Wilmington - Paul J. Cozza has been named the new Executive Director of the North Carolina State Ports Authority. The Authority's Board of Directors confirmed the choice at its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday.
Cozza brings to the role extensive, high-level executive experience in the international transportation and logistics industry. He previously served in several roles for Maersk Line, Limited including Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice-President for Finance and Administration, and Vice President for Network Planning. In addition to his experience with Maersk, Cozza has more than a decade of experience with CSX Corporation/Sea-Land Service Inc. He was the Vice President for Terminal Operations and General Manager, Europe, as well as the Tradelane Director, Asia Container Services.
A U.S. Army veteran and graduate of West Point, Cozza also holds a Masters in Business Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
"Strong leadership is essential to expanding Port business in North Carolina," said N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata. "The Ports play a key role in our efforts to better leverage all the state's transportation assets to help create jobs and strengthen the economy. Mr. Cozza brings years of business and leadership experience to the CEO position."
"I also want to thank Jeff Miles who has done a tremendous job as the interim executive director," said Secretary Tata. "He has done fantastic work and we are fortunate that we will continue to benefit from his teamwork and leadership."
"This is a critical time in our industry, as we face the challenge of how to continue to grow our Ports," said Board of Directors Chairman Danny McComas. "Paul's extensive experience in international shipping will be a valuable asset to the Authority. The Ports is fortunate to have a proven industry leader at its helm.
Cozza was chosen following an eight-month international search that attracted more than 100 top-tier candidates. Five members of the Board of Directors, including Secretary Tata, interviewed candidates and presented the top choice to the full Board at Thursday's meeting.
About NC Ports:North Carolina's Ports in Wilmington and Morehead City, plus inland terminals in Charlotte and in Greensboro, link the state's consumers, businesses and industry to world markets, and serve as magnets to attract new business and industry while receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy. Port activities contribute statewide to 65,000 jobs and $500 million each year in state and local tax revenues.
Top trading partners are China, India, Great Britain, Brazil, Belgium, South Korea, Turkey, Taiwan, Canada, Russia, Honduras, Venezuela and Indonesia.Primary exports are phosphate, forest products, woodchips, woodpulp, general merchandise, food products and scrap metal. Top imports are chemicals, grains, urea, ore, mica and schist, sulfur products, rubber, machinery parts, scrap metal, metal products and tools.