New Leadership at Colonial Group

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Monday May 3, 2021

Savannah-based Colonial Group Inc. has announced a new era of leadership ahead of it marking a milestone 100 years in operation later in 2021.

Christian B. Demere (Demere) has been named chief executive officer, succeeding his father, Robert H. Demere, Jr. (Demere Jr.), who had been in the position since 1986.

"The time has come to pass the torch to the fourth generation," said Demere Jr.

"Both of my sons have worked their way through the company over the years and it's exciting to see the next generation of leadership step in and continue to move the company forward. I'm proud that both of my sons have taken an interest in the company and I'm excited to see what they will be able to do."

Houstoun Demere currently serves as vice president of Business Development for one of the newer divisions of Colonial, the Savannah Yacht Center.

Christian Demere has served as president of Colonial Group since 2018 and will retain that title as he assumes the position of chief executive officer.

"I know Houstoun and I both feel humbled to have the privilege to be a part of such an incredible legacy," said the new CEO.

"We are incredibly thankful for all of the sacrifice and effort that has occurred over 100 years to get us where we are today, not just by our family but by the many employees over the years. I reflect on all of this with a deep sense of gratitude and a desire to give it my all to keep it going and make it stronger."

Demere Jr., who served as president from 1986 to 2018, will continue as chairman of the board of directors.

The succession was announced as Colonial Group finalises plans to observe its 100th anniversary over the next twelve months.

Originally founded as American Oil Company on July 21, 1921 before being renamed as Colonial Oil in 1933, the Group has continued to operate as a privately held business through the chairmanships of its founder, Raymond Demere; his son, Robert H. Demere Sr.; and Robert's son, Demere Jr.

The company built its first independent ocean terminal on the Savannah River in 1934. In has since expanded with multiple, diverse subsidiaries.