Maritime | Ports | Logistics
PRESIDENT, CMA CGM AMERICA LLP AND APL NORTH AMERICA, NORFOLK
Aldridge took over as president of CMA CGM America in June 2020, and he has served as president of CMA CGM subsidiary North America, the nation’s oldest ocean carrier, since 2017.
In February, the French company announced the $36 million expansion of its Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia operations, adding 400 jobs. Many of those jobs are expected to be in Hampton Roads; in Arlington, the firm will open Zebox, a startup incubator. Aldridge is responsible for CMA CGM’s U.S. operations and 11,000 employees at 18 ports.
Then in May, the largest-ever cargo ship to call on the East Coast arrived at the Port of Virginia in Portsmouth. At the length of about three-and-a-half football fields, the Marco Polo, operated by CMA CGM, holds enough containers that they would span more than 61 miles if put end-to-end.
“We think about it in terms of our customers,” Aldridge said in an interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Every one of those containers is a customer we focus on. There are over 10,000 customers on that ship.”
A Marist College alumnus, Aldridge started his maritime career with SeaLand Service and was CEO and president of US Lines, which became part of CMA CGM.
PRESIDENT, INTERCHANGE GROUP INC., MOUNT CRAWFORD
In September 2020, InterChange Group Inc. purchased a minority stake in the 22-mile privately owned Shenandoah Valley Railroad, part of a larger expansion plan for the third-party logistics company. The line will ultimately connect its cold storage warehouse to the Virginia Inland Port system in Front Royal.
An Eastern Mennonite University alumnus, Anders has led InterChange for more than two decades.
The firm has a building portfolio of almost 2 million square feet, including a 250,000-square-foot cold storage facility off Interstate 81 in Mount Crawford that has room to grow to 600,000 square feet. A third phase of expansion is scheduled soon, Anders said late last year. Anders is also a director on the Virginia Maritime Association board, as well as a member of GO Virginia Region 8 Council, which boosts economic development in the northern Shenandoah Valley.
InterChange has made a commitment to solar power in the past, and Anders announced in July that it would add an array to its new cold storage facility, giving InterChange the ability to offset 70% of the structure’s energy usage.
CHAIRMAN AND CEO, T. PARKER HOST, NORFOLK
Anderson, a former Army reservist who joined the century-old shipping firm T. Parker Host in 1998 as a boarding agent, developed and negotiated its first terminal operation contract by the time he was 24, according to the company. He has served as its chief executive for a decade.
He has overseen fast growth for the company, which opened a logistics division in 2017 and the following year acquired the former Avondale Shipyard in Louisiana through a joint partnership. Host has begun an overhaul of the yard in recent months, and with $10 million in federal block grant funding, the former wharf will be converted into a modern cargo dock.
Host has approximately 70 Virginia-based employees and more than 490 worldwide, and in 2018 and 2019, it made the Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing privately owned companies. In 2020, Host was the oldest company listed on the Virginia Chamber’s Fantastic 50 list, marking 245% growth between 2015 and 2018.
Anderson, who regularly speaks about the maritime sector at industry events, is a member of the Coal Institute, the New York Coal Trade Association, the Pittsburgh Traffic Club, the Virginia Maritime Association and the Hampton Roads Coal Association.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE, GLOBAL TRANSPORTATION, AECOM, ARLINGTON
Aument joined the Fortune 500 Los Angeles-based infrastructure consulting firm in April, working out of its Arlington office.
Aument manages transportation projects around the world for AECOM, which provides planning, design and engineering services for transportation and building projects, as well as water and energy facilities. Past AECOM projects include the Los Angeles International Airport’s expansion and a new subway line in New York City. AECOM reported $13.2 billion in revenue last year.
Before joining AECOM, Aument was president of North America operations for Transurban, which operates the dynamically tolled Express Lanes along interstates 95, 395 and 495 in the Washington, D.C., metro area.
Aument joined Transurban in 2006 and oversaw the 52-mile network of toll roads in the Washington region, including 31 reversible miles on I-95, and was involved with the $2.6 billion Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project.
