Kornegay to retire Feb. 1
Port of Houston Executive Director Thomas Kornegay announced Tuesday that he will retire, effective Feb. 1, after a 37-year career at one of the nation’s largest ports.
Kornegay will step down for family reasons associated with the recent death of his mother, the port authority said. Port Chairman Jim Edmonds has called a special meeting of the Port Commission on Friday to consider action following this announcement.
Kornegay spent the last 17 years as port director, after starting as an engineer and working his way up the ranks.
While working in the engineering department, he developed the master plan for the Barbours Cut Container Terminal, which opened in 1976 and ranks as the busiest container terminal on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Kornegay’s “efforts helped Houston face the container shipping age and embrace the changes it brought. Barbours Cut Terminal and Bayport Terminal bear the stamp of his contributions,” Edmonds said.
Kornegay was instrumental in the completion of the $700 million Houston Ship Channel deepening and widening project, which included significant environmental, safety and economic benefits for the Houston region and the state. And most recently, Kornegay oversaw the port’s operational recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike with minimal impact to port authority assets.
In 2008, Kornegay was named “Maritime Person of the Year” by the Greater Houston Port Bureau and Houston Area “Engineer of the Year” by local engineers.
He was chairman of the board of the American Association of Port Authorities from 1998-99. From 2005-2007, Kornegay was also president of International Association of Ports and Harbors.
Last year was a record year for the handling of general cargo and containers. The port authority recorded all-time records of imported steel with nearly 6 million short tons (breaking the record set in 1981), export steel at 337,530 million short tons (breaking the record set in 2007), and an all-time record for total steel handling at 6.3 million short tons.