American Waterways Operators elects Scott Merritt as Chairman

Scott Merritt, Chairman, American Waterways Operators

The members of the American Waterways Operators, the national tugboat, towboat and barge industry association, elected a new slate of leaders during the association’s annual Spring Convention in Washington, D.C.

Scott Merritt, former Chief Operating Officer for Foss Maritime Company, LLC was elected Chairman. Arthur Mead, Vice President and General Counsel at Crowley Maritime Corporation, was elected Vice Chairman. Merritt succeeds outgoing Chairman Tom Marian, General Counsel at Buffalo Marine Service.

AWO President & CEO Tom Allegretti welcomed and thanked the newly-constituted board of directors.

“You will hold your seat at a special and momentous time in our organization’s history,” he explained. “2018 was a year of substantial advocacy and safety achievements for AWO and you, our members, played a pivotal role in these accomplishments.”

As AWO celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, Merritt emphasized the association’s many accomplishments from 2018, while also noting the importance of continued vigilance.

“In addition to continuing to stave off Jones Act repeal efforts, we completed a 15-year collaboration with the United States Coast Guard to bring about Subchapter M, a regulatory doctrine designed for our industry, and in partnership with our industry. We passed VIDA to move us closer to a regulatory regime that is not subject to the whim of state politics and politicians. We enacted legislation to protect our harbor services members against anti-competitive negotiation practices by ocean carrier alliances. And we developed groundbreaking safety resources to help our companies manage fatigue risk and implement best practices to prevent and respond to cyber incidents…[but] like Dabo Swinney of Clemson or Nick Saban of Alabama will tell you, work on the next season starts the day after the championship game—and that day is now.”

Andrea Lee