TTW Conference Speakers
Mark your calendar!
The Tenn-Tom Waterway Conference will be held on August 9 – 11, 2023 at the Grand Hotel Marriott in Point Clear, Alabama.
Loren C. Scott
Professor Emeritus of Economics, LSU
Loren C. Scott & Associates, Inc. is a 35-year old firm that provides economic consulting and public speaking services for a wide range of clients. Dr. Scott was on the Economics Department faculty at Louisiana State University from 1969 to 1998, where he went from Assistant Professor to the holder of the Freeport-McMoran endowed Chair of Economics. He is presently Professor Emeritus of Economics at LSU. He has received 7 awards for outstanding classroom teaching.
Dr. Scott is co-developer of the Louisiana econometric model used for providing annual forecasts of the Louisiana economy. He was a co-investigator on over $1 million in grant research at LSU and is the author of over 75 articles and technical reports in addition to reports written for consulting clients.
As an energy specialist, Dr. Scott is one of the 32-member National Business Economic Issues Council and has been appointed to the Economic Advisory Board of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness. Additionally, he has been interviewed for television on multiple occasions and his work has been cited in numerous notable publications.
Mayor, City of Aberdeen
Charles is an Army combat veteran of Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He was awarded the Bronze Star for service during Desert Storm among other awards. Charles served in the compacity as Tech Support Officer where he saved 3rd Cavalry Regiment 12 million and later serving as the Property Book Officer. In this duty he was charge with transitioning 3rd ACR with all new equipment as the operational mission had been upgraded after Desert Storm a 998-million-dollar operation.
His last tour of duty was with the Armored Center and School at Fort Knox KY where he was a Senior Instructor responsible for educating soldiers and Senior leaders across the Army on the Art of maintaining their equipment combat readiness. Mayor Scott augmentee duty was a Host Nation Support Officer where he was responsible for going into various cities or areas and assessing their viability to support the unit mission requirement. He retired from the Army as a Major with extensive operational and logistical experience over land, air, and sea.
As a small business owner and an educator – Charles coordinated and directed events across the United States for over 30 years, while educating young students on building generational wealth in the Jefferson County Public School System. As Mayor of Aberdeen, he has implemented a bottom-up review of all-city systems to get better assessment of needs and financial obligation. This led to contacting all the organizations that the city should be align with in leadership, management, and logistics support to Aberdeen’s infrastructure.
Mayor Scott has a Bachelor of Science from St Leo University, MSA in Public Administration from Central Michigan University and MA Coaching & Athletics Administration Concordia University Irvine.
North Mississippi Manager, Neel-Schaffer
Kevin joined Neel-Schaffer in 1999 and now serves as the firm’s North Mississippi Manager, working out of the Columbus (MS) office.
Kevin has over 23 years of engineering design experience in project management, grading and drainage, sewer, water, roadway, traffic, and civil site design.
He has administered all aspects of projects, including schematic and conceptual development to final design; preparation of plans, specifications and contract documents; cost estimating, bidding and construction administration. Kevin coordinates workloads and manages projects with numerous public and private entities. He also serves as the engineer of record for numerous local public agencies.
Kevin is very active in the Golden Triangle region, volunteering on several boards.
He has served as president of the Columbus Air Force Base Community Council, president of the Columbus Main Street Association, president of the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Main Street Association, president of the TN-Tom Waterway Development Council, and executive board member of the Columbus-Lowndes Development Link.
He currently serves as city engineering liaison for the City of Columbus, chairman of the Columbus Planning Commission, vice-chairman of the Columbus Zoning Board of Adjustments and Appeals, and an active member of several other local and church organizations.
Gateway Director, Pacific Northwest & Alaska
Lambert previously served in the same role as the Gateway Director, Pacific Northwest and Alaska and worked as the Executive Director at the Institute for Trade and Transportation Studies. At the Corps of Engineers, Lambert served as the Secretary to the U.S. Section of the International Navigation Association (PIANC). Before that, Lambert worked at the Federal Highway Administration and managed the Freight Analysis Framework. He received the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Award of Meritorious Achievement in 2004.
