Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Port Manatee
Communications Manager, Charlotte County
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – Reinforcing Port Manatee’s dynamic role as Southwest Florida’s port, officials of the Manatee County seaport look forward to collaborating with Charlotte County counterparts in bringing more business and jobs to the region.
Enthusiasm was expressed as Port Manatee leadership shared an update on the multimodal trade and transportation hub with members of the Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners on Oct. 27.
“As the seaport of Southwest Florida, Port Manatee is privileged to serve as Charlotte County’s gateway to international trade, providing an integral commercial link with markets throughout the world,” said Carol Whitmore, who chairs the Manatee County Port Authority. “We look forward to jointly pursuing business opportunities that will mutually benefit our port and the people of Charlotte County.”
Whitmore was joined for the Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners meeting by John Chappie, the authority board’s second vice chairman; port authority members Robin DiSabatino and Charles B. Smith; Carlos Buqueras, executive director of Port Manatee; Dave Sanford, Port Manatee’s deputy executive director; Virginia Zimmermann, the port’s marketing and public relations manager; and Jennifer Cowan, the port’s legal counsel.
“The expansion of the Panama Canal will create tremendous opportunities for Charlotte County,” said Charlotte County Commission Chairman Bill Truex. “I am impressed by Port Manatee’s readiness to take advantage of the expected growth in shipping traffic to the Gulf Coast and look forward to partnering with them to maximize the economic benefit to Charlotte County and the entire region.”
A week earlier, Port Manatee reported that it handled 83 percent more containerized cargo units in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30 than in the preceding 12-month period while continuing to add to its prominence in other key cargo sectors.
Located “Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico,” Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanding Panama Canal, with 10 40-foot-draft berths serving container, bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The port generates more than $2.3 billion in annual economic impact for the local community, while supporting more than 24,000 jobs, without levying ad-valorem taxes.
Sharing an update with the Charlotte County Board of County Commissioners on Port Manatee’s dynamic role as Southwest Florida’s port are, from left, Carlos Buqueras, the port’s executive director; Dave Sanford, the port’s deputy executive director; and Carol Whitmore, who chairs the Manatee County Port Authority.