Chief Executive Officer

Alabama State Port Authority in Mobile, AL

  • Type: Full Time
position filled

About the Port of Mobile

Dedicated in 1928, The Port of Mobile is the only deep-water port in Alabama. The Alabama State Port Authority owns and operates the public terminals at the Port of Mobile which handle containerized, bulk, breakbulk, roll-on/roll-off, and heavy lift cargoes. Listed as the 11th busiest U.S. port by volume, the Port of Mobile has the distinct advantage of being served by five Class 1 railroads and operates its own rail line.

The Port owns over 4,000 acres, has 41 berths, 5M sq. ft. of warehouse space and open yards, and has a channel depth of up to 45 feet.

Since 2000, the Port has invested over $1 Billion in capital improvements including expansion projects including a $400 million container/intermodal terminal, new warehousing, a dedicated steel slab handling terminal, and an expansion of the McDuffie Coal Terminal. The Port of Mobile has an estimated total economic value of $ 22 Billion, has a direct and indirect tax impact of over $486 million, a total economic value of over $22 billion, and is responsible for creating nearly 135,000 direct and indirect jobs in the region.

Chief Executive Officer

The Alabama State Port Authority is seeking an experienced executive leader to guide the organization under the direction of a nine-member Board of Directors. The ideal candidate will be an accomplished, senior level maritime professional who will oversee all commercial and operational activities for the Port in collaboration with an experienced team of senior executives. Previous work reporting directly to a Board of Directors would be a plus but not required. General areas of overall responsibility will include: administration, finance, accounting, sales and marketing, technical services, economic development, governmental relations, real estate, cargo operations and rail operations, He or she will be responsible for all strategic initiatives including oversight and continued development of the Port’s master plan and accountability for all current and future infrastructure development projects, including dredging, terminal development and expansion and other port-related industrial development projects. Key responsibilities for the CEO will include:

  • Leading a team of 530 personnel: represented, civil service and executive level.
  • Helping guide the Port’s strategic direction including capital improvement and new construction, expansion and improvement projects, and the financing thereof. The CEO works closely with engineering and operations staff in the planning of projects.
  • Appointing and managing executive staff and ensuring hiring, training, development and evaluation objectives are met. Ensure that ongoing succession plans are in place.
  • Directing commercial activities including interface with current and potential customers, negotiating volume contracts, lease and concession agreements and tariff changes. 
  • Ultimate accountability for all terminal and rail operations. The Port’s business mix is one of the most diverse in the US.
  • Engagement with local, state and federal legislators to ensure appropriate funding opportunities are identified and enhanced visibility for ASPA. Work with federal and state lobbyist to ensure the Authority’s interest are protected.
  • Ensuring productive negotiation of collective bargaining agreements through appropriate staff. Hourly employees are represented by seven railroad craft locals, and the ILA.
  • Manage teams responsible for interface with Mobile Bar Pilots, USCG, Customs & Border Protection, the Corps of Engineers, and other local, state and federal agencies. 
  • Ensuring safety, security and disaster preparedness efforts & recovery through appropriate staff.
  • Work closely with local and state economic development officials in pursuit of new projects that can bring jobs to the State and new business to the Authority. Alabama is well known for its “team” approach to economic development and the State Port has been a key player for over 20 years.
  • Ongoing and Planned Projects

  • Phase 3 Container Terminal Expansion  ($50 million): Project underway with completion scheduled for February 2020. Permanent financing to be done in the 3rd quarter of 2020. Amendment to existing concession agreement done
  • Automobile Terminal  ($61 million): Project underway with completion scheduled for March 2021. All financing in place and concession agreement is scheduled for execution on January 20.
  • Coal terminal equipment replacement program  ($40-60 million); Early planning is beginning now along with customer negotiations to begin in early 2020. Phased project over 3-5 years with earliest equipment order to be done as early as mid-2020. Financing yet to be determined.
  • Container Terminal Phase 4  expansion ($60-65 million): Early cost estimates have been sent to concessionaire. Negotiations on agreement details and financing in first half of 2020 with possible project kickoff at the end of 2020.
  • Rebuilding 4,500 linear feet of general cargo wharves  ($60-70 million): Multi-year project with work on first phase to begin in early 2020 from operating cash and balance will be done as financing is identified.
  • Dredge material beneficial use project  ($2.7 million): Study and permitting for the beneficial use of material generated from ongoing maintenance dredging. If successful, this would enable the port to reduce its long-term dredging cost while building marsh habitat in the upper part of Mobile Bay. Project is awaiting approval of a $2 million Federal grant through the RESTORE program.
  • Experience and Qualifications

  • At least 15 years’ experience in the maritime transportation or logistics industry with at least five at the executive level. 
  • Must have a strong familiarity with U.S. ports, having worked for another authority or in the private sector as a port customer/tenant.
  • Candidate must have a broad knowledge of international and domestic logistics and understand the role of the port in the supply chain. 
  • Experience successfully managing the P&L of an organization or sizable business unit, similar in size to the scope of ASPA. Experience developing and managing a complex budget with exposure to public finance/funding strongly preferred. The Port posted FY 20019 revenues of $158.5 million.
  • Experience in both commercial and operational maritime activities with experience related to attracting commercial maritime related port expansion is preferred.
  • High level negotiations experience, specifically related to major capital projects including terminal and warehouse development and expansion, dredging, rail expansion, and other port-specific infrastructure.
  • The Authority has been successful with negotiating successful public/private partnerships in which the CEO played a primary role. Demonstrated experience in this area is a plus.
  • Familiarity with public agencies is desired, including general knowledge of bond issuance, local, state and federal laws affecting trade, and accountability to a board of directors.
  • Excellent political acumen and demonstrated involvement with local, state and federal lawmakers on matters relevant to the maritime industry. Experience with projects related to permitting, grants, dredging, regulatory issues and ideally private/public partnerships strongly preferred.
  • Exceptional customer service and high-level diplomacy skills.
  • Experience developing relationships with trade, community and local business groups.
  • Ability to travel both domestically and internationally.
  • An exceptional reputation in the maritime industry.
  • Educational Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s preferred.
  • Compensation and Benefits

  • Competitive base salary, plus car allowance and annual port performance-based bonus incentive.
  • Excellent benefits including employee and dependent health insurance, retirement, life insurance, death benefit and employee assistance program.
  • Relocation assistance will be considered for the ideal candidate.
  • To Apply

  • Please submit cover letter and resume to Susan Shey Dvonch, Shey-Harding Executive Search: , (562) 252-8516, . 
  • The initial close date for the search is Friday, February 7, 2020. The posting will remain open until the position is filled.
  • Process : First round interviews will be conducted by the Selection Committee during the week of February 24, 2020. Finalist interviews will be held at the Port offices during the week of March 9, 2020.

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