Metal Shark’s ownership group is composed of four equal partners, all actively involved in the company’s day-to-day operations.
A master welder, designer and boat builder, Founder/Co-Owner/Company Chairman Jimmy Gravois and his wife Donna founded Gravois Aluminum Boats, LLC, in 1986, bringing to life the company that would one day become Metal Shark. Mr. Gravois has steered a steady course for the company throughout its existence – from its formative period as a regional builder of custom aluminum fishing boats, to what is today an industry leader serving multiple markets globally. Mr. Gravois established the core values that continue to bring Metal Shark success today: Each boat must be durable, economical and safe to operate, offer superb performance and handling, and be custom-configurable to suit unique customer requirements.
A naval architect and graduate of the Webb Institute, Co-Owner/CEO Chris Allard introduced the engineering-centric approach that has fueled Metal Shark’s growth; driving innovation and transforming the company from a regional builder to a globally recognized industry leader. A member of the ownership team since 2005, Mr. Allard has overseen the expansion of Metal Shark from several employees to over 350. Mr. Allard implemented Metal Shark’s state-of-the-art production methods, developed a complete internal naval architecture firm to push designs to the next level, and introduced automation in production design and manufacturing. Under Mr. Allard’s direction, Metal Shark has successfully captured over $500 million in government and military contracts while expanding into the commercial sector and becoming one of the largest suppliers of high speed ferries.
Co-Owner Sarah Geiger has served in a wide range of roles at Metal Shark, including Vice President and President. She is the architect behind and primary driver of the company’s planning, project management, and government contracting efforts. Ms. Geiger has directed Metal Shark’s sales and business development initiatives and is responsible for implementing the company’s overarching systems including sales and program/project tracking, management processes, and the selection, customization and development of software tools. Ms. Geiger’s efforts have enabled Metal Shark to compete for and land a succession of key government contracts demonstrating the company’s capabilities and underscoring its position as a key designer and manufacturer of custom vessels for a wide range of markets.
Gravois Aluminum Boats, LLC’s Co-Founder/Co-Owner Donna Gravois has borne many responsibilities throughout the company’s 20+ year history. Starting the company from the ground up along with her husband Jimmy, Mrs. Gravois was initially responsible for everything from purchasing and production scheduling to invoicing; doing whatever it took to keep the business operating smoothly. Perhaps her most significant role, Mrs. Gravois served as the young company’s first Human Resources Director. In this capacity, while recruiting from South Louisiana’s talent pool of seasoned boat builders and welders to grow the workforce, Mrs. Gravois was responsible for implementing the “family” atmosphere that still permeates the company’s culture to this day, resulting in a team environment with superb morale and employee retention.