Nashville hosts Dredging Contractors of America 2023 Annual Meeting

The Dredging Contractors of America (DCA) held its 2023 Annual Meeting at the Conrad Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee on April 24-26. 

U.S. Dredging Industry Leaders and Special Guests Kickoff the DCA Annual Meeting in Nashville

DCA President Fred Paup of Manson Construction Co. welcomed dredging companies large and small from across the United States.

Major General William H. “Butch” Graham, Deputy Chief of Engineers and Deputy Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), led an informative discussion on USACE policy.

MG Graham’s active involvement was representative of the commitment to partnering that USACE and DCA share. 

The DCA and USACE commitment to safety culture was discussed by DCA member and Council for Dredging and Marine Construction Safety (CDMCS) President Devon Carlock. 

Advisors from American Maritime Partnership (AMP), Darrell Conner of K&L Gates and Ken Nahigian of Nahigian Strategies, addressed the support AMP’s maritime message is generating from the Administration and Congress.

Brian McGeorge, President of Pine Bluff Sand and Gravel Company, and Jim Cottrell, President of Cottrell Contracting Corporation, Catch Up at the Icebreaker (L to R)

Harry Stewart, CEO of The Dutra Group, said: “Darrell and Ken’s presentation today confirmed that DCA and AMP’s Jones Act message is well received on Capitol Hill.”

DCA’s guest speaker, William Doyle, Executive Director, Maryland Port Authority (MPA), spoke to the grounding, planning, and team effort required to free the grounded container ship Ever Forward in Chesapeake Bay. 

DCA membership was involved in the successful operation, which was safely executed utilizing Jones Act equipment.

Mike Hooks LLC’s Peyton McMahon, Sam Gabb and Jasun Harmon Network before the Next Day’s Meetings (L to R)

Jim Cottrell, President of Cottrell Contracting Corporation, spoke to the dredging industry’s small business program and future involvement with the Small Business Administration, stating that “DCA provides a voice for small dredging companies to engage with the Corps and the Small Business Administration to discuss the future of the program.”

Fred Paup’s final act as President of DCA was to “Pass the Gavel” to the incoming DCA President Stephen Tobin, COO of Cashman Dredging and Marine Contracting Co., LLC.

“As the next President of DCA, I would like to thank my predecessor, Fred Paup, for his diligent efforts over the past year. I look forward to working with our DCA members and federal, state, and local partners to successfully accomplish the country’s vital dredging mission. After concluding a well-attended and highly successful DCA Annual Meeting, which included senior USACE and port leadership, I am confident that together we can meet the tasks ahead to construct and maintain our nation’s ports, waterways, beaches, and wetlands,” Tobin said.