The following is a release from both governors' offices:
Atlanta and Columbia, S.C. - April 4, 2007 - Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue and South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford today announced the six members appointed to the task force that will develop the joint proposal for a port in Jasper County, S.C., that would be owned, developed and operated by the two states.
Governor Perdue appointed his Chief Operating Officer Jim Lientz, State Sen. Jack Hill and former CEO of Acuity Brands Jim Balloun to fill Georgia's three spots on the task force. Governor Sanford selected his Chief of Staff Tom Davis, Ports Authority Chairman Bill Stern, and former Ports Authority Chairman Bill Bethea as South Carolina's representatives.
Governor Sanford has also named an additional group of three advisory members to provide input and expertise during the process of drafting the bi-state compact. These advisory members are Gayle Averyt of Columbia, former Chairman of Colonial Life Insurance; Jim Micali of Greenville, Chairman and President of Michelin North America; and David Maybank III of Charleston, president of Maybank Properties, LLC. Governor Perdue also said members of Georgia's business, financial and maritime communities will be called upon to advise the Governor and the task force as the need arises.
Governor Perdue also announced today that the Georgia Department of Transportation has petitioned the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release or modify the easements on the Jasper County property and begin the process of finding alternate sites to dispose of spoils from the Savannah River. EDITOR'S NOTE: A copy of the letter is attached to this release.
"I look forward to the great work this task force will perform on behalf of our two states," said Governor Perdue. "I am hopeful that these appointments, and the easement request by the Georgia DOT, show that we are committed to this process."
"Today's announcements are an important step for both states as we continue down this cooperative path," Gov. Sanford said. "Putting this committee together and the fact that Georgia has already made its easement release request both show that our respective states are committed to the idea of getting this port built sooner rather than later."
Bios of the six-member task force follow:
Jim Lientz - As Chief Operating Officer for Governor Perdue, Lientz oversees the leadership, management, and supervision of state departments, agencies, and their respective boards and commissions. A native of Savannah, Lientz began his career in the financial services industry in 1968, following graduation from Georgia Tech and two years of service in the United States Army. He built a reputation as a widely respected executive, retiring as President of Bank of America's Mid-South Division in December 2000 and continuing his professional career as Chairman of the TriVeritas Group. He is an ex-officio member of the Georgia Ports Authority Board of Directors. He and his wife Peggy have three daughters and six grandchildren.
State Sen. Jack Hill - Senator Jack Hill, of Reidsville, is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and also serves on the Ethics, Natural Resources and the Environment, Regulated Industries and Utilities and Rules committees. He is an independent grocer. For 33 years, Sen. Hill served in the Georgia Air National Guard as a unit commander and as State Inspector General. He retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserves as a Reserve Forces Officer assigned to the Selective Service System, retiring with 37 years total service. Sen. Hill and his wife Ruth Ann, a retired elementary school principal, are the parents of three children and five grandchildren.
Jim Balloun - Jim Balloun retired as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Acuity Brands, Inc. on September 1, 2004. He is the former Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of National Service Industries, where he led the company for five years prior to the spin-off of Acuity Brands, Inc. in November 2001. In 31 years with McKinsey & Company, Inc., Mr. Balloun dealt with business issues in a broad range of industries, including building products, paper, magnetic storage tape, tires, plain paper copiers, trucks, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and construction aggregates among others, primarily in San Francisco, Tokyo and Atlanta. At the time Mr. Balloun left McKinsey & Company, he was one of the senior governing leaders in the firm, serving as a member of the firm's shareholders (board of directors), partner election, and partner review committees. Mr. Balloun received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar, Harvard's top academic honor. Before attending graduate school, he served three years in the U.S. Navy Civil Engineering Corps, where he reached the rank of Lieutenant. He also holds a B.S. degree in industrial engineering from Iowa State University.
Tom Davis - Tom Davis serves as Chief of Staff to Governor Mark Sanford, where he oversees all day-to-day operations of the Governor's Office. Davis has practiced law in Beaufort, South Carolina, since 1985 at Harvey & Battey, P.A., and prior to rejoining the governor's staff this year had previously served as the governor's Senior Policy Advisor, Co-Chief of Staff, and most recently as Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs. Davis has also served on the board of the S.C. Ports Authority, and is the governor's primary staff advisor for port-related policy. Davis is an undergraduate of Furman University, and received his law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law. Davis resides in Beaufort with his wife and three daughters.
Bill Stern -- Bill H. Stern is President and CEO of Stern & Stern and Associates, a commercial real estate development company doing work throughout the southeast. Mr. Stern is chairman of the South Carolina State Ports Authority. He was appointed to the Board in 2002 and previously served as vice-chairman. He is an organizing Board Member and Director of Carolina National Bank & Trust Company. He and his wife, Linda, served as South Carolina Inaugural Committee Chairman 2006. Mr. Stern lives in Columbia with his wife Linda. They have three sons.
Bill Bethea - William L. Bethea, Jr., is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Chaffin/Light Associates Co. Before joining Chaffin/Light on April 1, 2006, Mr. Bethea had practiced law in Beaufort County since 1969. Mr. Bethea served as a member of the South Carolina State Ports Authority Board of Directors from 1991 to 2003 where he served as Treasurer (1991-1992), Vice Chairman (1992-1995) and Chairman (1995-1999). Born in Dillon, South Carolina, Mr. Bethea graduated from Newberry College in 1962 with a Bachelor of Arts. A former U.S. Marine Officer, Mr. Bethea was a member of the Marine Corps Reserve from 1958 through 1962, and served on active duty in the fields of armor and counter-intelligence from 1962 to 1966, rising to the rank of Captain. Bethea currently resides near Bluffton, South Carolina, with his wife, Paula.