Gov. Phil Bryant today appointed Gulf Coast business leader Jack Norris to the Mississippi State Port Authority Board of Commissioners. Norris begins his service immediately and will assume the unexpired term of former port commissioner Frances Turnage, who resigned Dec. 14, 2012.
The five-member board of commissioners is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the Port of Gulfport. Members are appointed in staggered five-year terms.
“I am pleased to appoint Jack to the Port Authority Board of Commissioners,” Gov. Bryant said. “He is an experienced leader and has played a large role in directing Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts for South Mississippi. He understands the importance of the port, and he is a strong advocate for its restoration and improvement.”
Gov. Bryant has worked to speed port restoration and issued five priorities for its improvement:
· Adding 1,200 additional jobs
· Maintaining current tenants and developing a long-term plan to retain them
· Deepening the port channel
· Ensure port infrastructure can accommodate 1 million TEUs per year
· Creating non-maritime development on the north harbor and east pier
Norris is president of the Gulf Coast Business Council, a group of 250 business leaders focused on improving the economic vitality of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He previously served under Gov. Haley Barbour as Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Recovery and Renewal. He was responsible for coordinating recovery efforts and advising the governor on the development of recovery policy.
“I am honored that Governor Bryant has appointed me to serve as a commissioner,” Norris said. “I am passionate about the potential of the Port of Gulfport and its importance to the state and the Gulf Coast. I believe in the vision and the strategies Gov. Bryant has set forth, and I look forward to working with the other commissioners to achieve those goals.”
Norris holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Mississippi. He and his wife Stephanie live in Gulfport with their twin daughters.