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                                      Mark Pregeant II - A Look Inside GIS

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                                      Mark Pregeant II has been the President and CEO of GIS for more than two years. His initial career choice may have been to study Medicine at university but as a Pregeant, the founding family of GIS, there was no doubt as to where Mark’s heart and career would lie, and he began his career full time at GIS in 2002:

                                      “My great-grandfather started the company in 1948. We initially started as a shipyard, working for the local fishing industry down in Grand Isle, Louisiana repairing boats, building vessels, and around the '60s, we diversified into the Oil field sector. The story is they got tired of getting paid in fish and shrimp and realized that they had to sustain it a little bit more, so we moved it to the Oil and Gas sector. At that time, we moved away from the traditional shipyard business. Although we are still Grand Isle Shipyard, GIS, we evolved into a fully-integrated oil and gas solutions provider.

                                      From the '60s on until about the '90s, we still had a fabrication facility in Grand Isle doing a little bit of work up while developing our Galliano facility where our corporate office is at today. That's when Hurricane Andrew hit, and that's when our business really started to take off. We were able to pick up some larger contracts, really grow from a 60 to 70-person group to more than two hundred. We then slowly started adding services to supplement our construction and fabrication and grew into a full-service solutions provider”.

                                       

                                      New Decade, New Growth

                                      By 2000 GIS was accelerating expansion to the point where they are today with more than 1,900 employees within the family of companies. The organization has diversified from Oil and Gas into downstream petrochemical facilities and renewables, to Industrial Engineering and Disaster relief with the target of being a versatile solution-provider in the industry sector. However, it must be appreciated that to become a ‘turnkey’ solution takes maturity, and a depth of knowledge that would be hard to find in younger companies. Mark explains the success to GIS’ evolution:

                                      “It's tough for somebody just to break in and enter the Energy Sector market as building client trust and reputation takes time, as does building a proven safety and quality record. We are also a people business; we've been in the people business since 1948. We have a lot of long-term employees who have made us what we are today”.

                                       

                                      It’s All About The People

                                      ‘Putting People first’ is not just a well-versed motto for this well-established company, employees are very much valued, and it is common to hear staff being referred to as their greatest asset – they are ‘family’ as Mark reiterates:

                                      “It’s what makes a company at the end of the day, that's why we've been in business so long. I think you'll see from my great-grandfather to my grandfather and his brothers, to my father who were here before, every one of them will tell you, without the right people, our experienced and highly trained technicians, we are nothing. Our equipment is not going to run. We're not going to spool up pipe in the facilities. We're not going to do the construction out in the field without our people. It's always been the mentality, the core value of our company and remains that way today.

                                      The slogan that we've used has been, ‘Putting People First’, and we truly stand behind that. That has been our competitive advantage, no doubt about it. We've achieved these activities in business, making smart moves with acquisitions, using innovative technology, adding divisions, expanding our footprint, but without the people, we are nothing.

                                       

                                      Quality People, Quality Product

                                      We've hired the best people and we've kept them around; they've grown with us. And they care, I think that's the biggest asset in that they genuinely care about the legacy of GIS, and it's not just a job. Yes, it's about producing a superior product or successfully completing a project, but it's also about leaving a legacy behind. That's what our family believes, and our family is our people at the end of the day. I think that's really what sets us apart from the other competitors in our industry”.

                                       

                                      Embracing The Future

                                      Strong business foundations have been built over the decades. To ensure the company’s continued viability, Mark and his team have focused on ensuring GIS is future-fit. This has been achieved by proactively diversifying, embracing latest trends and technology, and partnering with specialist organizations to create an adaptable portfolio of services.

                                      “Our industry has changed, particularly with the pandemic. It's accelerated a lot on the technology side specifically. We've had alliances with technical and digital software organizations for several years and we have implemented these innovative ideas, techniques, and services into our overall business operation. What we've seen in the last 18 months has really expanded and sped up movement into that space. We've embraced the necessary change as a company and have actively dovetailed technology into our overall operations and systems. We have a full team who are dedicated to digital transformation to lead our efforts as we go into the future.

                                      We need to be creative. We need to embrace technology and digital software so that we can become more efficient. Then we can set ourselves up for the new generation. We must figure out diverse ways to become more efficient, improve quality and reduce the safety risk. It's a win-win for everybody at the end of the day, for ourselves, as well as our clients. That's why we’ve had this big push, it’s a large part of our capital budget, all focused on expanding in those areas.

                                       

                                      Dynamic And Diverse

                                      On top of that, we've been based in the Oil and Gas sector specifically upstream. It's been the ‘old school’ mentality for so many years, now you're starting to see that change as well. With us entering other sectors, diversity is absolutely needed. We want to be an Energy solutions provider not just in Oil and Gas, but in the renewable sector, in the power sector, and in the downstream market. All of these things start adding to the diversity and we have to be very nimble and dynamic with our management systems to ensure that we're staying ahead of the competition”.

                                       

                                      Partners On A New Path

                                      GIS' core business is in the Upstream Oil and Gas industry, and this will continue for the foreseeable future. Mark eludes that many of the major clients, that are moving into renewables, still recognize the importance of Oil and Gas that supports growth into these new sectors. These multinational organizations are on an unchartered path into this new field of business, and are keen to include GIS, and their range of services, on this journey. Mark acknowledges this opportunity to transfer the GIS combination of knowledge and skills into these new business areas and build sustainability for the next seventy years and beyond.

                                      The GIS business model has been developing into an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) provider. It has been a steady evolution over the past two decades growing the company from purely construction and fabrication to inclusion of new service lines and divisions resulting in a dynamic company that is versatile, proactive; a turn-key service provider as Mark illustrates:

                                       

                                      Solid Options

                                      “Our clients have the option to go for that one-stop shop, other times they'll just want to pluck a service line and believe that they can manage it quicker with multiple service providers. The good thing about us is we are fit for purpose. Whatever the clients want, we can adjust our strategy and either give them one of our incredibly good services or provide a turnkey option. I think that's the value-add that we provide, we can do whatever you want. We are fit for any purpose the client requests, and we can be successful in either model.

                                      We've seen, especially with the downturns over the last couple of years, a lot of smaller providers struggling or going out of business. Like everybody else, we had our own downturn, we had to make tough decisions. However, our clients have witnessed that we're sustainable and resilient, still able to flourish through some of the toughest times of low oil, pandemic, or downturns. They know we are here to stay; we're a strong company, and we were able to achieve amazing things, in the last 18 months particularly. I think it’s made us that much stronger coming out of this decline.

                                       

                                      Ready for Renewables

                                      We believe that all our service lines can be reciprocated in any of those industries. We have a host of core trades and tradesmen that are highly skilled and versatile. They have the ability to adapt their skills to any sector. If you can optimize a project in fabrication, construction, whether we’re building a platform or an office building or a wind turbine or a solar farm, it's all the same. It's the electrical guys, it's the welders, it's the riggers. If you're taking care of them, they're going to do an excellent job and allow us to expand our footprint into those sectors”.

                                       

                                      Striding Towards A Positive Future

                                      And GIS are determined to use this strength by creating a productive future for their multiple service lines. The home USA market is their main focus where Mark and his Business development teams are widening their Service range and diversifying into Renewables, the Power sector, Disaster relief and Federal projects. These positive strides will, without doubt, help GIS step into a diverse and dynamic future backed by their family of employees, new technology and an overwhelming passion for providing the best, quality service they possibly can.

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