AWO Elects New Chairman, Vice Chairman

Monday, May 02, 2005
The American Waterways Operators (AWO), the national trade association for the American tugboat, towboat and barge industry, elected a new Chairman, Steven P. Valerius, and Vice Chairman, Dale Sause, on Friday, April 22 during the AWO Spring Convention. Mr. Valerius is President of Kirby Inland Marine, LP, based in Houston, Texas and Mr. Sause is President of Sause Bros., headquartered in Coos Bay, Oregon. AWO Chairmen serve for a one year term. In his remarks to the AWO Board of Directors following his election as Chairman, Mr. Valerius said he plans to make as his top priority the successful implementation of a new towing vessel inspection regime based on a modern, safety management system, in order to enhance industry safety. Mr. Valerius further listed as his priorities: 1) Authorization of the Upper Mississippi – Illinois Waterway project to modernize the waterways transportation infrastructure; 2) Successful prosecution of a lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to overturn illegal state regulation that interferes with federal jurisdiction over the towing industry; 3) Closing loopholes that undermine the integrity of the Jones Act; and 4) Increasing involvement of AWO members in AWO advocacy efforts. Mr. Valerius has 26 years of experience in the barge and towboat industry. Kirby Inland Marine, LP is a subsidiary of Kirby Corporation and operates the nation’s largest fleet of inland tank barges and towing vessels. Prior to the merger of Hollywood Marine, Inc. and Kirby in 1999, Mr. Valerius held various positions with Hollywood Marine, the last being Executive Vice President. He is past Chairman of the Galveston Bay Foundation, the Houston Advisory Board of the Nature Conservancy, and the Texas Waterways Operators. Mr. Valerius is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in Accounting. He is a Certified Public Accountant and has a J.D. from South Texas College of Law. Accepting the position, Mr. Valerius said, “I look forward to completing my tenure as Chairman with our industry’s reputation strengthened even more as leaders in safety, security, and environmental protection.”

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