Former Foss COO Named AWO Chairman

Scott Merritt, former Chief Operating Officer for Foss Maritime Company, LLC, has been recently elected Chairman of the American Waterways Operators (AWO), succeeding outgoing Chairman Tom Marian, General Counsel at Buffalo Marine Service.

In a speech given at their recent Spring Convention newly elected Chairman Merritt highlighted AWO’s significant accomplishments in their 75 years but stressed that they can only take “the briefest of pauses” as there is still much work to be done for the organization. “Like Dabo Swinney of Clemson or Nick Saban of Alabama will tell you, work on the next season starts the day after the championship game, and that day is now. We have real opponents and a playing field that is changing as we stand here today.”

Merritt pointed to an ever-increasing array of State led legislative initiatives and a “political climate none of us has seen” as reasons to continue to maintain and strengthen the power of the voice of the AWO as an advocacy organization. You can read Merritt’s full remarks here, and watch a video of his speech here.

Merritt joined Foss in 1983 as a dispatcher in Seattle and served in a number of positions until 1993, when he opened the company’s San Francisco Bay Operation as its first manager. Later, as regional director on the Bay, Merritt oversaw the growth of the region from a one-tug operation to a full-fledged provider of maritime services, including tanker escort, ship assist, sand dredging and ship bunkering services.

He returned to Seattle and in 2005 became senior vice president for Harbor Services and Regional Towing and then senior vice president of operations, before being named COO in January of 2017. Merritt retired from his nearly four decades long career with Foss at the end of 2018.

“We are very proud that Scott has been selected to chair an organization as critical to our industry as the AWO,” said John Parrott, President and CEO of Foss.