Jefferies Elected as Port Commission President
Completion of Expansion, Continued AGMAC Progress on Agenda
Gene L. Jefferies was recently elected president of the Port of Iberia Board of Commissioners for 2013. He began serving with the port in 2009 and is Loreauville’s representative on the commission, which has a total of seven members. Mark Dore’ will serve as vice president, and Michael Resweber was appointed secretary/treasurer.
Jefferies said Executive Director Roy Pontiff’s decision last year to remain in his post for two additional years instead of retiring in December will provide stability as the port completes the Millennium Expansion Phase II project, and continues to make progress on the Acadiana Gulf of Mexico Access Channel (AGMAC).
“We’ve got some great things started, and I hope we can go through this year and see these projects continue,” he said. “Right now, we have an excellent mix of commissioners. We’ve really got a great board.”
The 108-acre Millennium Expansion project, which is scheduled for completion by the end of the third quarter, will create nine new waterfront tracts ranging in size from three to 18 acres for potential tenants. Currently, all existing waterfront property at the port is leased.
On the AGMAC front, Jefferies said the decision to divide the project into four basic components (Navigation Channel, Bank Stabilization, Storm Surge Protection and Marsh Creation) has allowed the port to pursue four separate funding sources, which will increase the likelihood of obtaining the necessary revenue for completion of the channel.
Jefferies also was particularly impressed by a recent Economic Impact study that detailed the port’s $1.25 billion influence on the local and state economy. “It was mind boggling to see that one billion dollar figure,” Jefferies said. “That tells us we have a great operation out here, full of activity.”
In addition to managing these ongoing projects, Jefferies said it’s important for the commission and staff to focus on existing tenants to make sure their needs are being met, and their operations are successful.
“Traditionally we’ve done a good job of keeping our tenants happy,” he said. “Because that’s the most important thing for us. It’s not about how deep our channel is or how many fence posts we put in, the bottom line is about keeping our tenants happy.”
Pontiff said he is looking forward to working closely with Jefferies in 2013. “Gene has international business experience, and he’s fluent in Spanish, which is beneficial to us because of our interaction with South American and Caribbean ports,” Pontiff said. “I’m really looking forward to working with him as we complete our expansion project and continue to move forward with AGMAC.”
Jefferies, 77, previously served 22 years as Director of Agricultural Operations for the McIlhenny Company before retiring in 1999. During his tenure there, he was responsible for the supervision of all pepper production in the United States and seven countries in Latin America. He resides in Loreauville with his wife, Junelle, and together they have five daughters and one son.
Message from the Executive Director
Welcome to the Port of Iberia’s web site. We hope you find it informative and helpful. The Port of Iberia is located in the heart of Cajun country, a great place to live, work and play. Our area has abundant natural resources and our people have a strong work ethic. The Port of Iberia is home to over one hundred companies involved in a diversity of industries. Our port has water, rail, and four-lane access and a fully instrumented, 8,000 foot runway general aviation airport within three miles. We’d love to discuss with you the opportunity of bringing your business to the Port of Iberia.