Crofton Is Anchored by Excellence

Crofton Marine Construction Company Celebrates 75 Years in Business

by Grace Silipigni

Crofton, a family-owned company with a rich history in marine construction, is celebrating a special milestone: 75 years in business. Kenny Crofton, son of founder Juan Crofton, is now the sole owner-operator, carrying on a legacy of excellence established in 1949. He and his team reflect on the anniversary as an opportunity to revisit their roots, and emphasize the core values upon which Crofton is based.

Kenny is not the only member of the Crofton clan continuing their patriarch’s legacy. Six direct descendants of Juan Crofton, including both third- and fourth-generation family members, work at Crofton. “This is a really special milestone for us [as a family]. I know my grandparents would be in awe and so proud,” says Camille Crofton Cherry, Juan’s granddaughter and Crofton’s marketing director. “We’re here because we have a really wonderful team. They bring so much skill and dedication to the job every day, but the level of integrity I have observed in our team is what really sets them apart.”

Integrity is just one core value the Crofton team embodies. The company’s 176 employees including administrators, commercial divers, crane operators and other field personnel focus on safety, relationship building and excellence. To further strengthen these pillars, Crofton recently instituted a Monthly Values Program. The six-month training focuses on values-based leadership. Staff enrolled in the program meet monthly with a trainer to discuss effective communication and situational leadership. They even take personality assessments to better understand the communication styles of their colleagues. “It has proven to be very effective and meaningful for our staff,” says Cherry. “Our values were intrinsic, but unspoken, so we spent some time over the past couple of years as a family working to articulate what those mean to us.”


Vocational training is also a high priority at Crofton. The company offers a wide range of services across four main industries—maritime, shipbuilding and repair, civil engineering and construction, and utilities and energy. Crofton supports these industries with heavy marine construction, crane rental and rigging and commercial diving. All services are complex and require an intense focus on safety and on training. Crofton’s 44 divers, for example, are accredited through the Association of Diving Contractors International and receive top-of-the-line on-the-job training. “Once [divers] arrive at Crofton, they are intentionally and strategically circulated through various industry and project environments, working with each superintendent to gain experience, exposure and confidence,” explains Cherry. “They work with minimal vision in brackish waters. The level of trust the dive superintendents need to have in their judgment is significant.”

These skilled personnel have assisted in a number of local projects at private shipyards and commercial oceanfront developments, as well as residential and municipal construction sites. Their fleet of mobile hydraulic truck cranes and floating cranes allow them to tackle projects of all sizes and complexities, even beyond Coastal Virginia’s home waters. Crofton was pivotal in the recovery efforts of the devastating Baltimore bridge collapse in March. “We assisted in the recovery of the Key Bridge by sending our 350-ton floating crane, Samson, to Baltimore along with a crew [to support] for a few weeks,” says Cherry.

Typically, Samson is used locally to support breakbulk cargo at Virginia ports. Samson’s deployment to Baltimore exemplifies the pride Crofton takes in serving the community at large. With the company’s emphasis on values-based leadership along with an unusually adept and well-trained workforce, Crofton is poised for continued success as it cruises toward the next milestone.

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