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Behind the Scenes with the Business Ops Team

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A small collective of Manson personnel, consisting of office administrators and purchasing agents, support the needs of hundreds of employees throughout the country at Manson’s six regional offices and five marine yards. Whether it’s processing invoices for Manson’s vessel crews, helping craft workers navigate employee resources, or facilitating the shipment of a package, these talented people work behind the scenes to keep things in motion.

To support the multitude of tasks of both the office administrators and purchasing agents, Manson’s executive leadership created the Business Operations team in July 2020. “Chief Operating Officer Jim McNally identified the need for a cross-support system between the office admins and purchasers for the business side of operations,” says West Coast Regional Business Manager Renee Williams. “The business ops team was created to bridge these two groups together.”

The business ops team has contributed to the success of both the office administrators and purchasing agents, especially for new team members. “One thing that I’m proud of is that the business ops team also supports new team members who join either the administrative or purchasing group,” Renee shares. “We have a group of people who make the onboarding process easy for new team hires because of the network we’ve established.” As a member of the team, individuals have access to a regional network of experienced colleagues who can help them track down information or assist them with difficult tasks. The team meets bi-weekly to discuss topics specific to their roles including projects, purchasing, and compliance issues. It is also an opportunity for members to share experiences and lessons learned in their roles.

Two people take a picture at a marine construction yard.

In her unique position as the company’s only Yard Administrator, Hope VanBruggen has honed her skills for the role which she started four years ago. Aside from the varying administrative responsibilities that are required of her role, Hope has learned to navigate the dynamic environment that is the Seattle Marine Yard. “Hope plays a critical role to ensure that Yard operations run smoothly,” says Seattle Yard Manager Ken Feldhacker. “She shows great initiative and foresight to support Manson’s Northwest projects including equipment and corporate office needs.” Like her colleagues in other administrative and purchasing roles, Hope has become a friendly face for the diverse craft personnel who reach out to her when they need assistance. Whenever craft workers have administrative needs to be addressed, Hope is there to make sure they are taken care of every step of the way. “Of course, I have a list of responsibilities that are required of me for my role,” Hope explains. “But it brings me joy that the craft guys can lean on me when they need something, and they are very grateful for it.”

In Houma, LA, Office Manager Jennifer Jaccuzzo and Administrative Assistant Cindy Mitchell work in tandem to keep Manson’s Dredging and Offshore operations afloat. “As office manager, I do a little bit of everything from processing new hires, logging down man hours, and payroll for the Houma office,” Jennifer explains.

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“My job is dynamic in that I can be doing something completely different on Tuesday than I did Monday, but I’m glad to have a great support system here in Houma.” With more than 33 years of combined administrative experience, Jennifer and Cindy run a tight operation and both utilize extensive support from the Houma staff to ensure everyone has the tools they need to succeed. “With my role, I’m pulled every direction from processing invoices for Manson vessels to booking hotel reservations for the crew, I can manage several tasks at a time” Cindy says. “One thing I can say about the gals in the Houma office is that we are self-sufficient and able to get a lot done in a short amount of time.”

Supporting Manson’s workforce is the number one priority for both the administrative and yard personnel, especially for the purchasing agents who handle company purchases. In addition to receiving orders and developing strong relationships with vendors and suppliers, the purchasing agents dedicate their time to educating themselves on the specifications of materials and equipment needed for Manson’s marine yards and projects. “There’s a lot that one has to consider when purchasing parts and materials,” says Richmond Purchasing Agent Trina McNary. “It’s important to learn the specifications because you can order the wrong part and slow down operations.”

A woman wearing a hardhat.

Seattle Purchasing Agent Blake Russell juggles his own set of job responsibilities that entail handling purchasing requests, processing invoices and codes, and answering FAQs on materials. “If we get a request to order materials for the Seattle Yard or for any Manson projects in the Northwest, I’m the go-to person in charge of sourcing those items so our crews can get the job done,” Blake says. The role of purchasing agent can be both challenging and meticulous, but according to Blake, he is just doing his job.

Long Beach Purchasing Agent Nicole Stair supports projects and personnel for Manson’s SoCal region. She is often the first stop for personnel when they need materials or equipment to get the job done. Her ability to quickly process purchases and get them

A women sitting at a desk.

delivered on time has contributed to the success of projects, departments, and craft members at the Long Beach office. In her role, Nicole has come to appreciate the strong support system set in place by the business ops team to make her job easier. “Blake and Trina are two people that I can lean on when I have a question or when I need help tracking down materials,” Nicole explains. “I’m thankful for the camaraderie between the purchasing agents and how we are supportive of each other when we need help.”

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