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The speaker for the January General Membership meeting was Bill Crow, President of the Virginia Ship Repair Association. Bill presented the VSRA Annual Report - an overview of VSRA activities, initiatives, and successes in 2023 and a look ahead at the goals for 2024. The meeting was held on Tuesday, January 30th, 2024, 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Ted Constant Convocation Center, ODU.

Bill started his presentation sharing his annual fear of the new year not living up and exceeding the accomplishments of the prior years. He stated he had this concern about 2023 based on how great 2022 was, but was quickly put to rest based on what was done these past 12 months. Bill emphasized that what was achieved in 2023 was due to the membership, saying this to membership: "You provided strength through passionate service, engagement, dedication, and commitment." 

Our president then proceeded to extend his gratitude to the VSRA and VSRF Board of Directors, committee chairs, and staff, likening their collective efforts to the foundational pillars of the organization. This was followed by a special acknowledgment of the outgoing VSRA Chair, Kevin Terry, whose contributions were celebrated with a gift and a platform to express his gratitude.

Highlighting the successes of the past year, Crow pointed out significant achievements such as breaking fundraising records, reaching a new membership peak with 321 companies at the end of the year, and organizing successful events by both VSRA and VSRF.

Bill specifically elaborated on the 3rd Annual Evening Social event, describing it as a testament to the association's commitment to excellence. The upcoming social, scheduled for July 18th, was promised to be equally engaging.

Crow also touched upon the success of the 27th Safety and Health Seminar, featuring keynote speaker CDR Frank Weisser who was a Top Gun pilot and assisted with many of the stunts in “Top Gun: Maverick”, and the vital role of the seminar’s planning committee. The seminar's next edition is set for September 25th, which Bill emphasized involving production personnel from member companies who attend.

The 38th VSRF Golf Tournament was another big focal point of the presentation, being our centerpiece event and a primary fundraiser for the VSRF. Crow emphasized the importance of sponsorships for the tournament, scheduled for October 17th, with registration opening on February 5th.

A heartfelt segment of the presentation was dedicated to the Annual Tradesperson of the Year Awards. Crow mentioned Bradford Major and Christian Fitzgerald as the senior and junior awardees, respectively, in the 17th edition of the awards last year. He also announced the opening of nominations for the 18th Awards on August 29th and discussed plans for a workshop to streamline the nomination process for member companies.

Crow highlighted the impactful work of the VSRA Committees, some of which directly engage with NAVSEA, and noted the accessibility of committee meetings, both in-person and virtual, complete with food offerings in-person. He also mentioned how company engagement is key for the committees to share information and to get things done, encouraging people to volunteer and speak at committees.

Before delving into the 2023 achievements and 2024 goals, Crow praised the array of esteemed speakers from the 2023 General Membership Luncheons, including notable figures like Congressman Rob Wittman, RDML Jason Lloyd, VADM William Galinis, Mr. Jay Stefany, Senator Tim Kaine, ADM James W. Kilby and CAPT Jay Young. He also previewed upcoming speakers for 2024, including Representative Jen Kiggans in February and RADM Joe Cahill in March.

Crow's overview of 2023 included the expansion of the Marine Trade Training program, a successful leadership course partnership with Virginia Wesleyan University, and the enhancement of the job board for member companies. Looking ahead to 2024, he emphasized the continuous expansion of MTT career paths and the strengthening of partnerships in areas such as AIT-LMA Integration, Change Management, Hot Work, and Weld Procedure Group.

In his closing remarks, Crow expressed profound gratitude for the opportunity to serve as President and the support received from members and staff. He concluded the speech by thanking the audience for their extraordinary commitment and contributions.

The 2023 VSRA Annual Report can be viewed by clicking here.

[NOTE: link to the pdf version of the official annual report – it’s linked on our website if you click the strategic plan tab from the member view] 

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