Ports & Terminals

Paducah-McCracken County Port Searches For New Director

The Paducah-McCracken County (Ky.) Riverport Authority has named an interim director and is looking for someone to fill the position permanently.

The riverport’s board of directors named Chris Bright to fill the interim role January 23, board chairman Chris Farmer said.

“He’s hired on a month-to-month contract while we conduct our search,” Farmer said.

Bright is the former president of Paducah-based Federal Materials Company LLC and Morsey Contractors LLC, with more than 20 years of executive leadership experience, according to a news release from the board.

“We were lucky to find a person with as much executive experience as Chris who was willing to accept this role on an interim basis,” said Bill Paxton, a board member and former Paducah mayor.

Bright said he was happy to assist the riverport during its transition.

“I will not seek the permanent position, and I hope that increases interest from other well-qualified candidates for the position,” he said. “The riverport is an important economic driver for our community, and my goal is to make sure things are in as good a shape as possible for when the new port director is hired and takes over.”

Farmer said the riverport intends to hire an executive search firm to begin the search for a permanent director.

“We’re looking for someone who has some really strong marketing experience,” he said, adding that previously the board’s focus had been primarily on operations experience.

Bright met with outgoing port director Bill Miller on January 27 in a transition meeting. Miller’s last day was January 31.

“The riverport board began a conversation in recent months on a strategic vision and direction for the riverport,” the board said in its news release. “The board has discussed this matter as a whole board and separately with Mr. Miller. Ultimately, it was decided it would be best to seek a new port director in 2020.”

The release continues, “The board is grateful to Mr. Miller for his assistance during the transition, appreciates the positive contributions that he has made to the riverport and the region and wishes him well in future endeavors.”

Farmer added, “Bill Miller has addressed several of our deferred maintenance and legacy issues and enhanced the riverport through the new fertilizer building project. We thank him for those efforts.”

He said the board is excited about going in a new direction.

Miller declined to comment.

The Paducah-McCracken County Riverport Authority is a full-service inland port facility located in Paducah, Ky., at the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee rivers. The port’s facilities are capable of handling containerized, break-bulk and bulk cargoes as well as storing cargoes on terminal or in terminal warehouse facilities, according to the port’s website. The port has also been designated Foreign Trade Zone #294, allowing goods to be brought into the site duty-free and without formal customs entry. It is a U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration Marine Highway Designated Port.

Share this story...