Parker Towing Company chairman Tim Parker’s service to river industry since 1974 earned him recognition as a National Rivers Hall of Fame the Hall of Fame’s Achievement Award recipient, a distinction bestowed on individuals making significant contributions to America’s waterways. Parker was formally celebrated at the Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) Conference in Paducah, Kentucky on Wednesday.
Parker has exhibited leadership in action on a national scale for the inland waterways. Through his work as Chairman of WCI from 2016-2018, he helped achieve national reforms in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ delivery of lock and dam projects constructed through an existing public-private partnership. Towboat operators contribute revenue to an Inland Waterways Trust Fund through a diesel fuel tax that, at that time, paid up to 50% of capital improvement costs of waterways projects. His leadership helped persuade Congress to raise the fuel tax by 45% to significantly increase investment projects and achieve an effective infrastructure investment program.
In the past decade, Parker has shown devotion to his work as a member of WCI, logging thousands of steps and wearing out his shoe-leather walking Capitol Hill. In December 2017, Parker was called to testify before the Senate Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the Environment and Public Works Committee for the hearing “Freight Movement: Assessing Where We Are Now and Where We Need To Go,” focused on the need to invest in infrastructure to keep America competitive.
Parker has been celebrated for his efforts as the Seamen’s Church Institute River Bell Award winner in 2016, recognizing his exemplary service to the inland waterways industry. He is a past member of the Inland Waterways Users Board; past Chairman of the Board of WCI and a current member of the WCI Board of Directors and its Executive Committee; a Trustee of the National Waterways Foundation; a past Chairman of the Board of the Alabama State Port Authority; and a past member of the Board of Directors for AmSouth Bank of Tuscaloosa.
He has been involved with numerous professional organizations, serving as president of the Alabama Chapter of the American Society of Transportation and Logistics, the West Alabama Traffic and Transportation Club, and the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Council. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc.
Parker’s involvement transcends beyond his profession as he is involved with numerous civic organizations on the local level. Tim and his wife, Cathy, were chosen as the 2014 Family of the Year for the United Way of West Alabama’s Alexis De Tocqueville Society. He has served as past board president and campaign chairman at United Way and on boards in the community including the YMCA of Tuscaloosa, Oklahoma, Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority and others.
He is a graduate of the University of Alabama, with a degree in Transportation, and was the 2016 Distinguished Alumnus. He also participated in Harvard University’s Business School Owner-President Management Program, served as an officer in the United States Army in Europe and Vietnam, and served three terms as an elected member of the Alabama State Legislature.
Parker joins Dan Mecklenborg and Eldon (1913-1994), Gary and Carter Newt of Newt Marine Service as the 2022 Achievement Award honorees. The Newt Family was honored at the Dubuque County Historical Society’s Annual Captain’s Ball on November 4.