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Poitevint re-elected as Georgia Ports chairman

POSTED: June 27, 2011 7:39 p.m.

The Board of Directors of the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has re-elected Alec L. Poitevint II of Bainbridge to serve a second term as chairman of the board.

“I am honored to serve the people of Georgia,” Poitevint said. “We will continue to generate momentum for the state’s vital economic engine by having the best workforce, unsurpassed infrastructure, room to grow and a sound marketing plan to capitalize on our strengths. The deepening of the Savannah River channel is critically important for Georgia, the Southeast and the entire nation and remains our number-one priority.”

Other board members elected to one-year offices were Robert S. Jepson, Jr. of Savannah as vice chairman and Roy H. Fickling of Macon as Secretary and Treasurer.

The GPA also announced overall tonnage for the Ports of Savannah and Brunswick reached the second highest monthly volume ever in May with 2,352,302 tons, which was a 16.7-percent increase compared with May 2010.

“While the global economy continues its modest and fragile recovery, the GPA reported increases in all category groups,” said GPA Executive Director Curtis J. Foltz. “We anticipate a strong end to the fiscal year, reflecting record volumes and container throughput approaching 12 percent growth.”

Container volume remained strong with container traffic up 10.1 percent in May, handling 143,447 units or 254,329 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units). Loaded exports increased 16.7 percent compared with May 2010.

“Carriers are repositioning empty containers into Savannah to support our robust export growth,” Foltz said. “Export volumes remain our dominant direction, outpacing imports 54 percent to 46 percent.”

Ocean Terminal’s breakbulk cargo was up 45.7 percent in May 2011 with 106,782 tons and a fiscal-year-to-date volume of 1,004,563, which is an FYTD increase of 36.5 percent. This growth was due to growth in import/export machinery, export wood pulp and export automobiles, as well as global demand for iron/steel, lumber and machinery.

Colonel’s Island Terminal in Brunswick handled 43,843 auto and machinery units in May, which yielded a 21.8-percent increase compared with May 2010 and the Authority’s highest monthly volume ever. Roll-on/roll-off volume at the facility has increased 43.6 percent for the fiscal year (July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012).

“Global demand for Georgia’s products has been essential in helping our state weather the economic recession and will be critical in our region’s growth,” Poitevint said. “Our balanced export-to-import ratio promotes efficiency and has helped to drive economic recovery throughout the state of Georgia and the entire Southeast.”

Poitevint was first appointed to the board of directors in July 2007 and previously served as vice chairman and chairman. He is the chairman and president of Southeastern Minerals, Inc. and its affiliated companies headquartered in Bainbridge.

He is chairman of American Feed Industry Insurance Company and past chairman of the American Feed Industry Association and National Feed Ingredients Association. He serves as a director of the Georgia Agribusiness Council and was Federal Commissioner of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) Water Compact. He was a former mission member of the U.S. Agricultural Trade and Development Mission to Europe in 1990 and U.S. Delegate to World Food Summit in 2002.

Jepson is chairman and chief executive officer of Jepson Associates, Inc., a private investment firm. He formerly headed The Jepson Corporation, a NYSE listed fourteen-company conglomerate, and Kuhlman Corporation. He currently serves on the Boards of Dominion Resources, Inc. in Richmond, Va., the Lucas Theatre in Savannah, the Georgia Historical Society, and is chairman of the Savannah College of Art and Design’s Board of Visitors.

He served as Chairman of the 2008 SEUS/Canada Alliance Conference in Savannah and was the first chairman of the Georgia Cancer Coalition. In former years, he has served on the boards of The Telfair Museum of Art and numerous NYSE listed companies, including Washington Water Power Company, Hecla Mining Company, and AGL Resources, Inc.

He is Trustee Emeritus of the University of Richmond. Jepson earned two degrees from the University of Richmond: a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Masters Degree in Commerce.

He and his wife, Alice, have two grown children and four grandchildren.

Fickling is the president of Fickling & Company, Inc., a regional real estate development, brokerage, management and consulting firm.

He is the owner and president of Fickling and Company, Inc. He serves as director of Oxigene, Inc. and Piedmont Community Bank, as well as president of Riverside Ford, Inc. and Riverside Automotive, Inc.

Fickling is on the Board of Directors of the Macon Economic Development Commission, Education First, and the Shield Club, and is a member of the Young Presidents Organization, and the Commission on Macon/Atlanta Rail. He is a former member of the Georgia Technology Authority and the Macon/Bibb County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Fickling earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Teresa, have two children.

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