Maritime | Ports | Logistics
PRESIDENT, CMA CGM AMERICA LLP AND APL NORTH AMERICA, NORFOLK
The CMA CGM Group serves 80% of the world’s commercial ports with a 502-vessel fleet and 110,000 employees. The American arm of its shipping and logistics company, based in Norfolk, has a workforce of more than 11,000 employees and serves 18 ports.
In June, Aldridge was named president of CMA CGM Group America, where he’s based in Norfolk and is responsible for all of its U.S. commercial and government activities.
He also continues to serve as president of its APL North America, the country’s oldest ocean carrier, based in California. Aldridge has been president of APL since 2017, when he was promoted from chief operating officer.
Aldridge, a graduate of Marist College in New York, began his career with SeaLand Service, where he held a number of senior roles.
Aldridge left APL for a time in 2003, when he launched an ocean carrier as CEO and president of US Lines for 13 years. That business eventually became part of CMA CGM Group and was integrated into APL North America.
PRESIDENT, INTERCHANGE GROUP INC., MOUNT CRAWFORD
Anders has led InterChange Group for two decades, overseeing a warehousing and transportation company that continues to grow.
With 265 employees in Virginia, InterChange offers transportation, supply chain management and storage solutions across 17 warehouses, including a cold storage facility in Rockingham County that recently underwent a $42 million expansion.
Anders serves as a Region 8 council member for the state’s GO Virginia economic development initiative. He also serves on the board of the Virginia Maritime Association.
EDUCATION: Eastern Mennonite University, B.S. in accounting and business administration
FIRST JOB: Worked in a butcher stand in Pennsylvania when I was 9; and as a CPA in public practice at PBMares after college.
MOST RECENT BOOK READ: “Nehemiah: Becoming a Godly Leader,” by Gregory Brown
BEVERAGE OF CHOICE: Montepulciano wine from Italy
SOMETHING I WOULD NEVER DO AGAIN: Eat zucchini. Go skydiving.
CHAIRMAN AND CEO, T. PARKER HOST, NORFOLK
With 145% revenue growth over three years, terminal operator T. Parker Host made Inc. magazine’s list of the fastest-growing private companies in August 2019. It wasn’t the first time Host made the list, attributing its growth in part to its chairman and CEO, Anderson.
Anderson is no outsider. He’s worked at Host since 1998, starting as a boarding agent. A company timeline notes that a year later, he helped open the company’s first terminal operation at Giant Cement in Chesapeake. He became chairman and CEO in 2011.
The nearly 100-year-old supply-chain company moves cargo and watches over it through its businesses in agents, terminal operations and marine equipment.
Host opened a logistics division in 2017. In late 2018, Host was one of the partners in Avondale Marine, which bought a closed shipyard in Louisiana, redeveloping the more-than-250-acre site along the Mississippi River.
Anderson also is sought out for his industry perspective. He was part of a panel discussing the market outlook for oil, gas and coal at the American Coal Council’s December 2019 conference in New York.
PRESIDENT, NORTH AMERICA, TRANSURBAN, FALLS CHURCH
If you’ve ever tried to beat traffic by hopping on an express lane on or around the D.C. Beltway, you’ve paid Transurban, an Australian company that operates the toll roads alongside high-volume interstates 95, 395 and 495.
Aument, who joined Transurban in 2006, runs its North American arm. She’s been instrumental in using public-private partnerships to make those transportation projects a reality, including the 53 miles of reversible toll roads in the Greater Washington area. She also had a hand in the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, leading its development team during her time at Bechtel.
Aument is growing Transurban’s business with Virginia, helping rebuild the American Legion Bridge over the Potomac River, and Aument has its eye on Maryland’s road expansion work in Greater Washington.
Gov. Bob McDonnell appointed Aument to a five-year term on the Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners in 2011, and Gov. Terry McAuliffe kept her there. Commissioners oversee the Hampton Roads port, which saw $74.86 billion in cargo pass through in 2019. Aument’s second five-year term ends in 2021.
ROBERT S. BOWEN
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NORFOLK AIRPORT AUTHORITY, NORFOLK
Airlines are taking a hit, but Norfolk International Airport has been a key transportation gateway for Hampton Roads. It also was responsible for 14,920 jobs that resulted in $1.8 billion in economic output in 2018, according to a study from the Virginia Department of Aviation.
