Cornel Martin is resigning as president and CEO of Waterways Council Inc., a trade association for the inland marine barge towing industry and its ports.
He will depart at the end of June, when he would have held the post three years. The council said it will begin an executive search to choose his successor.
Rick Calhoun, chairman and president of Cargill Marine & Terminal and chairman of the Waterways Council, said Martin had been “instrumental in the development of a savvy media and publicity campaign,” which emphasizes the value of barge operations to the economy and its low energy use per ton hauled.
He said Martin also helped create an industry coalition that in turn produced a consensus capital development plan for locks and dams on the inland waterways. That is a set of recommendations for federal infrastructure investments that was put together by a working group of industry officials with the Army Corps of Engineers. The council mounted an intense lobbying effort for it earlier this year.
Martin also said “we have made great progress restructuring and improving the organization,” and that “WCI is in a very secure financial position and enjoys strong support from its members and coalition partners.”
He did not specify what he will do next, but said “while there is still much work to be done, it is necessary that I leave Waterways Council to pursue other interests.”
Martin was a former House staff member in the 1980s on the Coast Guard and Navigation Subcommittee, and was legislative assistant for maritime affairs to Rep. Billy Tauzin, D-La.
Additionally, Martin was a Southern Region vice president for American Waterways Operators, worked in senior posts with private cruise and ferry operations, served a one-year stint as president of the Passenger Vessel Association and became chairman and CEO of Direct Workforce, a contract labor supplier in Louisiana to the shipbuilding, oil and gas industries.