Ocean highway and Port Authority Candidate – Richard Bruce

Submitted by

Richard Bruce, Ocean Highway and Port Authority District 1

Richard Bruce

Following forty years in the maritime industry and having recently retired as Vice President and General Manager of Amelia Maritime Services, Inc., Richard Bruce is seeking election to the Ocean Highway & Port Authority (OHPA) District One seat in the November 6th general election.

He has been married for thirty nine years to his wife Nora, a retired school teacher.  His son, David, and granddaughter Jennie also live in Fernandina Beach.  Richard holds a BBA in Marketing from the University of Georgia.

His maritime career has covered all types of cargoes and ocean carriers and, most importantly, many ports.  He has been an active member of various maritime related organizations including The Propeller Club of the United States, and numerous World Trade organizations.  Locally, he has served as President of the Fernandina Maritime Exchange for the past two years and a member of the Chamber of Commerce.  Mr. Bruce is also certified by the U.S. Coast Guard / Department of Homeland Security as a port Facilities Security Officer, and by The Federal Aviation Administration as an air traffic controller.

“Since this is an election year for the port’s District One seat and I had planned to retire soon, the timing was just right for me to ask the voters of Nassau County to consider me for that seat on the port’s Board of Commissioners.  I handed off my duties as Vice President and General Manager at Amelia Maritime and retired. As the Board has no current members with a maritime background I felt that my forty years of hands-on experience was a unique and valuable qualification that the voters would appreciate.

Our port is in a highly competitive business against the three major ports nearby.  Those ports have huge budgets and large sales departments with offices around the world.  They are aggressively expanding and promoting their facilities. Our port must promote its great features and service or be left behind.  My experience will help us to expand our customer base and compete more favorably in the future. It is essential that we grow our port in the number of customers, cargo volume, ships calling at our port and the capacity of our terminal in order to reverse the recent declines in those numbers.

My ultimate goal is to create jobs in Nassau County and stimulate our economy.  Having spent my career bringing ships, ports and cargo together I sincerely believe that my election would be of great benefit to the citizens of Nassau County.  Life teaches us that there is no substitute for experience, so my campaign motto is ‘Experience Counts’.”

It’s not about fixing something that’s broken.  It’s about starting anew and creating something better. –  Peggy Klaus, Author

Mr. Bruce’s forty years of direct maritime experiences (in reverse order) include:

  • Vice President and General Manager of Amelia Maritime Services, Inc.  managing this Fernandina Beach based ship agency which handles over 290 vessels per year in local and nearby ports.  Retired on June 30, 2012 in order to run for the District One seat on the OHPA Board of Commissioners.
  • Vice President of Keystone Industries, LLC. a terminal owner/operating company and importer of bulk materials. Worked with the owner and engineers to plan the terminal layout for construction of the vessel berths and rail service as well as develop customer prospects.
  • Sales management with the Jacksonville Port Authority covering all terminals and cargo types.  While assigned to the vehicle shipping business, the port achieved the number one ranking in the U.S. for vehicle shipments with over 600,000 units being handled.
  • Consultant to the Americas Division of Sea-Land Service, Inc., developing a container control program, the associated sales plans and training for the program, saving the company over $4.2 million per year.
  • Consultant to the International Intermodal Expo in Atlanta.
  • Vice President of Sales in the South Atlantic and Gulf for Columbus Lines.
  • Director of Corporate Logistics with Nedlloyd Lines, USA.  Helped inaugurate a new service between the U.S. east coast and the west coast of South America. Directed sales and the training of the USA staff of the company’s total supply chain management service between the U.S. and Europe.
  • Sales Management with Sea-Land Service, Inc., the world’s largest containerized shipping line and responsible for the company’s largest U.S. territory in the company’s premier division.  Customers ranged from small privately owned businesses to major corporations such as Wal-Mart, JC Penny, Monsanto, Ralston Purina and all U.S. based petro-chemical companies.
  • Vice President, Transportation and Sales of Gran-Quartz International, Inc., an import and export company dealing in global shipping of stone products using charter ships and container carriers.
  • Manager of Southeastern Maritime Co. as agent for twelve ship lines and offering stevedoring and terminal operations in the ports of Charleston, Savannah and Jacksonville.

Learn more about the candidate at  www.bruceport.net

Editor’s Note: In a race that is often overlooked, Richard Bruce with 4o years of experience in the maritime industry, and incumbent Melvin Usery are involved in a spirited campaign for a seat on the Ocean Highway and Port Authority board. We thought our readers would be interested in seeing their initial press releases back to back and view their qualifications prior to voting.

October 23, 2012 7:10 a.m.