April 9, 2021 – Following a national search, Odgers Berndtson has recruited Jon Nass as the CEO and executive director of the Port of Gulfport. Tim McNamara, a partner and vice chairman of Odgers Berndtson and head of the firm’s transportation and infrastructure practice, led the assignment. “The Mississippi State Port Authority (MSPA) Commission is very pleased to announce we have selected a new executive director to lead the Port of Gulfport team,” said president E.J. Roberts. “Jon’s extensive background includes port management, economic development, homeland security, and policy advising, making him an ideal candidate to lead our state port.”
“Once again, thanks to Tim McNamara’s leadership, Odgers Berndtson has successfully recruited a CEO to a major U.S. port,” said Steve Potter, CEO of Odgers Berndtson U.S. “In October 2020, Tim also successfully completed the search for the new CEO of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA). This is the third time that both MSPA and the VPA have come to Tim McNamara to address these critical CEO needs. Odgers congratulates Tim for his terrific work recruiting Jon Nass for the state of Mississippi at a critical time in the movement of freight and economic and workforce development, which has a significant impact on the U.S. economy.”
“With his deep expertise in port management and infrastructure, his successful leadership of building thriving container terminals over the years, and his passion for policy making, Jon Nass is a perfect fit for the Mississippi Port Authority as it develops future value for its customers,” said Mr. McNamara.
For the past two and a half years, Mr. Nass has been CEO of the Maine Port Authority where he helped develop Northern New England’s only container terminal and secured tens of millions in funding for port and rail infrastructure. He also led efforts on a public-private partnership to construct Maine’s only publicly available climate-controlled storage, supporting the state’s food and beverage industries. In addition to his port experience, Mr. Nass was previously deputy commissioner at the Maine Department of Transportation, worked as a senior policy advisor in the State of Maine Governor’s office, and served seven years in the U.S. Congress, most recently as counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security. A graduate of St. Lawrence University with a bachelor’s degree in government and history, Mr. Nass also has a law degree from the Catholic University of American, Columbus School of Law.
“I am thrilled to join the Port of Gulfport as its next CEO and executive director, leading what is an outstanding organization with an experienced board of commissioners, a dedicated team, modern infrastructure and a diversified revenue base,” Mr. Nass said. “This is a great opportunity to run an incredible operation.”
Although the present-day Port of Gulfport was officially established in 1902, the area’s strategic location along the Gulf of Mexico has made it a destination for vessels for more than 300 years. The Port of Gulfport continues to thrive and meet aggressive targets. It is now the third largest container port on the Gulf of Mexico, among the top 2O U.S. container ports and the second largest importer of green fruit in the nation.
Growing Search Firm
Odgers Berndtson delivers executive search, leadership assessment and development strategies to organizations globally. The firm’s 250-plus partners cover more than 50 sectors and operate out of 59 offices in 29 countries. The U.S. wing of the firm launched in 2011 and is one of the fastest growing search firms in the Americas. Odgers Berndtson currently has U.S. offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
Undertaking a worldwide search, global search firm Odgers Berndtson has placed Stephen Edwards as chief executive officer and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA). He succeeds John F. Reinhart who led the organization for the last seven years. “Thanks to Tim McNamara’s leadership and deep knowledge of the transportation and infrastructure sector, and our long-time partnership with the Commonwealth of Virginia and the VPA, we successfully recruited an executive with unparalleled global experience to take the reins of the Port of Virginia,” said Steve Potter, CEO of Odgers Berndtson U.S.
Based in Washington, D.C., Mr. McNamara’s focus areas include aerospace and defense, and cybersecurity. With over 25 years of management consulting and industry experience, he consults to international clients including governments, mergers and acquisitions advisory, private equity and P3 firms.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media