The man overseeing the airport authority, which governs the Norfolk airport, is Bowen, a native of the Northern Neck and a graduate of Old Dominion University. He’s spent much of his career at the airport, starting as director of operations in 1988 and becoming executive director in March 2016.
The airport announced a 94.2% decline in passenger activity in April due to the pandemic. Cargo seemed to be holding fairly steady, however, with a 4.2% increase from the previous year, seeing 5.39 million pounds shipped in and out of the airport.
Before passenger traffic began plummeting this spring, the airport was seeing its best numbers in history. Its passenger count rose 8.62% in 2019 to 3.98 million.
STEPHEN C. BRICH
COMMISSIONER, VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, RICHMOND
Appointed in January 2018, Brich oversees a state agency with a $6.4 billion annual budget and 7,700 employees, responsible for designing, building, operating and maintaining the nation’s third-largest state-maintained highway system.
An Old Dominion University graduate who earned his master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Virginia, Brich started out at VDOT and has spent most of his career there, save for a stint of more than seven years at the planning and design engineering consultancy firm Kimley-Horn and Associates.
Foremost on his plate, Brich is overseeing a project to address longtime traffic congestion — the expansion of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel. At $3.8 billion, it’s the largest construction project in VDOT’s 114-year history, with a planned 2025 completion date. He has also championed the need for $2.2 billion in improvements to Interstate 81, as well as the creation of a sustainable pipeline of projects and the development of performance measures to support long-term strategies for state transportation funding.
PRESIDENT AND CEO, CP&O LLC; VICE PRESIDENT, VIRGINIA MARITIME ASSOCIATION, NORFOLK
Brown leads the stevedoring company CP&O, which employs its “house gangs” of 75 to 300 longshoremen to load and unload ship cargo. Formed in 2004, CP&O operates at the major terminals of the Port of Virginia.
Its presence is felt at Norfolk International Terminal, Virginia International Gateway, Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal and Lambert’s Point Docks.
Brown, a graduate of Old Dominion University, has worked in the industry more than four decades. Before CP&O, he was an executive at Cooper/T. Smith Stevedoring Co. He serves on the boards of the Hampton Roads Shipping Association and the Virginia Maritime Association, and is treasurer of the National Maritime Safety Association.
As someone who hires and works with the men and women who unload the vessels, he has a significant voice in the industry and looks out for the international longshoremen: “He’s watched the evolution of things,” says Ashley K. McLeod, vice president of communications and membership at the Virginia Maritime Association.
CAPT. WHITING CHISMAN
PRESIDENT, VIRGINIA PILOT ASSOCIATION, VIRGINIA BEACH
Chisman was elected president of the Virginia Pilot Association in May, unanimously chosen to replace longtime predecessor Capt. Bill Cofer.
Chisman previously served as vice president of the association, which represents the people who perform the delicate calculations and chart courses that help guide the big cargo ships safely into
A Hampton native who underwent the rigorous pilot apprenticeship training after graduating from Virginia Military Institute, Chisman became a branch pilot and earned a U.S. Coast Guard Inland Master’s license. Chisman also is active in Virginia Maritime Association leadership and serves on the Virginia
Port Authority’s stakeholder committee.
He knows the geography of the waterways and has worked to help plan significant dredging and expansion projects in Hampton Roads. Ashley McLeod of the Virginia Maritime Association says Chisman is the future of ensuring a navigable harbor: “He’s instrumental in making sure the waterways are safe and taken care of.”
ADAM COHEN AND ELAN COHEN
CO-EXECUTIVE CHAIRMEN, LIBERIAN INTERNATIONAL SHIP & CORPORATE REGISTRY (LISCR) LLC, DULLES
The Cohen brothers, Adam and Elan, run Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry, the second-largest shipping registry internationally, with more than 4,500 vessels, representing 12% of the world’s oceangoing fleet.
The company was founded by their father, Yoram, in 1999.
In a 2019 profile by Tradewinds, Adam Cohen said he and his brother worked summers for their father, before Adam joined the company full time in the early 2000s, with Elan coming on board a few years later.
