Fox Locks names Ramlet as Executive Director

Published Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The board of directors of the Fox River Navigational System Authority (FRNSA) has appointed Phil Ramlet as executive director of the organization. Ramlet recently retired from Westwood Professional Services, where he worked for more than 40 years on large infrastructure construction projects. For the last 15 years, he has consulted with FRNSA on property and construction issues for the system.  He has been an active community leader serving in a volunteer capacity on the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley’s Community Real Estate Personal Property Foundation, he served as chairperson of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce, chairperson of the Appleton Redevelopment Authority, and was a board member for both the YMCA of the Fox Cities and the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

The move is part of a realignment for the Fox Locks in which Jeremy Cords will assume the duties of director of operations for the system. He will be responsible for overseeing all lock operations and system maintenance.   

“This move positions the system for future growth and now we are staffed with the resources to realize our vision,” said Ron Van De Hey, board chairman of the Fox Locks. “We want to attract more boaters and pedestrians to the locks to learn about their role in the historic, economic, and cultural development of Northeast Wisconsin.”

The Fox River Navigational System Authority was created by the State of Wisconsin to oversee the lock system. To learn more, please visit



  • The locks on the Fox River are the only fully restored, hand-operated lock system in the United States.
  • The lock system was the first public works project in Wisconsin. Most of them required various types of re-building phases in the decades that followed.
  • Individual locks on the system are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • The system of locks covers 39 miles, Lake Winnebago to Green Bay, and drops in elevation 168 feet—a vertical drop equal in height to the total drop of Niagara Falls.
  • Kaukauna features the steepest drop in elevation: a drop of 50.4 feet in just over one mile.
  • The Fox River is one of the few rivers in the United States that runs from South to North.


ABOUT THE Fox River Navigational System Authority 

The Fox River Navigational System Authority (FRNSA) was created to manage the Fox River Locks following the transfer of the system from the Army Corps of Engineers to the State of Wisconsin in 2004. This transfer was completed by a state statute that established the FRNSA and specified operational duties including the repair, rehabilitation, operation and maintenance of the locks system. There are 17 locks on the Fox River that are accessible to boaters and citizens mid-May through September. For more information visit