Colonel Leonard Waterworth, Executive Director of the Port of Houston Authority announced today that he is stepping down as its Executive Director, effective January 31, 2014. Roger Guenther, Deputy Executive Director of Operations, will take over as the Port Authority's Executive Director.
Waterworth advised the Port Commission that he had accepted the role for two years, to help the Port Authority through recent transitions and to use his U.S. Army Corps of Engineers background to help obtain permits to deepen and widen the Port Authority's container terminal channels. Having completed those matters, he advised that he wanted to pursue other opportunities, including personal travel.
In making his announcement at today's Port Commission meeting, he stated "I take pride in our accomplishments on my two year anniversary with the Port Authority. I knew I could provide leadership stability during a transitional period for the Port Authority, but as a team we have achieved so much more."
He went on to say, "Under the combined leadership of the Port Commission and management, the Port Authority has increased revenues and profitability to record levels. We obtained the first long-term commitments with two cruise lines to use the Bayport Cruise Terminal for its intended purpose. And, maybe most importantly, working with the Army Corps of Engineers, we are on the verge of obtaining the necessary permits to prepare our container terminals for the larger ships we will see from the Panama Canal expansion, and we achieved this objective in about half the expected time."
Waterworth continued, "I have been proud to lead the capable staff at the Port Authority, and to work in tandem with the Port Commission. I thank Commissioners for the opportunity to serve, and thank the staff for their dedicated work on behalf of the Port Authority, the premier economic engine for our region."
Janiece Longoria, Chairman of the Port Commission, congratulated Waterworth on his service, "My fellow Port Commissioners and I are grateful to the Colonel for his steady leadership and his service to the Port Authority during his tenure. He worked effectively on many endeavors including operational matters and the federal permit to deepen and widen the Bayport and Barbours Cut Channels. We are proud of what has been accomplished during the past two years, and the Port Commission wishes Len the very best in his future endeavors."
The Chairman further announced that the Port Commission has appointed Roger Guenther, Deputy Executive Director of Operations, as the Port Authority's Executive Director. "Given his background and experience, the growth in our business under his operational leadership, and his long and positive service for the Port of Houston Authority, we are confident that Mr. Guenther is the right choice as successor to lead the institution as we move forward."