Port of South Louisiana names Paul Matthews as new executive director

Paul Matthews

Posted on December 20, 2021

The Board of Commissioners of the Port of South Louisiana has selected Paul Matthews to serve as the port’s next executive director, effective January 15, 2022. Matthews is replacing long-time executive director Paul Aucoin, who served the port for over eight years and led the organization through record growth.

Matthews served most recently as Deputy Director at the Port of Plaquemines, La., where he helped negotiate multi-million-dollar terminal leases and helped develop a private-public partnership to expand rail service. He helped secure millions of dollars of federal port security and dredging funds and has been involved in attracting grants for critical port infrastructure projects. He began his port career in community affairs at the Port of New Orleans in 2012.

Following a national search led by Shey-Harding Executive Search, the Commission voted unanimously at its December 6, 2021, board meeting to select Matthews.

“The Commission was tasked with identifying the best possible candidate for this position,” commented Commission Chair, Paul Robichaux. “I feel confident that with his experience and deep knowledge of the region, Paul Matthews is an exceptional choice to serve as the port’s next executive director. The future has never looked better for the Port of South Louisiana.”

MORE ON MATTHEWS

Matthews served most recently as deputy director at the Port of Plaquemines, La., where he helped negotiate multi-million-dollar terminal leases and helped develop a private-public partnership to expand rail service. He helped secure millions of dollars of federal port security and dredging funds and has been involved in attracting grants for critical port infrastructure projects.

Matthews began his port career in community affairs at the Port of New Orleans in 2012. He is a graduate of Ben Franklin High School in New Orleans, Tulane University, and received an MBA from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

“I am honored to have been selected to serve the Port of South Louisiana and look forward to growing the Port to its full potential,” said Matthews. “I am grateful for the opportunity to take the lead at a port with such a firm foundation. Paul Aucoin has left a lasting legacy and I am fully prepared to help guide the Port on its path to greatness.”

PORT HISTORY

Founded in 1960, the Port of South Louisiana [PSL] is a 54-mile port district on the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, encompassing the parishes of St. Charles, St. John and St. James.

The facilities located in the port’s district handle over a quarter billion short tons of cargo annually, ranking it as one of the largest tonnage ports in the Western Hemisphere, the leading U.S, grain export facility and a major energy transfer ports. Along its 108 miles of deep-water frontage on both banks of the river there are seven grain transfer facilities, four major oil refineries, 11 petrochemical manufacturing facilities and several other facilities for a total of more than 50 docks owned and operated by companies that include ADM, ArcelorMittal, Cargill, DowDupont, Marathon, Shell, Nucor Steel, Occidental, Valero, and Occidental Chemical.

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