Thursday, March 14, 2013

Port Authority Board Elects New Officers

MARCH 14, 2013 – The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority’s Board of Directors elected officers today to new one-year terms, effective immediately.

The Board elected Marc Krantz as Chair, Chris Ronayne as Vice Chair, and Diane Downing as Secretary.

“I am honored to be elected Chair and feel fortunate to succeed Bob Smith, who has led our Board during the last two years with integrity and strong, insightful leadership,” said Krantz.

“The Port will continue to build on our successes and pursue additional strategic growth in our maritime business.  With last year’s expansion of the rail tracks at the Port, we have new capabilities that can be marketed to businesses in Northeast Ohio and across the globe.  Through the use of our finance powers, the Port will continue to take an active role in the key development and re-development projects throughout our community, as well as provide needed capital to businesses throughout our area.”

Krantz is managing partner of the Cleveland law firm of Kohrman Jackson & Krantz. He has served on the Board since 2009, and was for the last two years Vice Chair of the Board, and Chair of the Real Estate and Development Finance Committee.

Ronayne and Downing were both appointed to the Port Board in 2011. Ronayne is president of University Circle Inc.; Downing is senior vice president and regional manager of corporate affairs for Huntington National Bank in Cleveland.

Smith joined the Board in 2007 and served one year as Vice Chair and two years as Chair. He also headed the committee that in 2010 selected Will Friedman to become the Port’s President and CEO.

“It has been a pleasure to work with the highly-qualified individuals on our management team and to see the increased engagement by our Board members,” said Smith. “I am also proud of our 2011 Strategic Action Plan, which set a new direction for the Port to grow its core maritime business and play a more vital role in our community.” Smith will remain on the Board, but chose to continue the recent tradition not to seek re-election to open leadership opportunities for other Directors.
During the Board meeting Port Directors also voted to issue up to $90 million in bonds to finance Cuyahoga County’s new headquarters. The project is expected to revitalize an older business district in downtown Cleveland and serve as an anchor for surrounding mixed-use redevelopment.

In other actions the Board agreed to:

* The $2 million sale of a building on E. 40th Street in Cleveland to Charter Stone Capital, LLC. The building is currently leased to I Can Schools. Proceeds will help support the Port’s 2013 capital program.
* The issuance of up to $85 million in bonds for the Medical Center Co., a non-profit that provides electrical, steam and other services to institutions in University Circle. The fixed-rate bonds will be used to refinance existing variable-interest bonds.
* A new one-year operating agreement with Federal Marine Terminals, Inc., which operates the Port’s general cargo facilities.
* Renewal of a one-year operating agreement with Kenmore Construction Co., which uses Port property to receive and distribute bulk construction materials.
* The execution of an agreement with VOCON Inc. for architectural and engineering services at the Port’s new administrative headquarters at 1100 W. 9th Street.  The Port plans to move to the building later this year.

The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority operates the Port of Cleveland, a leading gateway for waterborne trade on the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway System. Nearly 18,000 jobs and $1.8 billion in economic activity result from the roughly 13 million tons of cargo that move through Cleveland Harbor on average each year. The Port also provides innovative financing services for a wide range of development projects in Northeast Ohio, and is leading initiatives to solve critical infrastructure challenges along Cleveland’s waterfronts.