Before joining FHWA, Lambert worked as a Senior Economist at Standard and Poor’s DRI (now IHS Global Insight). He also spent six years at the Port of Long Beach as the Port’s Trade Analyst and spent a year at LSU as a researcher studying the importation of Latin American produce into the Gulf South.
After receiving a Bachelor’s Degree from Louisiana State University, Lambert earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Tennessee. He is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Antwerp in Applied Economics.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Project Leader, Lower Mississippi River Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office
Rodgers joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ten years ago. Her office, based in Tupelo, MS, focuses on habitat restoration for the benefit of native species, provides coordination support to the Lower Mississippi River Conservation Committee, and engages in the national effort to manage and control invasive carp.
Prior to joining the Service, Rodgers worked for the State of North Carolina for twelve years as an aquatic biologist, both for North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program.
Rogers grew up in Mississippi and returned to her home state in 2012 to help conserve its natural resources. She loves being outside and enjoys camping, bonfires, and keeping up with her husband and two energetic daughters.
Gov. Tate Reeves
Governor Reeves has a strong record as a conservative leader who fights to guard taxpayers’ dollars, improve educational opportunity, and grow new careers so that our state’s best and brightest can raise their families and thrive here at home. When elected in 2003 for his first public office, Governor Reeves became the youngest state treasurer in our country and the first Republican to hold the office in Mississippi. He was then elected in 2011 and re-elected four years later as the 32nd Lieutenant Governor, leading the Mississippi Senate. Upon being elected governor, he tackled issues within government agencies to provide for the safety and dignity of all Mississippians, while he simultaneously led our state through historic flooding and tornadoes, and a worldwide pandemic.
Governor Reeves’ commitment to long-term growth that creates better careers led him to propose the largest tax cut in state history through the Taxpayer Pay Raise Act, lowering the personal income tax and enabling Mississippi employers to invest in jobs and compete in the global marketplace. Additionally, his management helped fill our state’s Rainy Day Fund to over $550 million and reduce the overall debt burden. His upbringing in public schools also made him driven to reform the education system to increase opportunity for all Mississippians. His new mission for our state is to give us more national board-certified teachers per capita than any state in the nation.
A Rankin County native, Governor Reeves is a graduate of Florence High School and an honors graduate of Millsaps College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Governor Reeves and his wife, Elee, are the proud parents of three daughters, Tyler, Emma, and Maddie.
Col. Jeremy Chapman
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District
Colonel Jeremy Chapman assumed command of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District as its 54th Commander on June 28, 2021. Col. Chapman graduated and received his commission from the United States Military Academy 1998. While at the Academy, he played offensive lineman on the Army football team. Beat Navy! Col. Chapman previously served as Deputy Commander of the Mississippi Valley Division, Vicksburg, Miss. He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from the USMA and a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from Stanford University. Col. Chapman’s awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal (2 OLC), Meritorious Service Medal (6 OLC), Army Commendation Medal (3 OLC), GWOT Expeditionary and Service Medals, Afghanistan Campaign Medal (3 CS), Humanitarian Service Medal, NATO Medal, Combat Action Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, and Ranger Tab. He is married to Renee with three sons.
Black Warrior-Tombigbee & Alabama River Waterway Project
Mr. Perkins serves as Operations Project Manager for the Black Warrior-Tombigbee & Alabama River Waterway Project. His responsibilities include oversight of navigation channel maintenance, lock and dam operation and repair, recreation areas, and natural resource management programs. Mr. Perkins is responsible for management, operation, and maintenance of the Project; setting overall goals and objectives for one of the largest operations projects in the Corps of Engineers. The Project encompasses 758 miles of navigable waterway, nine locks and dams, four natural resource management offices, and 62 Corps operated recreation areas.
