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176 Concord Street, P.O. Box 22287, Charleston, SC 29413-2287
Contact: Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
Telephone: 843-577-8121 • Fax: 843-577-8127 • e-mail: EDhand@scspa.com


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
1/17/2006

Stern Elected S.C. Ports Chair

Charleston, SC - The board of the South Carolina State Ports Authority today elected Bill H. Stern of Columbia to the office of chairman.

Stern was appointed to the Board in March 2002 and previously served as vice chairman. He is the owner and president of Stern & Stern and Associates, a commercial real estate development company doing work throughout the southeast.

Other board members elected to two-year offices were Whitemarsh S. Smith III of Charleston, vice chairman; Harry J. Butler Jr. of Georgetown, treasurer; and David J. Posek of Greenville, secretary.

“Our public seaports are vital to the state's economic health,” Stern said. “We'll continue to expand capacity through strategic investments and by building new facilities. We have more than $60 million in new equipment on order and should break ground on a new terminal at the former Charleston Naval Complex this year,” Stern said.

Stern said the Ports Authority has a number of challenges. “We have our share of issues, such as the sale and redevelopment of excess property, but we'll get the job done. It's important that we focus on our customers and our core mission of fostering economic development. Our port system is far too important for distractions to take us off course.”

Stern previously served on the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education and the Bank of America Advisory Board. He is a board member and past chairman of the South Carolina Council of the Holocaust and has served as a board member of Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, the United Jewish Welfare Federation and Beth Shalom Synagogue. He was also an organizing board member of the Carolina National Bank & Trust Company and currently serves as a director.

In other action, the Board approved three contracts covering work at the Wando Welch Terminal - $282,645 for additional natural buffering, $297,500 for maintenance dredging and $498,000 for a new wash rack facility. The Board also approved a resolution to add seven new sites and more than 1,200 acres to Foreign-Trade Zone #21.