Alabama State Port Authority announces senior leadership changes
In the wake of recent and pending retirements, Alabama State Port Authority director and chief executive officer James K. “Jimmy” Lyons on Wednesday announced four major promotions within his senior management team to meet organizational needs in the Port of Mobile’s administration and operating areas.
“We’ve had a number of announced retirements and these personnel changes will allow us to provide better service to both our customers and to our organization,” Lyons said in a press release.
One of the crucial imminent retirements at the Port Authority is the deputy director, Smitty Thorne. Thorne is also the longtime chief operating officer at the port.
All of the following appointees will report to Lyons.
First, Lyons elevated Linda Paaymans from her current position as senior vice president of finance to chief financial officer, filling the vacancy left by the recently retired Larry Downs.
Paaymans holds over 35 years of financial, IT, procurement, planning and production management experience from both the private and public sector. Since 2008, Downs mentored Paaymans to take the reins of the Port Authority’s financial services division. In 2011, she was promoted to senior vice president of financial services, holding oversight on day-to-day financial management and information management systems. The Port Authority’s Board of Directors also named Paaymans as secretary/treasurer in December. She is a graduate of Yale University and holds a Master of Business Administration from the Lubin School of Business at Pace University.
Lyons also promoted Danny Barnett to vice president of human resources. This division overseas the Port Authority’s personnel, medical services, training and safety programs.
Barnett is a 43-year veteran at the Port, having served in a number of supervisory and management positions in general cargo and bulk operations, billing and human resources. During his tenure with the Port Authority, he also served 23 years with the Alabama Army National Guard, which included a tour in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Barnett retired from the Guard in 2007 with the rank of Major. Since 2003, he has managed the Port Authority’s human resources, medical services and employee training departments. Barnett holds a Bachelor of Science in Management of Human Resources from Faulkner University.
In another important move, Lyons promoted Bill Inge to vice president, general cargo and central services. This expanded division will oversee general cargo, maintenance, fleet services, Port Police and the Harbormaster offices.
Inge holds over 38 years of experience in maritime transportation and terminal operations. In 2007, the Port Authority recruited Inge from Dole Fresh Fruit, where he had served in the company’s U.S. East, West and Gulf Coasts, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Central America operations. In 2011, Inge was named manager of the Port Authority’s General Cargo and Intermodal division. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of the South at Sewanee, Tennessee.
Then, in the Port Authority’s trade division, Lyons promoted Parrish Lawler to director of trade and development.
Lawler joined the Authority in 2014 as manager of trade and development with over 20 years of experience in transportation, logistics, sales and marketing. In his new role, he will direct container carrier sales and containerized cargo business development for the Authority. Over the course of his career, Lawler has worked in operations, customer service and sales management for companies like Inchcape, CH Robinson and Norton Lilly. He also oversaw railroad sales for the GC Railway. Lawler is a graduate of Elon University in North Carolina.
The Port Authority owns and/or operates the public deep-water port facilities in Mobile, which is Alabama’s only seaport, handling over 25 million tons of cargo last year. Currently, the Port of Mobile is ranked 11th largest of the nation’s sixty deep-water seaports.
The Authority’s container, general cargo and bulk facilities have direct access to two interstate highway systems, five Class 1 railroads and nearly 15,000 miles of inland waterway. Learn more here.
You can also read Yellowhammer News’ article on the tremendous impact that Alabama’s coal industry has on the Port here.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn