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Jepson to Serve Second Term as GPA Chairman

06/24/2013 - Savannah

Savannah, Ga. – June 24, 2013 – The Board of Directors of the Georgia Ports Authority today elected Robert S. Jepson Jr. of Savannah to serve a second term as chairman of the board. Jepson was first appointed to the Board of Directors in 2008 and previously served as vice chairman. The new vice chairman will be James A. Walters, and Stephen S. Green will serve as secretary/treasurer.

“Bob Jepson’s steady leadership is exactly what is needed as we shepherd important rail, highway and maritime infrastructure projects to completion,” said Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. “During his first year as chairman, Bob made sure the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project remained a top priority, successfully navigating the final stages of federal approval for SHEP.”

“Over the past year, we have made significant strides in moving SHEP toward construction,” Jepson said. “Much of that success is due in large part to the support we have received from Governor Deal, Georgia’s Congressional delegation, and the talented staff at the Georgia Ports Authority.”

Jepson commended Gov. Deal for his strong support of the deepening, including $50 million in his 2014 budget for harbor expansion, for a total of $231 million in state funds already allocated to the project. Studies by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers show a 5.5-to-1 benefit to cost ratio, meaning that for every dollar spent on the deepening, the nation will reap $5.50 in benefits.

In other business, the board heard a report from GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz, detailing growth in all major business segments for the month of May. Container trade, autos and machinery, bulk and breakbulk all saw year-over-year increases. In May, GPA moved 261,520 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs), for a 1.9 percent increase over the same month last year.

“In three out of the last four months, our container volume has grown in the range of 5,000 to 10,000 TEUs each month,” Foltz said.

In roll-on/roll-off cargo, Georgia’s terminals achieved an 11 percent (or 5,918 unit) increase in May, moving 59,808 auto and machinery units. For the fiscal year to date, GPA terminals have moved 586,155 units.

“Colonel’s Island in Brunswick and Ocean Terminal in Savannah have racked up truly impressive, record numbers over the first 11 months of the fiscal year,” Foltz said. “We have moved more ro/ro cargo by the end of May than in any other fiscal year on record.”

Breakbulk cargo grew by 1.1 percent to nearly 240,000 tons, while bulk cargo increased by 20.2 percent over May 2012 to reach 191,988 tons last month.

“Months of positive numbers, despite a relatively weak global market, have established a strong growth trend for Georgia’s deepwater ports,” Foltz said.

Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 352,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $18.5 billion in income, $66.9 billion in revenue and $2.5 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah was the second busiest U.S. container port for the export of American goods by tonnage in FY2011. It also handled 8.7 percent of the U.S. containerized cargo volume and 12.5 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2011. Check out GPA’s Youtube channel here.

GPA BOARD OFFICERS

Chairman Robert S. Jepson Jr. He is the chairman and chief executive officer of Jepson Associates, Inc., a private investment firm he founded in 1989. 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 Vice 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. Mr. 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 five grandchildren.

Vice Chairman James A. Walters. He succeeds Stephen S. Green. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Walters to the GPA Board in June 2012. Walters is the president of Walters Management Co., a financial services company which operates in Georgia, Texas and Tennessee. Walters serves as a trustee for Brenau University, a board member for the local YMCA, chairman of the board for Chattahoochee Bank of Georgia and a member of the President’s Advisory Board at Gainesville State College. He aids the Elachee Nature Center and the Northeast Georgia Medical Center Foundation. Walters attended North Carolina State College. He and his wife, Peggy, have two daughters, five granddaughters, and one great grandson. They reside in Gainesville.

Secretary/Treasurer Stephen S. Green. He succeeds Roy H. Fickling of Macon. Green was first appointed to the GPA’s Board of Directors in July 2004. He was board chairman for fiscal years 2008 through 2010. He served as vice chairman for fiscal year 2013. Green has served on professional, civic and charitable boards and organizations including Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport Commission, the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, the board of directors of First Chatham Bank and the Savannah Vocational Technical College Foundation Board of Trustees. Green is one of the founding organizers of The First Chatham Bank and previously served as chief of staff to Congressman Lindsay Thomas.

For additional information, please contact GPA’s Senior Director of Corporate Communications Robert Morris at (912) 964-3855 or rmorris@gaports.com. Visit the GPA web site at www.gaports.com.