VPA selects new director

Published 10:25 pm Thursday, October 31, 2013

Virginia Port Authority commissioners have selected Norfolk-based Maersk Line Limited’s outgoing president and CEO to succeed Jerry Bridges as executive director of the Virginia Port Authority.

John F. Reinhart, who announced early this month he would step down from the A.P. Moller-Maersk unit in January after starting with the group in 1991, will oversee the reorganization of VPA with terminal operator Virginia International Terminals.

The reorganization is part of the Board of Commissioners’ March decision to jettison two bids to privatize port operations for up to 48 years, in favor of shaking up operations but remaining with VIT.

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In a statement, the office of Gov. Bob McDonnell said Reinhart “brings a wealth of experience … having served in a variety of executive level capacities within the maritime industry over the past 20 years.”

Reinhart began with Maersk in 1991, left to work his way up to the presidency of Universal Marine Services, then returned as a regional director, followed by senior vice president, in 1996, according to the gubernatorial office.

He is the fourth individual to lead the VPA since the state’s Hampton Roads container terminals were unified under the Port of Virginia in 1982, according to a port news release.

Rodney W. Oliver, the agency’s chief financial officer, has sat in the chair on an interim basis since Bridges’ departure in September 2012.

Reinhart’s appointment was a unanimous decision by the board, the release states. His role officially begins in February.

“After months of exhaustive searching, I am supremely confident that we have found an experienced, inspirational leader who is well-equipped to guide The Port of Virginia to its best days,” board Chairman Jeff Wassmer stated in the release.

“John’s professional accomplishments make him a strong choice, but it is his vision for the future of The Port of Virginia that is truly exciting. We are eager to move forward together.”

Reinhart stated in the release that the appointment was an honor. “The VPA and VIT have a strong history, a great infrastructure and team. The bright commercial future of the port as an economic engine for the region and the commonwealth is exciting and motivates me to join the VPA,” he stated.