Charleston ports CEO Newsome to join maritime hall of fame

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Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the State Ports Authority

Posted February 10, 2020

Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the State Ports Authority, is among five executives who will be inducted into the International Maritime Hall of Fame during an event May 13 in New York City.

The hall of fame recognizes global leaders for their contributions to the shipping trade.

Newsome has been at the SPA’s helm for the past decade, during which time the Port of Charleston has doubled cargo volumes and taken on nearly $2 billion in infrastructure projects, the largest being a new container terminal under construction on the former Navy based in North Charleston.

Earlier this month, he was named the recipient of the “Roger Milliken Defender of Manufacturing Award” by the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance.

“Jim leads (the authority) with great vision, decisiveness and enthusiasm,” said Barbara Melvin, the SPA’s chief operating officer. “Our port has grown immensely under his leadership, leading to job creation and economic growth around the state.”

A study by University of South Carolina economist Joey Von Nessen shows the port has a $63.4 billion annual economic impact throughout the state.

The port handled a record 2.44 million cargo boxes measured in 20-foot increments in 2019 — 5 percent better than the previous year.

Newsome received a bachelor’s degree in transportation and logistics and an MBA from the University of Tennessee. Before joining the authority, he was president of the Hapag-Lloyd America shipping line.

Other inductees this year include:

  • Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, CEO of Celebrity Cruises Inc. in Miami;
  • James Mara, president emeritus of the Metropolitan Marine Maintenance Contractors’ Association in Rutherford, N.J.;
  • Nikolas Tsakos, CEO of Tsakos Energy Navigation Corp. in Greece; and
  • Lois Zabrocky, CEO of International Seaways Inc. of New York.

The hall of fame was established in 1993 by the Maritime Association of the Port of New York and New Jersey in Cranford, N.J.