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Pascagoula, Miss., May 29, 2015 VT Halter Marine, Inc. (VTHM), a company of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), today announced a senior leadership change.  After more than 46 years in the shipbuilding business, including nearly two decades at VT Halter Marine and its predecessor companies, President and CEO Bill Skinner has announced his retirement.

A fixture in the Gulf Coast shipbuilding industry, Skinner’s career spanned parts of four decades and started on the deck-plates after service afloat in the Merchant Marine.  Prior to his appointments at VT Halter Marine, Skinner served as President of Friede Goldman Offshore since 1997 before the merger of Friede Goldman Halter, where he was responsible for operations of major projects including 5th Generation Semi-Submersible drilling rigs.

Skinner previously served as President, CEO and Director of ADDSCO Industries (1985–1989), the parent company of Alabama Maritime Corporation, where he also served as President (1982–1984) and as President of Alabama Shipyard, Inc. (1989–1997) following its acquisition by Atlantic Marine.  In 2009, Skinner was named President and CEO of VT Halter Marine.  Prior to his appointment as CEO, Skinner served as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and earlier as Senior Vice President.  During his tenure at the helm of VT Halter Marine, he oversaw the construction of vessels ranging from 185–330K BBLs Articulated Tug Barges, up to the 700ft., hybrid container ship and car carrier (CONRO) that was delivered in May.  His list of customers included Bouchard Transportation, Crowley Maritime, Pasha Hawaii Transport Lines, Hornbeck Offshore Services, the U.S. Navy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Army.  Under his leadership, VTHM was one of the few US shipyards that have been successful in building ships for both commercial and Government customers in the same yards.  Skinner also oversaw the purchase of a 12,000 MT dry dock and the establishment of an integrated repair facility at their Pascagoula site.

“I have been privileged to serve at the helm of a shipbuilding company that has such a rich history, renowned reputation, loyal customers, and supportive ownership.  I’ve always said that the greatest assets of VT Halter Marine are its employees.  However, the greatest privilege was to work with a highly talented core group of employees that cares deeply about the company and is integral to its success. After over forty years in the shipbuilding andmaritime industry, it has been my pleasure to serve as the CEO.” ~ Bill SKINNER, President and CEO, VT Halter Marine

Subsequent to Skinner’s retirement announcement, Jack Prendergast was named as the new President and CEO by the VT Halter Marine Board of Directors.  A retired US Navy Rear Admiral, Prendergast joined VT Halter Marine as an outside director in 2011, and was subsequently appointed as Executive Vice President in late 2012.

“It is impossible to replace a leader of Bill Skinner’s stature.  His shipbuilding experience in all phases of the process is unsurpassed and he leaves a legacy of excellence and dedication to both the customer and to his employees. I am fortunate to have worked with Bill over these last several years, and he has provided unmatched insight into this industry.  VT Halter Marine has a great team with a superb future, and I am honored and humbled to be named to this position.” ~ Jack PRENDERGAST, Executive Vice President, VT Halter Marine

“Bill has served as VT Halter’s CEO since April 2009 leading the company through some very challenging years for shipbuilders on the Gulf Coast; we are extremely grateful for the inspired leadership and deep commitment that Bill has shown throughout his many years of service to VT Halter Marine.  His leadership made VT Halter Marine one of the most innovative engineering and shipbuilding companies in the United States.  I have no doubt that Jack Prendergast will continue VT Halter Marine's history of being an industry leader.” ~ GEN (Ret. USA) John G. COBURN, Chairman and CEO, VT System

VT Halter Marine is the marine operations of VT Systems.  Based in Pascagoula, Miss., it is a leader in the design and construction of medium-sized ships in the United States. VT Halter Marine designs, builds and repairs a wide variety of ocean-going vessels such as patrol vessels, oil recovery vessels, oil cargo vessels, ferries, logistic support vessels and survey vessels. Please visit

VT Systems is an engineering company providing integrated solutions to the commercial and government markets in the aerospace, electronics, land systems and marine sectors. VT Systems’ innovative solutions, products and services include aircraft maintenance, repair and modification; software solutions in training and simulation; satellite-based IP communications technology; network solutions that integrate data, voice and video; rugged computers and computer peripheral equipment; specialized truck bodies and trailers; weapons and munitions systems; road construction equipment; and ship design and shipbuilding. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., VT Systems operates globally and is a wholly owned subsidiary of ST Engineering. Please visit

Media Contacts:
Merdith S. Foster
Manager, Business Development
VT Halter Marine
Phone:  (1) 228 696 6860
Fax:      (1) 228 696 6899

Kelli Boyer
Director, Human Resources
VT Systems
Phone:  (1) 703 739 2610
Fax:       (1) 703 739 2611