The Waterways Journal’s Inland Marine Expo recently recognized the industry’s rising stars with its 40 Under 40 Awards. Among those honored was Chris Blanchard, Managing Director - Northern Marine Operations, Cooper Consolidated.
Chris Blanchard began his maritime career in 2009 as a management trainee at Crescent Towing. After demonstrating a strong work ethic and leadership ability, he was transferred to Cooper Consolidated where he gained experience as a ship superintendent, logistics manager, and barge fleet dispatcher. In 2014, Chris was called upon to serve as Cooper/T. Smith Mooring’s General Manager. During his time with CTS Mooring, Chris significantly improved operational efficiencies and safety performance, including a milestone achievement of zero lost-time accidents in his final year as General Manager. Chris returned to Cooper Consolidated in 2017 as Fleet Manager for Northern Marine Operations, and just one year later was promoted to his current role as Managing Director of Cooper Consolidated’s Northern Marine Operations. Chris is responsible for operational and commercial activities for Cooper Consolidated’s vast fleeting network. At the age of 28, Chris was voted to the Board of Directors of the Waterways Council Inc., where he served for three years. He has also collaborated with industry leaders to lobby Congress for funding to replace and upgrade the country’s crumbling waterways infrastructure.