Before their father left, they worked with him for about five years, Adam told the magazine:“I brought my background in finance and got to absorb a lot of my father’s entrepreneurial skills, as well as his high-level relationships with governmental officials and senior shipowner contacts he’d developed over many years.”
Yoram Cohen transitioned out of LISCR in 2015.
The family has ties to former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, and the company’s $120,000 donation to his campaign for governor raised questions in 2013. The Washington Post and NBC News reported that it was seen as an unusual alliance, because LISCR’s role as an open registry draws criticism from unions and others over less stringent accountability. The company also was questioned by U.S. lawmakers and others for its business during the regime of former Liberian president Charles Taylor, The Post reported. The company said it opened its books to U.S. officials.
MICHAEL W. COLEMAN
PRESIDENT AND CEO, CV INTERNATIONAL INC.; PRESIDENT, VIRGINIA MARITIME ASSOCIATION, NORFOLK
Coleman is the son of B. Wayne Coleman, who launched a forerunner of CV International in 1985. While the older Coleman remains chairman, his son became president in 2006 and CEO in 2018.
CV International is a player in the supply chain business, offering logistics, transportation and freight-forwarding services. Coleman’s influence extends beyond the business. He’s a member of the Hampton Roads Coal Association, serves on the Hampton Roads Shipping Association and Greater Norfolk Corp. boards, and recently was appointed to the Virginia Board for Branch Pilots. This year he became president of the Virginia Maritime Association.
EDUCATION: University of Richmond, B.A.; Louisiana State University, Paul M. Hebert Law Center, J.D. and B.C.L.
FAVORITE VACATION DESTINATION: Hatteras Island
BEVERAGE OF CHOICE: Vodka martini
MOST RECENT BOOK READ: “Play It Loud: An Epic History of the Style, Sound, and Revolution of the Electric Guitar,” by Alan di Perna and Brad Tolinski
PERSON I ADMIRE: I admire my father more than anyone in the world. He is my father, my boss and a best friend rolled into one. He built the company I now lead from scratch. I have always admired him, his determination, self-confidence and work ethic.
CHRISTOPHER J. CONNOR
PRESIDENT AND CEO, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PORT AUTHORITIES, ALEXANDRIA
As chief of the American Association of Port Authorities, founded in 1912, Connor works as an industry spokesman and public policy advocate for 130 public port authorities across the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America.
It’s still early in Connor’s tenure. He took his position in October 2019, bringing a range of shipping and logistics experience — he worked for United States Lines and Crowley Maritime, before becoming global president and CEO of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics AS. Automotive Purchasing and Supply Chain Magazine named him Logistician of the Year in 2013.
Supply chains are undergoing changes and disruptions due to the coronavirus. Another big shift, Connor told Seatrade Maritime News in June, is that “the pandemic has heightened shippers’ awareness of the need to have ready access to essential products and materials without the worries of international trade tensions, long shipping delays, environmental concerns related to shipping and other issues hampering access to goods and affecting their costs.”
A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Connor also serves as business advisory board chairman of Xylyx Bio Inc. and is on the board of The Pasha Group.
OWNER AND PRESIDENT, CROFTON INDUSTRIES INC., PORTSMOUTH
Crofton Industries, which provides professional diving services for the maritime industry, grew out of a diving business started by Navy veteran Juan F. Crofton and a friend in 1949.
Crofton’s four children — Bob, Kenny, Camille and Jay — were working at the growing company by 1983, and they remain on its leadership team.
Jay Crofton serves as president of the company, which offers services including commercial diving, hydraulic cranes and crane rental, rigging, marine construction and engineering.
In a company video, Crofton notes that attention to safety has been important from the beginning. The company had to develop its own protocols, because OSHA regulations were nonexistent in the early days.
Crofton Industries celebrated its 70th anniversary last year. In a story about its milestone, The Virginian-Pilot noted that the company had been key in preserving regional infrastructure, including the replacement of the Bonner Bridge, helping with the replacement of Portsmouth’s seawall and inspecting the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.
As for the company’s future, a third generation now works in the family business.
CEO AND PRESIDENT, VSE CORP., ALEXANDRIA
Cuomo took the reins of logistics company VSE Corp. in April 2019.
