American Waterways Operators Annual Report 2017 2017AnnualReport - Page 3

MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN DELIVERING VALUE Through Advocacy As a business owner, I am proud to be part of an industry that contributes so much to our nation. In providing high-quality American jobs, transporting vital commodities and providing critical homeland security support, the tugboat, towboat and barge industry is a positive force for our nation’s economy, security, environment and quality of life. AWO made real progress in streamlining our regulatory burdens, including through its tireless advocacy in support of the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act and its work to promote a robust defense of federal authority in the face of challenges from activist states, as well as through legislative and regulatory victories that simplify or eliminate outdated government requirements. I am also proud to be part of AWO. Just as our industry delivers value to the nation, so AWO delivers value to its member companies, with the mission of positioning us to thrive, especially as we continued to contend with challenging markets in nearly all sectors of our industry over the past year. Alongside these advocacy achievements, AWO reaffirmed its commitment to leading and supporting members in continuously improving safety, security and environmental stewardship. AWO also demonstrated a deep commitment to responsible stewardship of members’ time and resources, implementing a robust member engagement and communications program while crafting a 2018 budget which, for the second year in a row, does not rely on increases in member dues. In this environment, the last thing we need is for government to make a difficult situation worse through poorly conceived public policies that increase our costs, undermine our efficiency and threaten our very viability as an industry. Now more than ever, we need AWO. We need – and in AWO, we have – a dedicated and respected advocate that gives our industry a voice by building strong relationships with Congress, the Administration and the federal agencies that affect our operations; that reduces regulatory burdens and keeps bad ideas from becoming law; and that keeps us informed and engaged, cutting through the noise and helping us focus on what’s important. In 2017, AWO’s strong relationship with the Coast Guard facilitated a robust dialogue throughout the Subchapter M implementation process, producing practical policy and helping members transition to the new regulations in a way that supports both improved safety and continued efficiency. In the wake of a brutal 2017 hurricane season, AWO acted quickly and decisively to work with bipartisan policymakers on Capitol Hill and within the Trump Administration to prevent the weakening of the Jones Act at a time of unprecedented – and unjustified – attack. 2017 ANNUAL REPORT DELIVERING VALUE Yes, AWO membership comes with a cost, and in challenging economic times, companies are rightly cost-conscious. But, I view AWO membership as an investment – an investment in reducing the far greater costs that come with damaging policy, and an investment in the viability and prosperity of our industry in 2018 and beyond. I am honored to have served as your Chairman this past year. I look forward to continuing our work together to achieve results for our industry, and allow us to do the same for our customers, our communities and our nation. CHAIRMAN EDWARD J. TREGURTHA Moran Towing Corporation DELIVERING VALUE 1 ■