WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - After more than six years at the helm, Paul J. Cozza has announced his retirement as executive director of the North Carolina State Ports Authority.
Cozza, who was named to the position in April 2014, will continue to serve in his role through Dec. 31.
“It has been an honor to lead North Carolina Ports. Our organization has made tremendous strides over the last several years and it has been exciting to be a part of the progress and witness its positive impacts on our state,” said Cozza. “As I step away, I know our dedicated team will continue to build on this success and further grow NC Ports as an economic leader for North Carolina.”
Brian E. Clark, who currently serves as the chief operating officer and deputy executive director, has been named as the next executive director.
“The Board of Directors is excited to have a proven leader in the maritime industry step into this role,” said Robert A. Wicker, chairman of the North Carolina Ports Board of Directors. “It has long been a part of our plan to have Brian move up within the organization and we are confident his more than 20 years of experience will continue to propel NC Ports forward as a competitive East Coast port.”
During Cozza’s leadership, NC Ports embarked on a more than $200 million capital improvements plan. Container volumes through the Port of Wilmington have increased 25 percent during his tenure while general cargo at the ports of Wilmington and Morehead City has increased 58 percent.