After graduating from Florida Atlantic University in 1996, Cuomo earned a law degree from the University of Miami School of Law and went on to pick up his MBA from the University of Florida. He followed that up with nearly 20 years in the aerospace industry, working for B/E Aerospace Inc. and then its spinoff, Aerospace Solutions Group. When that company was acquired by The Boeing Co., Cuomo served as vice president and general manager of Boeing Distribution Services.
VSE was founded in 1959 and drew much of its work serving the Department of Defense. A little more than 40% of its revenue in 2019 came from defense contracts, which included work on military vehicles, ships and aircraft, along with technology and engineering services.
Its other two arms are supply chain management and aviation — the latter of which recently announced a partnership with 1st Choice Aerospace and Aviation Clean Air on a project that tested ionization technology and purification systems as a way to sterilize the COVID-19 virus in aircraft interiors.
JEROME L. DAVIS
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER, METROPOLITAN WASHINGTON AIRPORTS AUTHORITY, ARLINGTON
Davis was appointed to his position at Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority in September 2014. The authority oversees the Ronald Reagan National and Washington Dulles International airports.
Davis, who also serves on the board of Destination D.C., the city’s tourism marketing organization, came to the authority with corporate experience at Waste Management, Americas for Electronic Data Systems, the Maytag Appliance Company, Frito Lay and Procter & Gamble.
A graduate of Florida State University, Davis played football under Coach Bobby Bowden, and during his time at Ohio State University was a defensive back in two Rose Bowls.
MOST RECENT BOOK READ: “The Nightingale,” by Kristin Hannah.
BEVERAGE OF CHOICE: From a business perspective, I would say Pepsi, because our airports entered into a pouring rights agreement with the company.
PERSON I ADMIRE: Muhammad Ali, because he was so relevant during my formative years. He knew how to handle adversity and he had the ability to bring diverse people together.
ROBEY W. ‘ROB’ ESTES JR.
CEO, ESTES EXPRESS LINES, RICHMOND
Taking over CEO duties from his father in 1990, Estes now runs the company started by his late grandfather, W.W. Estes, in 1931.
Rob Estes has seen the implementation of new technology and exponential growth at the trucking company, which employs more than 18,000 people and last year served 1.54 million direct points in all 50 states, with service to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.
A year after Estes became CEO, annual revenue hit $100 million. By 1994, it had doubled to $200 million, and 10 years later reached $1 billion. By 2014, Estes was recording more than $2 billion in revenue, soaring to $3.1 billion in 2018. That landed it on the Forbes list of American’s Largest Private Companies in 2019, at No. 153.
Estes told Virginia Business in 2016 that a hallmark of his leadership was planning conservatively for growth. “We make sure decisions are long-term focused and not quick decisions that will have a long-term negative impact on the company,” Estes said.
Estes’ son Webb is continuing the tradition, serving as a vice president at the company.
PRESIDENT, ZIM AMERICAN INTEGRATED SHIPPING SERVICES LTD., NORFOLK
ZIM is a mammoth shipping services provider that operates around the globe, reaching more than 100 countries. As part of an expansion strategy, it launched an independent arm in the United States in 2015, tapping Goldman to lead its business.
Before docking at ZIM, Goldman worked most of his career for APL ocean carriers in leadership roles that took him from Singapore to Scottsdale, Arizona.
A native of the Netherlands, Goldman grew up on the West Coast. He’s a graduate of San Jose State University in California, attended graduate school at New York University and took executive management courses at the University of Michigan.
ZIM American has added ports during Goldman’s term and in June launched an express service that offered 12-day transit from South China to Los Angeles, the Journal of Commerce reported. “We always had a keen interest in returning to the U.S. West Coast,” Goldman told JOC, “but it all depends on scope and scale.”
PRESIDENT, SOFTEON, RESTON
Softeon provides supply-chain software and other systems that help companies manage and run warehouses, an increasingly high-tech prospect that incorporates robotics, artificial intelligence and the internet of things.
Govind, a graduate of the University of Madras, India, founded the company in 1999 and says it’s been profitable from the start.
For 20 years, Govind was the sole shareholder of the company. But in October the company announced a minority investment from private equity firm Warburg Pincus. “Their software is crucial for many companies of all sizes and complexities with warehousing needs,” Warburg Pincus Vice President Angel Pu said. “We are confident that the company is primed for strong growth in the years ahead.”
