IMX Sessions To Look At Low Water, Future Fuels, Subchapter M

This year’s Inland Marine Expo (IMX), set for May 29–31 in Nashville, Tenn., will tackle a wide range of topics during its education lineup.

The opening session, set for 9:15 a.m. on May 30, will focus on “Low Water Lessons Learned” with regard to the 2022 and 2023 historic drought and low water on the Mississippi River and tributaries. Justin Lampert, senior manager of The American Waterways Operators’ mid-continent office, will moderate the panel, which also will feature Todd Behlke, vice president of vessel operations for Kirby Inland Marine; Pat Chambers with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Randy Chamness, vice president of vessel operations for American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL); and Capt. Keith Doxey, director of western rivers and waterways for the Eighth Coast Guard District.

Immediately following the low-water-focused session, Anthony Odak, chief operating officer for John W. Stone Oil Distributor, will moderate a discussion on “Marine Future Fuels on the Path to Decarbonization.” The panel will focus on fuels that are presently available in the marine space and will discuss the pathway to decarbonization for the maritime industry, in terms of both availability and acceptance by engine manufacturers. The group will zoom in on particular challenges facing vessel operators and fuel suppliers. Besides Odak, the session will feature Gary Sarrat, tug and inland waterways account manager for Caterpillar Inc.; Brian Rafferty, vice president of business development and sustainability for Marquette Transportation Company; and Mike Complita, principal and vice president of strategic expansion for Elliott Bay Design Group.

Later that afternoon, IMX will offer a third operations-focused education session, with Tava Foret, president and co-founder of the Towing Vessel Inspection Bureau (TVIB), moderating a discussion on “Compliance Pitfalls for Subchapter M TSMS Option Operators.” Joining Foret in the discussion will be Robert Keister, vice president of Sabine Surveyors; John Hazel, vice president of safety for Marquette; and Jason Soutiere, regional director of operations (North America) for ABS. Together, the group will look at some of the common pitfalls for Subchapter M compliance, including 1) how new crew members and trip pilots can affect compliance, 2) the benefits of the annual management review and its connection to internal audits, corrective and preventive action programs and incident investigations and 3) how to document periodically taking a vessel out of commercial operations.

Details on all education programming at IMX is available online at