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 2007
William “Norb” Whitlock has been a leader in the river industry for 40 years. His service on the Inland Waterways Users Board has led to improvements of the entire inland system, particularly the Ohio, Mississippi, and Gulf Intracoastal waterways. He has contributed to both infrastructure improvements and safety improvements through industry and government partnerships. A major achievement was the design of the “temporary” lock expansion to Lock and Dam 52, which is still in operation 37 years later, passing 90 million tons of freight annually.
Whitlock was born in Louisville, Kentucky, in 1941 and began his career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as chief of operations for the Louisville District. He attended the University of Louisville, graduating in 1964 with a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering.
Whitlock has been a driving force in establishing this nation’s river navigation policy for more than three decades. During his tenure, he has received numerous awards for service to the industry, including the Department of the Army’s Outstanding Citizen Service Medal in 2001 and the Coast Guard’s Meritorious Public Service Medal in 2003.
Whitlock is currently executive vice-president for governmental affairs with American Commercial Lines. He has been an invaluable asset to the inland waterways industry and established American Commercial Lines as a leading river transportation company.