She previously worked with Bechtel Infrastructure to develop the Metrorail’s Silver Line and was a Virginia Port Authority commissioner until 2020. A West Virginia University and George Washington University graduate, Aument serves on the board of the Eno Center for Transportation, a Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan think tank.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NORFOLK AIRPORT AUTHORITY, NORFOLK
Born into a family of commercial watermen on the Northern Neck, Bowen worked at a fish processing plant while attending Old Dominion University. In his final year at ODU, he spent a summer fueling aircraft at Norfolk International Airport.
Bowen has spent 44 years at the airport, including 33 with the Norfolk Airport Authority. During the height of the pandemic, the airport took a massive hit, with ridership declining by 94% at one point. Short-term layoffs and furloughs followed, but by May, passenger activity was at 290,984, 18% behind May 2019’s total, but hiring and pay raises have resumed.
In May, Breeze Airways, a new low-cost airline started by the founder of JetBlue, announced it would set up its first East Coast hub at Norfolk International Airport, producing 116 jobs. A $26 million bond issue will refund existing bonds and save nearly $6 million in interest during 10 years.
In June, Bowen announced he will retire on March 1, 2022. The airport authority’s board will conduct the selection process for his replacement.
STEPHEN C. BRICH
COMMISSIONER, VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, RICHMOND
Virginia kept moving, even during a worldwide pandemic. Brich credits the General Assembly for granting VDOT, which has a budget of about $6.4 billion, the financial flexibility to allow work to keep flowing.
An alumnus of Old Dominion University and the University of Virginia, Brich was an intern in the city of Norfolk’s traffic engineering division, which paved the road for his future work. Currently, he is overseeing the state’s largest-ever infrastructure project, the $3.8 billion Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel expansion.
In May, the project hit a milestone when the 350-foot-long Tunnel Boring Machine being constructed for the project — nicknamed “Mary” for former NASA scientist Mary Winston Jackson — passed a virtual factory acceptance test. Mary is expected to arrive in Hampton Roads from Germany in November, with boring set to start in early 2022. Also in May, the state awarded a $170 million design-build contract for improvements along Interstate 81 in the Salem Construction District.
By mid-2021, truck traffic was about 10% above pre-COVID levels, although Northern Virginia is still seeing decreased volumes, which Brich attributed to the federal government remaining in telework status. Elsewhere, “it’s rebounded and then some,” he says.
HOBBIES: Surfing, boating, fishing
PRESIDENT AND CEO, CP&O LLC; VICE PRESIDENT, VIRGINIA MARITIME ASSOCIATION, NORFOLK
The Norfolk native spent a decade working as a longshoreman —following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather — after spending three years in the Army, retiring as a sergeant in 1975. Brown then graduated from Old Dominion University on the G.I. Bill and switched over to management.
Brown has led CP&O, a partnership between Cooper/T. Smith and Ports America, since 2004. The company handles stevedoring and terminal services at major ports across Hampton Roads. At any given time, it employs between about 75 and 300 longshoremen.
May was among the busiest months for the company, Brown says, attributing the high volume to “just pent-up demand, pent-up volume overseas getting here. Just bigger ships, and more containers.”
Prior to leading CP&O, Brown served as a senior vice president for East Coast operations for Cooper/T. Smith. In his spare time, he enjoys golfing. His first jobs, at 11 years old, were delivering the morning newspaper and cutting grass.
In addition to his work at CP&O, Brown serves on the boards of the Hampton Roads Shipping Association and the Virginia Maritime Association, and he previously served as treasurer of the National Maritime Safety Association.
PRESIDENT, NORTH AMERICA, TRANSURBAN, FALLS CHURCH
In February, Coffee was promoted to president of Transurban’s North American operations, which manage express lanes along Interstates 95, 395 and 495 in Northern Virginia.
Before stepping up to replace Jennifer Aument, who left to lead AECOM’s global transportation business, Coffee served as vice president of customer experience and operations. In that role, she was responsible for customer service, tolling, account management and enforcement operations. She joined the Australian company in 2009 after holding leadership roles at Qorvis Communications LLC and Visual CV. She also previously led Transurban’s marketing department from the company’s Australian headquarters before returning to the U.S.