Mr. Perkins holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering Degree from Auburn University with over 32 years of project engineering experience in the public and private sector. A native of Alabama, he joined the Mobile District Corps of Engineers in February 2004, and has been in his current assignment since October 2018. Prior assignments with the Corps of Engineers include serving as Navigation Manager and Chief, Lock and Dam Operations and Repair, for a combined 18 years with the Corps of Engineers. Prior to the Corps of Engineers, he worked in the private sector with U.S. Pipe & Foundry Company, Birmingham, Alabama. He started his engineering career in 1990 as a mechanical/nuclear engineer with the Department of the Navy at the Charleston Naval Shipyard in Charleston, South Carolina.
Lt. Col. Joe Sahl
Lieutenant Colonel Joe M. Sahl assumed command of the Nashville District July 2021. Lt. Col. Sahl previously served as the Deputy Commander of the Jacksonville District. Lt. Col. Sahl received his commission in 2004 from OCS and has served in leadership and staff positions in Iraq, Europe, and multiple locations in the United States. A native of San Antonio, Texas, Lt. Col. Sahl graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in 2000. He holds a master’s degree in geological engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology as well as a master’s degree in military studies from the Marine Corps University. Lt. Col. Sahl’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal (2), the Meritorious Service Medal (6), the Army Commendation Medal (4), the Army Achievement Medal (4), the Meritorious Unit Citation, the Army Superior Unit Award, the National Defense Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal (with four campaign stars), the Humanitarian Service Medal, and the Combat Action badge. Lt. Col. Sahl is also a recipient of the Army Engineer Association’s Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal. Lt. Col. Sahl is married to Kathy and they are the proud parents of two sons, Joey and Cody.
Operations Project Manager
Justin is a native of Clarksdale, MS and he earned his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Mississippi State University. Justin began his career in January of 1997 as a co-op student with Mobile District’s Construction Division at Columbus Air Force Base. After graduation, he worked for 5 years as a Mechanical Engineer and Project Engineer at Redstone Arsenal, AL, where he was involved in large construction projects for agencies such as the FBI, Missile Defense Agency, Space and Missile Defense Command, and the Army. In 2006, Justin moved back to Columbus, where he served as a Project Engineer at Columbus Air Force Base. After obtaining his PE license in 2008, he became the Resident Engineer for the Corps of Engineers at Columbus AFB. While the Resident Engineer, he administered contracts for the construction of the Mission Support Group building, Child Development Center, Fire Station, and various other projects on Columbus AFB. In 2012, Justin transitioned over to Operations Division, where he became the Site Manager at the Bay Springs Site Office on the north end of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. As the Site Manager, he managed the navigation, natural resources, and recreation business lines from Amory, MS to the north end of the project at Pickwick Lake. In 2018, Justin became the Operations Project Manager for the waterway. As the Operations Project Manager, Justin is responsible for the management of the entire waterway, which includes navigation, recreation, and wildlife mitigation business lines.
Operations Division Chief, Mobile District
Nelson is currently the Chief of Operations Division, Mobile District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which he manages over $170M worth of Operations and Maintenance services for Navigation, Hydropower, Natural Resources, Emergency Management, Flood Control and Environmental Stewardship for the States of Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and the pan handle of Florida. He graduated in 1985 from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering.
Nelson began his career with the Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, in 1985, He served as a Civil Engineer in Construction Division before transferring to Mobile District in 1991 into the Operations Division. Nelson has played a vital role in the District’s navigation program, serving as Chief of the Navigation and Chief of Coastal Management Branch were after Hurricane Katrina he partnered with the US Coast Guard and Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association to develop a successful Hurricane Protocol that has been used as a model for other navigation recovery efforts after an hurricane disaster. In 2011 he was the Recovery Field Office Commander leading over 450 team members to perform recovery efforts in the aftermath of the devastating Tornados in Alabama on April 27, 2011 where they removed over 5M cubic yard of debris within 100 days.
