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New Officers Board Leadership Elected at DCA

Posted on May 20, 2024

In a series of board and membership meetings last week in Savannah, Georgia the Dredging Contractors of America (DCA) unanimously voted to accept James Cottrell as the President of the DCA Board of Directors and Harry Stewart as its Senior Vice President.  James Cottrell is the President and CEO of Virgina based Cottrell Contacting Corporation.  Harry Stewart is President and CEO of Northern California based Dutra Group.  The other officers of DCA are Brian McGeorge, President of Arkansas based Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel Company is DCA Vice President; Fred Paup, Chairman of the Board and Executive Vice President of Manson Construction Co. is DCA Vice President; and Gordon Shelton of Cottrell Contracting as Treasurer.

The Directors of DCA who were unanimously approved:

“We had a week of productive meetings in Savannah, Georgia,” said William P. Doyle, CEO and Executive Director of the Dredging Contractors of America. We’ll keep moving forward focusing on the important dredging and infrastructure projects that serve as the economic and national security backbone to the United States of America.”

“I am pleased to take the helm of the DCA as the President of the Board of Directors,” said James Cotrell.  “I appreciate all the hard work and dedication of the DCA membership.  I want to thank Steve Tobin for his leadership as President over the past year.  DCA is going to thrive in the coming years as we work closely with our federal, state and local partners.”

Throughout the week we heard from a whole host of speakers and presenters discussing their roles in the maritime, port, dredging and marine construction sectors.

The Honorable Carl Bentzel, U.S. Federal Maritime Commissioner, spoke about international trade and the importance of the U.S. maritime industry in an ever-changing market place.  He thanked the dredging and marine construction industry for our quick action and mobilization of dredges, tugs, barges and equipment for the recovery and clean-up efforts on the Francis Scott Key Bridge disaster in Baltimore Harbor.

Ian Hart, Legislative Director for Congressman John Garamendi of California.  The Congressman is a longtime, solid supporter of the Jones Act, dredging and the overall U.S. maritime industry.  LD Hart briefed the DCA on the Congressman’s initiatives including WRDA, the Abandoned and Derelict Vessels Act, and buy/build America objectives.

Captain Alex Soukhanov and Christopher Dunlay with True North Group, LLC provided DCA with a global over of cyber security threats, lessons learned and ‘what to do’ as maritime connectivity continues to grow.

John Bressler, VP of Government Affairs with the American Association of Port Authorities.  John briefed the DCA on active legislation in Congress including the Water Resources and Development Act.

Flavio Batista, Chief Commercial Officer (incoming), Georgia Ports Authority provided an overview on the impressive growth and expansion of the Georgia’s ports – both waterside and landside including, rail, warehousing and logistics.

Steve Coyle, Director, Federal Affairs with the American Clean Power Association  discussed the latest developments in offshore wind development.  He also provided and overview of the capex investment in Jones Act compliant vessels and equipment being manufactured in the United States.

Let Mon Lee and Grady Bryant with Gahagan & Bryant Associates, Inc. (GBA) presented a primer on effective ways to tell your story in Washington, DC and work at all levels of executive leadership in the Army Corps of Engineers, the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill.  They also provided a surveyor’s eye of the clean-up and wreckage removal of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore Harbor.

Danielle Hagen and Durin Hendricks with Nahigian Strategies discussed the importance of communication and strategies to effectively drive the message on dredging and the Jones Act.  Nahigian Strategies has been instrumental in helping the U.S. maritime industry message its involvement and importance to the FSK recovery and clean-up.

Mark Ruge with the American Maritime Partnership discussed the latest developments and Jones Act policy.  He briefed DCA on the pillars of the Joens Act and the important role the dredging industry plays in keeping the Jones Act strong.


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