In June, Transurban got a little closer to expanding its operations into Maryland when the state’s Transportation Authority approved the firm to develop toll lanes on Interstate 95 in order to ease congestion around the Washington, D.C., suburbs. The company will operate and maintain express lanes and charge toll rates in a contract that extends until 2087.
Coffee has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, where she played club lacrosse.
ADAM COHEN and ELAN COHEN
CO-EXECUTIVE CHAIRMEN, LIBERIAN INTERNATIONAL SHIP & CORPORATE REGISTRY (LISCR) LLC, DULLES
The Cohen brothers run Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry, which was founded by their father, Yoram, in 1999. With more than 4,800 vessels — which comprise more than 200 million gross tons — it represents 13% of the world’s shipping fleet, according to the company.
In April 2021, the company announced it had launched new platforms to help improve access for seafarers taking licensing examinations and applying for documents and credentials, The Maritime Executive reported.
LISCR Chief Operating Officer Alfonso Castillero says the advancements were more important than ever, considering the challenges brought by the pandemic.
“These new platforms are a key part of Liberia’s continued implementation of technology,” Castillero says. “This time of COVID-19 and the continued restriction of travel has continued to necessitate the industry to continue to think outside the box and adapt to allow for technology to be used whenever possible.“
In 2013, the company’s $120,000 donation to former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate in this year’s race, led to questions because of the unusual alliance, The Washington Post reported then. The company also faced questions for its business during the regime of former Liberian President Charles Taylor.
MICHAEL W. COLEMAN
PRESIDENT AND CEO, CV INTERNATIONAL INC.; PRESIDENT, VIRGINIA MARITIME ASSOCIATION, NORFOLK
Coleman grew up with the family business, launched by his father, B. Wayne Coleman, in 1985. “It was always in my mind that … I wanted to be like him and wanted to run the business one day,” he says.
Coleman became CV International’s president in 2006 and CEO in 2018. Working summers during high school and college for the supply chain business, he says he was fascinated by the diversity of products and industries he was working with. “We’re dealing with people all over the world and helping people move their products all over the world, dealing with so many different industries and so many different commodities,” Coleman says.
Following a huge surge in volume related to the pandemic, CV International added about 18 employees in the past year, bringing its total to 88, with 53 based in Virginia.
Coleman is a member of the Hampton Roads Coal Association, serves on the Hampton Roads Shipping Association and Greater Norfolk Corp. boards, and was appointed to the Virginia Board for Branch Pilots. He became president of the Virginia Maritime Association in 2020 and in 2021 was appointed to the Virginia Freight Advisory Committee.
CHRISTOPHER J. CONNOR
PRESIDENT AND CEO, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PORT AUTHORITIES, ALEXANDRIA
In May 2020, Connor testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, urging Congress to include $1.5 billion in economic relief for the nation’s public ports in any COVID-19 response. Helping port workers maintain readiness would be critical for the future, he said.
Connor, who took over as chief of the American Association of Port Authorities in 2019, renewed that call for investment as shipping volume began to increase in 2021. AAPA outlined the need in a letter to the Biden administration as Congress mulls a massive infrastructure bill.
Investment is crucial to remain competitive, Connor says. “Spending one dollar on maritime infrastructure returns two to three dollars to the national economy in terms of jobs, growth and productivity.”
AAPA advocates for 130 public port authorities across the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America.
In addition to his job, Connor is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors and sits on the board of The Pasha Group and the business advisory board for Xylyx Bio. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Connor also received a cybersecurity oversight certification from Carnegie Mellon University.
CO-OWNER AND PRESIDENT, CROFTON INDUSTRIES INC., PORTSMOUTH
In August 2018, torrential rains flooded Lynchburg’s College Lake, and officials evacuated 150 nearby homes, fearing a dam break. Crofton Industries responded and spent 10 days performing an underwater assessment and debris removal, stabilizing the dam.
That’s just one of many projects the company has completed since its founding in 1949 by Navy veteran Juan Crofton as a commercial diving company. More recently, Crofton Industries won its bid to help replace a 614-foot portion of the Portsmouth seawall, and it has been involved with replacing the Bonner Bridge on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
Jay Crofton, one of Juan Crofton’s four children, serves as president of the company, which provides professional diving services, cranes, marine construction and engineering for the industry. His siblings also are part of the operation.
