Page 36: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (November 2019)

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The Southern Towing Company Pillars

Every Southern Towing employee has a com- pany challenge coin (and the T-shirt!) embla- zoned with the company’s ‘pillars’. Ed Grimm describes what the pillars mean.

• Success Through Commitment: “You have to be 100 percent; 100 percent in or you are 100 percent out. There’s no in between. And you have to be 100 percent responsible for your actions and for your inactions.” • Safely Transporting Cargo: “If you don’t safely transport cargo, you don’t have a place in our industry.

• Service To Customers: “Everything is about customer service.” • Support the Crew: “Taking care of people means you take care of your employee and their family. I have 335 families that are counting on this management team and these employees to make good decisions.”

Photo: ZF Marine

How did you come to the top spot at Southern Tow- worked together for the ? rst 11 years of our marriage cer. But he took me under his wing and taught me a lot ing Company? which was awesome. about engineering.

I started in the energy industry at 16 working at an The company that I was running was bought by Hous- When I left the vessel I was the Damage Control As- oil storage depot in New York Harbor, working there ton Marine Services, so we moved from the Port Ar- sistant, which was normally an engineering function, so through high school and putting myself through col- thur to Houston where I spent 18 years, ? nishing as the it was a great opportunity to get experience on the deck lege. After college I went to Coast Guard OCS and was Chief Operating Of? cer before the company was sold. and get experience in engineering. fortunate to get a vessel, as only about 10 percent of the I then spent 10 years with Martin Midstream Partners Perhaps more importantly, it fostered my idea that en-

OCS grads at that time received vessel assignments. I running Martin Marine. About ? ve years ago a private gineering is as exciting as command. spent 310 days at sea the ? rst year, a great opportunity equity ? rm came knocking, so I came to Memphis to From that point I got involved in wanting to ? nd en- to get underway time. run Southern Towing as its CEO. gineered solutions. If you look on that wall there’s a

And we started the second year on the same clip, and blue frame, and it says “the greatest joy in life is accom- after 17 months as a commissioned of? cer I got an op- I see from some of the patents hanging on your wall plishing what others say you cannot do.” And anytime portunity for my own command, reporting to a patrol that you have a vested interest in the technology someone says it’s never been done before, or “you can’t boat as an ensign. It was humbling and it was scary in side of marine. do this,” it just sets my mind in motion that I’m going some respects, but it got me to Texas where I met my I was fortunate on my ? rst (USCG) ship that the cap- ? nd a way.

wife, who was working for a marine company. tain believed in mentoring young people. I was a deck of? cer but I asked if I could get involved in engineer- So tell me about the patents you hold.

How did your career (and your life) change trajec- ing so I could learn how the propulsion takes me from The ? rst looked at heating product on a barge using tory with this meeting? Point A to Point B. I always believed that when you waste gas heat from the main engine on the tug. If you

The marine company didn’t want to lose my wife go out to sea, if something breaks down and you don’t heat product on a barge, typically you’re running the with my transfer to my next duty assignment, so they ? x it, you’re not getting home. The captain said that as boiler and burning fuel, meaning it’s a cost and also a made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I left active duty, long as it didn’t affect my deck duties, I could approach carbon footprint. Waste gas heat has common uses in stayed in the reserves, and stayed in Texas. She and I the head of engineering, who was a gruff warrant of? - the shipping industry, but not in the barging industry. I 36 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • NOVEMBER 2019

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