Groseclose Resigns as Head of SCSPA

January 20, 2009

John Hassell Named Interim President and CEO

CHARLESTON, SC – January 20, 2009 – Bernard S. Groseclose Jr., president and chief executive officer of the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA), today offered his resignation. 

David J. Posek, SCSPA board chairman, announced that longtime board member John F. Hassell III will serve as interim president and CEO as the board conducts a national search for a permanent replacement. Hassell will assume his duties immediately. 

“The people of South Carolina owe Bernie Groseclose a debt of gratitude for his service to one of our state’s most important economic development engines,” said Posek. “During his tenure, the port system became one of the most effective and efficient ports authorities in the world. He has led the Authority through some very turbulent times over the years and the board wishes him the best. I am sure he will succeed in his future endeavors.” 

Posek said Hassell’s appointment ensures a seamless transition. “John has tremendous respect in the maritime industry, as well as the business and political communities, and he knows the agency from the inside out, having served on the staff for a number of years,” Posek said. “We are very fortunate that he agreed to serve the state in this interim capacity.” 

Hassell, president of the Maritime Association of South Carolina for 15 years, has served on the SCSPA board since 2001, and was employed at the SCSPA from 1980-1986. Effective immediately, he will take a leave of absence from the Maritime Association. 

Groseclose joined the SCSPA in 1985 as manager of business analysis and later served as director of planning and development. The SCSPA board unanimously selected him as president and CEO in mid-1996.  

“I am proud of what we have done collectively to create jobs and economic prosperity in South Carolina, and am grateful to the many men and women at the Ports Authority who work so hard to maintain our international reputation,” Groseclose said. “It has been an honor to work with them and serve the people of South Carolina.” 

Posek announced that he has appointed the vice chairman of the SCSPA board, Bill H. Stern, chairman of the search committee for a permanent replacement. Stern said other committee members will be named at a later time. 

“While the search committee will lead the effort, it is the board’s desire to be as open and transparent as possible, and to seek input from the port’s many constituencies at the local and state levels,” Stern said.