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Our Team

Donald Mills (President and General Manager)

Mr. Mills is a U.S.  Army veteran and has over thirty years of experience in shipbuilding and ship repair. Mr. Mills gained the majority of his experience while employed at Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport news shipbuilding. Mr. Mills is a graduate of the Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School as a Pipefitter. After graduation Mr. Mills has held the positions of Nuclear/Non-Nuclear Pipe Supervisor, Construction Supervisor, Field Planner and Construction Engineer. Mr. Mills’ career reflects a reputation for excellence and on-time and under budget project completion, including the management of multimillion dollar projects in support of ship arrivals/departures, annual dry dock certifications and operating system upgrades and replacements. Mr. Mills brings a vast array of knowledge, experience, and skills to the company including expertise in Program/Project Management, Hull, Propulsion, and Auxiliary Systems testing and turnover.

Ernestine Mills (Vice President/Financial Manager)

Mrs. Mills is an experienced Financial Manager with over twenty-two years in banking and finance. As Vice President of Finance, Mrs. Mills covers all aspects of the company’s financial operations including accounting, treasury, financial planning and analysis, business support, and financial strategy, ensuring healthy cash flow and profitability. Mrs. Mills responsibilities has addition responsibilities covering forecasting, budgeting, planning and financial process improvements. Mrs. Mills’ areas of expertise are in P&L Management, Wide Area Work Flow, DCAA accounting principles, invoicing accounts, payable, fringe allocation, budget/cost analysis, and asset  allocation/ distribution.

 Jerome Nixon (VP of Development/Strategic Planning)

Mr. Nixon is a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel who served twenty years in a wide range of command, leadership, maintenance and management positions. Mr. Nixon’s last military assignment was Joint Logistics Officer for the J5 Joint Doctrine Center located at Naval Air Station Norfolk. After retiring, Mr. Nixon worked as a Financial Services Manager for Household Finance Company. Mr. Nixon worked as a Material Handling Specialist for the Ford Motor Company where he improved logistics and fleet vehicle maintenance.
Mr. Nixon holds a Bachelors of Art in Political Science from Old Dominion University and a  Master of Business Administration from Emory-Riddle Aeronautical University. Mr. Nixon is also a graduate of the Army Command General Staff College and the Joint Forces Staff College. Mr.. Nixon also serves as the company’s Facility Security Officer. Mr. Nixon’s areas of expertise are Finance, Logistics, Business Development Strategic Planning , Budget Forecasting, Quality and Environment, Health and Safety.

 John Cliborne (Dir of Waterfront Operations)

Mr. Cliborne has over thirty years of shipbuilding and ship repair experience including his twenty five year tenure at Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding.  Mr. Cliborne is a graduate of the Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School as a Marine Electrician. Mr. Cliborne also held the positions increasing in responsibility of Nuclear Quality Inspector, Test Planner – Crane Engineering and Maintenance, Nuclear Shift Refueling/Fueling Engineering, Virginia Class Submarine Production Manager II, and Nuclear Superintendent at Newport News Industrial. Mr. Cliborne has additional experience serving as Project Manager, Program Manager and Production Manager for local ship repair companies before assuming duties as the Director of Waterfront Operations at Mills Marine & Ship Repair, LLC. He brings valued knowledge of engineering technical details, production processes and ship’s systems.  Mr. Cliborne brings valued knowledge of engineering technical details, production processes and ship’s systems. Mr. Cliborne possess extensive experience and quality relationships with the various naval maintenance activities (Regional Maintenance Centers, NAVSEA Program Offices, TYCOMS, and Technical Warrant Holders), as well as, local ship repair companies (MHI,Tecnico, BAE, NASSCO, QED Systems Inc., LPI Technical Services and others). Mr. Cliborne has a  proven success for managing various of   large/complex projects on a variety of naval platforms (CVN, DDG, CG, LHD, LPD and Coast Guard Cutters).

Priscilla Tarr (Contracts Manager)

Ms. Tarr has forty-nine years of experience in the Contracting Field. Ms. Tarr retired from the U.S. Government as a Contracts Department Head and has also held the positions of Procurement Contracting Officer and Administrative Contracting Officer.  Ms. Tarr supervised over sixteen Contract Specialists and also served as the Small Business Deputy for SUPSHIP and MARMAC. Ms. Tar  developed procurements for five year IDIQ Contracts which were firm fixed price, time and material, and cost plus fixe fee type contracts. Ms. Tarr also negotiated changes, issued modifications, and processed invoices for the associated awarded contracts. The yearly estimate of these contracts was in excess of five million dollars. Ms. Tarr has settled request for equitable adjustments ranging from $24k to $3.8M. Ms. Tarr also has experience in the award of Simplified Acquisition Orders. Ms. Tarr brings a vast knowledge of Government Contractual Requirements, which enhances the company’s ability to satisfactorily develop and submit complete and concise solicitations, proposals and pricing.

 Wadiya Saunders (Human Resource Manager)

Mrs. Saunders is an accomplished Human Resource Manager with over 21 years of experience in both public and private sectors. Mrs. Saunders specializes in the areas of talent management, employee relations, employee benefits, HRIS systems, and development. Mrs. Saunders is responsible for developing and implementing human resource management strategies that enables Mills Marine to recruit, train, and retain a high performing and motivated workforce.  In addition, Mrs. Saunders is responsible for onboarding, training and development, performance management, employee retention, benefits administration, and employee policies . Mrs. Saunders holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Resource Management from Saint Leo University and a Human Resources Certification from Old Dominion University. Mrs. Saunders served as Vice President (2009-2010) & President in (2010-2011) for the  Association of Records Managers & Administrators (ARMA). Mrs. Saunders is a current member of Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) since 2003.Mrs. Saunders  has worked for two major ship repair companies located in the Hampton Roads area.