Riviera Beach attorney Wayne M. Richards is the new chairman of the Port of Palm Beach District Board of Commissioners on Jan. 4th to a one-year term in that post by fellow members of the five-member port board.

“As custodians of the public trust of this business enterprise, it is our goal to aggressively seek ways to increase revenues at the Port of Palm Beach while tightening our belts to reduce expenses through operational efficiencies,” said Richards, who is entering his eleventh year on the board and his second term as chairman. He served as secretary-treasurer in 2010.

Richards succeeds as board chairman Blair J. Ciklin, who along with Edward R. Oppel, were both sworn-in for four-year terms. Commissioner George E. Mastics was elected to a second term as Vice Chair and Commissioner Edward R. Oppel will serve as the Board’s Secretary/Treasurer for 2011.

“2010 was indeed a difficult year for our nation’s economy but the port has been blessed with a host of significant gains and opportunities on which to build,” Richards said. “It is essential that as we chart our way through 2011, we continue to build on those foundations created to enhance the long-term viability of the Port of Palm Beach.”

Richards’ extensive experience in engineering and law includes seven years as a mechanical engineer with Ford Motor Co. and three years as assistant city attorney for the City of West Palm Beach. He holds a law degree from the University of Michigan and is actively involved in many community organizations.