Vard Marine announces CEO transition

(VANCOUVER, British Columbia) — Vard Marine Inc. has announced that Dave McMillan, the firm’s president and CEO, will retire on May 31 to pursue another chapter in his career in the marine industry as a marketing/business development consultant. The board of directors has named Wade Carson as the new president and CEO of the company upon McMillan’s retirement.

During over 30 years with Vard Marine, McMillan was instrumental in the growth of the firm in size and market presence. He helped the company establish new markets and partnerships, as well as build a team of highly skilled engineers. He has been a catalyst in positioning Vard Marine as a leader in the maritime industry.

Carson, who for the past six years has led the business’s strategic direction as vice president of business development and most recently was on assignment as interim managing director of affiliate company Vard Electro Canada, will step into the role with a vision to build on the foundation of achievement and growth established by McMillan.

“It has been a privilege to lead such a dynamic company for the last 15 years," McMillan said. "A deep understanding of Vard Marine’s core values, priorities and proven business practices are vital to the future success of the company. Passing these responsibilities on internally as much as possible has always been a value that we have promoted. Wade is a bright and talented leader, whose energy and vision will guide Vard Marine through further growth and development in the coming years. Vard Marine will be in good hands as the company sharpens its focus on existing products and services and pushes into new markets. As much as I will stay engaged in a consulting role with Vard Marine for a number of years to come, the ever-growing number of grandchildren, DIY projects, golf courses and countries still to explore with my wife Carol are an exciting next chapter for me.”

“Dave has built Vard Marine from a small consulting company of less than 20 people to one of the most prominent naval architecture and marine engineering companies in the sector," Carson said. "He has provided mentorship and guidance throughout my 18 years with the company, providing solid business leadership, reflected in the strong track record of the company. He is always ready to roll up his sleeves and help solve a design problem and I look forward to carrying on his legacy and building on the remarkable craftsmanship Dave has delivered throughout his career.”

“I would like to thank Dave for his excellent performance and cooperation over several decades," said Kjell Morten Urke, chairman of the board of directors at Vard Marine. "Vard Marine is a vital part of Vard’s design and engineering broad expertise, and we highly appreciate all the exciting projects developed by Dave and his team in Vard Marine. I wish him all the best. I will also take this opportunity to thank Wade. I’m glad that we can continue the strong cooperation across borders and further develop Vard Marine for the future.

About Vard Marine

Vard Marine is a consulting naval architecture and marine engineering company with Canadian operations located in Vancouver and Ottawa and U.S. operations located in Houston, Texas. The company offers professional ship design, engineering, and shipbuilding technology services, with an emphasis on advanced offshore design and specialized vessels. The foundations of Vard Marine’s success are long term relationships and close cooperation with both shipbuilders and shipowners. Vard Marine is a Fincantieri company, one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups. For more information, visit

By Professional Mariner Staff