Governor Wolf Appoints 14-Member Port of Philadelphia Advisory Committee

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has announced the appointment of a 14-member Port of Philadelphia Advisory Committee composed of representatives of business, labor, and government with emphasis on maritime commerce and regional transportation.

The Port Advisory Committee is being formed to provide an effective, transparent forum to ensure an ongoing, substantive dialogue between the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) and its key stakeholders. As indicated in its title, the advisory committee will be advisory in nature and will meet with PRPA Board members and staff on a quarterly basis. Agenda items will include, among others, port strategic and real estate planning, macro maritime industry conditions, assessing port infrastructure requirements, and optimizing market opportunities.

The inaugural session is Tuesday, April 12, 2016, noon at PRPA.

Appointees include two Philadelphia terminal operators, three prominent labor leaders, an aide to Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, and a high-ranking official of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).

They are:

  • Leonidas (Leo) Addimando, co-founder and managing partner of the Alterra Property Group, who will represent Pennsylvania State Sen. Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr.
  • Wadud Ahmad, partner at Ahmad Zaffarese, LLC.
  • Denise Brinley, Special Assistant to the Secretary – Strategic Industry Initiatives, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED)
  • Toby L. Fauver, PennDOT Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation
  • Chelsea Guzowski, Director of Special Projects, Pennsylvania Office of the Budget
  • William Hamilton, president of the Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters
  • Rudy Husband, vice president, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Pennsylvania and New England
  • Philadelphia Deputy Mayor Rich Lazer, who will represent Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney
  • Kate McNamara, Vice President, real estate service for the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC)
  • Rodney Oglesby, vice president, government affairs for CSX Corporation
  • Robert W. Palaima, president of Delaware River Stevedores, operator of PRPA’s Tioga Marine Terminal in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia
  • James H. Paylor, Jr., vice president of the International Longshoremen’s Union
  • James Snell, business agent for Steamfitters Local Union 420, who served as president of the local from 2010 to 2013
  • Harvey Weiner, president of Dependable Distribution Services, operator of PRPA’s cocoa complex at Pier 84 in South Philadelphia

“The continuing success of the Port of Philadelphia as Pennsylvania’s international seaport largely depends on strengthening the working relationships we have with business, labor and our locally elected officials,” Gov. Wolf said. “I believe by establishing this advisory committee, we are formalizing these bonds, and tapping into a variety of valuable resources for the challenges ahead.”

The Port of Philadelphia is among the largest ports in the U.S. for the handling of imported goods. It is strong in bulk cargoes, such as fruits, vegetables, cocoa beans, and aggregates. It has considerable refrigerated and freezer warehousing space as close as 90 feet from the dock, allowing for handling of temperature-sensitive cargoes.

Pennsylvania has a proven track record of investments at the Port of Philadelphia, including $25 million per year on maintenance alone. Since 2010, the Commonwealth has delegated a total of over $300 million to the Port.

“The Port of Philadelphia is positioning itself not only to maintain our competitive edge, but to be better prepared to pursue new business opportunities around the world,” said Gerard H. Sweeney, chairman of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority’s Board of Directors.

The PRPA has enjoyed five consecutive years of double-digit cargo growth. Further, in October, they reported a nearly nine percent increase for the first six months of 2015 over the same period last year.

The Authority and market advisors are also reviewing responses to a Request for Qualifications for the proposed Southport Marine Terminal Complex, a 194-acre site composed of two parcels of land and the northern berth of an adjacent finger pier at the eastern tip of the Philadelphia Navy Yard in South Philadelphia.

The offering has generated interest from a variety of industries, including container lines, energy and auto imports.