(ARLINGTON, Va.) — The members of the American Waterways Operators (AWO), the national tugboat, towboat and barge industry association, elected a new slate of leaders this week during the association’s Spring Convention and Annual Membership Meeting.
Rick Iuliucci, vice president, The Vane Brothers Company, was elected chairman; Kelly Teichman, chairman of the board, T&T Marine, was elected vice chairman; and Brian Hughes, vice president operations and sales, Hughes Bros. Inc., was re-elected treasurer. Iuliucci succeeds outgoing Chairman Clark Todd, president and CEO of Blessey Marine Services.
AWO President and CEO Jennifer Carpenter emphasized the industry’s many contributions to the nation, and the strength of the association’s member leadership.
“The tugboat, towboat and barge industry is proud to serve as the safest, most economical and most environmentally sustainable mode of freight transportation in the United States, and AWO looks forward to building on the high-caliber leadership of Clark Todd and his predecessors in elevating and championing waterways transportation,” she said. “Throughout his career, Rick Iuliucci has consistently and wholeheartedly dedicated himself to the betterment of our industry, and we are excited to embrace the coming year with Rick at the helm.”
Iuliucci highlighted his long career in the industry, which he began as a deck hand.
“I cut my teeth as a deck hand out on the boats, and eventually worked my way up to captain,” he said. “And although my day-to-day work is no longer out on the water, that experience is very much at the core of who I am, and it’s at the core of how I approach my service to AWO.”
He also underlined that mariners are the “center of everything we do at AWO,” and noted that the association’s work should have a positive impact on both mariners and the companies they work for.
“Creating that impact is at the heart of what it means to be our industry’s advocate, resource and united voice, and that will be my focus as chairman, as we tackle the challenges facing all of us,” he explained.
Iuliucci noted several priorities for his chairmanship, including elevating safety across the industry; continuing to build strong support for the Jones Act; advancing the industry’s leadership role in sustainability; cultivating strong partnerships at the federal and state level; and developing the workforce needed to meet the growing demand for marine transport.
“This is an ambitious agenda for a big year ahead, but I am optimistic about our industry’s ability to seize the moment, because we have AWO – to be our advocate on Capitol Hill, with the administration, the Coast Guard, and the Army Corps of Engineers, in state capitols around the country, and with the media; to be our resource in providing tools, information and opportunities to make us better; and to be the united voice of our diverse industry,” he said.
– American Waterways Operators