Speaking of the future, in May, Softeon opened a 2,200-square-foot Warehouse of the Future Innovation Lab near its Reston headquarters. In it, the company can explore and showcase how voice applications, high-tech sortation systems and other technology can squeeze more efficiency out of warehouse operations.
PERRY J. MILLER
PRESIDENT AND CEO, CAPITAL REGION AIRPORT COMMISSION, RICHMOND
August marks Miller’s first year as president and CEO of the Capital Region Airport Commission, which governs the Richmond International Airport, which brought in $43 million in revenue in 2019 and typically flies more than 4 million passengers a year. (Numbers are down dramatically this year due to the pandemic.) Miller brings more than 25 years of management experience from the Houston Airport System and served as interim CEO of the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority in Mississippi.
In June, Miller was named secretary and treasurer of the Alexandria-based American Association of Airport Executives. He is married to his college sweetheart, Tanya. The couple has four sons: Shane, Nekoda, Jachin, and Jahleel.
FIRST JOB: Working as a cook for a local restaurant in Houston, Texas
PERSON I ADMIRE: It has been said that in the face of racial disharmony and blatant disregard for human dignity, Air Force Gen. Benjamin O. Davis Jr. was able to prove that people with different backgrounds working together for a common good can achieve far more together than they could separately. Today, the workforce, particularly in the aviation sector, is much more diverse because of his efforts and the efforts of many other brave Americans.
JOHN G. MILLIKEN
CHAIRMAN, VIRGINIA PORT AUTHORITY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, ARLINGTON
The Virginia Port Authority needs a new CEO and executive director to replace John F. Reinhart, a former Virginia Business Person of the Year who has announced he will retire in March 2021.
It falls to Milliken to guide that search.
Milliken knows his way around the industry. He served as Virginia’s secretary of transportation under Gov. L. Douglas Wilder and has been chairman of the Virginia Port Authority Board since his appointment by Gov. Terry McAuliffe in 2014. It marked his return to the board, which he also chaired from 2002 to 2011.
He worked under three other governors, including serving as transition director for Gov. Mark Warner and helping lead the transition committee on transportation for Gov. Ralph Northam.
A University of Virginia School of Law alumnus, Milliken spent 21 years as a lawyer at Tysons-based firm Venable LLP and has had his hand in more than maritime — including board service on the Washington Airports Task Force and the Dulles Corridor Rail Association. He’s a senior fellow in residence at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government.
JOHN E. ‘JACK’ POTTER
PRESIDENT AND CEO, METROPOLITAN WASHINGTON AIRPORTS AUTHORITY, ARLINGTON
Virginia’s two largest airports, Ronald Reagan Washington National and Washington Dulles International, fall under the watch of Potter. He’s led the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority since 2011, overseeing 1,718 employees in Virginia and an organization with $913.5 million in revenue in 2019.
Potter is responsible for more than air travel, however. He’s had his eye on the rails, too, with responsibility for the multibillion-dollar expansion of Metro’s Silver Line, which will allow trains to reach Dulles and other points in Loudoun County.
Among his roles, Potter serves on the management advisory council of the Federal Aviation Administration and on the board of directors for the U.S. Travel Association.
EDUCATION: Fordham University, bachelor’s degree in economics; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, master’s degree as a Sloan Fellow
FIRST JOB: Distribution clerk at the United States Postal Service
BEST ADVICE: Change is inevitable in every business. It is critical that you are constantly looking forward and preparing for change.
FAVORITE VACATION: The Jersey Shore
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, VIRGINIA INTERNATIONAL TERMINALS LLC, NORFOLK
Price is responsible for the operations of Virginia International Terminals (VIT), a nonprofit corporation created by the Virginia Port Authority in 1982 to run its cargo terminals — including Norfolk International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal and the Virginia Inland Port in Front Royal.
VIT generates more than half a billion dollars in annual revenue at the port, which is the third-largest in the United States and has been rapidly expanding in recent years.
Price attended East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, where he played football. Since graduation, he’s spent the majority of his career in terminal operations, with stints at Sea-Land Service Inc., APM Terminals and Global Container Terminals.
He started with Virginia International Terminals in 2018 as senior vice president of operations. After a little more than a year, he became COO.
