport goods between U.S. points be American-built, -owned, -crewed, and -flagged. This law has served the national interest by promoting robust economic growth, strengthening national security and border security, and supporting the creation of thousands of family-sustaining jobs for American workers.

Of particular note, the nominated slate of OMSA Board of Directors includes 12 Directors that are part of multi-generation 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 United States.

“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 Ashton Laborde, President of Laborde Marine. “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 Caitlin Sause, Vice President, Sause Bros. Ocean Towing Co., Inc. “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.”

Garrett Rice, CFO of Master Boat Builders, said, “My family’s company has always prided ourselves on building work boats with an emphasis on work. 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 Karl Senner, President of Karl Senner, LLC. “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 the Aries Marine Corporation, 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.”

The Executive Committee of the 2020 - 2021 OMSA Board of Directors

Minor “Tony” Cheramie, III, OMSA Chairman
Vice President, L&M BoTruc Rental, LLC

Otto Candies, III, OMSA Vice Chairman
Vice Chairman, Otto Candies, LLC

Blake Miguez, OMSA Secretary/Treasurer
President and CEO, SeaTran Marine, LLC

Court Ramsay, Immediate Past OMSA Chairman
President and CEO, Aries Marine Corporation

The 2020 – 2021 OMSA Board of Directors

Ben Bordelon
President and CEO, Bollinger Shipyards, Inc.

Dino Chouest
Vice President, Edison Chouest Offshore

John Gellert
Chief Executive Officer and President, SEACOR Marine Holdings Inc.

Barry Graham
Managing Member, Barry Graham Oil Service, L.L.C.

Todd Hornbeck
Chairman of the Board, President, Chief Executive Officer, Hornbeck Offshore Services, Inc.

Lee Jackson
Chief Executive Officer, Jackson Offshore Operators

Ashton Laborde
President, Laborde Marine

Kenny Nelkin
President and CEO, Candy Fleet LLC

Chris Orth
Vice President Sales, Tidewater Marine 

Garrett Rice
Chief Financial Officer, Master Boat Builders, Inc.

Caitlin Sause
Vice President of Government and Public Affairs, Sause Bros. Ocean Towing Co., Inc.

Karl Senner
President, Karl Senner, LLC

Lynn Strahan
President, Marine Systems, Inc.

Rob Vosbein, Jr.
Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Harvey Gulf International Marine, LLC

Background on 2020-2021 OMSA Chairman Tony Cheramie

Minor A. “Tony” Cheramie III has served as a member of the OMSA Board of Directors since 2008 and engaged for nearly three decades. He also serves on the United States Coast Guard/OMSA safety partnership committee. Cheramie formerly served a two-year term as chairman of the OMSA Human Resources Committee from 2006 to 2008, where he was responsible for coordinating quarterly committee meetings covering topics affecting vessel operators and the mariners who manned OMSA member vessels. 

A proud alumnus of the College of Business at Nicholls State University (Class of 1994), Cheramie serves as a Vice President of L&M Bo-Truc Rental Inc. where he has been employed since 1988. L&M Bo-Truc Rental is a privately held offshore supply vessel operator established in 1948 which owns and operates nine U.S.-flagged offshore supply vessels headquartered in Galliano, Louisiana. 

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