Carlisle & Bray hires David A. Orme as new Chief Operating Officer

Carlisle & Bray Enterprises has hired David A. Orme, a former executive with Dayton Power & Light Co. and Ranger Steel, Inc., as the company’s new Chief Operating Officer.

David A. Orme

In his role as COO, Orme will manage all operations at Carlisle & Bray, which includes C&B Marine, C&B Energy Services, and C&B Repair & Maintenance. These companies provide a multitude of inland-marine services to utility, aggregate, and marine-related customers in the Midwest and the South, including towing, fleeting, shifting, dredging, construction, repairing and maintaining vessels, and other services.

“I am excited to bring my background and experience of working for a large utility company and in the construction industry to the C&B team,” Orme said. “The company already has a strong team in place and I think I can leverage my past experience to facilitate teamwork, allow us to focus on safety, and help our company experience scalable growth.”

Orme, 56, a native of Maysville, Ky., has a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering Technology from Morehead State University and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Xavier University. He spent 27 years with the Dayton Power & Light and AES Corporation, working his way up from plant maintenance, operations, and engineering positions to plant manager, then to Managing Director of Asset Management, Engineering, and Construction, and ultimately serving as Vice President for Generation.

In the vice president position, he was responsible for managing 625 employees, a $250 million budget, and overseeing operations at the utility’s Stuart and Killen coal-operated power plants and its Tait and Montpeiler natural gas/CT-operated stations. For the past four and one-half years, Orme has served as vice president of operations for Ranger Steel, Inc., an industrial construction and steel fabrication company based in Maysville, Ky.

“I know the utility business very well, which an important industry sector that C&B serves,” Orme said. “With my past background in utilities and my later work in the construction industry, I think I will be able to work with our team to improve and expand the services we currently provide to both utilities and other customers.”

“I see opportunities for further growth in the work we provide to utility companies and the services we provide to other river-based businesses, especially aggregate companies, because the need and desire for infrastructure improvements in our region and our country continues to grow every day.”

Orme said he was familiar with both C&B partners Bill Bray and Rob Carlisle from his past work with Dayton Power & Light Co. The Carlisle and Bray families merged their respective marine companies in 2011 to create Carlisle & Bray Enterprises.

“Coming from a large corporation at DP&L, I bring a lot experience in terms of corporate procedures, policies, and safety practices, which I think will serve C&B well,” he said. “At the same time, I appreciate the nimbleness of a privately owned company like this one because we can move quickly to service our clients in new and innovative ways.”

Orme said that his strengths as a leader are his ability to listen, communicate, and facilitate with employees. He also said he is effective in creating and implementing proactive, rather than reactive, business strategies.

“I see myself spending 70 percent of my energy improving our company’s human capital and 30 percent on the more technical issues of the business,” he said. “This organization has a lot of moving parts. My primary job here is to improve communication, knock down barriers, and bring our people together as a cohesive team, which helps improve both our service offerings and customer service.”

C&B Marine received the first Certificate of Inspections (COI) issued by U.S. Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley under Subchapter M, the new regulations governing the towing industry.

On July 23, the MV Atlantis was inspected and received its COI, and on Aug. 13, the MV Christine received its inspection and COI.

C&B Marine has been working in close partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard Cincinnati MSD group and Sector Ohio Valley team for many months prior to these compliance dates to ensure a smooth transition into the Subchapter M world.

“I want to thank the local Coast Guard group and the rest of the Sector Ohio Valley team for their cooperation and patience in assisting C&B with the implementation and planning efforts needed to ensure that all C&B Marine vessels are safe and compliant,” Scott Bray said.

C&B Marine has more than 20 vessels that operate in the Sector Ohio Valley area of operations and has a full-service towing and fleeting operation in the Greater Cincinnati area.

Port Engineer David Westrich; Scott Bray; Rob Carlisle; Coast Guard Lt. Jim Brendel, Supervisor, MSD Cincinnati; Coast Guard CWO Michael McClain, Marine Inspector, MSD Cincinnati; General Manager Ed Lapikas; and Safety Manager Greg Schabell

Pilot Randal Lapikas; Mechanic Ira Baker; Deckhand Joshua Castle; Coast Guard CWO Michael McClain, Marine Inspector, MSD Cincinnati; Coast Guard Lt. Jim Brendel, Supervisor, MSD Cincinnati; Deckhand Greg Chapman; Steersman Mike McNeely; Lead Mechanic Brandon Phillips; Pilot Jason Inman

At Carlisle & Bray, we extend our hearts and prayers to the many families and businesses who were adversely affected by recent Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

We also send best wishes to our fellow mariners working on the Inland and Gulf Intracostal Waterways in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, and Alabama after the devastating impacts of these historic storms.

