Benton LeBlanc is currently Managing Director at Okeanus Science & Technology, LLC, headquartered in Houma, LA. Okeanus is a leading provider of oceanographic deck equipment and subsea survey systems. Prior to working at Okeanus, Benton was the Manager of Procurement & Facilities at Enterprise Marine Services, LLC, an affiliate of Fortune 100 Enterprise Products, L.P. He is from Thibodaux, LA and graduated from Nicholls State University with a bachelor’s in finance in 2007 and a master’s in business administration in 2013, and he currently serves on the Executive Advisory Board for the College of Business at the university. He has been a member of the Marine Technology Society since 2016, currently serves on the OTC Technical Committee, and has been an exhibitor at the OCEANS conference since 2015.
MTS and Other Association Experience
I have been a member of MTS since 2016, and I recently joined the OTC Technical Committee. I have also attended OTC and surrounding events since 2013.
What qualities and experience do you possess that make you a strong candidate for this position?
The first personal quality that I can think of that qualifies me for this position is leadership. I have been a leader in every organization that I have worked for or been involved with, and I have experience in leading teams both large and small. I also have experience in leading the implementation of new initiatives such as the ECOP, and I feel that I will be able to lead the team in a way which will ensure that its goals are achieved, and its mission is realized. I also feel that my leadership abilities will allow me to engage and motivate ECOP members to become more involved and take active roles within MTS which will ensure its success into the future.
The second quality that I possess that has prepared me for this role is my strong work ethic. I am a results-oriented individual, and I will work to ensure that the goals set forth for the ECOP and by the ECOP are achieved. I want to work to ensure that every professional starting their career knows about the ocean industry and all of the opportunities that exist within it. I also want to work to understand how we as an organization can help ECOP’s advance their careers within the ocean industry and increase their engagement with the organization. I am also eager to become more involved with the MTS and am willing to put in the work necessary to benefit the overall organization in a positive way.
The third quality that I possess that I feel will benefit me in this role is my creativity. I definitely like to think outside of the box, and I think that this quality will certainly help me to benefit the MTS ECOP initiative. Given the fact that we are not currently able to interact interpersonally in venues and settings that we have become accustomed to, it will take a creative thinker to lead this initiative, and it will take someone who can think of new and innovative ways to reach the ECOP’s to get them engaged and involved in the MTS in more active roles.
What are the key goals you hope to accomplish in this position?
My first goal is to work to grow the membership of ECOP’s within the MTS. I want to work to explore ways to reach early career professionals, and to expose them to the multitude of opportunities within the ocean industry and in marine technology development. I also think that we need to ensure that ECOP’s understand how beneficial the MTS is and how valuable membership can be if they engage and become active. This will result in more participation in MTS sponsored events and will organically benefit its overall membership in ways that are invaluable. We should also investigate demographic areas where we see opportunities for growth and target those audiences in an effort to further their engagement.
Another goal that I have for the ECOP’s is to ensure that all ECOP’s know about the opportunities within our industry. Not just in technical roles, but in administrative, sales, financial, operations, and other roles within our member organizations. I would like to further encourage our member organizations to utilize our job board and sponsored events to advertise when positions are open within their organizations. My hope is to further establish the MTS as the “go-to” for ECOP’s when they are searching for an employer in the ocean industry. I would also like to plan social and networking events, virtually and in person when restrictions allow, around MTS events that allow our member organizations and our ECOP’s to interact and explore opportunities together. This will help to provide additional incentive for potential members to join the MTS as an ECOP. This will also help to keep our ECOP’s engaged in the MTS and will hopefully motivate them to want to give back to the organization and the industry that has given to them.