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Staff Stories—Brook Cheramie

For most people, a quick way to jump-start the morning is with a cup of coffee, but for Manson Port Engineer Brook Cheramie, it is an eight-mile run.  


What started as a New Year’s resolution to get healthy and active has turned into a passion and a rekindling of the love of sports, which started more than 20 years ago in the small town of Galliano, Louisiana.  


“I grew up in an active household as the youngest of four brothers just 45 minutes away from Houma,” Brook explains. “My brothers Kobi, Max, and Caz were actively involved in sports, so it was natural for me to do the same.”


Brook Cheramie

After losing his mother at an early age, Brook was raised by his father, Rod, and stepmother, Sheri, who dedicated their time to teaching the Cheramie and Pitre boys the importance of community, keeping true to one’s word, and an honest day’s work. 


“I grew up to have a very good life as a young kid,” Brook says. “My dad and Sheri did a great job raising me and my brothers, especially Sheri, who was there to support us while my dad ran his diesel mechanic business.” 


Curious about his father’s business and finding any excuse to tag along, Brook remembers the long workdays with his dad. “Whenever I followed my dad to work, I would help him grab tools, and he would teach me about the engines he was working on,” Brook says. “But my favorite thing to do was sitting in the breakroom and eating all day.”  


Taking advantage of the lessons he learned from his father, Brook signed up for a diesel mechanic course in high school. Combining the lessons from his dad and his schoolwork, Brook found employment as a diesel mechanic at Ans Engine Co., LLC, after graduation.  


A man in a hardhat.
Brook Cheramie's early days as an assistant vessel manager at Edison Chouest Offshore.

After a short stint at Ans, Brook sought another opportunity, eventually landing as a Port Captain with maritime transportation provider Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO). The new position would take him all over the world, including tropical destinations like Trinidad, Brazil, and Guam.  


“I spent the majority of my time traveling to fix and maintain the propulsion, diesel, and hydraulic systems for marine vessels across the globe,” Brook recalls. “My favorite destination was Trinidad because of the laid-back culture, and we had a lot of opportunities to explore the island after a day’s work.”  


Earning respect from his peers and finding success in his role, Brook caught the attention of a former coworker who was looking to recruit assistant vessel managers for a national maritime transportation company.  


“An old friend reached out and told me about the job,” Brook says. “The opportunity sounded good at the time, so I went for it. I started as an assistant vessel manager in 2012.” 


Mirroring the role previously held at ECO, the new position brought forth new responsibilities, such as ensuring vessels meet regulatory compliance for the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG).  


“In addition to keeping equipment running and providing technical assistance to crews, I learned a lot about the operations and management side,” Brook says. “After three years of managing the vessels, I earned the role of Port Engineer.” 


Eager to start fresh and capitalize on his years of experience, Brook learned from an old friend that Manson was looking for an experienced Port Engineer to maintain the hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS.  


After considering his options, Brook joined Manson in August 2016, reuniting with former ECO co-workers and current Manson Technicians Jean Savoie and Mark Dufrene. 


“I’ve worked with Brook on and off for more than 10 years between ECO and Manson,” Jean explains. “I have been at Manson since 2011, and when Brook joined the GLENN EDWARDS, his work ethic was just as I remembered it: determined to finish the job until it is 100% done. He is great to work with.”  

Managing Manson’s fleet and ensuring crews are provided with efficient equipment to get the job done is priority number one for a port engineer, according to Brook.  


Two people standing in a shipyard.
Equipment Manager Jon Tucker (left) and Brook Cheramie (right) overseeing drydock operations for the cutter suction dredge GLENN EDWARDS at the Bollinger Shipyards in Louisiana.

“I primarily work on the GLENN EDWARDS, but I assist with the other hoppers, crew boats, and some of our derrick barges,” he says. “I’m in constant communication with Jean and Mark to make sure Manson equipment is running smoothly, along with other people in the Equipment Department.”  


Six years into his role at Manson, Brook credits his father for instilling the mindset of striving for excellence, an affirmation he applies every day in his professional and personal life and with his current passion, running.  


two people standing on a field.
Brook Cheramie (left) takes a photo with his running coach after placing in the top 10 at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon in 2023.

Brook hopes that the same mindset will help him cross the finish line at the Wildcat Ultras 50K event in Pensacola, FL.  


The event will be Brook’s first attempt at a 50K (31-mile) race, one that he is preparing for with the support of his wife, Melody, daughter Aria, son Landon, and his very own running coach. 


“I’ll start to prepare for the 50K event in May 2024, with the goal of ramping up the mileage to 80 to 100 miles a week,” Brook says. “I want to push myself and compete in more marathons later in the year. My father never made excuses, always made time, and always showed up,” Brook explains. “He gave me and my brothers the drive to get stuff done, no matter what.” 


The Cheramie Family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

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