BRADENTON -- Months of vetting and years of remodeling and Port Manatee is in gear. Friday, Manatee Port Authority Members met for a special public meeting to pick a new director. Out of the last string of finalists, one stood out. His name is Carlos Buqueras. A graduate from the University of Barcelona, with a Masters Degree in Economics, Bequeras brings his experience of 20 years at the Port Everglades Authority as Director of Business Development since 1993.
Port Manatee's own Steve Tyndal, Senior Director of Trade Development and Special Projects, was one of the finalist as well as Raul Alfonso, a former Senior Director at the Jacksonville Port. Out of six votes, Buqueras got three, and is now Port Manatee's new director. Salary negotiations will now begin. Alliance Resource Consulting LLT, stated in the job description for the new Port Director that the salary would be somewhere between $150K and $190K, depending on the experience brought to the position.
With the new seawalls, the new tracks, warehouses, cranes, slab and berth, it only seems likely there would be a new director to run the operation. Since 1992, David McDonald has been the Director of the Manatee County Port Authority. McDonald brought much success to the port, sheperding it throught its transition from small time operation to a major economic force for the county.
During his tenure, nearly $200 million in port improvements have been completed, solidifying Port Manatee as one of Florida's fastest growing seaports with a regional economic impact of $2.3 billion annually, supporting more than 20,000 jobs statewide. As such, the port will always bear his stamp. Into the future, however, it will be Buqueras who helms what the county hopes to make its economic crown jewel.