AAPA Seaports Advisory

Port People: Baltimore, Boston, Manatee, Oakland, Saint John

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Baltimore: Maryland Port Administration Operations Staff Promotions

The Maryland Port Administration (MPA) announced senior staff promotions last week – Brian Miller to director of operations and David Thomas to deputy executive of logistics and port operations.

In his new position, Mr. Miller oversees the daily operations of the MPA’s six public marine terminals. The operations division managed by Mr. Miller includes terminal operations, facility maintenance, crane maintenance, cruise operations and intermodal logistics.

Prior to his promotion, Mr. Miller had served as general manager of port operations since 2006. Earlier, he held management level positions with Maryland International Terminals, Lykes Lines, and Port East Steamship Corporation. He is a retired U.S. Army Reserve captain.

His degrees include a BA from Western Maryland College and a Master’s in Transportation and Logistics Management from American Military University.

As deputy executive director of logistics and port operations, Mr. Thomas has oversight responsibility for all operations, cruise, logistics, intermodal trade development and security. He comes to the position after serving since December 2001 as director of operations and before that as general manager of terminal operations. Before joining the MPA in 1999, he worked for Evergreen International Corporation, including stints as marine manager/port captain in the carrier’s Baltimore officer, port operations manager in its Norfolk officer and in a logistics capacity at its corporate offices in Jersey City (NJ).

Mr. Thomas holds a degree in business administration from Towson University.

Brian Miller (left) and David Thomas
Photos/Maryland Port Administration

Boston: Massport Names New Chief of Fire Rescue

Joseph DeGrace III is the new fire chief for Massport Fire Rescue. Chief DeGrace joined Massport as a firefighter in 1992. Through the years he has responded to thousands of aircraft and medical emergencies and been promoted through the ranks.

"Joseph DeGrace has a great wealth of knowledge and an impressive background in firefighting and emergency response," said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn. "As a deputy chief, he has helped lead the department by strengthening our collaboration and partnerships among the various emergency response agencies. I am proud to support his promotion to fire chief."

Previously, Chief DeGrace served five years as deputy fire chief. In that capacity, he managed the daily operations for the department’s 117 firefighters, coordinated training and emergency preparedness.

He has completed training programs with the Massachusetts Fire Academy, State of Connecticut and the U.S. Coast Guard, among others. He is a certified Firefighter, EMT, Hazardous Materials Technician and Fire Instructor. He has also completed leadership programs at The Partnership Inc., Bentley University and Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) Chief and Leadership School. DeGrace is a member of the National Fire Protection Association, ARFF Working Group and the Fire Chief’s Association of Massachusetts.

"I’ve worked with Joe for 26 years. He is a visionary leader with an immense passion for helping people," said outgoing Fire Chief Robert Donahue. "Serving as the Massport Fire Chief is an honor and a privilege. I’m proud to turn over this incredible responsibility to Chief Joe DeGrace."

Massport’s Fire Rescue responsibilities include aircraft rescue and firefighting, structural fire protection, hazardous materials response, emergency medical services, as well as fire prevention and inspections at Logan International Airport, Worcester Regional Airport and Hanscom Airfield.

Massport Fire Rescue is part of the MA Metro Fire District and responds to 35 surrounding communities on a mutual aid system. Fire Rescue coordinates and implements strategies with various partners in emergency response, law enforcement and aviation security, most notably the Massachusetts State Police, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The department provides aircraft rescue and firefighting training for airports throughout New England and the United States, supports the New England region with specialized equipment/foam task force, and provides emergency preparedness and response training to airports all over the world in water rescue, mass casualty incident management, fatality response, and family assistance.

Port Manatee Board Elects Baugh Chair

Vanessa Baugh
Photo/Port Manatee

Vanessa Baugh has been elected to a one-year term as chair of the governing board of Port Manatee. Ms. Baugh, who owns a jewelry store in Lakewood Ranch (FL), has served on the Manatee County Port Authority board since 2012.

At its December 15 meeting, the Manatee County Port Authority also elected were Priscilla Whisenant Trace first vice chairwoman, re-elected Charles B. Smith as second vice chairman, and elected Stephen R. Jonsson as third vice chairman. Ms. Whisenant Trace is an agriculturalist, Mr. Smith a marketing consultant, and Mr. Jonsson a real estate consultant.

The remaining board members are Robin DiSabatino and two former chairwomen, Betsy Benac and Carol Whitmore.

The authority board, which sets policy and oversees major expenditures for Port Manatee, consists of the seven members of the elected Manatee County Commission, but with distinctively separate officers and financial accountability. Ms. Whisenant Trace and Mr. Jonsson became port authority members following their recent election as county commissioners.

Oakland Port Environment Director to Head Bay Planning Coalition

Richard Sinkoff
Photo/Port of Oakland

Port of Oakland planning and environmental expert Richard Sinkoff has been elected to a two-year term as president of the Bay Planning Coalition by the trade group’s 36-member board of directors.

The Coalition supports policies that link San Francisco Bay Area economic growth to maritime activity, goods movement and environmental protection. Its 200 members include port authorities, dredgers, private industry and public agencies.

"San Francisco Bay is at the heart of our economy, our environment and our region’s exceptional quality of life," said Mr. Sinkoff. "I’m honored to lead an industrial organization that keeps all of those responsibilities in sharp perspective."

As the port’s director of environmental programs and planning, Mr. Sinkoff manages a team responsible for implementing port policies that make trade and transportation compatible with environmental sustainability.
Prior to joining the Port of Oakland in 1992, Mr. Sinkoff worked as a city planning and environmental planning consultant for cities and counties throughout Northern and Southern California.

Port Saint John Board Elects Officers, Welcomes New Director

At its December 12 meeting, the board of directors of Port Saint John elected Phil Brewer and Kathy Craig to two-year terms as chair and vice chair, respectively, and welcomed a new director, Donna Gates.

Since joining the board as a federal appointee in 2011, Mr. Brewer has chaired its human resources and audit committees and served on its executive committee. He was vice chair of board from 2013 until his election this month as chair. He was the owner and president of Cox Electronics & Communications for more than 30 years and has served on various corporate and community boards.

Kathryn Craig was appointed to the port authority in 2014 by the municipality of Saint John. She is former executive director of FacilicorpNB and was recognized as one of Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 CEOs in 2003 during her time as CEO of Fundy Linen Service Inc., the largest non-profit central laundry in Eastern Canada.

Port Saint John Board Chair Phil Brewer (left) and Vice Chair Kathy Craig

Donna Gates, who is also a federal appointee, is the executive director of Living SJ, a network of government, non-profit, business and neighborhood leaders seeking to end generational poverty in Saint John. Earlier, she served as vice president of philanthropy and communications at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of New Brunswick and as vice president of the Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation.

Port Saint John Director Donna Gates
Photo/Port Saint John

The seven-member port authority board includes one representative each of the federal, provincial and municipal governments and four representing port users. Members are appointed to terms of three years for a maximum of nine consecutive years.


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