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2020: Challenges, Adaptability & Success

December 8, 2020

2020 has been a difficult year for people and businesses in the US and worldwide, and Global has had its share of challenges. Our marketing team sat down for a remote Q&A session with Devon Grennan, President of Global, to get his thoughts on how the year went, and what 2021 might hold.

masked up
To help prevent the spread of COVID, Global crews added masks to their mandatory PPE.

Q: What has been Global’s biggest success this year?
A: One of the most important successes this year was our ability to keep our operations running, and being ready to take care of our clients’ needs. Obviously the pandemic was a shock to the system as we all re-invented how we worked, from wearing masks and trying to limit interaction (try social distancing on a boom boat or dive vessel), to working remotely and communicating without being in person. I couldn’t be more proud of our teams’ response to the constantly changing environment. We’ve kept our employees safe, and work coming in the door. Our business has been fortunate in that we have been able to keep a majority of our employees working full time and the paychecks flowing.

What has been a challenge in 2020?
One of the most challenging aspects was uncertainty for our clients’ economic future. Obviously we had some work that simply dried up, such as the diving and marine environmental work we perform for the cruise lines here in the Pacific Northwest. Fortunately other projects that were contracted early in 2020 — most notably subsea construction support — have had a tendency to slide to later in the year, and now we are booked solid with work through the end of the year.

What’s been the most disappointing aspect of the pandemic?
What I am going to miss the most is the occasion for everyone to come together at our annual holiday parties in Seattle, Anchorage and Mare Island. They are always a great time to catch up with employees and their families, and trade sea stories.  The maritime and construction industry demands a lot of everyone’s time, and we really enjoy getting the opportunity to say “thank you” to the significant others and families that are impacted when the phone rings during weekends, holidays or vacations.

Looking forward to 2021, what do you see for Global?
Due to project slide from the pandemic, we will be busy early in the year, which is a little unusual for us. We also are fortunate to have a pretty good slug of backlog. Additionally, I am hopeful that the discussions surrounding investment in domestic infrastructure will stick, as we are well positioned to be involved in many projects along the US coastlines and interior. I’m also looking forward to the COVID vaccine so we can meet up with co-workers and clients in person on a more regular basis. I miss the personal contact.

Any closing thoughts?
It’s been a helluva year, and challenging on many fronts. We continue integrating some of our departments with Moran Environmental Recovery, our parent company. We’ve been pivoting our approach to work with COVID precautions. Our country as a whole has faced anxiety with societal conflicts and racial inequity issues, a highly charged political climate, and uncertainty in the future. And through all of this I am proud of the resilience and commitment of our employees. With the constantly changing environment in which we have worked over the past nine months, our team has demonstrated an uncanny way to get it all done.

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday, and a bright 2021.

Devon Grennan,
President, Global Diving & Salvage


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