Port Canaveral BizNotes
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(L-R) Commissioners Jerry W. Allender, Robert "Bruce" Deardoff, Frank Sullivan, John H. Evans and Thomas "Tom" Weinberg
The Canaveral Port Authority Commission elected its slate of officers for 2014 at the January Commission meeting. 
Thomas "Tom" Weinberg was chosen by unanimous vote to serve a second consecutive term as Chairman. A licensed realtor, Weinberg's previous positions include Chief of Staff for former U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez and Deputy County Administrator for Orange County.

Titusville lawyer Jerry W. Allender was voted into a second consecutive term as Vice-Chairman of the Board. Frank Sullivan, Cocoa resident and third-generation Brevard County citrus grower and shipper, also was elected to a second consecutive term as Secretary/Treasurer.

The five-member Board of Commissioners is completed by Merritt Island resident and auto dealership owner Robert 'Bruce' Deardoff and John H. Evans, a Titusville resident and lawyer.
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On February 5, Cruise Terminal 6 was the site of the first-ever joint Commission meeting of the Canaveral Port Authority (CPA) and the Greater Orlando Airport Authority (GOAA).

Many regional leaders spoke at the well-attended historic event including officials from Disney Cruise Line, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Legoland and SeaWorld Orlando, the Florida Department of Transportation, Workforce Central Florida and Brevard Workforce, Central Florida Partnership and several municipalities.

Although the two entities have cooperated in the past, this meeting was intended to kick off a new era of joint planning and initiatives. To set the stage, Port CEO John Walsh and GOAA Executive Director Phil Brown presented the ongoing and planned projects with which each entity is involved, uncovering eye-opening and exciting areas of joint interest. Commissioners approved a partnership agreement under which port and airport staffs will work together to expand air service and cruise traffic; increase business-travel capacity; seek high-speed rail service; and push for cargo growth.

Commissioners also will appoint liaisons to each other's boards and plan to hold joint meetings at least once a year.
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Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs made a special visit to Port Canaveral in December for a briefing and tour. She was accompanied by Jim Harrison, Orange County Assistant County Administrator, Regional Mobility, whose job it is to advise the Mayor and other local officials on transportation initiatives and work with state officials on obtaining legislative approval and funding for targeted transportation and economic development projects.

CEO John Walsh and Commission Chairman Tom Weinberg led the Port briefing team, explaining how the Port works; outlining plans for the future in cruise, cargo, distribution and entertainment; and introducing discussion of the potential for passenger and cargo rail service between the Port and Orlando International Airport and the Orlando area.

"What are most exciting to me are the future plans," Jacobs said outside the new Exploration Tower. "Tourism remains important to our region, but I think the biggest potential may be in cargo and the many manufacturing opportunities partnering with the Port can help us create."
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One day after Central Florida's first joint airport-seaport board meeting, another group focused on the importance of our transportation hubs: Leadership Orlando, a group dedicated to developing regional leaders, visited Port Canaveral as part of its Space and Sea Ports Session, which included a visit to Kennedy Space Center.

Port CEO John Walsh briefed the class in the new Exploration Tower and he personally led the harbor tour, focusing on the Port's multi-billion-dollar regional economic impact, as well as the $65 million capital investment in infrastructure the Port Authority is making in 2014 to keep prosperity flowing.
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