Eric Conroy, President and CEO of Friends of Keewatin (RJ and Diane Peterson Keewatin Foundation) announces the appointment of Fred Blair as General Manager of the S.S. Keewatin project. In addition to his continued responsibility for the condition of the ship, Blair will work with department managers to coordinate the day-to-day operation of the project, reporting directly to Conroy.
According to Eric Conroy, “Fred is a remarkable find, and perfectly suited to the role of General Manager in both qualifications and temperament. He worked with us last year to great effect. Our managers encouraged me to nominate him to this position, and our board agreed with their recommendation. His appointment is effective immediately.”
“For a wood and marine craftsman, Keewatin is an irresistible project!” says Fred Blair. “The quality of materials and workmanship in play a century ago is as simplified as it is complex. The challenge is to mend or restore to match as close as possible, and I take this very seriously. It is a pleasure to work with so many others with the same kind of respect for the ship.”
Fred Blair has specialized in woodworking and marine repair, renovation and upgrading all his adult life. He operated a series of progressively more complex businesses, culminating in Custom Craft Marine and Custom Craft Cabinets… the latter winning contracts with national corporations, as well as awards of merit… before downsizing and moving his business here.
Eric Conroy says “Fred’s appointment frees me to focus on fund raising, government grants, marketing, promotions, public and government relations, seeking out opportunities to utilize Keewatin and the adjacent park, and leading the project. And as “Captain Rick” I’ll continue my speaking engagements and public appearances. I’m not going anywhere… just sharing the load.”
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