For the fifth year, 40 of the maritime industry’s up-and-coming 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 Nathaniel Hough, Spencer Hudson, Alexandra Huff and David Hughes.
Nathaniel Hough, 39, is general manager of Gulf Operations for Campbell Transportation Company Inc.
Hough was hired as a pilot on the inland waterways soon after graduating from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy with a bachelor’s degree in marine transportation. He launched his career in 2006, quickly rising to the rank of captain, port captain and operations manager before progressing to his current role.
While working, he also continued his education, graduating with honors from the University of Houston’s C.T. Bauer College of Business with a master’s degree in business administration in 2020.
In April 2021, Hough joined Campbell Transportation Company as a director of vessel operations, with obligations in operations leadership, resource allocation, budget development and overall strategic planning for the operations team.
Hough also serves on several advisory boards, including the Clean Waterways and the Clean Gulf Advisory Board, Texas Waterways Operators Association, Lonestar Safety Committee and Texas Waterways Association Advisory Board.
“It is our great pleasure to highly recommend Nathan Hough for the 2022 40 under 40 award,” said Gary Statler, vice president-administration for Campbell Transportation Company.
Spencer Hudson, 33, is operations manager of North American Stevedoring (NASCO).
He received multiple nominations for the 40 Under 40 Award.
Hudson manages operations, commercial development, safety, security, governmental compliance and logistics for a multimodal terminal with multiple locations within south Chicago. NASCO transfers, stores and processes a wide variety of bulk, steel and lumber products, including specialty cargoes from vessels, barges, trains and trucks.
Ian Hirt, vice president of operations for Benchmark Marine Agency, said Hudson helped lead the transformation of a mostly vacant 200-acre facility to one of the largest marine terminals in the Chicago/Lake Michigan area. Hudson began as an assistant superintendent and now oversees all aspects of the operation, including rail, barge, ship and truck loading and discharging operations.
“As a young professional, Spencer now manages five facilities, over 50 employees and approximately $15 million dollars in revenue,” said Daniel T. Egan, CEO of Illinois & Michigan Oil. He added that during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite being new to the role, Hudson’s “hard work, steadfast determination and dedication to all his employees” kept those under his supervision employed, safe and healthy.
“Under Spencer’s leadership I have no doubt that NASCO and all those he is responsible for will continue to prosper into the future and unknown challenges ahead,” he said.
Steve Spicer, quality control manager with NASCO/QSL, has worked closely with Hudson over the last five years and said that his breadth of knowledge is impressive.
“He is an excellent communicator and understands each customer’s particular needs,” Spicer said. “On top of all of that, he’s a nice guy and can manage any situation with an even hand.”
Aimee Andres, executive director of Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals Inc., noted that Hudson is a second-generation river industry professional. She added that he is a wonderful colleague and always ready to jump in and help.
“He has shown great dedication and passion for marine transportation in both the lakes and rivers,” she said. “He has shown patience, helped guide and train others around him.”
Alexandra Huff, 39, director–treasury for American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL).
As treasury director, she leads a team of 15 employees in the areas of cash management, bank reporting, accounts payable and fixed asset accounting.
“Alex anticipates problems before they occur and takes steps to avoid them,” Eppel said. “She is a team player by nature who is willing to step up and lead. As a result, Alex is highly respected by her staff, peers and the ACBL executive team.”
Huff Is a native of Koszalin, Poland. Her family moved to Chicago when she was six. Outside of work, she is a mother of two young daughters.
David Hughes, 31, is director of operations for Arcosa Marine Components – NABRICO/WINTECH.
He oversees the engineering and operations duties for both the WINTECH and NABRICO brand names.
Neal Langdon, executive vice president of Arcosa Marine, said Hughes brings a fresh perspective to the winch product lines.
“One of his goals is to provide the marine industry with cutting-edge technology for power winches for towboats,” Langdon said. “He has an engineering background with the real-world, hands-on experience of providing barge terminal and barge moving winch experience, focused primarily in the inland river system and expanding into the industrial markets. He also provides a gearbox and electric motor background from previous positions.”
Langdon added that Hughes plans to develop custom products for the industry to meet the upcoming challenges of providing services in the most clean and efficient ways possible.
“We are glad to have David as part of our team,” he said.