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Mentor Appreciation Month

A group of people on a plane.
Joe Barney (left) on his way to the Cedros island Conveyor and Platform Installation project in Baja California, Mexico in the early 2000s.

Joe Barney—who currently is the dredge captain on the NJORD should be thanked and recognized for all he’s done to help me and many others at Manson. Joe is a second-generation Manson employee, as his father and brother also worked for Manson. He’s been around this industry his whole life, literally. Joe was born in Seward, Alaska because his father was on a dredging job there.

I first worked with Mr. Barney in 2004 on the mighty Derrick Barge 8 as an apprentice dredging on the East Duwamish Waterway. He has taught me so many valuable skills and tricks for rigging, securing a barge, running a boat, tying knots, welding, running loaders, and deck winches. He instilled in me values that I use to this day, which include, “If it’s broke we can fix it" and "Work hard, and have fun doing it.”

The one that stuck with me the most is “ask yourself what’s the next step.” I took it as a way for him to keep me busy, but it’s his way of saying look ahead to the next 3 to 4 steps so there are no surprises and to be prepared to speed the process up.

We have worked together on multiple jobs on many different rigs. Dredging the Port of Anchorage on the VULCAN. Dredging in Tacoma on the VULCAN , VIKING, and ANDREW. Pipeline repairs in Cook Inlet, Alaska on the HAAKON. Driving piles in New Orleans with the HAAKON. Dredging in Mexico with the VIKING. Dredging on the NJORD up and down the West Coast. Not to mention all the maintenance work we’ve done in the Manson yard on a lot of different rigs.

Joe is fun to hang out with outside of work. It’s always a great time fishing the Kenai River for sockeye salmon with him. We had some good times going to mixed martial arts fights, bowling, watching sprint car races all over the Bay Area. Joe has shown me that getting excited and panicking doesn’t help in any situation. Stay calm and work out the problem. He explains things so well that even an inexperienced person can understand. He has so many years of wisdom and experience that when he talks, I listen.

I would like to thank Mr. Barney for being a patient teacher, role model, leader, and friend.

Submitted by: Ryan Huffaker, Deck Engineer

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