Face of Maritime Industry


Cenac Marine Services LLC

The maritime industry in Louisiana is a driving force behind the state’s booming economy. With the Gulf Coast situated practically in our backyard, many locals are well aware of the importance boating, shipbuilding, towing and other maritime-related practices. Perhaps the most outstanding example of a maritime company in Louisiana is Cenac Marine Services, owned by Arlen “Benny” Cenac Jr., in Houma. 

Originally founded in 1927 by Benny Cenac’s grandfather, Cenac Marine Services is an exemplary leader in its field, promoting hard work, respect and values in its employees. The company is guided by the principles and values that it was founded on many years ago: a commitment to employee satisfaction and morale.

Benny Cenac takes great pride in running his business like a family, where each employee, whether it be welders, electricians or carpenters, is critical to the company’s success. These are the values that Benny Cenac’s grandfather and father instilled in him since he was a young boy, and that he plans to carry on for many, many years.

Cenac entrenched itself as a leader in the towing and tank barge industry with more than 90 years of industry knowledge. Cenac Towing was the first company to install Cummins diesel engines on marine vessels and was also one of the first to institute the U.S. Coast Guard tank barge self-inspection program. To top it off, the company even established its own tanker man training program.

Benny Cenac is also proud of his company’s impeccable safety record, one that ranked them as one of the best towing companies that work with major oil companies and refineries. Cenac Marine Services was  home to the most innovative push boat and tank barge fleet operating within the U.S. inland waterway and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Constantly pushing the towing industry forward with new technological advancements and practices, Benny Cenac helped ensure that Cenac Marine and their customers are always on the water with reliability.

Benny Cenac is more than just a leader in the maritime industry. He’s a leader in the community. Benny Cenac sits on the College of Business Advisory Board at Nicholls State University, his alma mater, and donated to the university’s Chef John Folse Culinary Institute several years back to help fund the construction of their new culinary arts building. Benny Cenac’s history of philanthropy is so strong that some like to call giving back the “Cenac Way.”

A conservationist by nature, Benny Cenac also supports coastal restoration efforts throughout the Gulf and works to preserve the nature and wildlife on Golden Ranch Farms, the largest privately-owned refuge in the state of Louisiana. On the ranch, Benny Cenac raises various animals, including blackbuck antelope, oryx, Père David’s deer, axis, elk, sika and even zebras. In addition, he has also constructed a series of flood control structures to help stop saltwater intrusion and coastal erosion – building on his promise to protect the pristine coasts of Louisiana for the next generation.

Giving back is an important part of business for Benny Cenac. Cenac Marine throughout the years has supported numerous charities and sponsored a wide range of events and fundraisers. Cenac Marine has donated to South Louisiana Community College, the Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence and sponsored the 54th Governor’s State Conservation Achievement Awards Program banquet, just to name a few.

In 2015 Cenac Marine Services purchased Main Iron Works, a shipbuilding company, and the acquisition gave Cenac the ability to make and built its own boats. Main Iron works proudly builds and refurbishes push boats, offshore tugboats and scallop boats. In addition to offering dry docks of various capacities, dock space for repairs, shore power and water connections, machine shop services are also now available through the company. With such a wide range of services, from shipbuilding to dry docking, it is clear that Cenac is a strong leader of the maritime industry in Louisiana and beyond.

Main Iron Works also now gives back to the local community in a unique way: through its college internship program. The program welcomes local college students and recent graduates interested in a maritime career to gain hands on experience through various departments within the company. Working in the maritime industry is a skill that cannot easily be learned in the classroom setting; thus, the internship program allows students to learn practical skills to supplement their college education before they enter the workforce.

Above all, Benny Cenac runs his company with strong values and respect and appreciation for all that Louisiana has to offer. Born and raised in Houma, Benny Cenac feels a deep responsibility to care for the land and community which he has called home for all these years. By caring for his employees and treating them like family, giving back to local organizations and charities and working hard to conserve the abundance of nature and wildlife that call this place home, Benny Cenac represents a face of Louisiana that all locals should be proud of.

742 Highway 182, Houma, LA 70364
985-872-2413 • Cenac.com

Faces of Louisiana is an advertorial feature highlighting leaders of various industries in Louisiana.

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