Page 30: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 1994)

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Photo Credit: Brix Maritime T he American Waterways Operators (AWO) is celebrating its Golden Anniversary in St. Louis at its Annual Meeting & Spring Convention. This special section is dedicated to the last 50 years and to the next 50 years of AWO. Read up on the strategies today's leaders are pursuing to ensure a safe, reliable and competitive industry for years to come. ] YEARS OF

SERVICE 1944-1994

AWO Annual Meeting & Spring Convention

Navigational Safety Major Focus Of 50th Anniversary Meeting

The American Waterways Opera- tors (AWO), the national trade asso- ciation of the inland and coastal barge and towing industry, will hold its Annual Meeting and Spring Con- vention, Wednesday, April 13 through Friday, April 15, at the

Adam's Mark Hotel in St. Louis,

Mo. The city of St. Louis holds special significance for AWO, espe- cially in 1994. Not only is it home to

AWO's Midcontinent office and 12 of the association's member compa- nies, but it also was the site of AWO's first membership meeting in 1944.

Fifty years later, in 1994, AWO is celebrating its golden anniversary in St. Louis. The association's 50th anniversary will be celebrated throughout 1994 with three events in locations which represent the presence of the industry — inland (St. Louis); coastal (San Francisco); and its legislative activities on Capi- tol Hill (Washington, D.C.)

AWO's more than 300 member companies will participate in the

Annual Meeting and Spring Con- vention, which provides an oppor- tunity for members to be briefed on pertinent issues and major chal- lenges confronting the industry and the association. Thomas A.

Allegretti, AWO's new president, will present his first report to the membership since becoming presi- dent on January 1, 1994. He suc- ceeded Joe Farrell, who retired after serving 11 years as president.

The issue of navigational safety in the industry is expected to be a major focus of this year's Annual

Meeting. At AWO's Winter Board of

Directors Meeting in December 1993, nine recommendations for im- proved safety in the wake of the

Amtrak derailment were developed by the membership. Another fea- ture of the meeting will be the elec- tion of officers for 1994. For more information on this and other AWO meetings throughout the year, (Continued on page 38)

AWO's New Leader To Tackle Tough

Issues During First Years

Thomas A. Allegretti, in his first year at the helm of the Ameri- can Waterways Operators, faces some tough issues and challenges— with the dual task of ensuring the industry is treated fairly by legisla- tors, while helping members main- tain safety and competitiveness.

Mr. Allegretti took time from his busy schedule to answer some questions from Maritime Reporter & Engineering News on the chal- lenges that loom ahead, and how he and AWO, along with the industry, will tackle them.

MR: What are the burning topics that will keep you and the AWO staff busiest during the coming year?

A: It is not an overstatement to say that the challenges of this year may well dwarf those which we've faced in the past.

At the top of the agenda will be the need for AWO and the barge and towing industry to exercise leader- ship and guidance as federal decisionmakers grapple with the issue of marine safety. The tragic proportions of the Amtrak derail- ment in Bayou Canot in September of last year, and the recent oil spill

Thomas A. Allegretti in Puerto Rico have focused new attention on both the federal regime which governs the operation of tug- boats and barges and the industry practices which complement those governmental requirements.

We are also likely to face new challenges on the user tax front as the federal government seeks new and increased revenues to fund the construction of inland waterway projects and the operation and main- tenance of the inland waterways system. Managing that debate, and bringing to the attention of federal decisionmakers all the facts, will be (Continued on page 36) 100

Maritime Reporter/Engineering News

Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.