Juan Kuryla has rejected the Port of Jacksonville’s offer to serve as its executive director, opting to remain at the Port of Miami where he has been deputy director since 2009.
The sudden development was disclosed during a special meeting this morning of the Jacksonville Port Authority.
Details about his change of heart remain unclear, but search firm Heidrick & Struggles said Kuryla had been granted a better offer to stay in Miami. In an interview last Monday with the Miami Herald, Miami Port Director Bill Johnson said he is considering joining the Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County’s economic development agency. On Tuesday, the Beacon Council announced the hiring of a search firm to identify candidates to be the organization’s president and chief executive officer. Frank Nero resigned as Beacon Council CEO in early March. The organization said it expected to fill the position by mid-July or August.
If Johnson takes the position, Kuryla would be in line to helm the Port of Miami.
Paula Musto, director of public affairs at the Port of Miami, confirmed that Kuryla is staying at the port.
JaxPort offered the director’s job to Kuryla on April 22 to replace Paul Anderson, who left late last year to become the executive director of the Port of Tampa. The two other finalists were Global Container Terminals’ Michael Moore and interim JaxPort CEO Roy Schleicher.
The JaxPort board asked Schleicher to stay on as interim while a new search for an executive director is rapidly undertaken.
JaxPort Chairman James P. Cintrano asked for an update on the search by May 20.
The board suggested that Miami’s fight to retain Kuryla meant that their initial leadership choice was good. – Eric Kulisch