The Board of Directors of the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) appointed Chris Kauffmann interim Executive Director following the decision by Rick Ferrin to step down from this role. Ferrin has agreed to serve in a new position where he will exercise his proven communications and analytical skills to provide the board and senior management with insight and analysis on strategic issues critical to the continued growth of Jacksonville and the port. The board has also asked port management to initiate the search process to identify a new, permanent Executive Director.

“For more than a year, Rick and I have been discussing the substantial challenges, opportunities and obstacles that face the port in a new and quickly changing era in the shipping industry. JAXPORT has grown and changed dramatically in the past decade under Rick’s leadership. This natural evolution creates a need, periodically, for new skills and a change in management’s focus in order to achieve our long term goals. Consistent with these discussions, Rick has agreed to step aside and accept a new role at the port,” said JAXPORT Board Chairman David Kulik. “During this transition period, it is vitally important that all of our customers, employees and constituents continue to see that the Board of Directors and senior management are closely linked and sharply focused to ensure the continuity of the great effort exercised over the past decade of growth. I am confident that I speak for the entire port community when I thank Rick for his many contributions over the past 13 years. I have confidence in Chris and the JAXPORT team to lead the port through this period and into its next stages of success.”