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Contracts & Insurance Take on the Risks

Manson’s Contracts & Insurance (C&I) Group is a well-oiled machine of experienced team members dedicated to contractual risk analysis and management, legal compliance efforts for Manson’s public and private marine construction and dredging jobs, as well as all  supporting service and supply agreements that allow Manson to operate day-to-day.

“Our C&I Group plays an important role, providing support to our operations, which begins during the procurement process and continues through project execution and final closeout,” says John Holmes, Manson President & CEO.

Three people take a selfie at the London Tower Bridge
Members from the C&I Group enjoying a walk across London’s Tower Bridge during an international work trip to meet with insurance partners. (L-R) John Heckel, Steve Wiper, and Laurie Pinard. Photo credit: C&I Group

The C&I Group’s Seattle location serves as a home base for the department, with three members working on the East Coast. The team consists of Vice President and General Counsel Laurie Pinard, Contracts Manager Kristi- Lyn Levesque, Contract Specialist Timothy Odroniec, Insurance Administrator Paula Shoudy-Roberts, Small Business Program Administrator Lindsey Williams, Administrative Assistant Brandenn Torkelson, Claims Manager Steve Wiper, and Ethics & Compliance Officer John Heckel. Currently, Engineer Hannah Huezo is also supporting the team on a C&I Temporary Work Assignment (TWA)—a Manson training program for engineers.

“The C&I Group exists as a risk management tool for Manson on a broad basis,” Laurie explains. “The members of C&I are highly capable individuals who collaborate daily to ensure contracts and insurance meet federal, state, local, maritime, and project-specific requirements and to continually improve tools and resources for our co-workers.”

Navigating through legal and regulatory requirements takes a concerted effort from all members of the team, who lean on one another to get the job done. To make the process easier, weekly and monthly meetings are scheduled to keep everyone on the same page. “We are a very tight-knit group who meet monthly for our C&I Team Meeting,” Brandenn says. “Every Tuesday, a few of us meet to discuss the bid list, which is all the jobs that Manson is looking at. Our department communicates concerns well, and everyone is comfortable enough to call one another should they have questions.”

Timothy Odroniec takes the lead on reviewing Owner/Client contracts at bid time and, together with Kristi-Lyn, they draft, review, analyze, and negotiate upstream and downstream contracts in support of Estimating and Operations (as well as other departments at Manson). Timothy and Hannah work closely with project teams to ensure compliance with Manson’s contracting procedures, including the preparation and review of various standard contracts in support of Manson’s operations.

Four people wearing hard hats on a vessel.
The C&I Group traded in their office attire for some safety equipment on a site visit. (L-R) Zach Chester, Laurie Pinard, Kristi-Lyn Levesque, and Bobby Russ. Photo credit: C&I Group

Steve manages all auto, property, and work injury claims. He works with our insurance partners to ensure injured employees are compensated correctly for any lost time they incur and that they receive the appropriate healthcare they require. In addition, Steve is a resource to answer questions employees may have about the claims process. Since joining Manson in 2021, Steve has expanded his responsibilities to include assisting in the purchase and execution of Manson’s extensive insurance portfolio.

Paula Shoudy-Roberts is affectionately known as the group’s “Secret Weapon.” In addition to her deep knowledge of insurance and ability to efficiently review and explain insurance documents, she supports the group on innumerable special projects. “Paula is always ready with a ’How can I help?’ and then does just that,” Laurie says. Paula’s strong technical skills were vital in the development and implementation of the Manson Vendor Portal (MVP), in addition to various forms, templates, and important processes.

Others in the department echo Laurie’s sentiments that Paula is an invaluable team member. “I depend on her knowledge and expertise on a daily basis,” Kristi-Lyn adds. “Paula’s ability to understand, explain, and evaluate complex insurance issues is second to none. She is critical to Manson’s ability to insure or flow down (as appropriate) Manson’s contractual risk.”

Lindsey Williams has a more public role in helping with contract compliance. In addition to supporting Estimating and Operations teams with small business compliance efforts, Lindsey attends conferences and outreach events in a continuing effort to find small business concerns to participate in Manson’s projects. She also manages the MVP, a secure web portal where current vendors and businesses interested in working with Manson as subcontractors and suppliers provide information about their businesses. Lindsey is another key contributor to Manson’s risk management and compliance efforts.

Aside from their primary functions, C&I provides training and resources including a substantial library of Frequently Asked Questions and various contracting templates, checklists, and instructional videos. The C&I Group works with the Learning & Development Department to offer training for two Manson Project Management Operations courses: Contracts & Risk Management and Federal Contracts, in addition to offering other various “just-in-time” trainings.

The TWA Program, which places Manson engineers into a temporary work rotation in various departments throughout the company, including C&I, has been a tremendous success. Kristi-Lyn adapted and manages the C&I portion of this program, fostering awareness, communication and collaboration between the C&I Group and engineers who rotate through estimating, operations, and other departments. “The TWA Program is an investment Manson has made in the future of our company. It’s an added responsibility but so worth it,” Kristi- Lyn says. At the end of a C&I TWA rotation, engineers better understand the reasons behind Manson’s contractual risk management approach, how to use the tools and resources available, and when to reach out to C&I for assistance. “It’s a win-win for everyone,” Laurie says. The experience equips engineers with knowledge and experience that empowers them to approach future contracting issues with added confidence.

“The C&I Group is here to help,” Brandenn explains. “We have Manson’s best interest at heart, and we want people to succeed in the organization.”

Two people wearing hard hats at a jobsite.
Manson Vice President and Gulf & East Coast Civil Area Manager Mark Openshaw and Kristi-Lyn Levesque visiting the BIMT Wharf Rehabilitation Phase 2 project in Jacksonville, FL. Photo credit: Laurie Pinard—VP and General Counsel

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