Harvey, which hit Texas on Aug. 25, and Irma, which hit Florida on Sept. 10, caused extensive damage to homes and business all along the Gulf Coast. Houston, one the United States’ business seaports, was hit particularly hard by Hurricane Harvey, causing historic flooding and a death toll that now exceeds 70 people.

In Houston, as rainwater continues to drain from the region, ports and waterways critical for our nation’s economy have started reopen and vessels are starting to move crude oil, petroleum products, and other commerce through the inland and intracostal waterways.

The long road to relief, recovery, and rebuilding is underway and we wish all of these communities and the people who live and work there the best as they continue their recovery from these natural disasters.


To show our support for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and the long blue line of men and women who have graduated from this prestigious institution, Carlisle & Bray recently placed an advertisement in USCGA’s alumni association magazine, The Bulletin. 

On March 15, a vehicle toppled off of the Combs-Hehl Bridge (MP-462 Ohio River), a 1,440-foot long bridge built in 1979 to carry automobile traffic on I-275 across the Ohio River between Campbell County, Ky., and Hamilton County, Ohio.

Pictured, left to right, are Boone County Water Rescue Capt. Dale Appel, Terry Raines, Rob Carlisle, Ed Lapikas of C&B Marine and Boone County Administrator Jeff Earlywine.

Pictured, left to right, are Boone County Water Rescue Capt. Dale Appel, Terry Raines, Rob Carlisle, Ed Lapikas of C&B Marine and Boone County Administrator Jeff Earlywine.

The Boone County Water Rescue Team was called to the scene and tried to reach the vehicle on the day of the crash by attaching a line from the car to a bridge pier, but the team had to halt initial rescue efforts due to high river currents.

Eleven days later, the vehicle was pulled from the Ohio River through the cooperative efforts of the Boone County Water Rescue Team, divers from Marine Solutions Inc., Campbell County public safety officials, and a vessel and crane barge from C&B Marine, LLC.

To recover the vehicle, C&B Marine’s MV Enterprise moved in place the deck barge and crane needed to remove the vehicle from the bottom of the Ohio River. After the recovery operation was complete, Boone County officials recognized C&B Marine personnel for their much-needed assistance and efforts in helping to remove this vehicle from the river.

Boone County Administrator Jeff Earlywine and Capt. Dale Appel of the Boone County Water Rescue Team offered their appreciation to C&B Marine Crane Operator Terry Raines, General Manager Ed Lapikas, and Rob Carlisle, president of C&B Marine, for their cooperation and timely commitment in helping all parties get the vehicle out of the water.

The Ports of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky have been ranked the busiest inland port in the nation, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Navigation Data Center.

The facilities have also are the 13th busiest port in the United States.

The Ports of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky handled nearly 50 million tons of cargo in 2014, according to rankings released by the Corps’ Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center.

Following the Ports of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky in the inland ports ranking is the Port of Huntington Tristate, which is in West Virginia and spans nearly 200 miles over the Ohio, Big Sandy and Kanawha rivers.

“This is tremendous milestone that provides enhanced marketing and river-commerce opportunities,” said Eric Thomas, Executive Director of the Central Ohio River Business Association (CORBA).

In 2015, CORBA led the effort to re-designate the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky ports, expanding the port boundaries from 26 miles to 226.5 miles including a seven mile stretch of the Licking River in Northern Kentucky. The re-designated port includes all or part of 10 counties in Kentucky (Boone, Kenton, Campbell, Pendleton, Bracken, Mason, Lewis, Gallatin, Carroll and Trimble) and 5 counties in Ohio (Hamilton, Clermont, Brown, Adams and Scioto.)

“When we set out to re-designate the Ports of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, we fully expected a rank of 15th in the nation and the second largest inland port,” Thomas said. “Our region is blessed to possess such a strong port complex, arguably the envy of many cities our size in the heartland.”

Other organizations that worked on the re-designation included The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority, REDI Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky TRI-ED and The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana (OKI) Regional Council of Governments.

The US Army Corps of Engineers Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center rankings are available here.

C&B Marine held a christening ceremony for three new vessels in its fleet on Saturday, October 31, and signed a Statement of Support with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) organization in an effort to recruit more veterans as employees at the company.

