(NEWPORT NEWS, Va.) (April 15) — Irwin F. Edenzon, the retired president of Huntington Ingalls Industries' Ingalls Shipbuilding division, accepted the Navy League of the United States' Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz Award last night. The Navy League presented the award at the annual Sea-Air-Space Black Tie Reception and Banquet at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md.
The Nimitz Award honors an industry leader who has made a major contribution to the nation's maritime strength or enhanced national security. The award committee, appointed by the national president of the Navy League, selects a nominated candidate who best exemplifies the leadership, statesmanship and dedication to the nation that was exhibited by the award's namesake.
The award was presented by Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., for Edenzon's commitment to sea services throughout his career.
"There is no one more deserving of this honor than an industry leader who has committed decades of support to our sea services," Forbes said. "From his early days in manned submersibles to his time running business and technology development at Newport News Shipbuilding, culminating in his dynamic leadership at Ingalls, Irwin has helped build today's Navy and Coast Guard fleets — the world's finest."
Edenzon was recommended by government and industry leaders, including representatives from the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard.
"I am honored and delighted to recommend Mr. Irwin F. Edenzon for the 2015 Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz Award," said retired Adm. Robert J. Papp. "During my tenure as commandant of the United States Coast Guard, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to witness firsthand Irwin's dynamic leadership style and was able to experience the exceptional quality of his work force's output in the form of several classes of ships for the U.S. Navy, but most particularly in the form of the Coast Guard's new national security cutters."
Edenzon, who retired from HII in December 2014, was nominated by HII President and CEO Mike Petters. "While I've had the privilege of knowing and working with many people who have made important contributions to our nation's maritime strength, I would place Irwin at the top of the list," Petters said. "Ingalls' successes with several complex and important contracts are due to the hard work of the team led by Irwin. His shipbuilders improved performance in every aspect of Ingalls and, by doing so, enhanced customer relationships and renewed Ingalls' reputation as a shipyard focused on building highest-quality ships for our U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard customers at the most affordable price."
Edenzon dedicated his career to the shipbuilding and maritime industries. He served as president of Ingalls from 2011 to 2014. In this role, he was responsible for all of the shipyard's programs and operations, including U.S. Navy amphibious assault ships, amphibious transport docks and destroyers and the U.S. Coast Guard's national security cutter program. He previously served as sector vice president and general manager for Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding-Gulf Coast and as vice president of technology development and fleet support for Northrop Grumman Newport News. Prior to joining Northrop Grumman in 1997, Edenzon was vice president of business development for Textron Marine and earlier served as director of product line and contracts management at Sperry Marine. He began his career with Perry Offshore, a company that produced saturation diving systems, manned submersibles and remotely controlled underwater vehicles for the U.S. Navy, other navies and commercial groups.