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Rotkirch Retires from Shipyard–COO Byrd named Acting President of GBS

Friday marked the final day for Carl Rotkirch as chairman and CEO of the Grand Bahama Shipyard, as he retires after seven years as its CEO.

Rotkirch joined the company in 2008 and has seen the company develop into a world-renowned ship repair facility with an extensive array of customers during his tenure.

The company now brings in more than a hundred vessels yearly, ranging from cruise to container ships, tankers, research vessels, tugs, barges offshore support vessels and drill ships.

“When I came here, the yard was in its infancy,” said Rotkirch. “However, what we have done in the past years is become an organized company. We have evolved far beyond where we were in terms of safety and production and I think people are just starting to see what we’re capable of.”

Rotkirch spoke with the media on his final day at the yard, addressing the improvements and changes that he has seen during his time at the Grand Bahama Shipyard.

He also spoke of his fondest memories at the yard and during his time living on Grand Bahama Island.

“Today has truly taught me that seven years contains a lot of memories; it’s bittersweet to be leaving because I’ve really loved it here. The community has really embraced the shipyard, my family and myself. I have also been amazed by the talent and amenities that such a small place has in regards to arts and culture.”

During his farewell press conference, Rotkirch also acknowledged that the current COO, Rueben Byrd would be assuming the position as acting president along with his current responsibilities as operation’s chief of the company.

Byrd joined the company in 2009 and has also been instrumental in many successes and changes within the company.

Since both Rotkirch and Byrd’s time at the yard, revenues have strengthened and the facilities have developed from a two dry-dock shipyard into a ship repair, refurbishment and conversion facility with three dry-docks, four fully equipped wet berths and workshops together with a selection of partners like Bradford Marine, ABB, Rolls-Royce, Chris-Marine, KE-Marine, MSHS, Wartsila, IMC Metal Fusion, GCS and SPS.

According to Rotkirch, “The shipyard also offers services from several Bahamian subcontractors. We have enjoyed long relationships with which include Clear Blue, Anthony’s Industrial, Hydro Dynamics, G.B. Tank Cleaning, Arawak Industrial, Freeport Ship Services, IRS International Rental, City Services, Quality Services Ltd, and Mechanical Engineering.”

“The location of the shipyard is wonderful. We have all of the big shipping routes just outside our door, and I’m confident that Reuben and the team of other executives, managers, supervisors and staff will continue to show what we’re capable of here at the yard,” stated Rotkirch. “We are only beginning to see what this place can be. The potential is enormous and as they say, the journey continues.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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