Screenshots from Blessey video. From left: Anne Marie Roberts, Ryan Hoskin and Clark Todd.

Blessey Marine Video Encourages Team During COVID-19

The idea started with a video project by his daughter’s first grade teachers.

Like all schools in the United States, Blessey Marine President Clark Todd’s daughter’s school is suspended as part of social distancing efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. But that hasn’t stopped her teachers from finding creative ways to build a sense of family and togetherness, even while students are learning remotely.

Todd immediately thought of how to apply his daughter’s class video concept to the Blessey Marine family.

The result is a five-minute video highlighting how, despite work restrictions due to COVID-19, Blessey Marine is still moving forward at full speed. The video opens with someone walking through the front door of Blessey’s office, approaching the desk, picking up a Sharpie marker and then tossing the marker off camera. The camera shot shifts, and the marker lands in the hands of a Blessey team member, working from her living room. She writes the message, “Human Resources Still Hiring,” then tosses the marker off camera.

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In like manner, Blessey team members from throughout the company—accounting, vessel crews, benefits, operations, crew travel, payroll, maintenance, dispatch—all pen messages to communicate they are still at work, pulling in the same direction as a team to keep essential cargoes moving on the nation’s waterways.

“For my daughter, the video was a neat way to communicate the story of what’s going on for the girls,” Todd said. “For our company, it was a unique way, outside of a video conference, to show appreciation for the job everybody is doing and to bring a sense of support and communication to the folks.”

Todd said the reaction was immediate.

“The chain of emails coming to me and to Walter was instantaneous,” he said. “I’m just so happy that it struck a nerve in so many of our employees’ minds and hearts. That’s what it’s all about: Care for one another and care for our people. That’s what makes Blessey who we are.”

Todd praised the entire Blessey family for their dedication and professionalism during the COVID-19 response.

“We really have not skipped a beat,” he said.

Todd said about 85 percent of Blessey employees at the company’s New Orleans headquarters and its Houston office are working remotely. The office remains open for a small set of essential staff members, and the company has worked out a system for how employees can come into the office as needed while still minimizing health risks.

“It’s worked out really well,” he said. “We’re so very proud of the job everyone is doing in coming together and the commitment everyone is showing in getting the job done. I never doubted it. This type of situation only solidifies just how special our folks are at the office and on the vessels.”

At Blessey, as with every other towing company, crews are having to drive to make crew changes rather than flying.

“That’s been a little bit of a stressor, but we’re managing it well,” he said. “All of our vessels are working and operating, so we’re very blessed that’s the current situation for Blessey Marine. To date, we’re lucky that we haven’t had a COVID-19 case on our vessels, but we’re certainly prepared to handle that should that arise.”

Todd said the teamwork and seamless operations across the board at Blessey Marine proceed directly from the company’s main theme: family.

“Working at Blessey, it’s all about family and taking care of one another,” he said. “That’s always been our goal and our motto: family first.”

The Blessey Marine video can be seen at

Caption for picture: Screenshots from Blessey video. From left: Anne Marie Roberts, Ryan Hoskin and Clark Todd.


More Coronavirus-related stories in the WJ:

April 20 issue:

Blessey Marine Video Encourages Team During COVID-19

AWO Webinar On COVID-19 Cleaning Practices Draws Intense Interest

COVID-19 Response: How Ergon Marine Is Protecting Its Team And Customers

Port Nola Launches Digital Learning Resources For Out-Of-School Students

Remembering Longtime New Orleans Maritime Industry Leader Jimmy Amoss

Trump-Mediated Oil Deal Splits Large, Small Producers

Seamen’s Church Institute Launches #stayhomeandknit

Trump Floats Guidelines For States To End Lockdowns

WJ Editorial: Inland Ports Shouldering Through Virus Crisis 


April 13 issue:

Seamen’s Church Institute Adapts To Continue Ministries

Best Practices And Liability In Time Of COVID-19

Trump Promises ‘Big Package On Infrastructure’ Soon

WJ Editorial: Barge Industry Is Used To Rising To Challenges


April 6 issue:

Corps Leads Effort To Construct Alternate Care Facilities In COVID-19 Response

WJ Editorial: Lock and Dam Construction Would Help Revive Economy

Trump Signs CARES Act

Letter: Support For Families

Crew Change Protocols On MKARNS Updated


March 30 issue (online only):

ACBL Hunkers Down, Keeps Cargoes Moving

WJ Editorial: Amid Virus  Crisis, Let’s Not Forget High Water

$2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Bill Goes To House


March 23 issue:

As COVID-19 Grips Country, Maritime Industry Keeps Moving With Precautions

Publishers Note: This Too Shall Pass, Right?

WJ Editorial: Towboats Will Help Keep Economy Moving

Washington Waves: Battling Coronavirus On Multiple Fronts

AWO Requests Subchapter M Inspection Suspension During Coronavirus Emergency

NMC Extends Document Deadlines, Closes Regional Exam Centers

Agency Guidance: Maritime Workers Are Critical

Coping With Coronavirus In The Marine Industry

PVA Seeks Administration Help As Two Cruise Lines Suspend Operations

Coronavirus Delays Chinese Investors’ Visit To Kentucky Fisheries Park


March 16 Issue:

Coronavirus Cancels Events, Cruise Vessels Ponder Ban

Virus Panic, Saudi Move Affect Oil Markets

Trump Imposes Travel Ban From Europe


March 9 issue:

Infrastructure Spending Eyed As Economic Stimulus


March 2 issue:

WJ Editorial: Coronavirus Hits Global Shipping

Pence To Lead Coronavirus Task Force


February 17 issue:

Editorial: Here We Go Again 


February 10 issue:

Ports, Maritime Industry Keep Careful Watch For Coronavirus

China Lifts Tariffs On $75 Billion Of U.S. Goods