Among Nelson’s awards and recognition are Planning Team of the Year Award, South Atlantic Division Winner, 1998; South Atlantic Division Outstanding Planning Achievement Award for 2004; Commander’s Awards for Civilian Service, 1999, 2000 and 2002; and Superior Civilian Service Award 2005, the 2006 HENNAC Civil Engineer Distinction Awarded and Commander’s Awards for Civilian Service 2011. In 2017 received the Outstanding Public Agency Member of the Year from Society of American Military Engineers.
Professor, University of Tennessee Department Plant Sciences and School of Landscape Architecture
Brad is a Professor in the University of Tennessee Department Plant Sciences and School of Landscape Architecture. His teaching, research and creative activity center on regional water resource stewardship through landscape planning and performance. Brad was a 2016 U.S. Fulbright Scholar to Slovenia, and is a licensed landscape architect. Since 2016 he has served as director of the Tennessee RiverLine. Under his leadership, a consortium of organization, agency and community partners collaborates with UT Knoxville and TVA to realize the vision for North America’s next great regional trail system and the economic development, public health, resource stewardship and equitable access benefits it promises future generations.
Biologist, TVA Fisheries & Aquatic Monitoring
Originally from Ohio, Aaron Coons completed undergraduate degrees from Hocking College and Ohio University. During this time his work experience and research focused on biological monitoring of aquatic communities in acid mine drainage impacted streams. Aaron moved to Tennessee in 2016 and began working in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, focusing on native southern brook trout restorations. He obtained his masters degree from Tennessee Tech University where his work focused on habitat and life history study of an endangered darter species. After graduating, he continued working at Tennessee Tech, focusing on invasive carp monitoring in the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. In 2021, Aaron started in his current role as a biologist with TVA’s Fisheries & Aquatic Monitoring team. Currently he resides in Oak Ridge, TN with his wife Mallory and daughter Charlee where he enjoys hunting, canoeing, and camping in his free time.
Founder and CEO, Brown Water Spirits LLC
Hank Ingram is the founder and CEO of Brown Water Spirits, the maker of O.H. Ingram River Aged Whiskey.
O.H. Ingram River Aged is the only whiskey in the world aged inside a floating rackhouse on the Mississippi River. The first expression from the company was released in October 2020, and Hank has since put three more into the market.
Hank comes from a long line of entrepreneurs who for more than five generations have built businesses around the river. With O.H. Ingram River Aged, Hank is adding his own unique chapter to his family’s history. Hank also serves as the Business Development Director for Ingram Industries where he is responsible for driving long‐term strategic investment strategy.
Hank is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and received his MBA from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. He is an active volunteer in a number of Nashville organizations and serves on boards for the Boy Scouts of Middle Tennessee and the Nashville Symphony.
Dan began his career in 1991 with National Starch and Chemical Corporation, serving in many different roles from engineering through department management. IN 1998, Dan accepted a position with Steel Dynamics, Inc. in Ft. Wayne, IN as a process engineer and subsequently production supervisor within the Iron Dynamics Division. In 2003, he relocated to Pittsboro, IN as a casting supervisor assisting in the re-engineering, start-up, and ramp up of the Engineered Bar Products Division. In 2008, Dan assumed the responsibility of Meltshop Manager and was promoted to Operations Manager in 2014 where he managed the ramp up of the small diameter rolling mill expansion. In 2017 he was promoted to General Manager of the Engineered Bar Products Division assuming responsibility for the division P&L and commercial activities. In 2021, Dan assumed the role of General Manager of SDI’s flat roll division in Columbus, MS.
Dan earned his BS in Chemical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1991, and further earned his MS in Engineering Management from Rose-Hulman in 2011 while serving as Meltshop Manager in Pittsboro, IN. Dan and his wife Dawn have been married for 29 years and are the proud parents of 2 daughters, Jessie (22) and Jaelyn (19).
