OMSA announces new additions to board of directors

(NEW ORLEANS) — The Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) has nominated its slate of 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
Caitlin Sause, vice president, Sause Bros. Ocean Towing
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 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 who are part of multi-generation family companies. 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 Laborde. “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 Sause. “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.”

“My family’s company has always prided ourselves on building work boats with an emphasis on work," Rice said. "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 Senner. “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.”

By Professional Mariner Staff