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Staff Connection—Belinda Rodriguez

A woman and a dog in a photo.

Belinda Rodriguez developed a fascination for life on the water from summers spent sailing the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. These early adventures would set the path for Belinda’s journey from coffee importing to law enforcement to marine construction.

Belinda grew up in Venezuela in “La Tierra del Sol Amada,” the nickname for the city of Maracaibo, which translates to “The Land of the Beloved Sun.” She remembers traveling with her father, a merchant marine captain, every summer and a few winters to the U.S., Europe, and Canada. The U.S. sea route would take Belinda through the Gulf and East Coast regions, even going as far as Houston, Texas. “I gained a tremendous appreciation for people who worked on the water from these trips,” Belinda says.

Recalling her experience on those voyages, she remembers the distinct smell of the ports whenever the ship docked at a new location. Belinda would take the time to explore each city, developing a deep interest in the various cultures and languages each place had to offer.

When Belinda turned 18, she moved to New Orleans, Louisiana. Drawn to the city’s vibrant culture and watery landscape, Belinda would come to call the bayou “home” for over 20 years.

Enrolled at Delgado Community College, Belinda pursued two degrees while working as a cost accountant in the school’s accounting department. After completing her Business Administration degree, she left her position at the school to become an accountant for a coffee importer. “Trading tuition invoices for coffee beans,” as she puts it, Belinda worked in the role for eight years.

Not long after, Belinda was accepted into a Criminal Justice program at Loyola University. In addition to her accounting job, she worked as a sheriff’s deputy for a short time. During the day, she processed coffee invoices, and, in the evening, she collected the fingerprints of incoming prisoners. Belinda proudly served the community of New Orleans as deputy until having to evacuate the city during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

When the storm destroyed the city of New Orleans, Belinda waited in Asheville, North Carolina, for three months. Upon her return home, Belinda’s transition to her new surroundings in New Orleans proved difficult. Looking for a fresh start, she relocated to Thibodaux, Louisiana.

Belinda continued her clerical work for the coffee importer but was looking at similar roles in different industries. Stumbling upon Manson Construction Co. and the niche industry of marine construction, she applied for a position at Manson’s Houma office. When Manson called with a job offer, she resigned from her accounting role and got her start as a company recruiter at universities. Finding success in her new role, Belinda says, “it was the support of mentors and personnel that helped me learn and grow within the industry.”

As she took on more responsibilities, Belinda’s scope of work varied from attending nationwide conferences and working on a variety of ground-breaking projects for Manson. Some notable assignments include the construction of Manson’s derrick barge E.P. PAUP, the New Orleans Gulf Intracoastal Waterway Project, and the Bayou Segnette Project.

Fifteen years later, Belinda now works as Manson’s Offshore Administrator for the Offshore Division based in Houma, Louisiana. She is an integral contact for Gulf offshore operations. “I oversee logistics documents, service orders, and attend conferences on Manson’s behalf,” Belinda explains. Apart from her current role, she also serves as Regional Ethics Advisor.

Even on days away from the office, Belinda is still very much involved with the water. She can be found swimming, fishing, and scuba diving. When on land, she is an avid traveler, marathon runner, and according to her family and friends, an awesome cook.

“My professional journey has been nothing short of amazing,” Belinda says of her career path at Manson. “I continue to grow professionally and learn new things every day.”

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