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Manson Retirees Winter 2023

MARK STUESSY—Senior Estimator

WRITTEN BY | John Heckel—Corporate Ethics & Compliance Officer

Two people wearing at a holiday party

Senior Estimator Mark Stuessy has been a key leader in marine and heavy civil estimating since joining Manson’s Southern California office in the late 1980s. After more than 30 years with the organization, Mark officially retired in the Autumn of 2023.

In 1988, Mark joined Manson Pacific—a joint venture between Manson and Crowley Maritime—in Long Beach, CA, to help the estimating department secure projects in the Southern and Northern California regions. Known for his hard work and determination, Mark established himself as a solid estimator who built strong relationships in the industry, garnering respect from Manson clients, JV partners, vendors, subcontractors, and colleagues, including current Manson President John Holmes. “Mark’s reputation of being fair and ethical has earned him high respect from his peers,” John says.

As he gained experience, Mark landed the position of Senior Estimator, leading pursuits to secure high-profile projects for Manson including the Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project, a multi-phase project that overhauled the Port of Long Beach into their flagship model as the “Port of the Future,” as well as other large maritime projects at the Port of Los Angeles and Naval Base San Diego.

In his retirement, Mark looks forward to spending quality time with his family and has plans to travel to Wisconsin and Hawaii. Fun Fact: Mark is a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers NFL football team. Mark’s great smile, friendly approach, and “Aloha Spirit” will be missed by those who worked with him for many years.

A big “Mahalo” to Mark on his retirement!



WRITTEN BY | Jay Mayes—NEWPORT Captain

A dredge crew take a picture for a retirement party

I first met Marc Bissonnette in 1976 at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. We were both eighteen years old and were still trying to figure things out, but one thing we knew for sure was that we wanted to go out to sea. Who knew that it would lead to several decades of dredging?

After graduating from Kings Point, we stayed in contact and remained good friends. One year, Marc visited me in Wyoming with his

wife, Lillian, to join me on a skiing trip. At the time, Marc was a Captain on the VICTORIA CLIPPER ferry in Seattle, and he told me about the opportunities for marine jobs in the Northwest. In our conversation, he mentioned a dredging company he did relief work for, and that the work interested him.

After a few years at sea, I left my job, and found that Marc was working on the NEWPORT with Manson—Marc started with Manson in 1988. After learning about my career transition, Marc put in a good word with Henry “Speedy” Hester (namesake of Manson’s boat SPEEDY) about my experience. Not long after the dredging season ended, I got a call to work on the NEWPORT. Aside from myself, Marc was responsible for bringing many people to Manson’s dredging division, including Captains Tom Bopp and Ken Penwell.

Marc is smart, dependable, and well-liked by everybody. As part of the small but tight-knit NEWPORT crew, Marc was a member of the “old folks’ home”—a name given to the NEWPORT crew because of our long history together.

The NEWPORT crew will miss Marc, but we look forward to reuniting in a few months to celebrate his retirement.



WRITTEN BY | Ron Slavens—Chief Engineer, H.R. MORRIS

A group of people take a picture at a work site.

Bob Davila and I first met when I joined the cutter suction dredge H.R. MORRIS crew as an apprentice more than 20 years ago. A long-time Manson employee, Bob was very knowledgeable in dredge operations and was my mentor early on in my career. We worked on several memorable projects at Manson, including the repowering of the H.R. MORRIS in 2009. When I took the role of chief engineer on the dredge, I called Bob daily for advice, and he answered every call.

Over the years, we’ve become close friends because of our common interest in several hobbies, especially our love of motorcycles. Bob and I have had many laughs over the years, with my favorite memory being of us getting lost on the road.

One day, Bob and I decided to go to a gun show on our day off. I told Bob that I would grab my Garmin GPS device so we could map out our destination, but he waived me off on that suggestion on account that he had served in the military and therefore was a “sharp navigator.” After driving for some time, I realized we were on the road much longer than we should have been. I’m not sure if it was the fact that we were both too busy talking and laughing our tails off, but when we looked up, we saw a sign that read “Canada.” We quickly looked at each other, laughed, and turned back around. Bob bought a GPS after that trip.

Many people would describe Bob as ethical, dependable, honest, hard-working, smart, and an all-around good person. He’s been a close-age father figure to me, offering professional and personal guidance for as long as I’ve known him.

In his retirement, Bob plans to spend the remainder of his days with his two sons, Christopher and Bobby Jr., and his granddaughters, Isla and Lucy.

Congratulations on a well-deserved retirement, my friend!

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