PALMETTO, Fla. – Longtime American Association of Port Authorities and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers executive Dave Sanford has been named deputy executive director at Port Manatee following a national search.“As Port Manatee’s chief operating officer, my aim is to support our chief executive officer, Carlos Buqueras, in achieving his vision to transform Port Manatee into one of the nation’s premier seaports,” said Sanford, who initially came aboard at Port Manatee in August in the role of interim chief of staff.
“We’ll achieve that goal as a corporate team by growing and diversifying the customer base, outperforming our competition in services provided and enhancing our infrastructure to meet current and future customer needs,” Sanford continued.
Sanford has more than 40 years of maritime industry experience, most recently as director of navigation policy and legislation at the American Association of Port Authorities. He served in several senior capacities with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, including as chief of civil works policy and chief of the Interagency and International Services Division. He was water resources adviser to U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., during Moynihan’s term as chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
“The plan to achieve our vision is based on capitalizing upon Port Manatee’s unique assets – location, land available for expansion, mainline rail access, uncongested access to the Interstate highway system, skilled local workforce and technical educational system and, most importantly, a supportive community and port authority commission,” Sanford said.
“I observed Carlos’ achievements at Port Everglades from my vantage point at AAPA and I’m convinced we can duplicate that success here,” Sanford said in referring to Buqueras, who became Port Manatee’s executive director in January 2012, after 22 years as director of business development at Port Everglades in Broward County, Fla.
“My immediate priorities focus upon improvement of port operations and safety, upgrade of our infrastructure and development of our staff resources and training,” Sanford said.
Sanford, a U.S. Army veteran, has served on numerous maritime industry boards, most recently having been appointed in October to a three-year term on the National Academies’ Marine Board.
Port Manatee is a multipurpose deepwater seaport near the entrance to Tampa Bay that serves bulk, breakbulk, container, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The port generates more than $2.3 billion in annual economic impact for the local community, while supporting more than 24,000 jobs regionally, without the benefit of ad-valorem taxes.