Cyber Security Advisor, Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
Jason Burt is a Cyber Security Advisor (CSA) with the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) assigned to Federal Region IV. CISA is the Nation’s risk advisor. The Agency protects the Nation’s critical infrastructure from physical and cyber threats by working with partners to defend against today’s threats and collaborating to build a more secure and resilient infrastructure for the future. CSAs are the front-facing cyber experts supporting regional operations capabilities. Mr. Burt serves as the liaison and focal point for communications, coordination, and outreach. He promotes cyber preparedness and resiliency, incident response, risk mitigation and situational awareness, and manages major cyber engagements; championing cyber resilience to public and private sector partners. Region IV encompasses eight states, including Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Mr. Burt has been with the Department for eight years. Prior to becoming a CSA, he held positions as a Senior Watch Officer for CISA’s National Cyber Protection System (NCPS) Network Operation Center (NOC), as well as serving as a Network and Systems Administrator for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Additionally, Mr. Burt is also a retired Air Force Cyber Intelligence Officer. In this role, he provided direct support to Air Force Cyber Protection Teams tasked with defending key Air Force assets and resources against cyber threats.
William Sanford, PE
William joined Neel-Schaffer in 2021 and serves as a Project Manager for Golden Triangle area projects, based in the Columbus (MS) office.
William has more than six years of experience as a Project Engineer and Project Manager, working on a wide variety of projects. His experience includes design and project management for water/wastewater, transportation, grading and drainage, and site development projects. He has managed projects in every phase of development and handled many completely through from conceptualization, to design, to construction administration.
William currently serves as the vice-president of the Mississippi Engineering Society – Tombigbee Chapter, and he is a member of the Columbus Rotary Club.
Rep. Trent Kelly
First District of Mississippi
On June 2, 2015, Trent Kelly won a special election runoff to represent the First District of Mississippi in the 114th Congress.
Trent lives in Saltillo with his wife, Sheila, and their three children John Forrest, Morgan, and Jackson. Trent was born in Union, Mississippi to John and Barbara Kelly. He graduated from Union High School and East Central Community College. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi and law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law. In 2010, he received his master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College.
Trent has spent 36 years in the Mississippi Army National Guard as a Combat Engineer and is currently serving as a Major General. In 1990, he mobilized for Desert Storm as an Engineer Second Lieutenant. In 2005, he deployed as a Major to Iraq with the 155th Brigade as the Operations Officer of the 150th Engineer Battalion. From 2009 to 2010, he deployed as a Lieutenant Colonel to Iraq as the Battalion Commander of Task Force Knight of the 155th Brigade Combat Team. He has received numerous federal and state awards for his service.
Trent has worked at McRae’s Department Store as a manager, maintained a private law practice in Saltillo, and served as Tupelo City Prosecutor and Forfeiture Attorney for North Mississippi Narcotics Unit. Prior to being elected to Congress, Trent served as a District Attorney for the 1st Circuit Judicial District managing all felony cases.
In Congress, Trent serves on the House Armed Services Committee, serving as the Ranking Member of the Intelligence and Special Operations subcommittee. Trent also serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Agriculture Committee, and the House Budget Committee. This is his fourth term.
Rep. Jerry Carl
First District of Alabama
Congressman Jerry Carl is a native of Mobile, Alabama, and currently represents Alabama’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Jerry was sworn in on January 3rd, 2021.
Jerry has been married to Tina, also a native of Mobile, for 39 years. Together, they have two children and two grandchildren. Jerry was raised by a single mother, so he learned the values of hard work and perseverance at an early age. Before his time in Congress, Jerry created and grew dozens of small businesses primarily dealing with home health care equipment and specialty pharmacies. He also has experience with timber management and real estate development.