Although the company has grown over the past 72 years, its original work boat, The Cromo, is still part of the business and is used as a cleaning ship.
CEO AND PRESIDENT, VSE CORP., ALEXANDRIA
Cuomo was named the head of VSE Corp. in April 2019, after nearly 20 years in the aerospace industry, including stints at B/E Aerospace Inc. and Boeing Distribution Services.
VSE provides aftermarket distribution and maintenance, repair and overhaul services for land, sea and air transportation. Its clients include the U.S. military and the Postal Service, as well as commercial airlines.
Revenues were down slightly for the first three months of 2021, with VSE reporting $165 million as of March 31, compared with $177.4 million for the same period of 2020. But as travel began to rebound, VSE’s aviation section declared its third quarter of consecutive growth.
In April, the company reported $37.5 million in new contracts with the Air Force, as well as a foreign ally. A month earlier, VSE had announced a 15-year engine accessories distribution agreement worth up to $1 billion with a global aircraft engine manufacturer.
A Florida Atlantic University alumnus, Cuomo received a law degree from the University of Miami and an MBA from the University of Florida. He also completed an advanced management program at Harvard Business School earlier this year, and he is a member of The Economic Club of Washington, D.C.
JEROME L. DAVIS
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER, METROPOLITAN WASHINGTON AIRPORTS AUTHORITY, ARLINGTON
Davis started off as a sales rep selling food products for Procter & Gamble, and he later rose to executive roles there, at Frito-Lay and at Maytag Corp. By the time he was tapped to lead the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority in 2014, he thought he was ready to retire, he told the Washington Business Journal.
With air travel taking significant hits during the pandemic, concessions and parking at Ronald Reagan Washington National and Washington Dulles International airports, which MWAA governs, also declined sharply. In the first eight months of 2020, concessions were down more than 63% from the same period in 2019, and parking was down by 84%, the Washington Business Journal reported.
As the pandemic eased, air travel was rebounding at both airports. Dulles added additional international routes, and a $650 million renovation of Reagan’s north concourse continued.
Davis serves on the board of Destination D.C. and is a graduate of Florida State University. He also served on the board of directors for GameStop Corp. until retiring from that board in June, although he was still part of the governing body during the Reddit-driven stock boom, in which shares went up by 850% since January.
CEO AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, VIRGINIA PORT AUTHORITY, NORFOLK
The Port of Virginia set a record in May, when it handled nearly 315,000 20-foot equivalent units, surpassing its previous record by 30,000. Edwards, who took over his position in January, says he does not expect significant slowdowns soon.
“What is most important is to look at how we processed this volume at the berth, truck gates and rail ramps,” Edwards says. “Our overall performance metrics reflect an operation that is performing well for customers and the cargo owners. We’re processing month-on-month record volumes with a very high level of efficiency.”
Edwards, who replaced former port chief John Reinhart, was previously CEO of Los Angeles-based TraPac. One of his goals is to persuade importers and exporters to pick Virginia over other ports, including those on the West Coast that are closer to Asia. Edwards also serves on the boards of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and Through Transport Mutual Insurance Association.
The port authority took in $512.9 million in revenue in 2020 and is set to become the deepest and widest port on the East Coast once a $350 million dredging project set to be finished in 2024 is completed.
ROBEY W. ‘ROB’ ESTES JR.
CEO, ESTES EXPRESS LINES, RICHMOND
Though shipments dropped about 20% when the pandemic first hit in 2020, that changed fast, Webb Estes, an Estes Express Lines vice president and the son of CEO Rob Estes, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch earlier this year. By last fall, the company’s annual growth was up 15% year over year.
Estes is the grandson of founder W.W. Estes, who started the company with one truck in 1931. In 2020, the company generated $3.5 billion in revenue and ranked No. 140 on Forbes’ list of America’s largest private companies. Today, Estes Express Lines, which employs more than 18,000 people, is looking to add more than 2,500 employees nationwide, and it has opened several new terminals, with others under construction.
Estes took over as president in 1990 and became CEO in 2001, suceeding his father, Robey Estes Sr., who died in 2006. In December, the Estes family donated $1.85 million to support construction of the 16-story Wonder Tower at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. The company added $150,000 to the gift in January.
