Gibbs elected Port of New Orleans Board Chairman

 10 Feb 2009 11.26am

Capt. Gibbs has 29 years experience as a river pilot and is the President of the Crescent River Port Pilots' Association, which pilots ships to and from the Port of New Orleans. Chartered in 1908 to serve the State of Louisiana, the Association currently has 102 members. Capt. Gibbs is a past member of the Board of Directors of the New Orleans Board of Trade and a past member of the Board of Governors for the Propeller Club of New Orleans. He is also past Chairman and current Secretary of the Louisiana River Pilots' Association, a member of the World Trade Center Transportation Committee, the Governor's Area Maritime Task Force and Vice President for Louisiana of the American Pilots' Association.

Former Governor Kathleen Blanco appointed Gibbs to the Board in December of 2005, as one of four representatives from Orleans Parish to the seven-member Board, which governs public port operations in Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes.

"We should be mindful that the economy is creating challenges in the shipping business worldwide. We are not immune to those trends, but we have to remain on course," Gibbs says. "We have to keep moving forward on our expansion plans, particularly as it relates to relocating our dockside refrigerated terminal and building phase II of the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal. We need to continue to make investments that will attract more cargo to the port."

Thomas Westfeldt, president of Westfeldt Brothers Inc., was elected vice chairman and John Fay, a partner in the law firm of Deutsch, Kerrigan & Stiles, was elected secretary-treasurer.

The Board's commissioners serve five-year staggered terms. The unsalaried board members are appointed by the Governor of Louisiana from a list of three nominees submitted by 19 local civic, labor, education and maritime groups. The Board reflects the three-parish jurisdiction, with four members from Orleans Parish, two from Jefferson Parish and one from St. Bernard Parish. Other members of the Board include Danny Hughes, Wayne Mumphrey and Valerie Cahill.

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