Eastern Shipbuilding Names New CEO

Joey D'Isernia
Joey D’Isernia

Following the retirement of company founder Brian D’Isernia, Eastern Shipbuilding Group has named his son, Joey, as CEO and board chairman. The elder D’Isernia had served in that role for 46 years. The younger D’Isernia has served as president of the company since 2015.

“We all stood on Brian’s shoulders as he built this company from the ground up,” Joey D’Isernia said. “I am deeply humbled as I step into this role knowing how much my father sacrificed for us and for this company. We will carry on his legacy and maintain Eastern’s core values of delivering our clients exceptional service and the highest quality vessels.”

Just three years after Joey D’Isernia became president of the shipyard, Eastern was heavily impacted by Hurricane Michael, a Category 5 hurricane that made landfall near Mexico Beach, Fla., on October 10, 2018. He led recovery efforts at the shipyard, and during that same time period, the company was still able to execute its Offshore Patrol Cutter work for the U.S. Coast Guard. The younger D’Isernia has led Eastern Shipbuilding from the commercial space to now build both commercial and government vessels. Today, Eastern Shipbuilding Group employs more than 1,600 people. To date, more than 350 vessels have been built at the shipyard.

It’s a rich story that finds its beginning, surprisingly, in a lawyer-turned-fisherman in New York.

Brian D’Isernia started out as a lawyer, having graduated from Fordham University School of Law and passing the bar in New York. After only a few years of practicing law, though, he  decided to become a commercial fisherman. He operated that four-vessel fishing operation from New Bedford, Mass., for eight years. Soon, D’Isernia applied that passion for commercial fishing to building his own fishing vessels. In 1976, he opened the shipyard.

“Building this successful company, spanning half a century, has been an incredible source of pride, but my greatest achievement is my family,” he said. “I have every confidence that under Joey’s leadership the next generation of D’Isernia shipbuilders will continue our proud legacy, and the next 50 years will be a shining success.”

Brian D’Isernia, who will continue as chairman emeritus of the company in recognition of his nearly 50 years of leadership, has been married to his wife, Miriam, or “Mimi,” for more than 50 years. They have 10 children, with six of them working at the shipyard.