July 9, 2021

by Carolyn Kirkham, CPA, CGA

As this time of uncertainty and change draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on the fateful decisions that have led me to where I am today. Unlike most of Robert Allan Ltd.’s staff, I knew very little about the maritime industry or tug design when I first joined the company. Since I do not share the same passion for designing quality, innovative vessels, my reason for joining the company was much different than my colleagues.

In early 2015 I received a phone call from Su Craik, Robert Allan Ltd.’s VP of Finance & Administration at the time who is now retired and serving on our Board of Directors. Su had hired me nine years earlier at a different company while I was still working towards my professional accounting designation. During the six years that we had worked together in the past Su became my mentor and without a doubt the greatest influence in my career. She gave me ample opportunities for advancement, and I always admired the strength and confidence she displayed as a female working in a male dominated industry. Su felt that the culture and people at Robert Allan Ltd. would be a good fit for me, and naturally I trusted her opinion. That has certainly proven to be the right decision.

With each passing day, I become increasingly thankful to work with such intelligent, motivated individuals who are passionate about what they do. While not all of us come from a naval architecture background, the culture of working efficiently to produce quality work permeates throughout the organization and motivates us all.

Over the past twelve months, Robert Allan Ltd. staff have banded together and have continued to thrive amidst the uncertainty of this pandemic. There is a shared sense of community to do our best for the success of the company and for each other. We have been fortunate enough to keep all our staff productive and engaged while working safely and comfortably from our own homes. We have made efforts to connect virtually not just for business, but to check in on each other personally as well. We have also made it a priority to give back to those in need in our community by supporting various local charitable organizations during these difficult times.

I am grateful that a leap of faith five years ago landed me a career in the naval architecture /maritime industry, and I look forward to having the privilege of being a part of Robert Allan Ltd.’s continued success for years to come.