Search Committee Formed for New Port CEO

January 29, 2009

CHARLESTON, SC – January 29, 2009 – A 13-member search committee including business leaders and port stakeholders from across the state has been formed to find a new president and CEO for the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA).

Bill H. Stern, a Columbia businessman and the vice chairman of the SCSPA, will head the search committee, which represents a cross-section of business, transportation, logistics and economic development.

“They are true leaders with a strong history of business accomplishments and public service,” said Stern, who reached out for input on the search process.  “We are honored and humbled that they have agreed to serve for this important task.”

In addition to Mr. Stern, the search committee members include:

Gayle O. Averyt, former chairman of Colonial Life & Accident Insurance and previous member of the SCSPA board

Philip L. Byrd Sr., president of Bulldog Hiway Express and chairman of the S.C. Trucking Association

S. Richard Hagins, retired Navy officer, small business owner and current SCSPA Board member

Robert L. Harrison, former president of Stevens Shipping & Terminal Co., Inc.

William B. Hewitt, former and current CEO and chairman of several corporations

Pamela P. Lackey, president of AT&T’s South Carolina operations and vice chair of the South Carolina Centers of Economic Excellence

Mark W. Propst, plant manager of The Timken Company and past chairman of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance

Douglas M. Robertson, former executive with several Fortune 500 companies and current SCSPA Board member

Ambassador Robert V. Royall, former banking executive, Ambassador to Tanzania, S.C. Secretary of Commerce and SCSPA chairman

Whitemarsh S. Smith III, president of the Charleston Branch Pilots Association and the current treasurer of the SCSPA Board

Joe E. Taylor Jr., Gov. Mark Sanford’s Secretary of Commerce and former president & CEO of Southland Log Homes

Ambassador David H. Wilkins, Ambassador to Canada, attorney and former Speaker of the S.C. House of Representatives


Over the coming months, the committee will work to guide the search process, identifying and recruiting potential candidates and considering a search firm to assist with the effort.  The group is expected to recommend a candidate or candidates for final consideration by the SCSPA Board.

“With the strength and expertise assembled around us on the search committee, I’m confident we’ll find a candidate that meets the state’s needs and will lead our vital port system,” said Stern.

“We will be looking for a leader that exhibits customer focus, vision, a demonstrated track record of performance, and strong team building and communication abilities,” said David J. Posek, chairman of the SCSPA Board.  “While we’re at an early stage, we have an exceptional committee and expect considerable interest in the position,” said Posek.

About the South Carolina State Ports Authority:

The South Carolina State Ports Authority, established by the state’s General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston and Georgetown, handling international commerce valued at more than $60 billion annually. Seaport operations facilitate 260,800 jobs across South Carolina and nearly $45 billion in economic activity each year. For more information, visit