Port of Houston Authority Executive Director H. Thomas Kornegay was named 2008 Maritime Person of the Year at the Greater Houston Port Bureau and the Marine Exchange of the West Gulf’s November 15 gala.
Kornegay has served as PHA’s executive director for 16 1/2 years after serving as the port authority’s managing director for five years. He joined the port authority’s engineering department in 1972 and was the project engineer on the Fentress Bracewell Barbours Cut Container Terminal, which opened in 1976 and became the busiest container terminal on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Thomas P. Marian, chairman of the Greater Houston Port Bureau board, served as Master of Ceremonies for the 79th annual event. Proclamations were read by Harris County Pct. 2 Commissioner Sylvia Garcia and Diane Lipton, President, East End Chamber of Commerce. Presenters included PHA Chairman Jim Edmonds (video); Clyde Fitzgerald, President, ILA - District office; William Diehl, P.E., Captain of the Port; Houston Pilots Capt. Mike Morris and Col. Len Waterworth, (Ret.), Commander, United States Army Corps of Engineers.
“I have worked closely with Tom since becoming port chairman in 2000,” said PHA Chairman James T. Edmonds. “We have traveled the world together, meeting customers, and developing new relationships for the benefit of the port. He is always trying to find ways to do things better. This latest honor of being named Maritime Person of the Year is unquestionably deserved as the depth and breadth of his knowledge of the maritime industry never fails to impress me.”
“For over a third of a century, Tom has been a visionary who has not shied away from the challenges of furthering maritime commerce in our nation’s busiest waterway,” said Marian. “His leadership and devotion to the Port of Houston have been instrumental in spearheading the ship channel deepening and widening project, constructing the state-of-the-art container terminal at Bayport, and assisting in the mammoth port recovery operation in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.
Those undertakings and many others over his distinguished career clearly warranted his selection as the 2008 Maritime Person of the Year.”
“Tom has been a pillar in the Maritime community for over 30 years,” said Waterworth. “His continued level of excellence and hard work has helped make the port an economic engine for the city, the region and the United States. With Tom’s vision and drive, he will continue to benefit the maritime industry now, and well into the future. I could not imagine a more deserving recipient of this prestigious award.”
“Congratulations to Thomas Kornegay for his selection as the Houston Maritime Person of the Year for 2008,” said Diehl. “The more I work with the Port of Houston, the more I gain an appreciation of the complexities that exist in making such a large port work so efficiently. I think the key to the success of the port is Tom’s ability to maintain effective communications up and down the ship channel and across the region. His leadership and managerial skills are very evident throughout the port and were definitely most important in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike.”
“Tom Kornegay has been one of the Port of Houston’s greatest successes,” said Houston Pilots Presiding Officer Robert L. Thompson.
“Through his leadership and guidance he has fostered good working relationships between the unions, business and industry that has helped to make it the No. 1 Port in the United States. The marine community can be proud to have Tom represent us as Houston’s Maritime Person of the Year.”
“On behalf of the men and women who make their living on the docks at the Port of Houston, I would like to express our appreciation and admiration for the fine job Tom Kornegay has done during his tenure as Executive Director of the Port of Houston Authority,” said Fitzgerald.
“The port has continued to grow and prosper each of the 16 years he has served as executive director. It has been our privilege and honor to be looked upon as ‘partners’ with him in achieving our c