Price reports to Virginia Port Authority CEO and Executive Director John F. Reinhart, who has announced plans to retire in March 2021.
JOHN F. REINHART
CEO AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, VIRGINIA PORT AUTHORITY, NORFOLK
The chief of the Virginia Port Authority, Reinhart has overseen the transformation of the Port of Virginia since he started in 2014. He took the helm of an organization in need of an overhaul, supervising great growth and shepherding some of its biggest projects.
He oversees the Virginia International Gateway, Norfolk International Terminals, Virginia Inland Port and the marine terminals of Newport News, Portsmouth and Richmond — an impact put into perspective in May when he gave notice that he would retire in March 2021.
“This port is going to be an economic force in Virginia for decades to come,” he said in a statement.
Some of his keystone projects include the $700 million expansion of Hampton Roads terminals, a $1.5 billion capital spending program, a $350 million investment from the state and a dredging project that will increase competitive advantage for the port by creating the deepest commercial harbor and shipping channels on the East Coast.
Reinhart, who came to the authority after more than two decades with the Maersk shipping company, also holds influential board memberships on the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the GO Virginia Region 5 Council.
REAR ADM. CHARLES ‘CHIP’ ROCK
COMMANDER, NAVY REGION MID-ATLANTIC, U.S. NAVY, NORFOLK
In a region that’s home to the world’s largest naval facility, Rear Adm. Rock is in command. He leads the Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, overseeing 14 Navy installations — five of them in the Hampton Roads area.
In an editorial published in The Virginian-Pilot last year, Rock laid out the numbers that reinforce the significance of the military in Hampton Roads: 300,000 people with direct ties to the Navy, nearly 90,000 active duty sailors, more than 9,000 reservists and 53,000 civilians employed by the Navy. And that’s not mentioning veterans and family members based in the area.
Rock started his naval career in the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Program at Texas A&M University, receiving his commission in 1987. He’s held his current post since July 2018.
In May, Rock spoke of the role the Navy could play during the COVID-19 pandemic, noting the hospital ship USNS Comfort, and its collaboration with the business community. “Cultivating this type of environment is absolutely foundational to the collective success of the region and to each other,” he says, “no matter what we’re trying to achieve.”
JAMES A. SQUIRES
CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORP., NORFOLK
Traffic volume is declining at Norfolk Southern, which soon will leave Virginia on a midnight train to Georgia. Volume was down 11% in the first quarter, Squires reported during the annual shareholder meeting in May.
Nevertheless, efficiency is up, Squires said, citing the results of a strategic plan launched last year that led to records for train speed and other metrics: “We’ve decongested our yards and road network, allowing cars to turn quicker in the terminals and trains to move faster on the network. Our success enabled us to dispose of 703 locomotives that are no longer needed because our network is more efficient — a strong sign that our strategic plan is working.”
In a big hit to the Hampton Roads region and Virginia, in 2018 Norfolk Southern decided to relocate its headquarters after being based in Norfolk for nearly four decades. The company will maintain a presence in the area but broke ground in Atlanta last year and plans to complete its relocation by 2021. It sold its signature Norfolk Southern building in downtown Norfolk to Suffolk-based TowneBank and Norfolk-based Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.
Squires, a New Jersey native and U.S. Army veteran, served throughout Norfolk Southern’s leadership before becoming president in 2013. He added CEO and board chairman to his title in 2015.
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, VIRGINIA MARITIME ASSOCIATION; PRESIDENT, BAY DIESEL & GENERATOR CORP., VIRGINIA BEACH
Wheeler leads the 100-year-old Virginia Maritime Association (VMA), which represents more than 450 companies across Virginia in all areas of the maritime industry. A native of St. Louis and a U.S. Army veteran, Wheeler was elected president of the association in December 2017.
In addition to his work representing the industry for VMA, Wheeler occupies leadership roles for several community organizations. He serves on the boards of the World Affairs Council of Greater Hampton Roads and WHRO Public Television and Radio.
Wheeler also runs a business that has its own place in the maritime supply chain. After working for the Virginia Tractor Co. and Caterpillar Inc., he started Bay Diesel & Generator Corp. from the back of his Ford Pinto in 1982.
