Norfolk -- John Reinhart is the new executive director and chief executive officer of the Virginia Port Authority (VPA). The announcement was made today (Oct. 31) by the VPA’s Board of Commissioners in a special meeting.
Reinhart will be the fourth person to hold the lead role at the VPA since the state’s Hampton Roads container terminals were unified under The Port of Virginia flag in 1982. He takes over for Rodney W. Oliver, the agency’s chief financial officer, who has held the position on an interim basis since September 2012.
Reinhart’s appointment was affirmed through a resolution that was passed unanimously by the VPA board. His effective date will be in February 2014.
“After months of exhaustive searching, I am supremely confident that we have found an experienced, inspirational leader who is well-equipped to guide The Port of Virginia to its best days,” said Board Chairman Jeff Wassmer. “John’s professional accomplishments make him a strong choice, but it is his vision for the future of The Port of Virginia that is truly exciting. We are eager to move forward together.”
In a separate press release issued today, Gov. Bob McDonnell said, “John’s vast experience in the maritime industry and the Hampton Roads community make him ideally suited to lead the Virginia Port Authority.”
John Reinhart brings more than 20 years of diverse maritime experience to the Virginia Port Authority. In 1991, Reinhart joined Maersk Inc. in human resources. One year later, he joined Universal Maritime Services (UMS), an affiliated company, where he was general manager of maintenance and repair, general manager of operations and eventually president of UMS.
In 1996, Reinhart returned to Maersk Inc. as a regional director and then as senior vice president. During this period, he was responsible for commercial activities of the company, including sales, customer service and marketing for North America.
Reinhart was named chief executive officer of Maersk Line, Limited (MLL), headquartered in Norfolk, in 2000 and awarded the concurrent title of president in 2004. He has also been a member of MLL’s Board of Directors for the last 14 years.
“Having been an integral part of the Virginia maritime community for many years, I have developed a deep admiration and respect for this community. This is my home.” Reinhart said. “It is an honor to be granted the opportunity to lead one of the nation’s finest seaports.
"The VPA and VIT have a strong history, a great infrastructure and team. The bright commercial future of the port as an economic engine for the region and the Commonwealth is exciting and motivates me to join the VPA.”
Reinhart received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Ohio University and earned his MBA from the University of Michigan in 1997.
In May 2013, the VPA board began its search for the agency’s new leader; the effort yielded more than 150 resumes.
“We would be remiss today in failing to acknowledge the outstanding service of Rodney Oliver,” Jeff Wassmer said. “For the last 13 months, Rodney served ably as interim executive director and he will continue in that vital role until John Reinhart comes onboard in February 2014.
"Rodney brought stability and solid leadership to the VPA, overseeing a period of robust and sustained growth. We are in his debt and look forward to his continued contributions as part of the VPA’s senior team.”