We Did It…

[Post by Chuck Krugh, November 17, 2023]

What takes 7,560 hamburgers, 6,960 hot dogs, 175 veggie burgers, 68 bottles of ketchup, 30 bottles of mustard, 30 bottles of relish and a whole lot of grill time? Feeding our team at BIW!

We finished on October 20 at our Read Street Warehouse in Portland with the barbecues that we talked about at the All-Hands meetings in June. The senior leadership team, along with leaders at the different locations, came together to cook, prepare and serve lots of food to our colleagues. Looking back, it was a lot of work – days smelling like hamburgers and greasy clothes – but it was really fun. I enjoyed the fellowship with you at each one of the events.

I would like to recognize a few people that made these events happen.

Dave Clark: I would love to take credit for the barbecue idea, but I can’t – it was Dave’s idea. Dave was instrumental in getting it started, developing the plan to feed everyone and was involved at each barbecue. Without his initial drive to make this happen and convincing me to do it, it probably wouldn’t have happened. Initially, I was hesitant mainly due to the scope (7,560 hamburgers…) and the commitment of time it would take to complete the lunches. But in the end, Dave was absolutely right. Each event was great!

Gina Draper: Gina was the linchpin in making the barbecues happen. She planned each event, making sure we had everything we needed to cook, prepare and serve food for everyone. At one of the barbecues, we ran out of hamburgers, but she got us resupplied and we didn’t skip a beat. She did a lot of coordinating with all departments to ensure each event ran as smoothly as possible.

Rob Heuer: Rob made the barbecues possible by saving and maintaining the grills over nine years or so since they were last used. He made sure they were in working order so we could cook all of that food. Those flat top grills were way more efficient than cooking on a normal gas or charcoal grill. I’m not sure how many tanks of propane we went through, but it was a lot.

SLT Team: The Senior Leadership Team were real troopers setting aside time from their day jobs – and sometimes during the night – to cook, prepare and serve food to our workforce. As we got into the groove, each of us gravitated toward our different jobs, and we became good at them. We also learned that Jon Fitzgerald likes to be our DJ, providing a musical mix of different genres to keep us motivated and add more fun to the atmosphere.

I really appreciate the other leaders who joined in the merriment to contribute to the success of our barbecues. It made it more personal for each of the teams we celebrated!

The H18s who helped us by moving the equipment, the food and drinks and setting up and breaking down for each of the barbecues were integral to making these events happen.

We didn’t forget our homeport teams, either. When I said everyone was getting burgers and hot dogs, I meant it. In a couple of locations we were able to coordinate a visit from our Bath-based leadership with the timing of the BBQ (or in the case of the smaller teams, a trip to the local burger joint).

Finally, I want to thank YOU for what you do every day in our company! These barbecues were a small gesture of our appreciation for your work helping us keep our families safe by building and supporting Arleigh Burke destroyers. Our mission is so important and each of you play an important part in the building of our ships and supporting them in the fleet. It’s you – the SHIPBUILDER – that makes it happen. THANK YOU!

See you on the deckplates.

Safely Execute High-Quality Work

President, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works

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