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OMSA Presents Highest Award to Offshore Marine Leaders

OMSA award ceremony
Pictured (L-R): Otto Candies, III, Boysie Bollinger, Cliffe Laborde, Peter Laborde, and Ashton Laborde

Published Nov 16, 2022 5:13 PM by The Maritime Executive

[By: OMSA]

New Orleans, Louisiana — The Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) today announced Boysie Bollinger and Otto Candies, Jr. as 2022 winners of the Robert J. Alario Distinguished Achievement Award, while recognizing John P. Laborde as the 2021 winner. The awards were celebrated during a private dinner held for current and former OMSA Board Members.

The Robert J. Alario Distinguished Achievement Award is an annual awards program designed to recognize individuals who, through their lifetime of deeds and accomplishments, are indisputable champions of the U.S. maritime industry. The Alario Award was created in 2020 by the OMSA Board of Directors to honor extraordinary contributions to the offshore marine industry. The award is named for its first recipient, the late Robert J. “Bob” Alario, who as the Chairman and President of OMSA across two decades established a unified voice of the offshore industry. He passed away in November of 2020. To be awarded, an individual must be nominated by an OMSA Member, subsequently, the OMSA Board of Directors votes on the nominations.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 Pandemic prevented OMSA from holding the 2021 award ceremony, therefore this recent dinner honored the 2021 award winner—the late John P. Laborde — and the two 2022 winners, Boysie Bollinger and Otto Candies, Jr.

Donald T. “Boysie” Bollinger, joined his family’s business, Bollinger Shipyard, Inc. In 1985, Boysie succeeded his father as Chief Executive Officer of the company. Boysie oversaw several acquisitions that transformed Bollinger Shipyard into the largest privately owned shipyard in the country. He retired in 2014 and was succeeded by his nephew, Ben Bordelon. During his career, Boysie was active in many organizations and Boards and was the first non-vessel owner to sit on the OMSA Board of Directors.

Otto Candies, Jr. served as a founding member of OMSA and a long-time Director and supporter of the Coast Guard Foundation. He started working for his father’s business, Otto Candies, LLC in 1960. Under three generations of family ownership, the company has been a leading marine-transportation firm serving the offshore energy industry since 1942. In 2021, Otto Jr. passed away at the age of 82.

After serving in World War II, John Laborde founded Tidewater, Inc. in 1956, as a vessel operator serving the emerging offshore oil and gas industry. He remained CEO of Tidewater for 38 years taking the company from owning two vessels and grew the company into the largest oil and gas marine owner, with more than 700 vessels worldwide at the time of his retirement in 1994. During his career, John was a founding member and longtime supporter of OMSA. Currently his grandson, Ashton Laborde, President of Laborde Marine, serves on the OMSA Board of Directors. John Laborde passed away in 2021 at the age of 97.

John P. Laborde’s award was accepted by his sons Cliffe and Peter Laborde. In accepting the award for his family, Cliffe Laborde said, “Throughout my entire life, I never once questioned my father’s integrity, and I think that is why he is receiving this honor today, because everyone knew his word was true.” It was fitting that OMSA members nominated, and the Board awarded John Laborde with the first edition of the Robert J. Alario Distinguished Achievement Award because John and Bob shared a multi-decade friendship, as stated by John’s son Peter Laborde, “my dad and Bob, had a special connection, built upon mutual respect.”

Otto Candies, Jr.’s award was accepted by his son, and current OMSA Chairman, Otto Candies, III which was presented to him by Boysie Bollinger. On the night, Boysie Bollinger said, “John Laborde was a mentor and Otto is my brother. to share this podium, at an OMSA event, which was a huge part of my life, with my heroes is a huge honor.” In accepting the award for his family, Otto Candies, III said, “I know how proud my dad would be to receive this award because it comes from people he loved and respected, and he’d be honored to know how much they honored him back.”

Similarly, it was Otto Candies, Jr. that presented Bob Alairo his award in 2020, demonstrating the loyalty of these pioneers not just to the betterment of the offshore service industry, but to each other as trusted friends.

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