Board Of Commissioners Of The Port Of New Orleans Elects Kearney Chairman
NEW ORLEANS – On Thursday, September 22, 2016, The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans elected Michael W. Kearney chairman. Kearney represents Orleans Parish and joined the Board in December of 2012 when he was appointed by former Gov. Bobby Jindal.
He succeeds William T. Bergeron, whose term as chairman expired this month. Bergeron will continue to serve as a commissioner. In addition, the Board elected Robert R. Barkerding vice chairman and Laney T. Chouest secretary-treasurer.
Kearney is president and owner of The Kearney Companies Inc., a New Orleans-based third-party logistics company serving the supply chain needs of many large exporters and importers in the Greater New Orleans region.
“I want to thank Bill Bergeron for his leadership over the past year. The changes that have been implemented will serve us well into the future,” said Kearney. “The Port of New Orleans is one of our region’s largest economic drivers and a critically important component of the global transportation network. I look forward to working with the Board, staff and all stakeholders so the Port can continue to address its challenges and realize its unlimited potential.”
Prior to founding The Kearney Companies in 1996, he served as president of Neeb – Kearney & Company and the Jackson Kearney Group. In 1997, Kearney became president of Transocean Terminal Operators – the Port’s largest stevedoring company at the time. He is a past President of the New Orleans Board of Trade and received the C. Alvin Bertel Award in 2015 in recognition of his contributions to the maritime community. He currently serves as secretary of the New Orleans Business Alliance and serves on the Board of Ochsner Baptist Hospital. He was most recently honored as Rex, the King of Carnival, in 2016.
The Board is made up of seven commissioners. They are unsalaried and serve five-year staggered terms. The Governor of Louisiana appoints members from a list of three nominees submitted by 19 local civic, labor, education and maritime groups. The Board reflects the three-parish jurisdiction, with four members from Orleans Parish, two from Jefferson Parish and one from St. Bernard Parish. Other Board members include Scott H. Cooper, Arnold B. Baker and Tara C. Hernandez.
The Port of New Orleans is a deep-draft multipurpose port at the center of the world’s busiest port system — Louisiana’s Lower Mississippi River. Connected to major inland markets and Canada via 14,500 miles of waterways, six class-1 railroads and the interstate highway system, the Port is the ideal gateway for steel, project cargo, containers, coffee, natural rubber, chemicals, forest products, manufactured goods and cruising, Port reps said. An extensive network of ocean carrier services, along with added-value services like transloading of bulk into containers, make the Port of New Orleans the superior logistics solution for many types of cargo, reps said.
To stay ahead of market demand, the Port has invested more than $100 million in capital-improvement projects since 2012 and has a Master Plan to expand the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal to an annual capacity of 1.5 million TEUs.