Maritime Association of South Carolina Announces New Hirings

May 21, 2012

CHARLESTON, SC – May 21, 2012 – The Maritime Association of South Carolina (MASC) announced today the hiring of a new President and Vice President.  Pam Zaresk is the new President and Denver Merrill is the new Vice President for the organization. 

Art Rudolph, Vice President of Operations at Kinder Morgan and current Chairman of the Maritime Association of SC, officially introduced and welcomed the two at a special Maritime Association membership luncheon, saying, “With Pam and Denver in place it’s time to take our organization to the next level.  Pam’s expertise and knowledge of the maritime and transportation industry sectors combined with Denver’s experience in communications and public policy are certain to pay dividends for our industry and our members.”
Continuing, Rudolph commented, “International trade through South Carolina ports facilitates over 280,000 jobs across the state in the maritime, transportation, distribution and manufacturing industries, while providing an economic impact of $45 billion each year.”
Zaresk takes over for the retiring John Hassell, who has led MASC for the past 18 years.  Zaresk retired from the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agency three years ago after a distinguished 37 year career.  Her most recent assignment was that of Area Port Director for both South Carolina and central Florida.  In this capacity Zaresk was responsible for all CBP programs to include border security; admissibility; agriculture enforcement; trade; fines, penalties and forfeiture; budget; personnel; and logistics. 

She also led the successful merger of three agencies into the newly established CBP at the Port of Charleston and was a lead manager in the establishment of Operation Sea Hawk – a unique multi-agency port security/joint command center project in Charleston.  Upon retiring from CBP in 2009 Zaresk served as a contractor for the US Department of State to the Governments of Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines on strategic trade controls.
Merrill has close to 20 years of experience in the public affairs and communications arena as either a staffer or an independent contractor through his company Pluff Mud Public Affairs.  During this time Merrill has worked with numerous for-profit and non-profit entities and organizations on a myriad of issues, including tourism, military affairs, education reform, environmental protection, energy production and port development. 

Merrill has also worked and consulted on multiple federal, state and local campaigns and served as Congressman Henry Brown’s Communications Director and head Field Representative.  Most recently he served as Executive Director of Citizens for Sound Conservation, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the right balance between economic growth and responsible usage of our natural resources.
The Maritime Association of South Carolina (MASC) has been actively promoting the interests of the Port of Charleston since 1926. Its mission is to advance, encourage, promote, increase and protect the interests of South Carolina’s port-related industries.  As an umbrella organization, MASC endeavors to contribute to the growth and success of our state’s economy and welcomes participation from other organizations also working for the betterment of our state’s port-related industries.