An alumnus of William & Mary, Estes is a generous donor and served for 16 years on the Mason School of Business Foundation board until 2020.
PRESIDENT, ZIM AMERICAN INTEGRATED SHIPPING SERVICES LTD., NORFOLK
Container ships handled surging volumes alongside increased demand for some goods during the pandemic, even as supply chains slowed. Containers couldn’t get unloaded and returned fast enough for some shippers, and Goldman said he doesn’t see that changing soon.
“I do think we have a long way to go” said Goldman during the 2021 Georgia Foreign Trade Conference, The Journal of Commerce reported. “I don’t see us getting out of this thing any time soon.”
Goldman has led ZIM’s American division since 2015. With operations in more than 100 countries, the Haifa, Israel-based shipping giant started 2021 by listing on the New York Stock Exchange. It also broke its income record, Port Technology reported.
As tensions flared between Israelis and Palestinians earlier this spring, ZIM was targeted by activists protesting Israel’s actions in Gaza. A ZIM-operated container ship turned back to sea after protesters in Oakland prevented it from unloading, according to news reports.
A graduate of San Jose State University in California, Goldman spent much of his career with APL, working in Hong Kong, Scottsdale, Arizona, and Singapore in executive roles before joining ZIM in 2015.
PRESIDENT, SOFTEON, RESTON
Surges in online commerce during the pandemic left some companies scrambling to keep up. With offices in Peru and India, as well as Reston, Softeon is a leader in supply chain software to help manage warehouses, including incorporating emerging technologies, like mobile robots, to help companies improve fulfillment processes.
Softeon announced earlier this year that its cloud-based warehouse management software would be used by KSP Fulfillment, a third-party logistics firm in Minnesota. KSP, which is completing a 182,000-square-foot warehouse this year in suburban Minneapolis, with plans to build others on the East and West coasts, works with medical, pet care, agricultural and other industries on order placement and warehousing.
Govind founded Softeon in 1999 and has a master’s degree in physics from the University of Madras in India. In 2019, Softeon announced a minority investment from Warburg Pincus, a private equity firm. Softeon also opened its Warehouse of the Future Innovation Lab in May 2020 to test its sorting and weighing technology for broader use.
PRESIDENT, TFORCE FREIGHT, RICHMOND
In a leadership shuffle this spring, Hoelting took over as president of the newly renamed TForce Freight, formerly known as UPS Freight. In April, the company was sold to Canada-based TFI International for $800 million.
TForce Freight handles less-than-truckload shipping across all 50 states, as well as Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. Hoelting previously served as senior vice president for sales and marketing for UPS Freight and has worked in the transportation industry for more than three decades.
In 1993, he went to work for Overnite Transportation, which was purchased in 2005 by UPS and became UPS Freight. The company, with more than 23,000 trailers and more than 6,300 tractors, reported more than $3 billion in 2020 revenue. Hoelting is a member of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Virginia board, and he holds degrees from the University of Nebraska and William & Mary.
In June, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that UPS and TForce Freight faced a $3.8 million penalty in a settlement for violations over the handling and reporting of hazardous waste in some facilities. The companies have two years to comply.
CHARLES ‘CHUCK’ KUHN
FOUNDER, PRESIDENT AND CEO, JK MOVING SERVICES, STERLING
Kuhn runs the nation’s largest independently owned moving company, with more than $146 million in revenue in 2020 and 1,152 employees.
Faced with a nationwide driver shortage, JK increased annual guaranteed income for experienced over-the-road class-A drivers to a minimum of $100,000.
Kuhn is also known for his conservation efforts throughout Loudoun County and elsewhere. Earlier this year, he purchased the historic White’s Ferry, which since the 1700s has shuttled passengers across the Potomac River from Virginia to Maryland. The ferry closed in late 2020 following a property rights dispute. In June, through a partnership with Dutch developer Yondr Group, Kuhn’s JK Land Holdings LLC purchased 270 acres in Loudoun and Prince William counties that will be used for data centers.
Kuhn and his company have received the Loudoun Laurels award, the Washington Business Journal’s Corporate Citizen of the Year award and Old Dominion Land Conservancy’s Conservation Steward Award.
