July 14, 2008
Cornel Martin to be Waterways Council President
Cornel J. Martin has been hired as Waterways Council, Inc.'s President and CEO (designate), effective August 1, 2008. Martin will transition alongside current President and CEO R. Barry Palmer, who will retire at the end of December. Palmer has served as President and CEO of Waterways Council for five years, and before that, served for 22 years as Executive Director of DINAMO, the Association for the Development of Inland Navigation in America's Ohio Valley.
Mr. Martin most recently served as CEO and Chairman of Direct Workforce, Inc., a contract labor company serving the shipbuilding, ship repair, and oil and gas industries based in Houma, Louisiana. Previously, Martin served as President and CEO of the Canadian American Transportation System. He also served as Vice President-- Corporate Affairs of American Classic Voyages Company, parent of the Delta Queen Steamboat Company (and other cruise line subsidiaries).
In the early 1990s, Mr. Martin worked as Vice President - Southern Region, for the American Waterways Operators. During the 1980s he was a member of the Senior Professional Staff of the House of Representatives Coast Guard and Navigation Subcommittee, and Legislative Assistant for Maritime Affairs for Congressman W.J. "Billy" Tauzin of Louisiana.
Mr. Martin's professional affiliations include serving as a Board Member and officer of the Passenger Vessel Association from 1995 to 2008, including serving as its President from 2004 to 2005; as a Member of the Louisiana Governor's Maritime Task Force from 1992 to 2002; and as a Board Member of the Louisiana Association of Waterway Operators and Shipyards from 1993 to 2001, including serving as its Chairman from 1997 to 2000.
"On behalf of all of WCI's members, it is with great enthusiasm that I welcome Cornel Martin as our organization's designated President and Chief Executive Officer," said Dan Mecklenborg, Waterways Council, Inc. Chairman. "We look forward to his leadership as we continue to move the organization forward, building upon the great success of Barry Palmer's efforts over the many years that he has served our industry," he continued.
"I am delighted to join Waterways Council and I am truly humbled at being selected to succeed such an effective and distinguished leader as Barry Palmer," Martin said. "I look forward to working with the entire WCI membership and staff to advance our shared vision for the future of the nation's inland navigation industry," he continued.
Mr. Martin currently resides in Thibodeaux, La. and will relocate to the Washington, D.C., area.
Waterways Council, Inc. is the national public policy organization advocating a modern and well-maintained national system of ports and inland waterways. The group is supported by waterways carriers, shippers, port authorities, shipping associations and waterways advocacy groups from all regions of the country.