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Dredging Contractors of America Appoints Richard A. Balzano as Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director

Richard A. Balzano

Posted on December 14, 2020

Washington, DC, December 11, 2020 — The Dredging Contractors of America (DCA), the national trade association whose members are leading providers of dredging services for navigation, coastal protection, environmental restoration and shoreline resilience in the United States, announce today that Richard A. Balzano has been named Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director.

For more than 30 years, Mr. Balzano has served the maritime trades in both the private and U.S government sectors. He recently served for three years as the presidentially appointed Deputy Administrator for the U.S. Maritime Administration. He is a combat veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, retiring from the U.S. Navy at the rank of Captain. In the private sector, he held leading positions in the defense, commercial maritime, and nuclear utility industries. In the public sector, he served as senior staff on the U.S. House of Representative Committee on Homeland Security.

“On behalf of the DCA Board of Directors, I am excited to make this important leadership announcement,” said DCA President Eric Ellefsen. “Richard is the right leader at the right time to help tell our story in this extraordinary period of growth and renewal. His extensive maritime background and governmental experience will help DCA strengthen its partnerships and develop strategic alliances in a continually developing marketplace.”

“I am very excited to be joining the DCA team,” said Mr. Balzano. “I believe protecting critical infrastructure and the industries that support it is vital to our national security and our national economy. The U.S. dredging industry keeps our waterways open, coastal communities safe and our economy moving.I am particularly proud of the work I did over the last three years to advance the cause of the U.S. domestic maritime industry by defending the Jones Act and educating those in government, and outside of government, as to the critical role the industry plays in our national security.”

As the most recent Deputy Maritime Administrator, Mr. Balzano successfully managed more than $1.4 billion in annual budget and was responsible for oversight of more than 800 employees in multiple field offices across the country.Under Mr. Balzano’s leadership, the Maritime Administration successfully awarded a contract for the first-ever class of dedicated training and emergency response vessels, the national security multi-mission vessel.

Mr. Balzano earned his B.S. in Marine Engineering with a minor in Nuclear Engineering from the Maine Maritime Academy and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Sciences from Johns Hopkins University. He also holds active duel U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner licenses.  Richard lives in Arlington, VA with his wife Jayne and three children.

About Dredging Contractors of America (DCA)

DCA is comprised of 28 companies providing dredging services to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, U.S. seaports, and state and local government. DCA is a non-profit trade association representing the interests of the U.S. dredging and marine construction industry and its members for over 30 years.

For more information: Contact Mark Sickles at

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