Crowley presents top award to Alaska marine operations director

(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) — Crowley Maritime Corp.’s David Ridge, director, marine operations, was presented with the 2014 Thomas Crowley award, the company's highest honor, at a recent ceremony at the company’s Anchorage, Alaska, office.

The exclusive employee recognition program was created in 1985 and only 60 of the company's more than 5,300 employees have received the award symbolized by a limited edition bronze sculpture, which depicts company founder Thomas Crowley ferrying goods to and from ships on San Francisco Bay in the early 1890s. The trophy serves not only as a tribute to the founder of the company, but also to those honorees who have aligned themselves closely with the company's values displaying outstanding performance, dedication, leadership and initiative.

Crowley's Chairman, President and CEO Tom Crowley Jr., the grandson of the company's founder, presented the award before more than 70 employees and senior leaders who had gathered from around the world for the event. Included in the audience were two past recipients of the coveted award, Bruce Harland, vice president, marine solutions, and Craig Tornga, vice president, government relations.

Ridge, a 30-year Crowley employee, was selected for the award because of his reputation for high performance. He works tirelessly to coach his team in Valdez and consistently exceeds customer expectations. He also has been credited for positively engaging with the Valdez vessel crews to continually improve performance and advance the local safety culture.

In his nominating letter, Crowley’s Capt. Rod Jones, general manager, marine services, wrote: “David has proven his competence, loyalty and exemplary performance time and again, both aboard the vessels and in the office. Whether commanding Crowley assets halfway around the world or facilitating a training seminar in Valdez, his commitment to the core principles of safety, integrity and high performance have never waned. He projects an aura to those around him that not only instills confidence in his ability, but also trust in his judgment — a tireless and effective manager, who demonstrates daily the leadership skills he has honed over years of decision making in stressful situations.”

“It’s not often that we see a tug captain come ashore,” said Crowley, upon giving Ridge the award. “It’s a difficult transition … I can’t think of a more difficult place to work (than Valdez). Dave has taken a true leadership role there … in making sure the customer has confidence, that we are there to get the job done and to work with a great team. I congratulate him on his efforts.”

“I am honored to have received this award, but the recognition really should go to my team,” said Ridge. “Crowley is the most unique and worthwhile company I have ever had the pleasure of working for and it’s the people I work with who make me who I am. I share this award with them.”

Ridge joined Crowley in 1984 as a mate, and later went on to work aboard a variety of vessels operated by the company, including oil and cargo barges, offshore towing tugs, and ship assist and tanker escort tugs. In 1986, he was assigned master for Crowley’s military support service operating out of Sasebo, Japan, before transferring aboard Crowley’s harbor ship assist and tanker escort tugboat fleet in San Francisco Bay in 1987. He continued working aboard company tugs until 1996, when he changed roles again, as master of tow operations of Crowley’s 450 series barges transiting U.S. West Coast oil terminals. After many years of working on the water, he came ashore as port captain in Seattle in 2005, and was later assigned to manager, marine operations, in Valdez, Alaska, for the ship assist and tanker escort contract with Alyeska SERVS in 2007. In 2014, Ridge was promoted to his current position of director, marine operations, in Valdez.

By Professional Mariner Staff