Bay Diesel, where Wheeler is president, services diesel engines and electrical generators for ships and other maritime and industrial uses. Its generators help keep refrigerated cargo cold on river barge voyages from Norfolk to Richmond.
DAVID C. WHITE
CHIEF EXECUTIVE, VIRGINIA MARITIME ASSOCIATION; EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, HAMPTON ROADS SHIPPING ASSOCIATION, NORFOLK
White works to ensure the maritime industry’s voice is heard in the Virginia General Assembly and on Capitol Hill. With the Virginia Maritime Association celebrating its centennial this year, White is leading the organization into its next 100 years. The association has more than 450 member companies. White has encouraged wind energy to be the next opportunity for Virginia as part of the maritime supply chain. In his role with the Hampton Roads Shipping Association, he also helps handle the collective bargaining agreement for the International Longshoremen’s Association.
EDUCATION: William & Mary, bachelor’s in business administration
FIRST JOB: At the age of 16, I worked part time at a Wendy’s, flipping hamburgers.
FAVORITE SPORTS TEAM: Futbol Club Barcelona is the best soccer team in Spain’s La Lisa league system. All three of my daughters have played travel soccer.
BEST ADVICE: Listen more and speak with purpose; treat others the way you want others to treat you; when you see divisions, build bridges; and let your actions match your words. Such characteristics build trust and respect. To these I would add the importance of having a personal relationship with your god.
PAUL J. WIEDEFELD
GENERAL MANAGER AND CEO, WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA TRANSIT AUTHORITY, WASHINGTON, D.C.
With a workforce of 12,000, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority serves more than 600,000 riders a day through Metrorail and operates a fleet of more than 1,500 buses making 11,500 daily stops.
But the pandemic and construction work caused public transit ridership to plunge about 90% this spring and summer.
Wiedefeld was searching for the silver lining while the WMATA prepared to restart its Silver Line service and reopen six stations in August.
“By combining the schedules of our two biggest capital priorities in Virginia during a time of historically low ridership,” he said, “we believe we have positioned Metro and the region for a strong recovery.”
Wiedefeld has experience with large-scale challenges. As CEO of BWI Airport, he oversaw projects that included the construction of a Southwest Airlines 26-gate terminal. At the Maryland Transit Administration, where he was CEO, he was responsible for the 13th-largest transit system in the country.
Wiedefeld is a graduate of Towson University and earned his master’s degree in city and regional planning from Rutgers University.
ROLF A. WILLIAMS
OWNER, ANDERS WILLIAMS & CO. INC.; VICE PRESIDENT, VIRGINIA MARITIME ASSOCIATION, NORFOLK
Williams is the grandson of Anders Williams, a native of Norway who got his start on ships as a teenager — eventually becoming a captain for the Wilhelm Line. He and his wife moved to the United States, settling in Norfolk.
The Williams patriarch bought part of the business where he was working, the Henry A. Kassel Co., in 1924, and it has grown into a portfolio of businesses. Anders’ son, the late Rolf Williams, founded Anders Williams Ship Agency, and led Marine Oil Service and Port City Transportation.
His son, Rolf A. Williams, represents the third generation. He’s president of the shipping and trucking arms of Anders Williams, and executive vice president of Marine Oil Service of Norfolk and New York.
A William & Mary graduate, Williams is a well-known industry leader who serves as a vice president of the Virginia Maritime Association.
WILLIAM E. ‘BILL’ WOODHOUR
PRESIDENT AND CEO, MAERSK LINE LTD., LEESBURG
Woodhour has been president and CEO of Maersk Line Ltd. a little more than four years. His company’s parent, the Danish container logistics company Maersk, ships from more than 300 ports around the world, employing approximately 3,500 U.S. mariners annually.
Maersk Line, which has offices in Norfolk and Reston, is the U.S. arm founded in 1983 to support the U.S. Navy. It now operates vessels that support military, government and humanitarian missions.
Woodhour earned business and marketing degrees at the University of Delaware and attended Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program before embarking on a career that has spanned 26 years at Maersk. He held sales and marketing positions and served in executive roles that took him from New Jersey to Denmark.
His role as president and CEO is based in Virginia, and Woodhour is called upon to share his expertise. He delivered a keynote address last year at the Conference on America’s Ports, held at Christopher Newport University’s Center for American Studies.