Jerry served two terms on the Mobile County Commission before running for Congress. During his time in public office, Jerry has fought to restore common sense to government, and he has been a consistent fighter for job creation, lower taxes, and family values. Jerry is a staunch defender of our fundamental constitutional rights, and he is committed to limiting the size and scope of the federal government by eliminating wasteful spending and doing away with burdensome rules and regulations.
Alabama’s contribution to our nation’s military strength and defense programs is vital to national security. Jerry is a natural fit on the House Armed Services Committee, where he is a staunch advocate for the defense interests of Alabama and the United States as a whole. Jerry also serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources, where he works to promote offshore energy production, protect and expand land for recreational hunting and fishing, advocate for Alabama’s timberland, manage and sustain our oceans and fisheries, and oversee tribal lands.
Brig. Gen. Jason Kelly
Commander, USACE South Atlantic
Brigadier General Jason E. Kelly became commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Atlantic Division on 22 June 2020. As Commander, Brigadier General Kelly oversees the planning, design, and construction of projects to support the military, protect America’s water resources, and restore and enhance the environment within a 250,000 square mile area which includes all or part of eight southeastern states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Kelly was previously at the Pentagon, where he served as Director, Office of the Chief of Engineers. Prior to his assignment in the Pentagon, Kelly commanded the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Afghanistan District from June 2018 to July 2019 and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District from July 2015 through June 2018. He has held leadership positions from platoon to brigade, with duty in Asia, the Middle East, and the United States. Other key assignments include participation in the Army’s Advanced Civil Schooling Program, U.S. Military Academy; Aide-de-Camp to the Superintendent, U.S. Military Academy; and assignment to the Pentagon in the Office of the Chief of Engineers. A native of Flint, Michigan, Kelly attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and graduated in 1994 with a commission as an engineer officer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from West Point, a master’s degree in engineering management from the Missouri University of Science and Technology, a master’s degree in statistics from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in joint campaign planning and strategy from the National Defense University, and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. He is a graduate of the Joint Advanced Warfighter School, Combined Arms Services Staff School, the Sapper Leader Course, as well as the Engineer Officer Basic and Advanced Courses. He is also a certified Project Management Professional. He earned numerous awards and decorations for his service.
Brigadier General Kelly is married to Stephanie Kelly. They are the proud parents of two sons, Jacob and Zachary.
Rep. Barry Moore
Second District of Alabama
Born and raised on a family farm in Coffee County, Alabama, Barry Moore is a veteran, small business owner and former member of the Alabama State House.
After high school, Barry joined the Alabama National Guard and Reserves, serving for six years. During that time he also pursued a degree in Agriculture Science at Auburn University, and joined the Auburn ROTC Army Ranger Challenge Team.
Barry’s first job out of college was in the animal pharmaceutical industry, but Barry returned to his home town of Enterprise to start Hopper-Moore Inc., an industrial waste hauling company, which has also been an Alabama general contractor for more than two decades.
In 2010, Barry was recruited to run for the Alabama State House to represent District 91 and served for eight years, including as Chairman of the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee and Vice-Chair of the Small Business and Commerce Committee.
Barry and his wife and business partner, Heather, are the proud parents of four children – Jeremy (married to Brittany), Kathleen (married to 1LT Jack Whitfield), Claudia and Jeb. They are active members of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Enterprise.
Senate Nominee, Alabama
Katie Britt is the Republican nominee to serve as Alabama’s next U.S. Senator.
An Enterprise native, she has spent a lifetime fighting to put Alabama first.
Most recently, as president and CEO of Alabama’s business council, Katie worked to grow Alabama jobs and opportunity and stand up for small and rural businesses, a passion first instilled by her parents, both small business owners in the Wiregrass.
A practicing attorney by trade, Katie is a graduate of the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama School of Law. She previously served as the chief of staff to U.S. Senator Richard Shelby.
Katie now resides in Montgomery with her husband, Wesley, and their two children, Bennett and Ridgeway.