Archie Wilson Elected New Chairman Of AWO
"The coming year shows signs of both hope and danger for the U.S. barge and towing industry," the new chairman of the board of The American Waterways Operators, Inc. (AWO), told the association's members recently.
"The hope is based on some longawaited signs of economic recovery, which would result in increased freight for our companies.
The danger lies in the resurrection of unfair legislative proposals that could choke one of America's key transportation links." Archie L. Wilson, president of Dixie Carriers, Inc., Houston, Texas, was elected chairman at AWO's 40th annual meeting, held in Washington, D.C.
The AWO chairman noted that the past two years have been increasingly hard on the industry financially, and he welcomes recent optimistic economic forecasts.
"However," Mr. Wilson cautioned, "the ever-present threat of greatly increased waterway user taxes could stifle the hope of restored industry-wide economic health.
With 30 percent of our barge fleet lying idle, our industry needs to be revitalized, not strangled by stepped-up user taxes." "During the next year," Mr.
Wilson continued, "I hope that any user tax legislation introduced will carefully consider the present economic state of the industry, and ensure equitable treatment of all transportation modes. I also hope that we will see an amendment passed to the Longshore Act. This act has, for too long, burdened the shipyard industry with unreasonable costs." Mr. Wilson succeeds Thomas L. Gladders, who served as chairman of the board for the last year. Mr. Gladders is president of G.W. Gladders Towing Company, Inc., St. Louis, Mo. The board praised Mr. Gladders for his ability to effectively steer the association through a challenging and critical year for the industry.
The AWO board of directors also elected Richard A. Wilson, president and chief executive officer of Agri-Trans Corporation, St. Louis, Mo., vice chairman of the association. Last year Mr.
Wilson served as chairman of the association's Region I (Upper Mississippi River), which includes the St. Louis area.
For the next 12 months, the new chairman and vice chairman will head the 250-plus members of AWO, which includes barge and towing companies operating on the nation's inland waterways and along U.S. coast lines. Also included are shipyards that build and repair vessels for these trades.
The new chairman has been a member of the association's board of directors and was vice chairman of AWO's legislative committee.
He is also active in the Water Transport Association and the National Waterways Conference.
Chairman Wilson has an extensive t r a n s p o r t a t i o n background.
During the past 35 years he has held management positions with the Kansas City Southern Railroad and Dixie Carriers' trucking subsidiaries.
He has been with Dixie Carriers since 1957, and was named president in 1973. He is a native of Shreveport, La., and attended Louisiana Tech University and the University of Houston. Mr.
Wilson has also attended extensive seminars at Harvard School of Business and participated as guest speaker on campus panels.
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