BEST ADVICE FOR OTHERS: Work hard. Hire well. Be clear about your goals, values and what you stand for. Treat everyone — your customers, your employees and those in your community — with care and respect.
PERRY J. MILLER
PRESIDENT AND CEO, CAPITAL REGION AIRPORT COMMISSION, RICHMOND
Miller credits a conservative approach to finance over the years and cost-cutting measures made during the early days of the pandemic for helping the Capital Region Airport Commission maintain a healthy cash position during COVID-19.
The commission, which has 178 employees, reported $43.8 million in revenue in 2020.
Miller, who is on the boards of ChamberRVA and Richmond Region Tourism, also serves as secretary and treasurer of the American Association of Airport Executives and president-elect of its Southeast chapter.
Miller says his first job as a cook at a Houston fried chicken restaurant made him realize the importance of teamwork and that customers could be a good source for feedback. Today he’s passionate about helping others.
“I consider it a blessing to be shared when a person is fortunate enough to be in a position to help someone else achieve success,” Miller says. “That opportunity should not be sacrificed to selfish ambition.”
BEVERAGE OF CHOICE: Q Ginger Beer
ONE THING I WOULD CHANGE ABOUT VIRGINIA: Virginia is well on its way to mitigating the negative perceptions associated with the Confederacy, but more emphasis ought to be directed to its beautiful landscapes and attractions as a tourism destination.
JOHN G. MILLIKEN
CHAIRMAN, VIRGINIA PORT AUTHORITY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, ARLINGTON
Before retiring from law firm Venable LLP in 2015, one of Milliken’s focuses was transportation. In the past year, Milliken led the search for former Virginia Port Authority CEO and Executive Director John Reinhart’s replacement, Stephen Edwards, who started his new position this year. Now it’s nearly time for Milliken’s retirement from the VPA board, which he’s served on intermittently since 2002. His retirement date is June 2022.
Aside from the board, Milliken was Virginia’s secretary of transportation from 1990 to 1993, and he’s currently a board member of the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing and the Washington Airports Task Force. In 2017, he received the Arlington Community Foundation Spirit of Community Award. The University of Virginia School of Law alumnus is also a senior fellow in residence at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.
FAVORITE SPORTS TEAM: Washington Nationals
HOBBIES: Golf, baseball, collecting Chinese stamps
FIRST JOB: Order filler at a bulk paper warehouse
PERSON I ADMIRE: Anyone willing to seek and hold public office
MOST RECENT BOOK READ: “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration,” by Isabel Wilkerson
JOHN E. ‘JACK’ POTTER
PRESIDENT AND CEO, METROPOLITAN WASHINGTON AIRPORTS AUTHORITY, ARLINGTON
Domestic and international passenger activity at Virginia’s two largest airports, Ronald Reagan Washington National and Washington Dulles International, fell 72% between April 2020 and April 2021. Those figures are due in large part to the pandemic.
While the pandemic may have temporarily stalled air travel, it didn’t stop the opening of a new 225,000-square-foot concourse at the Reagan airport. The 14-gate concourse serves as the hub of American Airlines’ regional operations.
Potter has led the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which manages and operates the two major D.C. airports, since 2011. He oversees 1,700 employees.
Running two airports is a role he’s well compensated for. In 2019, Potter, a former postmaster general, took home more than $720,000, The Washington Post reported, making him one of the country’s highest-paid airport executives.
The authority also oversees the management and construction of Metro’s 23-mile Silver Line Dulles extension. The second phase is expected to open in 2022.
A Bronx native, Potter has a degree in economics from Fordham University and was a Sloan Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, VIRGINIA INTERNATIONAL TERMINALS LLC, NORFOLK
More than two decades on the waterfront helped Price prepare for his role at Virginia International Terminals, a nonprofit created by the Virginia Port Authority. As COO, he oversees operations, information technology, expansion, maintenance, safety and security for Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal, the Richmond Marine Terminal and the Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal.
Not only does Price concern himself with performance at the terminals today, he must plan for the future.
“It’s a balancing act,” he said in a Virginia Port Authority biography. “Vessel productivity, truck turn times, rail dwell. … We will not lose sight of these key performance indicators. However, we must also commit to casting a vision for tomorrow’s sustainable growth. How and where will we innovate, building a better terminal experience for all stakeholders?”
