Richard N. (Dick) Weeks is chairman of Weeks Marine, Inc., one of the leading marine construction, dredging, and tunneling firms in North America. Mr. Weeks began his career working in the repair yard of Weeks Stevedoring Company in Jersey City, NJ. Founded by his father and grandfather in 1919, Weeks Stevedoring loaded and unloaded bulk cargo ships using their floating cranes.
In 1946, Mr. Weeks entered Rutgers University, along with hundreds of recently discharged veterans. At Rutgers, he joined DU Fraternity, rowed for the varsity crew, and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. Upon graduating, he rejoined the family business, but in a short time was activated as Lieutenant in the US Air Force. He ended his Air Force commitment in 1953 as Chief of Marine Operations at Brookley Air Force Base in Mobile, AL. In February 1952, Mr. Weeks married Air Force flight nurse Virginia Stager; in March of the following year, Richard Stager Weeks was born. The first of six children, "Rich" Weeks is now president of Weeks Marine.
In 1953, Mr. Weeks returned to the company and initiated a move into construction and salvage work utilizing the existing stevedoring plant and his uniquely skilled workforce and shipyard facility. The floating stevedoring cranes were adaptable for other work which led to expansion into construction and dredging. In 1960, at the age of 42, he became president of Weeks Marine and led the acquisition of related businesses and a global fleet of modern equipment.
Under his leadership, the company expanded into the clamshell dredging, marine construction, and tank barge transportation business, accompanied by the modernization of Weeks' stevedoring crane fleet and entry into the heavy lift/floating crane service sectors. Mr. Weeks also acquired numerous surplus vessels from the railroad fleets which were disbanding at the time; these vessels formed the initial core of Weeks' barge rental business, more fully developed in the 1980s.
Weeks Marine grew into a strong national marine contracting business fielding a fleet of over 400 vessels. The company just completed a modern new-build trailing suction hopper dredge, MV Magdalen, named in honor of Mr. Week's mother, Magdalen Noll Weeks.
In 2001, Mr. Weeks was recognized by his industry peers with the prestigious MOLES member award. MOLES is a preeminent fraternal organization in the heavy contracting business. With this award, he joined the ranks of Lou Perini, Steve Bechtel, Robert Fluor, Peter Kiewit, John Shea, Bart Zachary, and other notable leaders.
Mr. Weeks' dedication to education is inspiring. In 2015, he was awarded the Medal of Excellence by Rutgers Engineering in recognition of his support for the Soil and Sediment Management Laboratory where students assess environmentally responsible port dredging options. He donated significant funds for a state-of-the-art facility named in his honor.
After touring the STEM Campus at Northshore Technical Community College in Lacombe, LA in 2017, Mr. Weeks made a direct investment to the support and continued development of the school's maritime program and the naming of the Richard Weeks Center of Innovation. Representatives from Weeks Marine have served on NTCC's Maritime Consortium since 2015, and the company has since engaged further to create internship opportunities for students.
Today, Mr. Weeks continues to work full-time, leading by example an organization that now numbers over 1,500 employees, and has performed jobs such as loading and transporting two million tons of debris from the World Trade Center disaster, salvage of the US Air Flight 1549, and moving the NASA space shuttle to the Intrepid Space Museum.