Miss. Gov. Bryant To Chair Tenn-Tom Waterway Development Authority

The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority has announced that Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant will serve as the agency’s chairman in 2018. This is Bryant’s second term as chairman of the authority.

The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority spans the four states directly connected to the waterway: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee. Each year, the governors from each of the four states, along with five gubernatorial appointees from each state, comprise the 24-member authority. One of the four governors serves as chairman on an annual rotating basis.

Other authority leaders for 2018 include vice-chairman Dale Pierce of Aberdeen, Miss., and T.L. “Bud” Phillips of Columbus, Miss., who is treasurer. Pierce, a certified public accountant, has been a member of the authority since 2004, while Phillips, the authority’s longest-serving member, was appointed in 1988.

The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority has also announced leadership of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Council, which both advises the authority and acts as a liaison between commercial users on the waterway and federal agencies.

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Stephen Surles of Nashville, Tenn., is the development council’s chairman for 2018. Surles works as senior manager of global business for the Tennessee Valley Authority. Kevin Stafford of Columbus, Miss., is vice-chairman, while Josh Tubbs of Benton, Ky., and Mike Williams of Tuscaloosa, Ala., are treasurer and secretary, respectively. Lucian Lott of Mobile, Ala., is past chairman.

The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Council is made up of close to 200 members from 13 states. The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority was formed in 1958—close to 30 years prior to the opening of the waterway.

The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, which opened to commerce in 1985, connects the Tennessee River near where Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama meet to the Tombigbee River near Demopolis, Ala.