Established in 2006, the Virginia Ship Repair Foundation’s Tradesperson of the Year Awards recognize excellence in the ship repair industry workforce. From numerous nominees, two winners are selected: a senior tradesperson with more than five years of industry experience, and a junior tradesperson with fewer than five years experience in their chosen trade field. These nominees and winners are truly the best of the best, and showcase the exemplary talent and work ethic that make Virginia’s ship repairers the best in the world.
The VSRF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, so all sponsorships are tax-deductible and go toward valuable initiatives that enhance and expand the future ship repair industry workforce.
Now, more than ever, it is important to recognize excellence in our workforce. Your Association and Foundation are dedicated to doing just that.
Please click on the following links for:
2021 VSRF Jr ToY Nomination Form
2021 VSRF Sr ToY Nomination Form
VSRF Jr Sample ToY Nomination Form
VSRF Sr Sample ToY Nomination Form
Premier Sponsorship by: PNC Bank
Last year's Winners:
2020 SENIOR TRADESPERSON OF THE YEAR
HENG HY, BAE SYSTEMS NSR
Heng Hy is a welder and crew leader with more than 37 years of experience. Hy lives by the creed that safety is priority one and can proudly state that no crew member has ever been injured under his watch. An expert aluminum welder, Hy is highly sought after for difficult jobs. He has received several commendations from ship’s force and service awards from within their company. He has never stopped learning, earning a long list of welding certifications and credentials from technical schools such as the New Horizons regional education center. Beyond that, though, Hy is family and community oriented, and deeply faith driven. He has a remarkable story, coming to the United States as a refugee from Cambodia at just 17 years old after his parents were killed in armed conflicts. A few months from turning 18, Hy was left to care for four younger brothers. He turned to welding as a means to provide for his family, and, when not at work, spent time cooking meals, helping with schoolwork, and navigating them all through the United States citizen naturalization process. The hard work paid off, as those younger brothers were able to go to college and now serve as mechanical, chemical, and nuclear engineers.
2020 RUNNER-UP SENIOR TRADESPERSON OF THE YEAR
POLICARPIO CALIMBAS, HII FLEET SUPPORT GROUP LLC
Policarpio Calimbas acquired his extensive technical background through both the U.S. Navy and marine repair industry. An emblem of effective leadership, Policarpio serves as a mentor to other electricians within the Elevator Support Unit (ESU) organization and instills safety into the organizational work practices. In his free time, he uses his musical talent and leadership to promote charitable initiatives within the local Filipino community.
2020 JUNIOR TRADESPERSON OF THE YEAR
DANUAL PEARCE, COLONNA'S SHIPYARD
In just four short years in the industry, Danual Pearce has worked his way up to the position of Lead Mechanic Supervisor for rigging. He entered the industry as an Apprentice and completely excelled, finishing the program an entire year earlier than the rest of his class. Following that apprenticeship, Danual became a first-class rigger and earned NCCCO rigging and signalperson certifications. He has proudly taken a leading role in ensuring team safety and continually reminds his team that “being prepared is half the victory” and everyone must always remain aware. Danual has been selected by the Colonna’s executive team to serve on the company’s leadership development group and has received several commendations from ship’s force. Beyond his work in the yard, Danual serves the community by coaching the Virginia Beach Vikings youth football league for boys and girls under age 12. Since 2008, he has served as a mentor to community youth, providing guidance to ensure those kids go on to graduate high school and, in some cases, even play football at the collegiate level. Through mentorship, Danual is helping raise a generation of young people who know that no matter what, they have a supporter in their lives who will never give up on them.
2020 RUNNER-UP JUNIOR TRADESPERSON OF THE YEAR
MICHAEL WAYNE LEDBETTER, HII FLEET SUPPORT GROUP LLC
Michael Ledbetter has exemplified quality workmanship, stressing the importance of 1st time quality and attention to detail, and even won the 2020 Quality Workmanship Award for Refueling Complex Overhaul Group. Michael has earned a reputation as a compassionate mentor and leader not only at work but also within the community and local schools that he volunteers at.