Price earned a bachelor’s degree from East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania and has a diploma from Lloyd’s Maritime Academy in terminal management. He has also worked on a master’s degree at the University of Denver’s Transportation Institute. Before joining VIT in 2018, Price worked with Sea-Land Service Inc., APM Terminals and Global Container Terminals.
REAR ADM. CHARLES ‘CHIP’ ROCK
COMMANDER, NAVY REGION MID-ATLANTIC, U.S. NAVY, NORFOLK
There’s no denying the Navy’s impact on Hampton Roads. About 90,000 active-duty sailors and thousands more civilian employees, contractors and families call the area home, bringing the total “Navy Family” up to more than 300,000 people. Rock, a native of Syracuse, New York, oversees all of it, as well as a 20-state region of naval stations and reserve outposts. Six of those are in Hampton Roads.
The Navy estimated its economic impact on Hampton Roads for 2019 at more than $15 billion, a figure that represents direct capital expenditures, including salaries, and payments for installation services.
Construction of a new fleet communications center — estimated to cost about $100 million — on Naval Station Norfolk is expected to be done in 2022. The Navy also is partnering with Virginia Beach to lease 400 acres of underutilized land at Naval Air Station Oceana for private development.
Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest naval base, is also home to the service’s newest nuclear aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford.
The Navy is “a proud partner of Hampton Roads,” Rock says. “We can’t do our job without the community’s support. I’m just extremely grateful for all the support we’ve received, pandemic or not, and continue to receive by the Hampton Roads community. It’s humbling and really overwhelming.”
FIRST JOB: Lifeguard
MOST RECENT BOOK READ: “2034: A Novel of the Next World War,” by Elliot Ackerman and retired U.S. Navy Adm. James Stavridis
JAMES A. SQUIRES
CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORP., NORFOLK
Norfolk Southern is packing to leave for its Atlanta headquarters later this year, but the Fortune 500 railroad company is making sure its impact in Hampton Roads will still be felt. In May, the company announced plans to contribute $5 million in grants to local nonprofits over five years.
“Norfolk has been home to Norfolk Southern for decades,” Squires says. “The Hampton Roads community has helped to shape Norfolk Southern and will remain part of who we are. Even as we relocate our headquarters, we will continue to actively support the prosperity of the Hampton Roads community to express our ongoing gratitude and commitment.”
Also in May, the company reached a $257.2 million deal to expand passenger rail in the New River Valley, which has not had passenger service since 1979. The initiative also includes infrastructure improvements to the Route 29/Interstate 81 corridor. Legal agreements between Norfolk Southern and the state are expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
Squires became president of Norfolk Southern in 2013. After graduating from Amherst College, he spent a year in Japan on a fellowship, and from 1985 to 1989, he served as a Japanese language expert in the Army.
CHAIRMAN, VIRGINIA MARITIME ASSOCIATION; CEO, BAY DIESEL & GENERATOR CORP., VIRGINIA BEACH
Wheeler grew up in St. Louis and moved to Virginia in the early 1970s following his service in the U.S. Army. He worked first for Virginia Tractor Co. before starting Bay Diesel in 1982. The company overhauls and repairs engines for oceangoing vessels, while also selling and servicing industrial generators. Wheeler moved from president to CEO in December 2020.
He also continues to lead the board of the Virginia Maritime Association, which looks out for the interests of about 500 Virginia companies in the maritime industry. In a 2018 Virginian-Pilot essay, Wheeler wrote, “My philosophy is simple — show up, work hard, stay informed and make good decisions.”
Outside of work, Wheeler serves on the governing boards of WHRO Public Media and the World Affairs Council of Greater Hampton Roads, as well as the regional advisory board for Truist Bank, created from the merger of SunTrust and BB&T banks.
DAVID C. WHITE
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, VIRGINIA MARITIME ASSOCIATION, NORFOLK
White, who joined the VMA in 2003, is responsible for making sure both Virginia’s congressional delegation and its state leaders understand the concerns of the nearly 500 maritime companies that make up the association’s membership. He also serves as executive vice president of the Hampton Roads Shipping Association, which negotiates the collective bargaining agreement with the International Longshoremen’s Association, a crucial part of keeping Virginia’s maritime industry working.
