FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Charleston, SC - The South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) Board of Directors today voted unanimously to hire James I. (Jim) Newsome III as president and chief executive officer, effective September 1.
Newsome, 53, brings more than 30 years of global shipping experience to the ports of Charleston and Georgetown and is only the fifth leader of the SCSPA in its 67-year history.
“We are very pleased to have such a well-respected and accomplished executive leading our ports,” said David Posek, chairman of the SCSPA. “He will be welcomed by customers and port workers alike.”
“South Carolina's ports are tremendous economic assets,” said Newsome. “I hope to lead in a way that allows us to focus squarely on our core mission - serving our customers and bringing economic benefits to the state. With the region's deepest channels and the most efficient operations in the country, we are very well positioned. I am very excited about the opportunity to advance the state's ports.”
Newsome said he will explore new ways to engage customers and other stakeholders. “Relationships are critical to a port's success, and they will be a top priority.”
An accomplished shipping executive, Newsome previously served as president of Hapag-Lloyd (America), Inc., which is part of the world's fifth-largest ocean shipping company.
The hire caps an intense five-month executive search led by a 13-member search committee of business leaders and port stakeholders from across the state.
“Jim was the unanimous pick of both the board and the search committee,” said Bill Stern, SCSPA vice chairman and chairman of the search committee. “The stars have aligned.”
Members of the search committee praised the board's action.
“Jim is just the kind of leader that the search committee set out to find,” said Ambassador Bob Royall, former S.C. Secretary of Commerce and former SCSPA board chairman. “He has the skills, qualities and experience to do great work for our ports and our state.”
“Jim stood out in a field of highly qualified applicants,” said search committee member Ambassador David Wilkins. “He was the clear first pick.”
“Jim possesses both the operational and sales knowledge needed to move the South Carolina State Ports Authority forward,” said Joe Taylor, S.C. Secretary of Commerce. “His contacts in both the shipping industry and the international business community will open many doors for the state, and I believe that he is the right person at the right time to reinvigorate our state's most important economic driver and take its potential to the next level.”
Newsome earned his bachelors and masters degrees in transportation and logistics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Prior to joining Hapag-Lloyd in 1997, he spent 10 years with Nedlloyd Lines, serving as executive vice president of the Americas, president of Nedlloyd Lines (USA) and other senior management positions.
Before his time with Nedlloyd, Newsome spent 10 years with Strachan Shipping Company, where he was president of their Hoegh Lines Agencies subsidiary in Jersey City, NJ and held other positions in Houston and New York.
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 $62 billion annually and receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy. An economic development engine for the state, port operations facilitate 260,800 jobs across South Carolina and nearly $45 billion in economic activity each year.