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 1996
Robert A. Guthans, long time president of Midstream Fuel Service, Inc., Petroleum Energy Products, Co. and Tenn-Tom Towing Co., comes by his dedication to the river naturally. His father, Harold Guthans, was educated as a naval architect and designed towboats and equipment used on boats and barges, eventually becoming president of Warrior and Gulf Navigation Company and the Ohio Barge Line. Harold Guthans was Chairman of American Waterways Operators’ Southern Region in 1957, 27 years before his son held the same position.
Bobby Guthans graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1951 with a B.S. in chemistry and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army. He served in Korea during the Korean Conflict in the armor and chemical warfare branches.
After Army service, he returned to Mobile and went to work for Southern Industries Corporation where he eventually held the post of vice president, corporate development. In 1971 he became president of B-R Dredging Company, a worldwide dredging operation. In 1973 he became president of Midstream Fuel Service, Inc., Petroleum Energy Products Company and Tenn-Tom Towing Company.
Mr. Guthans has a long history of service to the inland waters of the United States. In 1984, he served as Chairman of the Southern Region of the American Waterways Operators and he was chairman of AWO in 1990. He was also a director and executive committee member for the Warrior-Tombigee Waterway Association and a member of the Navy League of Mobile and Propeller Club. He has also served as a trustee of the National Waterways Foundation, the State of Alabama Pilotage Commission, and the Alabama Water Resources Advisory Council.