In 2020, shippers were faced with unprecedented challenges as the pandemic disrupted the global economy while demand soared for vital goods. It was time to encourage creativity, flexibility and adaptability, White says.
The VMA has worked in recent years to expand its membership, opening chapters in Southern and Northern Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley, a network that helped meet members’ needs during the fluctuations in volume, White says.
Aside from work, the William & Mary alumnus is a member of the WHRO Public Media board and the Elizabeth River Project environmental cleanup effort. He also chairs the Virginia Freight Transportation Advisory Committee, a group created in 2020 to advise the state on freight and logistics infrastructure and technology.
PAUL J. WIEDEFELD
GENERAL MANAGER AND CEO, WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA TRANSIT AUTHORITY, WASHINGTON, D.C.
With the number of Metrorail and Metrobus riders plunging by 90% last year during the height of the pandemic, it was a challenging time to lead the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. Wiedefeld, who joined the agency in 2015 after serving as CEO of the Baltimore-Washington International Airport, has spent the past six years leading Metro’s aggressive expansion and renovation program, particularly on the Dulles-bound Silver Line, as well as balancing its budget during the pandemic.
As of mid-2021, ridership has yet to recover, as telecommuters walk to their home offices rather than ride Metro’s trains and buses, but federal stimulus funding has staved off major job cuts and shorter hours. To attract more riders, Wiedefeld asked his board in June to reduce fares, decrease wait times between trains and extend hours. Still, Metro projects only about a third of pre-pandemic commuters will return this summer, and it expects to be carrying about 75% of its former passengers in three years.
Wiedefeld, who has a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Rutgers University, previously was CEO of the Maryland Transit Administration and consulted with Parsons Brinckerhoff.
ROLF A. WILLIAMS
OWNER, ANDERS WILLIAMS & CO. INC.; VICE PRESIDENT, VIRGINIA MARITIME ASSOCIATION, NORFOLK
Williams is the third generation to steer his family’s shipping business. He wears three hats as president of both Anders Williams Ship Agency and Anders Williams Trucking and as executive vice president of Marine Oil Service, which is based in Norfolk and New York.
The William & Mary alumnus has been on the board of the Virginia Maritime Association since 2013 and is one of three vice presidents, while also serving on the board of the Hampton Roads Shipping Association.
One of the VMA’s major efforts is encouraging expansion in the Hampton Roads area to make the Port of Virginia and associated shipping stations hospitable for larger crafts by dredging the Norfolk Harbor. The association also joined other groups to develop a comprehensive infrastructure package to improve ports, waterways and freight movement projects in order to secure funding for Virginia in President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan.
Williams, who trained in shipping in Norway, has served on several Norfolk boards and also is Virginia’s honorary consul for Norway and Sweden and dean of the Consular Corps of Virginia.
WILLIAM E. ‘BILL’ WOODHOUR
PRESIDENT AND CEO, MAERSK LINE LTD., LEESBURG
Woodhour is president and CEO of the U.S. arm of the world’s largest shipping company, A.P. Moller-Maersk. Maersk Line, a Norfolk-based subsidiary, was founded in 1983 to support the U.S. Navy. Its 20 container vessels operate around the world in support of U.S. military, government and humanitarian missions. It also serves commercial customers.
Woodhour took Maersk Line’s helm in 2016 following a nearly 25-year career with the parent company. He has worked in marketing, sales, and line management, and prior to his promotion, Woodhour was a vice president in A.P. Moller-Maersk’s headquarters in Copenhagen.
Maersk ships from more than 300 ports and has the largest fleet of U.S.-flagged ocean vessels. The U.S. line is based in Norfolk and employs about 3,500 mariners. In March, as the massive Ever Green container ship created a traffic jam at the Suez Canal for nearly a week, Maersk noted that the stuck ship would result in global backlogs, and the parent company anticipates high demand and earnings to continue the rest of 2021.
Woodhour, who earned degrees at the University of Delaware and attended Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program, serves as vice chairman of the National Defense Transportation Association board.