IRPT Conference: Meet our Speakers

Tuesday, October 4:

Jason Aristides is the Director of OpenTug, who drives growth in marine transportation by providing information systems to power instant access to reliable transportation.

Jason believes that a lack of awareness and transparency from shippers, combined with long manual sales processes, prevent the global supply chain from realizing the full potential of our intercoastal and inland waterways. He has spent five years working at the leading west coast tug and barge companies, Foss Maritime and Curtin Maritime, before realizing he could create more value for the industry by building OpenTug’s integrated river transportation booking platform.

He holds a BA in finance and information systems from the University of Colorado, and currently resides in Los Angeles.


David Yarbrough is graduate of Oklahoma State University and a licensed Professional Engineer.  He joined the Port Authority staff in 2006 and was promoted to Port Director on Feb. 1, 2017. In 2019, with a talented and motivated staff team, David led in the creation of “Tulsa Ports”, a rebranding of the organization formerly doing business as the “Tulsa Port of Catoosa.” Today, Tulsa Ports is in a new era of multi-site economic development, expanded transportation options, and workforce development. Now in its 51st year, Tulsa Ports includes the capabilities of the established, 2,000-acre Tulsa Port of Catoosa, and the Tulsa Port of Inola, a new, 2,200-acre master-planned port / industrial park.


John Anderson, Vice President of Van Scoyoc Associates provides valued advice to Van Scoyoc Associates clients navigating water resources policy issues both at the Army Corps of Engineers and in Congress. ohn counsels public and private sector clients on a wide range of water resources issues including infrastructure development, conservation and management, water pollution control, and hazardous waste cleanup, as well as flood risk management, shoreline restoration, port and inland waterways navigation, water supply, aquatic ecosystem restoration, and clean water.


Rex Ostrander currently serves as the Acting Director of Programs for the Southwestern Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. His previous assignment was as the Tulsa District Chief of the Operations Division.

Prior to becoming the Tulsa District Chief of Operations, he was the Deputy District Engineer for Project Management and Chief, Planning, Programs and Project Management Division for the Kansas City District from 2015 thru 2018. He also served as the Chief, Construction Division for the Kansas City District from 2008 to 2015 with responsibility for the District’s Military, Civil, HTRW, and IIS construction activities.


Dennis Shannon serves as the Chief, Operations and Technical Support Branch for Little Rock District Corps of Engineers.  In this position Dennis oversees the Maintenance Engineering Section and Asset Management for SWL.  He is also serving as the MKARNS 2030 Program Manager which currently consists of Infrastructure Maintenance, 12-Foot Channel, Three Rivers Project and Private Investments to position the MKARNS to meet the nation’s shipping demands for the next 50 years.


Dr. Thomas O'Brien is the Executive Director of the Center for International Trade and Transportation (CITT) at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and the Deputy Director of the METRANS Transportation Consortium, a partnership of CSULB and the University of Southern California. He also serves as the Director of the Southwest Transportation Workforce Center (SWTWC), one of five regional workforce centers originally funded by the Federal Highway Administration. He previously served as CITT’s Director of Research. Dr. O’Brien is a member of the Executive Committee of the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) where he serves as Immediate Past President. He is Chair of the oversight committee of the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Supply Chain Automation and a member of the Transportation Research Board’s Intermodal Freight Transport Committee and Urban Freight Committee. He also serves on the Boards of the Los Angeles Transportation Club, Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce, and National Transit Institute. Dr. O’Brien has a Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Development and a Ph.D. in Policy, Planning, and Development from the University of Southern California. He is both a former Eno and Eisenhower Transportation Fellow.


Jim Kearns is special counsel in the Maritime Practice Group, where he focuses on maritime transactions. In his more than 30 years of practice, Jim has represented owners, operators, financial institutions (as both lessors and lenders), and end users in the purchase, construction, and financing of vessels engaged in both the foreign and coastwise trades of the United States, including compliance with the requirements of the Jones Act for the ownership, chartering, and transfer of vessels. Jim regularly handles vessel construction contracts, bareboat and time charters, leveraged lease financings, vessel purchases and sales, ship mortgages, ocean carrier contracts, pooling agreements, and other maritime matters.


Andrew R. Lee is a partner with Jones Walker LLP in New Orleans and a member of the firm’s Litigation and Corporate Compliance groups.

As chair of the firm’s Privacy and Data Security practice, Andy advises clients regarding privacy-related statutory and regulatory schemes, security breach notification laws, and other US state and federal privacy and data security requirements, as well as global data protection laws. He also advises clients regarding cybersecurity risks, proactive cyber incident readiness, and data preservation and breach response planning, execution, and remediation. He also represents clients before regulatory bodies and in court. Andy is a Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US), International Association of Privacy Professionals.


Joe Celano, CAPT USN (Ret.) is the Director of Business Development at Trabus Technologies and seasoned mariner with command-at-sea experience in open ocean and restricted waters. He currently serves as the River Information Services Enterprise (RISE) Program Manager supporting USACE, DHS S&T, and USCG. Previous government assignments include the U.S. Navy’s Program Manager for Modeling and Simulation and as a Branch Head at Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific.


Wednesday, October 5th

Miguel A. Zamora II, Vice President of the Louisville Riverport Authority (FTZ #29), is a Supply Chain and Logistics professional who partners with executives and entrepreneurs to help them find cost effective solutions to their supply chain challenges.

