Genuine Commitment to People and Planet Draws Global Geotechnical Leader to Woocheen
September 06, 2022
Geotechnical construction leader Boris Caro Vargas has lived all over the world. A French citizen with Spanish heritage, he speaks five languages and has made homes in France, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Portugal, the United States, Colombia and the United Kingdom. Immersion in so many cultures and locations has sharpened his awareness of how finite and fragile our planet is and fueled his passion for reversing the effects of climate change.
So when Woochen reached out with an invitation to consider becoming part of an enterprise that puts the health of the ocean first, that got Boris’ attention.
“Most companies speak first about efficiency and productivity before they talk about people,” Boris said. “But in every Woocheen conversation, the fact that the organization was purpose- and value-driven came first. Everyone was very consistent.”
The company’s unusual approach to combining businesses that collaboratively can have real impact on climate change also sparked Boris’ interest. With seafood, construction, data and geotech businesses all working together with a focus on the future, Woocheen has an opportunity to help both people and planet thrive, he said, adding that much must change in the world to make it possible to sustain human life on Earth long term.
“I was very happy where I was,” Boris said. “But this approach that’s putting the health of the planet ahead of everything – this can drive a lot of passion in people. I knew it was right.”
So Boris and his family have made another move, a kind of homecoming. They are back in the United States - a place where they have thrived in the past. And in September 2022, he officially became CEO of commercial services for Woocheen.
Boris brings a special combination of passion and background to the role. A structural and civil engineer by training, he is an accomplished leader, manager and problem solver with nearly 20 years of construction experience in Europe and the Americas. He led business development for Nicholson Construction a few years ago and helped strengthen their presence on major projects in tunneling, dams and ports. Before that Boris led geotechnical instrumentation leader Sixense from scratch into becoming one of the leaders of - and most innovative firms in - the U.S. market. More recently, he managed the cultural transformation at Geofundaciones in Colombia, leading the organization from a traditional, low-cost piling contractor to a value engineering-driven lead contractor in the building industry.
“Climate matters profoundly to Boris, and he is clearly a person of integrity who cares about people,” said Woocheen CEO Terry Downes. “He has led a number of large businesses and has tremendous capacity to navigate complexity. We’re excited about the many ways Boris strengthens our leadership team.”
An initial priority for Boris will be expanding Woocheen’s capacity to enable the development of clean energy with offshore wind. Further integrating Woocheen’s businesses is key to that, and will “definitely make one plus one will more than two,” he said.
For example, the MBS and Cognitell data-analytics businesses can help the geotechnical companies use data and digital technology to generate new insights and operate even more efficiently. Gregg Drilling recently conducted a successful geotechnical survey for the Ocean Wind 1 project in New Jersey. California-based Gregg and Ireland-based Causeway Geotech are partnering on ground investigations for an offshore wind project in Delaware, and CS Marine’s marine construction expertise further deepens Woocheen’s capabilities.
“We know we are in a pivotal moment around climate and the digital revolution,” Boris said. “The solution is to do what Woocheen is doing: Have a common purpose and ensure people are working together and looking ahead.”