International Dredging Review

International Dredging Review

Mackie Wensel Step Down at GLDD;
Berger and Biemeck Are New CEO and President

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation (NASDAQ:GLDD) announced on Tuesday September 7 changes to its executive management effective immediately.
Douglas B. Mackie president and chief executive officer has decided with the board of directors to resign his positions and become chairman emeritus and senior advisor to the company. Mackie will remain a director of Great Lakes.
The board has appointed Jonathan Berger as chief executive officer of the company. He has served as a member of the Great Lakes board of directors since December 2006 and served as chair of the Audit Committee. Berger will remain a director but will no longer serve on that committee.
Jonathan Berger was a Partner in KPMG’s Corporate Finance practice from 1991 through 1999 and was a managing director and co-head of Navigant Consulting Inc. (NYSE:NCI) corporate finance practice from 2001 to 2009. He is now director and chair of the Audit and Compensation committees of Boise Inc. (NYSE:BZ). He is a certified public accountant and holds an MBA from Emory University.
Deborah A. Wensel senior vice president chief financial officer and treasurer has decided with the board of directors to resign her positions. Wensel will assist in the transition as a consultant to the company through the end of the year.

President and CFO
The board has appointed Bruce J. Biemeck as president and chief financial officer. Biemeck has served as a member of the company’s board of directors since December 2006 and most recently served as lead director chair of the Compensation committee and a member of the Audit committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance committee. Biemeck will remain a director but will no longer serve as lead director or on any board committees.

Bruce Biemeck has deep institutional knowledge of Great Lakes’ business having served as the company’s senior vice president chief financial officer and treasurer from 1991 to 1999. Since 1999 Biemeck has been a private real estate investor and developer and has acted as an independent consultant. He received a B.S. from St. Louis University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. He is a certified public accountant.

Jonathan Berger commented “With these changes Great Lakes is poised to take advantage of market opportunities and execute on the strategic plan being developed by the board and management. With these moves we have been able to provide experienced familiar leadership while enhancing management with strong skills in strategic planning and mergers and acquisitions to grow Great Lakes. We recognize the strong and steady leadership Mr. Mackie has provided this company over the last 15 years. Under his leadership Great Lakes has experienced growth in revenue and profits grown its fleet to respond to market needs and enhanced the company’s safety record. Doug led the transition of the company to private equity ownership in the 1980s as well as back to public ownership in 2006. In the early 1990s Doug’s foresight led Great lakes to expand into foreign dredging markets which have accounted for over 20 percent of annual revenues over the last five years. This has proven to help immensely with the cyclical nature of the domestic dredging markets. We are pleased Doug has agreed to stay active with the company as a senior advisor and board member for Great Lakes and look forward to continuing to work with him.

Berger Thanks Wensel for Tenure as CFO
“I also thank Deb (Wensel) for her many contributions to the company while serving as CFO since 1999 and previously in increasingly responsible financial roles. During her years of service Deb effectively managed the company’s finances including the administration successful negotiation and financing of numerous transactions through both private equity ownership and the transition back to public ownership through its 2006 initial public offering and listing on NASDAQ. We wish her well in the next stage of her career and look forward to working with her in the coming months during our transition” said Berger.

Doug Mackie stated “I am grateful to the employees of Great Lakes who through their dedication and efforts have helped make our growth and leadership the pride of the industry. I have great confidence in the new management team and look forward to working with them in an advisory capacity to meet our goals for the future.”

A Strong First Half -Year
Berger concluded “Great Lakes recently announced a strong first half with the expectation for full year results which exceed 2009 results. We have experienced solid results in recent periods reduced debt and generated cash which will provide for future plans and needs for our dredging and demolition operations as well as enhance our ability to finance expansion. Our strategic vision remains to seek growth opportunities in our existing businesses as well as outside of our existing business base. Our new management team will serve a critical role in executing our strategic plan that is being developed to meet our growth objectives. Our team looks forward to exploring future growth opportunities both inside and outside our core markets.”