Charleston, SC - S.C. Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome received the prestigious Roger Milliken Defender of Manufacturing Award for his enduring support of South Carolina’s manufacturing industry.

The South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance (SCMA) honored Newsome during an awards dinner Thursday in Greenville for his “extraordinary contributions, commitment and leadership in ensuring South Carolina’s manufacturing industry remains strong for generations.”   

Recipients are chosen based on their efforts to advance the state’s manufacturing sector. Mark Propst, who recently retired after 38 years with The Timken Co., also received the award.

Jim Newsome
Jim Newsome

“The manufacturing industry has a real and meaningful impact in enhancing the quality of life for all South Carolinians,” SCMA Chairman Max Metcalf said. “The Roger Milliken Defender of Manufacturing Award honors individuals whose values and commitment for excellence lead to economic success and more prosperous communities.”

Newsome has served as CEO of S.C. Ports for the past decade. During his tenure, he has successfully pursued vital infrastructure projects, significantly grown port operations and doubled cargo volumes. He has worked to ensure the Port of Charleston remains globally competitive and a top 10 U.S. container port.

“S.C. Ports offers reliable operations for companies needing to move cargo between South Carolina and global markets,” SCPA Board Chairman Bill Stern said. “The Port is a crucial asset for South Carolina as many of our state’s biggest economic development wins would not have come to fruition without the Port. Jim’s excellent leadership abilities at the Port have made a tremendous impact on South Carolina.”

The continued growth of S.C. Ports and the success of South Carolina’s advanced manufacturing sector go hand in hand.

S.C.’s advanced manufacturing employment and port cargo volumes have doubled in step over the past decade, according to a new study from the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business. This signifies that there has been a virtual one-to-one relationship between the growth rate of the state’s manufacturing sector and SCPA activity, data show.

S.C. Ports has expertise in moving goods for manufacturers who operate just-in-time production facilities, ensuring that companies receive the materials they need and that finished products quickly reach customers around the world.

BMW Manufacturing Co., Mercedes-Benz Vans, Volvo Cars, Michelin, Continental Tire, Bridgestone, Bosch and Timken are among the many S.C. manufacturers relying on S.C. Ports every day.

“S.C. Ports is one of South Carolina’s most vital resources,” said Joey Von Nessen, the study author and research economist at USC. “S.C. Ports Authority supports manufacturers as they invest in South Carolina. This ultimately leads to new jobs and higher wages, as well as disposable income being spent in communities and the recruitment of suppliers — all of which propels S.C.’s economy forward.”

S.C. Ports’ impressive growth was achieved while Newsome also focused on cultivating a great culture that values people and rewards adaptability.

“Jim has a great ability to encourage all those around him to challenge themselves to get to ‘yes’ when new opportunities arise,” S.C. Ports Authority COO Barbara Melvin said. “It is much easier to say ‘no,’ but saying ‘yes’ requires tenacity, creativity and innovation. This mindset is critical to serving the needs of the booming manufacturing sector that continually dominates South Carolina and the Southeast.”