Port of Houston Authority introduces new management team
- By WorkBoat
Executive Director Len Waterworth has implemented a reorganization of the management structure of the Port of Houston Authority designed to enhance efficiencies, drive higher profitability and ensure greater accountability, consistent with the Port Authority's vision and mission. The reorganization shifts to a structure that is based on collaborative teams with specific operations.
Waterworth, who was appointed to his post in April, has named a leadership team at the deputy executive director level to lead the new operational divisions. Under the new structure, the Port Authority has streamlined into three operational divisions with support from the legal division, each focused on a key objective: operations (efficient movement of cargo for revenue optimization), finance and administration (provide support and control overhead costs) and corporate affairs (economic growth for the community).
Waterworth has tasked this new leadership team to evaluate and manage their respective divisions to achieve better operational efficiencies and results under a culture of continuous assessment and improvement.
Roger Guenther, formerly vice president, container terminals, will head the new operations division. Tom Heidt, formerly vice president, finance and administration, will retain stewardship of those functions and also oversee other staff support groups. Phyllis Saathoff, who joined the Port Authority in October with 20 years of port management experience, will head the division of corporate affairs.
The legal division, led by general counsel Erik Eriksson, continues to report directly to Waterworth and is charged with supporting the executive director and the operational divisions.
Eriksson joined the Port Authority as general counsel in 2005. For nearly 20 years prior to that, Eriksson held legal and management positions at Maxxam Inc. He is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School.
Guenther joined the Port of Houston Authority as manager of maintenance at Barbours Cut in 1988. He was named vice president, container terminals, in January 2010. Guenther earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University and has an MBA in international trade and finance from the University of St. Thomas.
Before joining the Port Authority, Guenther was an engineer for Emscor/Wolfkran, GMBH in the design and installation of construction tower cranes.
Heidt has 30 years of service with the Port Authority. He has held management positions in the Port Authority's accounting, market development and planning departments.
Heidt holds a bachelor's degree in finance from Michigan State University and is a certified Professional Port Manager. He also belongs to numerous trade and traffic organizations.
Saathoff, prior to joining the Port Authority, had acted as interim executive port director/CEO of Port Freeport since April 2012. She joined Port Freeport in 1992 and was named its managing director in 1994.
A certified public accountant and Professional Port Manager, Saathoff is past president of the National Association of Foreign Trade Zones. She currently serves on the 2012 Port Authority Advisory Council to the Texas Department of Transportation. She earned a bachelor of science in accounting, magna cum laude from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
The reorganization was reviewed by the Port Commission of the Port Authority at its October meeting and went into effect earlier this month.