Celebrating 20 years of inland waterways infrastructure advocacy - Mark Knoy reflects on his time as WCI Chair from 2005 - 2007 and the last 20 years!
"The best memory of my time serving as WCI’s Chairman was the opportunity to work with Berdon Lawrence and Barry Palmer, both industry dinamos with a vision and mission to improve our inland waterways. Berdon was such a smooth operator and carried a tremendous amount of respect within the industry and Congress. He taught me how to successfully approach Congressional and USACE leadership. He was responsible for making me the second WCI chairman.
Barry was a whirlwind of energy and taught me how to take advantage of what's offered by Congress and building connections between the infrastructure improvements Congress was willing to give us to what we eventually wanted for the industry's future. Maybe we didn't need a new lock there, but we'd take it and figure out how to build on that success.
I am most proud of the opportunity to meet and work with some of our nation's best and brightest engineers and leaders at the USACE, and Congressional leaders and their teams, and consolidating some of our industry's advocates into one voice (the merger of MARC 2000 into WCI and the attempted consolidation of the National Waterways Conference was lost by a single vote).
WCI has been effective over its 20-year history because it has built a reputation of speaking with one voice on only one issue - waterways infrastructure and the benefits it provides to our nation. WCI has built a solid reputation for representing the industry's users, including carriers, shippers and other third parties on a single issue and has become highly respected as the go-to knowledge on inland waterways. The industry needs to continue to speak with one voice in a very crowded environment.
My advice to future chairs (or members) of WCI for the next 20 years is to continue to focus on one thing only, inland waterways infrastructure."