In the ceremony on the Ohio River here, C&B Marine, a subsidiary of Carlisle & Bray Enterprises, the Covington, Ky.-based inland marine company, christened a new towboat, The M/V Atlantis; a new floating dry dock, The Bluefish; and a new crew boat, The Little Bit.

Carlisle & Bray Enterprises, which employs about 175 workers, operates various barges, multiple deck flats for clamshell loading and unloading, barge cranes, and other construction equipment on the Ohio River. The company also operates four fleeting areas and a heavy lifting dock in the Ports of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

Rev. Kempton D. “Chaps” Baldridge, chaplain of The Seaman’s Church Institute in Paducah, Ky., officiated the christening ceremony at the company’s fleeting facility located at 6778 River Road in Hebron, Ky. C&B crew members, employees, and board members; members of the Carlisle and Bray families; clients of the company; representatives from ESGR; and Rear Admiral Robin E. Osborn, Commandant of the Ohio Naval Militia, all attended the ceremony.

C&B Marine’s Three New Vessels

C&B Marine contracted with Marine Builders, Inc., located in Utica, Ind., to construct The Atlantis, the 18th towboat in its fleet. The vessel is a 1,320 hp., 60- by 25-foot towboat that will be used for short-line towing and dedicated service on the Ohio River.

The Atlantis is the third new towboat C&B Marine has placed into operation during the past year. Last October, C&B Marine christened The Enterprise, a 2,600 hp., 90- by 34-foot towboat, and The Discovery, another 1,320 hp., 60- by 25-foot towboat.

“Our investment in three state-of-the-art towboats in the past year underscores our commitment to our customers as well as our commitment to the safety and well-being of our employees,” said Rob Carlisle, president of Carlisle & Bray Enterprises. “While the new vessels are nice addition to our fleet, we recognize that our employees are really our greatest asset.”

C&B Marine also contracted with Sneed Shipbuilding, Inc., of Channelview, Texas, to construct a custom Floating Dry Dock DD-26. The Bluefish is 160 feet in length and 60 feet in width. The vessel includes eight, eight-inch Ebara submersible pumps and 10-inch bronze butterfly flood valves with Triac electric actuators.

In a process that takes one to two hours, the dry dock vessel can be submerged underwater to allow another vessel to float into its interior walls. The dry dock is then drained and it rises out of the water to allow its load to come to rest on a dry platform. This allows for the construction, maintenance, and repair to ships, boats, barges, and other watercraft in the floating dry dock.

Floating dry docks are particularly advantageous for an inland towing, barge, and fleeting company like C&B Marine because they enhance both the company’s operational footprint in the marketplace as well as enable it to easily and conveniently maintain, repair, and upgrade its own equipment, said Matt Kristof, chief operating officer for C&B Marine.

“With 18 towboats, a crew boat, and 40-plus barges of our own, Carlisle & Bray was both ready and in need of this asset,” Kristof said. “The partners (of the company) have positioned the company for growth and we are exploring every opportunity to expand our operations in both the marine and energy-services divisions. As we continue to grow, the dock will help ensure that we are able to maintain and repair our own equipment, without having to worry about availability elsewhere.”

The Bluefish is named after USS Bluefish (SS-222), a Gato-class submarine that completed nine war patrols during World War II from September 1943 and July 1945. The vessel’s operating area extended from the Netherlands East Indies to South China Sea and is reported to have sunk 12 Japanese ships.

Ambrose Adrian Schwab — who was the father of Chris Bray, the matriarch of the Bray family, and the maternal grandfather of C&B partners Chad and Scott Bray — was a sailor on the USS Bluefish. An image of the USS Bluefish is emblazoned on an interior wall of the vessel, which will plunge underwater when the dry dock is submerged.

The third vessel that C&B Marine christened was a new crew boat, The Little Bit. The Little Bit will ferry crewmembers to and from vessels that are operating on the river.

C&B Marine’s Partnership with ESGR

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is a Department of Defense agency established in 1972 to help develop and promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees.

In addition to serving as an advocate for military veterans in the workplace, one of ESGR’s primary missions is to encourage the employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective, and proven leadership to the civilian workforce, said Harry T. Wylie, State Public Affairs Officer for Kentucky Committee for ESGR.

At the christening ceremony on Saturday, Rob Carlisle, president of Carlisle & Bray Enterprises, signed a Statement of Support with ESGR. The company then unfurled a sign on The Atlantis showing its support of ESGR. C&B Marine also had the ESGR name and its mission permanently painted on the inside of its floating dry dock.