Miguel knows that a customer focused approach to supply chain planning is the key to a profitable and efficient organization. He has spent over two decades working with manufacturing and distribution companies ranging from tier one automotive, white goods, consumer and industrial electronics and retail distribution firms to plan and execute a host of internal and external supply chain solutions that eliminate cost & time adders that do not provide value to the customer. His experience includes establishing and managing 3PL operations that included FTZ zone operations.


In addition to his academic credentials, Dr. Donald Maier has a diverse background in the logistics and supply chain industry. After serving as an academic Dean for nine years at two state maritime academies, he returned to the classroom to teach logistics at the University of Tennessee – Knoxville. He teaches undergraduate and graduate logistics courses from an operational approach with focus in transportation, warehousing, and international logistics. His applied research interests include maritime transportation; port & terminal efficiency; economic development of inland, river, and oceanside ports; location network theory and the application to economic development. His goal is to ensure his students are employed and able to apply knowledge learned to their professional career. Dr. Maier has been featured on CNN, CNN-I, ABC-San Francisco, San Francisco Chronicle, and Popular Mechanics as the subject matter expert on the M/S Ever Given and the volatility in the global supply chain.


Guy Hindley is Managing Partner of the Dry Cargo Division of leading Shipbrokers Howe Robinson Partners. Formed in London in 1883 Howe Robinson was grown to become one of the largest fully integrated international Shipbroking Houses, with a global network of 15 offices and 350 staff.

Guy has spent his career specialising in Dry Cargo logistics and transportation and has an in-depth knowledge of chartering as well as other project related business. He directs the Dry Cargo Research Team who produce regular bespoke reports covering all aspects of the Dry Bulk Commodity and Freight Market as well as a specialist set of in-house indices including a number covering the freight rates on the principal grain shipment routes.

Guy is also Chairman of Maritime Strategies International (MSI), the Research and Consulting specialist and is a Member of the Baltic Exchange Governing Council.


Marc Hebert is a partner in the Corporate Practice Group and focuses on the representation of energy, marine transportation, chemicals, pharmaceutical and manufacturing clients.

Marc represents businesses and trade groups before US federal and state agencies, the US Congress, and foreign governments on a broad range of regulatory, administrative, and legislative matters, with a focus on international trade, customs, marine transportation, and port security issues. Marc’s practice includes advising clients on issues arising before the US Coast Guard and regulatory compliance in the areas of marine recovery and the operation of autonomous surface vessels for offshore space recovery programs. He also represents clients in maritime and commercial litigation and arbitration matters related to domestic and international shipping. Marc has published numerous articles on international trade, customs, maritime, and environmental law, and has written and spoken at dozens of seminars and conferences focused on these topics.


Brett Richards is special counsel in the firm’s Government Relations Practice Group. He works with businesses and industry associations to help shape emerging legislation and regulations.

With more than a decade of service in legislative and political advocacy, Brett advises businesses and industry groups with interests, investments, and operations across Mississippi and the US Gulf Coast on a broad range of emerging legislative and regulatory matters. Throughout his career, he has served as a key liaison between elected and appointed officials, business executives and industry leaders, state and local community groups and constituents, and other stakeholders.


Tim Dunville is a Community Development Senior Specialist with MO Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development.

Prior to that, Tim worked as a Prevention Consultant with Compass Behavioral Health. Tim graduated from Southeast Missouri State University where he received his Spanish education degree that enabled him to teach high school as well as being the schools tennis coach.

In his spare time, Tim still enjoys giving private lessons. Tim is a certified tennis professional and belongs to the U.S. Professional Tennis Association.


Cledia Hernandez currently serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor of External Relations and Workforce Development for the statewide Texas State Technical College system, following a three-and-a-half-year tenure as the Provost of the TSTC Harlingen campus.

Propelled by a deep passion for helping others access their fullest potential, Cledia’s professional commitment to workforce development and training is both well-known and distinguished. She has more than two decades of experience in higher education. Cledia is dedicated to helping others through the power of education.


Matt Hogan is a regional operations director at J.F. Brennan Company (Brennan). With 12 years in the industry, he specializes in the constructability and selection of varying mooring structures, safety, and efficiency program improvements, and executing marine-based heavy-civil construction projects. Directing Construction services at Brennan, Matt manages personnel, clients, and the company’s project backlog along the inland river system. His team focuses on constructing, maintaining, and improving intermodal terminals and facilities.


Jason Florell


Donnie Holder is the Vice President of Strategic Sourcing, & Procurement at Webco Industries; Southwest Tube plant

Leading Webco’s vendor and partner relationships for all raw materials and MRO supplies while utilizing the Maritime Highways to deliver raw material to plants in Oklahoma and Pennsylvania has always been top priority for Donnie in all his roles at Webco. Advocating for waterway transportation at both at the local and national levels for increased visibility and funding has been the center of his efforts. The sustainability of waterway transportation is crucial to our infrastructure and directly tied to the success of not only Webco but also all users of the waterway system.


Tim Simmons is the General Manager of Southwest Region for Consolidated Grain and Barge, Grain Division (CGB Enterprises). His area covers 4 barge loading locations on the MKARNS (Inola/Oakley’s Port 33, Wagoner OK, Webbers Falls OK, and Van Buren, Ark), 2 BNSF Shuttle Train terminals in Oklahoma and 1 BNSF Shuttle Train loader in SE Nebraska.  Along with 16 other grain elevators in the Texas and Oklahoma plains areas.