Port Everglades Chief Executive/Port Director Steven Cernak will succeed Port Tampa Bay Director Paul Anderson as chairman of the Florida Ports Council, a professional association of Florida’s public seaports, providing advocacy, leadership and research on seaport-related issues before state and federal government.
“Steven Cernak has been an invaluable member of the Florida Ports Council. His extensive experience at numerous ports around the nation is a great asset to capitalize on the strengths of Florida’s diverse seaport system,” said Florida Ports Council President and CEO Doug Wheeler. “We look forward to working with Steven and port partners to continue to move Florida forward as a key player in the global marketplace.”
Cernak joined Port Everglades in March 2012, previously serving as the port director and chief executive officer for the Port of Galveston, Texas. He also served as president of the Galveston Port Facilities Corporation, a nonprofit corporation formed to promote redevelopment at the Port of Galveston and related entities. In addition, Cernak has held the position of manager of port development for The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He has also worked in engineering positions with several private engineering consultancies in New Jersey. Cernak is an active member of the American Association of Port Authorities and has been selected as the association’s chairman of the board for the 2017-2018 activity year, beginning in October.
In addition, PortMiami Port Director and CEO Juan Kuryla was elected as vice chairman, and Port of Palm Beach Executive Director Manuel Almira was elected secretary/treasurer. All positions serve one-year terms.
Florida’s ports support nearly 900,000 jobs in the state and contribute $117.6 billion to the state’s economy each year. The Florida Ports Council administers the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development Council, which is required to provide a five-year Florida Seaport Mission Plan annually according to Florida Statute.
“Florida is in an enviable position because we have 15 dynamic seaports that specialize in diverse business sectors ranging from cruise to cargo to petroleum and even to military and shipbuilding,” Cernak said. “And, we have a governor and legislature that supports Florida’s robust maritime industry because they know it is a job creator that drives our economy forward.”