The National Achievement Award is the highest honor presented by the National Rivers Hall of Fame to those people who are making significant contributions to America’s waterways. The National Rivers Hall of Fame with members in 36 states is the only national museum telling the stories of the people of America’s rivers.
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Honored in 1986
Scott Chotin was a pioneer river man, born in 1916. As a boy, he worked as often as he could on his father’s boat, the J.N. Pharr, including weekends, holidays, and summers.
After finishing school, he worked full time with his father on the boat. In a tragic accident in 1936, a tornado struck the J.N. Pharr near Paducah, Kentucky. The boat overturned and sank, and five crewmembers were killed in the tragedy.
Captain Chotin worked for the Standard Oil Company of Louisiana, now Exxon-Mobil, and later as steersman for the Federal Barge Line, on the Baton Rouge and the Cairo. He then worked for the American Barge Line on the Destrahan, later returning to work with his father. He eventually became president and chief executive officer of Chotin Transportation Company. When the company was sold in 1971, it had a fleet of 16 boats, having grown from one boat at its beginning.
Now chief executive of Scott Chotin Incorporated in New Orleans, he is a charter member of the American Waterways Operators and a member of the National Waterways Conference and the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association.
An innovator in development of piloting and navigation aids, Captain Chotin is a respected authority on towboat and barge design, having designed many of the boats for his own company. He is an expert in navigation affairs and considered by many to be the dean of active river veterans.