For the third year, 40 of the industry’s future leaders will be honored at the Inland Marine Expo with the “40 Under 40” award, which recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions to the inland marine transportation industry in a variety of fields. All 40 honorees were nominated by executives and peers for their hard work and dedication to the industry.
Over the course of 14 weeks, The Waterways Journal is featuring all 40 recipients. This week we recognize Sarah Stowers, Chris Supple and Dayna Tappan.
Sarah Stowers, 36, is chief financial officer of Western Rivers Boat Management in Paducah, Ky.
Stowers was working for an accounting firm when she was approached by Western Rivers Boat Management to be a full-time employee, said Whitney Cruse, vice president of barge logistics for Marquette Transportation in Paducah. She joined Western Rivers Boat Management in April 2018.
“Being completely green to the river industry and how it operates, the leap of faith was incredible,” Cruse said. “She has taken on a big role with such grace, compassion and determination.”
Stowers has a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. She is a certified public accountant.
Stowers is also very involved in the community, serving in Women in Maritime Operations (WIMOs) and as a past treasurer for the Charity League of Paducah.
Chris Supple, 39, is a relief captain for Campbell Transportation Company, based in Houston, Pa.
Supple is a second-generation Ohio River towboat pilot. He has a fierce drive and determination, said Roger Swanson, a deck engineer with Industry Terminal & Salvage of Industry, Pa.
“He worked really hard and proved himself and advanced quickly to the wheelhouse,” Swanson said.
He recalled Supple going out of his way multiple times to lend a hand or a word of encouragement to others, “always seeing everyone’s full potential and pointing that out.” On top of that, Swanson said in his 30 years of working on deck, Supple is the best pilot he ever worked with. Local companies also know his worth, Swanson said, adding that they often call upon him for his expertise.
Outside of work, Supple spends time with his family. He is the father to three teenage daughters.
(Editor’s note: a photograph of Chris Supple was not available at the time this issue went to press.)
Dayna Tappan, 38, is human resources manager for Waterfront Services Company, based in Cairo, Ill.
She has worked in the marine industry for the past 11 years, serving in various capacities. Since becoming human resources manager, she has given personal attention to employees and their needs and concerns, said Allen Tappan, company president.
“She constantly looks for ways to improve the organization and improve the engagement of our employees,” he said. He noted that she has implemented a company-wide recognition program as well as a service award program to reward outstanding performance and service.
She also serves as the secretary and treasurer for Waterfront Services Company’s board of directors and is a member of Women in Maritime Operations (WIMOs).
“She does an amazing job and has a bright future ahead of her in the industry,” Allen Tappan said.
Caption for photo: Sarah Stowers and Dayna Tappan (not pictured: Chris Supple).