MAY 3, 2016 — The members of the American Waterways Operators (AWO), the national trade association representing the tugboat, towboat and barge industry, have elected a new slate of leaders.
James F. Farley, Corporate Vice President – Industry Relations, Kirby Corporation, has been elected as Chairman while Edward J. "Ted" Tregurtha, President of Moran Towing Corporation, was elected Vice Chairman. Mr. Farley succeeds outgoing Chairman David G. Sehrt, Senior Vice President and Chief Engineering Officer of Ingram Barge Company.
Acknowledging that this will be a challenging economic year for AWO member companies, Mr. Farley outlined an ambitious agenda including "a vigorous game of both offense and defense."
"We will defend the Jones Act against unprecedented attack from powerful opponents," he said. "We will get the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act passed into law. We will work with the Coast Guard and the membership to ensure the smooth implementation of Subchapter M. We will fight hard to sustain the Coast Guard's preeminent role regulating navigation and vessel operations and will strongly oppose state attempts to usurp the Coast Guard's authority. We will lead and support AWO members in continuously improving safety, security, and environmental stewardship."
Mr. Farley said that he and Mr. Tregurtha will co-chair a member task force that will produce a new strategic plan "to provide AWO the roadmap required to meet members' vision and ensure our success over the next five years."
"It strikes me that our complex industry is based on a few simple concepts," said Mr. Farley. "Competing fiercely while sharing the nation's blue and brown waters. Working to be sure that government is a help and not a hindrance to our business. Doing everything we can to create the safest working environment possible for the mariners we employ. Protecting the natural environment always."
He added that the keys to achieving success are cooperation, communication and commitment, which he called the "roadmap" for his term as Chairman.