It is an honor, privilege and a great responsibility to be the next executive director of the St. Bernard Port. I humbly would like to thank the St. Bernard Port, Harbor and Terminal District Board of Commissioners for the opportunity to serve the Port as its executive director and carry on the legacy of Robert J. Scafidel. The Port’s prosperity and growth during Dr. Scafidel’s tenure was unprecedented and well documented. I have worked closely with Dr. Scafidel for over 18 years, serving the Port as its Director of Administration and Planning Services. I welcome the challenge of moving Bobby Scafidel’s vision into the future while blazing a path of my own through new territory. The future is promising for the Port and the residents of St. Bernard Parish.
In 2016, there were 316 ocean going vessels that chose St. Bernard as their Port of call. The Port’s facilities handled 7,041,179 tons of cargo and trans-loaded these commodities to and from Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, to the states throughout the Southeast and destinations as far north as St. Paul, Indianapolis, Chicago and Pittsburgh. The raw materials transferred here generate manufacturing, agricultural, maritime and industrial jobs locally, statewide, regionally and nationally. The Port’s volume of labor intensive general cargos continues to increase creating more job opportunities for the citizens of St. Bernard. The Port operates seven mooring berths 24/7 loading and unloading ships up to and including 1,000-foot cape-sized vessels.
The Port’s mission has always been to create jobs and provide economic opportunities for the residents of St. Bernard Parish.
In 2017 the rehabilitation of Docks 1 & 2 at the Arabi Terminal will continue. Infrastructure improvement projects underway include the replacement of all Sewerage Lift Stations in the Chalmette Terminal and creation of an employee’s parking lot at the Arabi Terminal. The Port has also developed a Strategic Capital Improvement Plan that will give us our bearings with prioritized capital improvements for the next 10 year period.
The years that I spent working with Dr. Scafidel growing the Port’s facilities and staff have prepared me well to continue the progress and momentum that occurred under Bobby’s tenure.
The momentum of the Port today is full steam ahead, facilitating commerce and growth by partnering with federal grant programs, our state and federal legislative representatives, participating in state funding programs cooperatively with private business investors. Under the guidance of the Board of Commissioners with the help of the Port’s employees and administration, I will continue to pursue opportunities for the future success of the Port and the citizens of St. Bernard Parish.
Drew M. Heaphy