“Kentucky’s committee for ESGR is thankful for the support of C&B Marine, especially for putting the ESGR name on the side of its new vessel,” said Maj. Gen. (retired) D. Allen Youngman, the state ESGR chair since October 2014. “Now ESGR has a ‘floating billboard’ that will help us and our important mission become better known. C&B’s commitment to supporting our reservists and guardsmen is unique and welcomed.”

Maj. Gen. Youngman, who formerly served as Kentucky Adjutant General, said that 40 percent of active U.S. military personnel today are members of either in the National Guard or the Reserve. He said these veterans make excellent employees.

“When you get a Guardsman or Reservist, you get a different kind of employee,” he said. “You get people who know how to get up in the morning for work, know how to listen to directions, know how to work as a team, and know how to get the job done.”

At the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Youngman presented C & B Marine with the a Department of Defense Seven Seals award for its “outstanding support.”

“ESGR is an invaluable resources for active duty and volunteer service members in Kentucky, helping service members with employment opportunities, whether they are unemployed or underemployed,” said Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond, public affairs officer and noncommissioned officer in charge of the Kentucky National Guard.

“By signing the statement of support of ESGR, C&B Marine will find, like many other employers in Kentucky have found, that this relationship is beneficial to both the employer and service members alike.”

Maj. Gen. Youngman attended the ceremony with Brig. Gen. (retired) Mike Richie, Kentucky ESGR Program Support Analyst, and Rodney B. Bell, the Northern Kentucky area chair of the state ESGR Program.

Visit from Rear Admiral Robert E. Osborn 

The christening ceremony also brought a visit from Rear Admiral Robin E. Osborn, the Commandant of the Ohio Naval Militia and Principal Maritime Domain Awareness Advisor to Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

As Ohio Navy Commandant, RDML Osborn, who served 27 years in the U.S. Navy prior to his appointment as Commandant, is responsible for the command and military readiness of the Ohio Naval Militia and reports directly to Major General Mark. E. Bartman, the Adjutant General of the Ohio National Guard.

RDML Osborn began his visit to Kentucky the day before the christening ceremony when he embarked on The Atlantis and broke his one-star flag on the mast of The Atlantis. RDML Osborn, along with Rev. Baldridge, then conducted a private burial-at-sea on the Ohio River on Friday afternoon for Ohio Navy veteran Journalist First Class Daniel Sekki. Members of the Sekki family joined RDML Osborn and Rev. Baldridge for the ceremony. Later that night, RDML Osborn occupied the stateroom of The Atlantis.

During the christening ceremony, RDML Osborn presented the flag of Ohio and plaque from the Ohio Naval Militia to C&B Marine. Rev. Baldridge presented a U.S. Merchant Marine flag to the crew of The Atlantis, as well as caps to captains and crewmembers at C&B Marine.

John Mendenez, who helps run the Christmas on the River program, accompanied by his daughter, Grace, presented prayer books to C&B Marine crew members during the christening ceremony. Christmas on the River is an SCI charitable program that provides gift boxes to mariners who work on the inland waterways during the holiday season.

Join us on Thursday, June 19, at Coney Island’s Paddlefest to take a free tour of one of our tow boats. Tours will start at 9:30 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. The vessel’s crew will answer any questions you may have as you walk you through the boat –from the engine room to the galley through the living quarters and up to the wheelhouse.

You will learn about how towboats work, what types of things barges transport, and what life is like working on the Ohio River.
RWD Boat Tour - CBMarine

carlisleRob Carlisle, president of Carlisle & Bray, recently travelled to Washington, DC to meet with other industry leaders at The American Waterways Operator’s annual Barge-In to discuss important issues and opportunities facing our inland waterways and companies and mariners who work in the industry.

The AWO’s Barge-In brings around 170 vessel owners and operators together in more than 150 meetings with U.S. senators and representatives. The event is the industry’s opportunity to demonstrate to Congress the importance of the tugboat, towboat, and barge industry to the United States and remind lawmakers about the national economic and security benefits the maritime industry provides to our nation.

During the visit, Rob Carlisle joined other U.S. maritime industry representatives and members of Congress to discuss regulations, infrastructure, the Jones Act, and more. Carlisle & Bray is committed to protecting the future of this industry and will continue to lobby on behalf of the industry and our employees.

“AWO members play a vital role in ensuring the safe and efficient movement of the nation’s critical cargo,” said Tom Allegretti, president and CEO of the American Waterways Operators. “The tugboat, towboat and barge industry directly employs tens of thousands of workers while supporting hundreds of thousands more. We want to ensure that Congress understands the value of our industry to the nation and the importance of our key public policy priorities.”

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