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 2022
Ingram Barge Company’s Chief Legal Officer Dan Mecklenborg was named one of the National Rivers Hall of Fame the Hall of Fame’s Achievement Award recipients on Wednesday at the Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) Conference in Paducah, Kentucky. The Achievement Award is a distinction bestowed on individuals making significant contributions to America’s waterways.
From the navigation industry, where he distinguished himself as an advocate and problem-solver, to the rivers that stretch throughout the fourth largest watershed in the world and other great rivers systems on our planet, Mecklenborg has shared vision and leadership.
In his professional career in the navigation industry, Mecklenborg served as Chief Legal Officer and Secretary of Ingram Barge Company headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, the largest dry cargo barge carrier on the nation’s inland waterways. He took his post in 1996 as the Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary before his promotion to Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer in 2002.
Throughout his career, Mecklenborg has been actively involved in civic and professional organizations. He was a Chairman of the Inland Waterways Users Board in 2003 and rejoined the Users Board in 2013 as Ingram’s representative for the next six years. He was one of the first Board and Executive Committee members for WCI and served as Chairman from 2007-2009.
In 2005, Mecklenborg was tapped to serve on The Nature Conservancy’s Tennessee Chapter and on The Nature Conservancy’s Great River Partnership, a global Initiative to “conserve and restore the world’s great river systems.” This effort brought together scientists, navigation leaders, landholders, government officials, business representatives and residents to improve the health and function of large river systems. The chapter began by improving stretches of the Mississippi River system and the efforts were later replicated and adapted on the Yangtze River in China and the Parana River in Brazil.
Out of The Nature Conservancy’s Great Rivers Partnership, emerged an exploratory meeting hosted by the Nature Conservancy and the Army Corps of Engineers in St Louis in 2005 - the Great River Summit. Mecklenborg was one of the Summit leaders and helped America’s Watershed Initiative (AWI) for the Mississippi River.
Since 2010, Mecklenborg has served on the Steering Committee of AWI, serving as Chairman from 2018-2021, leading multiple convenings of the Mississippi River’s significant sub-watersheds which included scientists, residents, and river organizations from the Ohio, Tennessee, upper and lower Mississippi, Missouri and Arkansas/ Red river watersheds.
In 2016 Dan was named Chairman of the National Waterways Foundation. The Waterways Foundation which assists industry leaders and thinkers to address public policy issues related to America’s inland waterway system. Under Dan’s leadership, critical research was accomplished including How Project Selection in the Corps of Engineers is Affected by Benefit-Cost Ration Analysis, The Impacts of Lock Outages, and A Modal Comparison of Domestic Freight Transportation Effects the General Public.