For the sixth 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 last 10 weeks, The Waterways Journal has been featuring recipients. This week we recognize the final group: Cade Vanderkamp, Matt Vishino, Chris Ward and Aimee Williams.
Cade Vanderkamp, 34, is a marine surveyor/auditor at Sabine Surveyors Ltd.
Vanderkamp serves as the company’s resident staff member in Paducah, Ky. Joining Sabine in 2021, he established the company’s presence in what is widely known as an important inland location and has developed clientele throughout the mid and upper Mississippi region, said Doug Bernard, manager of business development for Sabine Surveyors.
“His genuine interest in the industry is on display every day,” Bernard said of him.
Vanderkamp comes to his position with 14 years of progressive experience, including direct employment with major inland, coastal and offshore vessel operators. His competencies include drydocking, shipyard selection, budgeting, regulatory efforts, compliance, technical management and business development. Along with experience as resident surveyor/auditor, he has also served positions as a shipyard project manager, vessel technical manager and vessel coordinator as well as in operations.
In his current role, Vanderkamp is a Coast Guard Subchapter M approved company auditor, vessel auditor, vessel surveyor and drydock surveyor. He holds ISO auditor credentials, is an associate member of the National Association of Marine Surveyors (NAMS) and is a graduate of the Project Management Institute. At Sabine, he serves on the company’s safety committee, responsible for monthly meetings and topics, training, reporting and compliance, supporting nine staffed locations.
In addition to his professional career, Vanderkamp’s community involvement includes participation as a volunteer member of multiple fire, safety and emergency rescue squads with credentials in hazardous materials, medical response, firefighting and incident command. He is also a public safety diver, an experienced fire grounds instructor and has served as assistant district chief.
“As a third-generation maritime professional, Cade’s working experience has taken him from Houma to Pittsburgh, St. Louis to Mobile, as well as the U.S. Gulf Intracoastal system,” Bernard said. “His family exposure to the industry has contributed to his depth and breadth of knowledge, which is typical of a person at a more senior level.”
Bernard described Vanderkamp using the words resourceful, dedicated, professional and forward-thinking as well as being a team player “always willing to go the extra mile for his clients and coworkers.”
Matt Vishino, 33, is harbor operations manager for Brennan Marine Inc.
Vishino started in the marine industry as a deckhand in 2008. In 2015, he came to Brennan Marine as a mate, working on a harbor boat in Ste. Genevieve, Mo. He eventually obtained his pilot’s/steersman’s license. In the steersman program he quickly demonstrated the skillset and leadership qualitied required of a pilot, said Adam Binsfeld, president of Brennan Marine.
In fall 2018, Vishino completed steersman training and obtained his master’s license. At about the same time, he accepted a manager position to start a new Brennan harbor operation on the Cumberland River. In 2002, he accepted a position to expand into a new location on the Lower Mississippi River.
“In both startups, he took the company to new locations and built safe and efficient marine operations with excellent crews,” Binsfeld said. “Matt’s ability to expand into new geographies, implement the Brennan corporate culture and build strong teams are drivers for our success along the inland waterways.”
Additionally, Binsfeld said, Vishino has been instrumental in building out the company’s safety management system and helped to design and build software used to manage equipment and track safety training.
“His vessel experience and crew-first mentality have contributed to a truly unique system that embodies the Brennan culture and mission,” Binsfeld said.
Chris Ward, 33, is stevedoring logistics supervisor at ARTCo.
Matthew Compagno, stevedoring logistics coordinator at ARTCo said Ward has demonstrated outstanding knowledge of the industry and that he goes above and beyond the duties given to him.
“Chris is an excellent leader who is compassionate about his work,” Compagno said. “He does a great job driving his team to do their very best with a calm and professional demeanor, while providing them with the tools needed to be successful in their careers. Nothing will get by Chris. He is always looking ahead while seeing the bigger picture due to his proactiveness and experience encompassed along the way.”
Aimee Williams, 39, is traffic manager for Illinois Marine Towing Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Canal Barge Company in New Orleans, La.
Williams started with Canal Barge in May 2006 as an intern, working with the human resources and crew dispatching department as she worked toward completing her degree in business administration with a focus on management and marketing from Loyola University.
Upon graduation, she joined Canal Barge Company in New Orleans as a full-time employee, working in crew dispatching. She has worked in transportation services since 2008, in support of Canal’s dry cargo operations as a dispatcher, in deck cargo as a project coordinator and eventually as a traffic supervisor for Illinois Marine Towing.
In her current role, Williams has led the Illinois Marine Towing’s trans-services group in managing both Illinois Marine Towing and Canal Barge Company’s operations on the Upper Illinois River, enhancing both companies’ reputations for maximizing efficiencies and problem-solving, said Jacob Kissee, corporate communications manager for Canal Barge Company.
She is involved with the Great Lakes Chapter of Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA), and ADMIRALTY, a marine networking group.
“Aimee has brought a progressive approach to an industry that has been operating the same way for a very long time,” said Mike Blaske, general manager of Illinois Marine Towing. “Aimee brings a refreshing change that consistently fulfills customer needs while simultaneously contributing to operational excellence.”