Ports authority board approves raises for CEO, executive team

By Matt Tomsic
Published Dec. 19, 2012

The S.C. State Ports Authority board approved raises for its CEO and his executive team and gave its CEO and CFO authority to borrow money for the inland port in Greer during Tuesday’s board meeting.

Board member David Posek said the board reviews CEO Jim Newsome and his direct reports’ salaries each year as required by state law. Posek said the board reviews cargo growth, current compensation and competing port’s salaries, among other goals before recommending salary increases.

Newsome received a 6% raise, bringing his 2013 salary to $370,000, and his six direct reports received the following raises:

  • Paul McClintock, chief commercial officer: 4% increase to $245,000.
  • Peter Hughes, CFO: 8% increase to $215,000.
  • Bill McLean, COO: 3% increase to $190,000.
  • Barbara Melvin, senior vice president for external affairs: 10% increase to $170,000.
  • Jack Ellenberg, senior vice president for economic development: 10% increase to $170,000.
  • Philip Lawrence, general counsel: 4% increase to $170,000.

Ellenberg’s increase had been approved during the October board meeting, when he was promoted to senior vice president for economic development.

Port’s performance
Ports authority staff also briefed the board on its performance so far during the fiscal year, which started in July. Operating revenues were $57.4 million, a 6% boost compared with the same period last year, and operating earnings increased 10% year over year to $6.6 million. Compared to 2013’s projections, revenues were down by 5%, and earnings were down 18%.

Pier containers were up 10% year over year; pier tons increased 44% year over year; and ships docked increased 8% year over year.

Inland port update
The board authorized Newsome and the port’s CFO to borrow no more than $30 million to develop, build, operate and maintain the inland port. The loan’s rate can’t exceed 5% and should be paid over at most 20 years.

The port is moving quickly on its inland port in Greer, staff said, and it expects to open Sept. 1.

Crews will begin moving earth during the second or third week of January, and the inland port’s design is almost complete. The ports authority has acquired about 85% of the property it needs, and most acquisitions have come through land swaps with the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.

The inland port has received great support from business and elected officials in Greenville, staff said.

“I think Jack (Ellenberg) and his team have done a great job,” Newsome said.

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