Our History

The Virginia Ship Repair Association (VSRA) is a regional industry association representing companies engaged in, or supporting, ship repair in Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic region. Our mission is to focus and coordinate member resources on the issues, challenges, and opportunities facing the ship repair industry in Virginia and across the nation.

The Virginia Ship Repair Association was founded in 1979 when corporate officers of individual private sector shipyards in south Hampton Roads jointly established the Tidewater Maritime Training Institute (TMTI) to provide training for the ship repair industry in Hampton Roads. The Institute was incorporated in 1981 as a non-profit, tax exempt educational institution (IRS 501(c)(3).

Leo Marshall, a retired Navy Captain, became the founding Executive Director of TMTI. For the next 20 years, Leo and his team of talented instructors trained men and women in the skills necessary to enter challenging and rewarding careers in the ship repair industry.

In 1984, the same corporate officers, recognizing that there was a need for a regional association of ship repair companies to address other mutual concerns, organized and incorporated the South Tidewater Association of Ship Repairers, Inc. (STASR) as a non-profit, tax exempt association (IRS 501(c)(6)). Membership was extended to ship repair subcontractors, suppliers, and support service companies. In addition to his leadership responsibilities of TMTI, Leo Marshall assumed leadership of STASR as Executive Director. By early 2004, the Association grew to over 170 member companies from around the Commonwealth of Virginia, as well as nearby states.

In December of 2003, after 22 years of dedicated and distinguished leadership, Leo Marshall relinquished the helm of both organizations, and Mal Branch, also a retired Navy Captain, was installed as the new President/CEO. In 2004, a Strategic Planning Committee, comprised of representatives of STASR companies appointed by the Board of Directors, reviewed past successes and identified opportunities for the future. Their goal was to develop a new plan for the direction of the Association. In January 2005, the Association's Strategic Plan was adopted and the name of the association was changed to the Virginia Ship Repair Association (VSRA) to better reflect the geography and business focus of our members.

Changes in funding streams and a new federal focus on employment and training strategies meant that a complete review of TMTI was needed. As a result of strategic planning that aligned the newly named VSRA with the training demands of the industry, TMTI was restructured to become the Virginia Ship Repair Foundation. Mr. Branch retired in 2012.

In September of 2012, retired Navy Captain William "Bill" Crow was welcomed as the President of the Virginia Ship Repair Association and Executive Director of the Virginia Ship Repair Foundation. Bill's leadership has guided VSRA and VSRF into a new cycle of growth with a focus on serving the maintenance and modernization industry. His service as the last Commanding Officer of the Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, and first Commanding Officer of the Joint Expeditionary Base, Little Creek-Fort Story was the culmination of a long, successful Navy career in the maintenance arena. Read his complete biography here.

VSRA represents over 300 member companies whose combined businesses have an economic impact in the Hampton Roads area on more than 79,000 jobs, $10.9 billion in economic impact and $6.2 billion in employee earnings and benefits.



VSRA works closely with OSHA, VIOSH, DOT, the U.S. Navy and its Mid Atlantic Regional Maintenance Center (MARMC), as well as other maritime organizations and a variety of government agencies, federal and state, to create a high standard of excellence in and for the ship repair industry.

VSRA provides value to its members by, among other things:

  • Making their concerns known to various federal, state, and local agencies.
  • Providing a communications link for information affecting the industry.
  • Coordinating industry workforce development programs and member-driven training courses.
  • Providing a U.S. Navy sanctioned Quality Assurance Sub-Contractor Audit Program for its members.
  • Posting a member service directory.
  • Fostering the commercial welfare of its members.
  • Providing forums for sharing critical industry-related information through standing committees, seminars, and symposia.

VSRA Board of Directors meetings are held on the third Tuesday of every odd month, followed by a lunch meeting with the General Membership. The lunch meetings with the General Membership are held the third Tuesday of every month. The Chairman of the VSRA Board and the VSRA committee chairs report to the General Membership at the monthly meeting, followed by a guest speaker's presentation. Each member company may have its designated representatives present at the General Membership monthly luncheon meeting and is welcome to invite company guests.

Member companies are strongly encouraged to participate in committee meetings and activities. Typically, committee members are men and women whose experience relates to the committees on which they serve. Therefore, they bring a great deal of knowledge to the table to share with others. The committees meet monthly, work closely with various agencies, discuss mutual concerns, recommend to the VSRA Board of Directors positions to be taken by the Association and develop and provide educational seminars for Association members.

On a monthly basis, each VSRA member company has access to the following on our website:

  • Minutes of the General Membership meeting
  • Minutes of committee meetings
  • Training Opportunities
  • Other literature of general interest
  • VSRA Newsletter

Once approved by the Board of Directors, new members receive access to the Members Only portion of the VSRA website. Also, each company will be listed on the VSRA website with information including its name, address, phone and fax numbers, e-mail and web addresses, point of contact, and general description of the business.

For further information, contact VSRA at 233-7034 or e-mail us at info@VirginiaShipRepair.org.

Correspondence may be directed to:
Virginia Ship Repair Association, Inc.
101 W Main Street, Suite 5500
Norfolk, VA, 23510