A 13-member search committee including business leaders and port stakeholders from across the state has been formed to find a new president and CEO for the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA).

Bill H. Stern, a Columbia businessman and the vice chairman of the SCSPA, will head the search committee, which represents a cross-section of business, transportation, logistics and economic development.

“They are true leaders with a strong history of business accomplishments and public service,” said Stern, who reached out for input on the search process.  “We are honored and humbled that they have agreed to serve for this important task.”

In addition to Mr. Stern, the search committee members include:

  • Gayle O. Averyt, former chairman of Colonial Life & Accident Insurance and previous member of the SCSPA board
  • Philip L. Byrd Sr., president of Bulldog Hiway Express and chairman of the SC Trucking Association
  • S. Richard Hagins, retired Navy officer, small business owner and current SCSPA Board member
  • Robert L. Harrison, former president of Stevens Shipping & Terminal Co., Inc.
  • William B. Hewitt, former and current CEO and chairman of several corporations
  • Pamela P. Lackey, president of AT&T’s South Carolina operations and vice chair of the South Carolina Centers of Economic Excellence
  • Mark W. Propst, plant manager of The Timken Company and past chairman of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance
  • Douglas M. Robertson, former executive with several Fortune 500 companies and current SCSPA Board member
  • Ambassador Robert V. Royall, former banking executive, Ambassador to Tanzania, SC Secretary of Commerce and SCSPA chairman
  • Whitemarsh S. Smith III, president of the Charleston Branch Pilots Association and the current treasurer of the SCSPA Board
  • Joe E. Taylor Jr., Gov. Mark Sanford’s Secretary of Commerce and former president & CEO of Southland Log Homes
  • Ambassador David H. Wilkins, Ambassador to Canada, attorney and former Speaker of the SC House of Representatives

Over the coming months, the committee will work to guide the search process, identifying and recruiting potential candidates and considering a search firm to assist with the effort.  The group is expected to recommend a candidate or candidates for final consideration by the SCSPA Board.

“With the strength and expertise assembled around us on the search committee, I’m confident we’ll find a candidate that meets the state’s needs and will lead our vital port system,” said Stern.

“We will be looking for a leader that exhibits customer focus, vision, a demonstrated track record of performance, and strong team building and communication abilities,” said David J. Posek, chairman of the SCSPA Board.  “While we’re at an early stage, we have an exceptional committee and expect considerable interest in the position,” said Posek.