The American Waterways Operators, has named Jennifer Carpenter, AWO's executive vice president and COO, president and CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2020.

In announcing the promotion, former AWO president and CEO Tom Allegretti said: "I am absolutely delighted to announce Jennifer's promotion to president & CEO. She is an extraordinary leader and fully ready to take us forward to confront the challenges we face today and those on our horizon. This promotion is richly deserved and fully earned during her career of exemplary leadership and substantial achievement. She is already our industry's most effective advocate and highly respected both by AWO members and by all those with whom we do business. The many milestones of success that AWO has enjoyed are the products of her vision and hard work and I am confident that she will lead AWO to even greater levels of future accomplishment. I could not be more pleased and gratified that she has been selected as my successor. It has been my privilege to work alongside her throughout my AWO career."

AWO chairman of the board Scott Merritt said: "AWO has been blessed with some excellent executive leadership over its 75-year history, none more exceptional and effective than Tom Allegretti. As our president and CEO for the last 26 years, Tom has set the highest standard for leadership and advocacy on behalf of the membership. He has led us through some challenging times and has piloted us through some significant sea changes in our industry. Of all his many accomplishments, the recruitment, development, mentoring and ultimately, his promotion of Jennifer as his successor, is at the top. His vision and actions have assured the success of the organization well into the future. I'm grateful and appreciative that he has agreed to stay on to help with the transition of the organization and continue to promote member interests."

Allegretti will serve as AWO's senior executive officer and will be assisting Carpenter in the leadership transition and continue to promote AWO member interests.

"Jennifer enjoys broad and deep confidence by AWO members as the right person to ensure AWO's future sustained success," Merritt continued. "AWO is today an effective advocacy organization and a recognized safety leader due in no small part to Jennifer's leadership and contributions. The public policy challenges facing our industry and the need for safety leadership have never been greater and we are confident that Jennifer will lead us in confronting these challenges effectively."