St. Johns Ship Building announced it has appointed Joe Rella as president, succeeding Jeffery Bukoski, who left the role at the close of 2023.
Rella brings over four decades of U.S. Navy and commercial maritime experience to his new position at the Palatka, Fa. shipyard. He was previously president and COO at Austal USA and has held executive roles at International Marine and Industrial Applicators. Rella received his undergraduate degree in marine engineering from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and earned an MBA from Spring Hill College.
“Joe comes to us with a fantastic list of career accomplishments and an incredible depth of experience in the Jones Act and Military spaces,” said Edward Sheets, executive vice president of Americraft Marine Group. “Joe will direct our diversified portfolio of newbuild projects, including barges, passenger vessels, cargo ships and wind farm support vessels. His leadership of SJSB will allow us to leverage his industry knowledge and expertise, ensuring the success of our growing new construction program, particularly in the area of high-speed aluminum vessels.”
Founded in the mid 2000s, St. Johns Ship Building builds and repairs various vessel types in both steel and aluminum. Acquired by Libra Group’s Americraft Marine in 2022, the shipyard in recent years has been building a series of crew transfer vessels (CTV) to support the offshore wind industry.