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Kruse Elected Manatee County Port Authority Chairman

December 15, 2022

George Kruse (Photo: Manatee County Port Authority)

George Kruse (Photo: Manatee County Port Authority)

Manatee County Commissioner George Kruse has been elected chairman of the Manatee County Port Authority.

“I’m excited to apply my business experience to leading SeaPort Manatee in realizing its fullest potential as a key force in Manatee County’s economic prosperity,” said Kruse, a commercial real estate finance executive and affordable housing advocate, whose selection was confirmed today [Dec. 15] at a meeting of the Manatee County Port Authority. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the newly reconstituted port board in setting the course for unceasing success of our county’s vital seaport.”

Also elected to serve one-year seaport board officer terms, effective Jan. 1, 2023, are James Satcher, first vice chairman; Jason Bearden, second vice chairman; and Mike Rahn, third vice chairman.

SeaPort Manatee’s seven-member governing board is completed by Amanda Ballard, Vanessa Baugh and Kevin Van Ostenbridge.

The Manatee County Port Authority board consists of the seven members of the elected Manatee County Commission, but with distinctively separate officers and financial accountability. The authority sets policy and oversees major expenditures for SeaPort Manatee.

Members of the port authority board serve staggered four-year terms, with annual election of officers.

Located where Tampa Bay meets the Gulf of Mexico, SeaPort Manatee serves as a ships-to-shelves gateway for Southwest and Central Florida markets, with rail and roadway links, including to the distribution-center-filled Tampa/Orlando Interstate 4 corridor. The closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal, SeaPort Manatee offers 10 deep-draft berths, fulfilling demands of container, liquid and dry bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo customers.

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