For the fifth year, 40 of the industry’s future leaders were 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 10 weeks, The Waterways Journal is featuring recipients. This week we recognize Lance Eads, Jake England, James Gauthreaux and Michael Gore.
Lance Eads, 36, is director of safety and security for Associated Marine Service. He has been with the company since 2016 and has several years of experience in the field of safety.
“Since joining Associated Marine Service, Lance has shown the ability to work long days and weekends without hesitation,” said Joseph Powell, president of Maritime Defense Strategy LLC.
He added that since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Eads has filled gaps when others have been off work, fulfilling his own job duties and those of a deckhand.
“I have realized that a title means nothing to Lance and that he is genuinely out to ensure his people work safely,” Powell said.
Jake England, 37, is a vessel maintenance technician with J.F. Brennan Company.
He has worked for the company for seven years. Prior to that, he was an agricultural mechanic for four years. England is a U.S. Army veteran, serving for 10 years on active duty as a heavy-wheeled diesel mechanic and wrecker operator and deploying to Iraq, Afghanistan and Germany during that time. He studied diesel mechanics at Pikes Peak Community College while stationed at Fort Carson, Colo.
Paul Berendes, director of asset management, said England has played an instrumental role in the safe operation of the company’s vessels through inspections, maintenance and repairs. He also called England dedicated.
“He takes pride in his work and is always trying to think of innovative ways to better maintain our fleet,” Berendes said.
James Gauthreaux, 40, is director of maintenance for Cooper Consolidated.
He grew up in the maritime industry, as his father was also involved in it, and only taking time away to serve his country in the Marines. He began his work for Cooper Consolidated in 2017. Since then, he has become one of the youngest directors of maintenance in the industry, said Kay Charbonnet, outside sales for Coca Sales, Inc.
Gauthreaux received multiple nominations for the 40 Under 40 award.
Chad Gomez, maintenance manager at Cooper Consolidated, said in his 32 years of experience working for the company, “James is one of the hardest working people I have ever worked with.”
His phone is always on, and he is willing to help no matter what the task is, he said.
Jacob Hadden, a towboat captain for Beyel Brothers Inc., has worked closely with him for 15 years.
“I have had the pleasure of working with him on numerous jobs,” Hadden said. “James was always genuinely concerned with everyone’s safety and promoted positive change which are both crucial to this line of work. His positive attitude, hard work and dedication are second to none.”
Matthew Vann, territory sales manager for Reladyne Companies, praised Gauthreaux’s attention to detail. Billy Burton, captain at Plimsoll Marine, said he “always thinks of all the moving parts of the job at hand.” Craig Movern Sr., maintenance manager at Cooper Consolidated, called him “the best boss I ever had.”
Dennis Quijano, logistics coordinator at Cooper Consolidated, said Gauthreaux is a quick learner and noted that he is goal-oriented and always looking for ways to improve his workplace.
“James has improved the reliability of our cranes,” he said. “This facilitated increased productivity.”
Robert Dunne, a manufacturer’s representative for D.T. Cores & Company, called Gauthreaux extremely thorough and conscientious in his position.
“He wants to make sure that he and his team are accurate and efficient in their work and always puts an emphasis on worker safety,” he said. “He takes great interest in his fellow employees at Cooper Consolidated and tries to make sure that they have all of the equipment, tools and personal protective equipment that they need to get the job done safely, correctly and efficiently.”
Michael Gore, 32, is training manager at Southern Towing Company.
He has a bachelor’s degree in business and is a U.S. Army National Guard veteran who previously deployed to the Middle East.
Gore began working with Southern Towing after graduating college and quickly worked his way up, becoming an experienced deckhand and valued member of the crew, said Sean Reilly, safety and compliance manager for Southern Towing Company.
He then served in the marketing and human resources departments before beginning his current role as training manager.
“Michael began a much needed revamp of the company new-hire orientation program,” Reilly said. “By combining a multitude of training techniques, including online training, knowledge-based instruction and hands-on experience on the equipment, Michael has managed to double the retention rate among new-hire deckhands in 2020. Michael was also a driving force in redesigning multiple mate and tankerman training courses held in-house to provide for better advancement for the boat crews.”
Besides managing all the training programs for the company, Gore has also broadened his knowledge by gaining experience and training in the regulatory and compliance field.
“Michael’s dedication and excellent work ethic have proven invaluable for the company, and he recently attained qualification as a company internal surveyor and vessel auditor, assisting in maintaining the boats to the standards of Coast Guard Subchapter M,” Reilly said. “Michael’s dedication and desire to accomplish any task presented have served as positive examples to the crew members in the company, and he is constantly looked upon as a mentor and great role model.”