Port Staff

Michael Meekins, Executive Director

Michael Meekins, Port Executive Director

Michael Meekins was named Port Executive Director in March 2023. He was promoted after serving less than three years as Director of Business Development. 

Meekins began his career at Port of Palm Beach in April 2020. He hit the ground running, despite starting at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meekins played a pivotal role in numerous port-related projects such as the successful launch and rebranding of the cruise line now known as Margaritaville at Sea and the development of a one-of-a- kind cement storage facility operated by a construction materials company. In 2021, Meekins was entrusted with managing the Port’s operations department.  

Prior to joining the Port of Palm Beach, Meekins served as the Senior Director of Cruise and Port Operations at Port Canaveral, FL. He was responsible for coordinating all operations for 644 cruise ships per year and over 3.6 million passengers, which generated over $80 million in direct revenue for the Canaveral Port Authority and $648 million in indirect revenue for the Port. Meekins was also the direct contact for all cruise and cargo business development and was assigned to coordinate all operations within the port on a daily basis. This included multiple restaurants, stores, marinas, three public parks, two sets of boat ramps, a 300 space RV Park and 4.5 acres of public beaches. During his time at Port Canaveral, the port more than doubled in volume and revenues.

Meekins also has experience in the aviation industry. He spent 10 years as a Senior Vice President of Operations, where he oversaw aviation operations in 52 cities across the country. During this time period, he was responsible for new route startup operations and ongoing oversight of ground operations.

Before that, Meekins worked as a contractor for the New York Power Authority as a Project Manager, overseeing multiple sub-contractors and projects.

One of his most proudest accomplishments is the time he spent in the military. He served 10 years in the U.S. Navy as a Jet Engine Mechanic, both ashore and deployed. His last tour of duty was onboard the U.S.S. Independence in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm. He then carried over his military career serving in the Air Force Reserves.

Beatrice Greffin Pompey, Deputy Director of Business Operations and Administration

Beatrice Greffin, Deputy Director of Business Operations and Administration

Beatrice Greffin Pompey is the Deputy Director of Business Operations and Administration.  She is responsible for managing the operations, human resources, clerk's office, administration, information technology and communications departments. 

Greffin nicknamed "Mrs. B", has been employed with the Port of Palm Beach since November 2010. She has held numerous leadership roles including Director of Human Resources and Administration and District Clerk. 

Prior to joining the Port, she spent more than 15 years in the field of Human Resources.

Greffin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, and a Master’s Degree in Psychology with an emphasis on mediation and conflict resolution. 

She has a passion for working with people and strives to make a positive change in the lives of each person with whom she comes in contact.

Carl Baker, Director of Planning & Development 

Carl Baker, Director of PlanningCarl Baker is currently the Director of Planning and Development. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, strategic planning, long range land use policy, future transportation strategies, grant writing along with construction project oversight and coordination. 

He has been with the Port of Palm Beach since 1991. During his career at the Port he has held a number of management positions, in such diverse fields as Security, Information Technology, Communications and Operations. 

Prior to coming to the Port of Palm Beach, he was a Captain in the U.S. Army, with tours of duty in Korea, Germany and Egypt.

Rick Placeres, Director of Operations

Rick Placeres, Director of Operations

Rick Placeres was named Director of Operations in March 2023 after serving in numerous leadership roles including Director of Port Security and Security Manager. Placeres works closely with Port staff, tenants and federal and local law enforcement agencies to ensure safety and security at the Port.

The former Marine Sergeant has spent the last 40 years working in both the distribution and security industries. He's held several roles along his careers including Director of Distribution for Eden Manufacturing, Function Manager for Walgreens Distribution center and Security Manager for Sunstates Security Service. 

Placeres holds a Bachelors in Business Administration from the University of California. He is currently studying criminal justice at Palm Beach State College. Placeres is a proud father of three. His daughter Jessica is a teacher in New York, his other daughter Kassandra is a West Palm Beach Police Officer and his son Ricky is an entrepreneur in New Jersey. His pride and joy are his three beautiful grandchildren. 

Tacaria Anderson Jones, Director of Contract Compliance and Tenant Relations 

Tacaria Anderson Jones,  Director of Contract Compliance and Tenant Relations

Tacaria Anderson Jones (A.K.A. "T") is the Director of Contract Compliance and Tenant Relations. She is responsible for resolving tenants requests/ concerns, working with customers on potential business opportunity, and assisting with negotiating lease contracts.

She began her career at the Port of Palm Beach District, as a summer intern, in 1998. In January 1999, she accepted a full-time position in the Finance Department as a Fiscal Technician. Anderson's responsibilities included completing daily deposits and assisted the Purchasing and Accounts Payable Specialist with various duties.  In 2001, she was promoted to Accounts Payable Specialist.  This position involved a more advanced accounting process, which included preparation and processing of all accounts payables for the Port District. Three years later, she was promoted to Accounts Receivable Specialist. In this role, her responsibilities included accurately preparing customer invoices according to tenant agreements and the Port's tariff.  She also analyzed and reconciled cash receipts to ensure timely collection of customer accounts.   

In 2022, she was promoted to Senior Manager of Contract Compliance and Accounts Receivable. Her responsibilities included overseeing all aspects of accounts receivable.  In addition to monitoring, interpreting, summarizing and ensuring compliance with tenant agreements, she also prepares current and potential customer rate proformas and resolves tenant requests and concerns. 

Anderson enjoys having the opportunity to work with numerous departments and collaborating with colleagues within the Engineering, Security, Operations, Human Resources Communications and Clerks departments.  She has an excellent rapport with people and her excellent communication skills allows her to connect with people. She inspires them to put forth their best effort.  Anderson looks forward to her continued growth and long tenure at the Port of Palm Beach.

Anderson obtained her bachelor's degree from Florida Atlantic University in Business Administration with emphasis in Management.  Her hobbies include event planning, traveling, and shopping.  One of Anderson greatest accomplishment is being named President of the Florida Chapter of The Ottis Anderson Scholarship Foundation.

Richard Laird, Director of Information Technology 

Richard Laird, Director of Information Technology

Richard Laird joined the District in 2002 as a systems administrator. Promoted to information technology manager in 2008, he is now responsible for all aspects of information technology at the Port as the Director of Information Technology. 

Working in the IT field full time since 1987, Richard came to Port of Palm Beach after serving 10 years in the US Navy as a Data Systems Technician 1st class. Laird holds certifications in Microsoft and Cisco among other technologies.

Jackelin Machado, District Clerk/Senior Manager of Administration

Jackelin Machado, District Clerk and Senior Manager of Administration

Jackelin "Jackie" Machado is currently the District Clerk and Senior Manager of Administration. She is responsible for the administration and maintenance of the District's records. She also performs research, provides insight on commodities, markets and the industry; and she holds the position of the Port's Foreign Trade Zone administrator. Machado was a Colombian native who has Florida home for more than two decades.

Machado holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Master Degree in Financial Valuation and Investment Management, both from Lynn University. She has been with the Port of Palm Beach since 2004. During her career at the port, she has held several positions throughout all the departments.

Al Fawcett/ Facilities Superintendent

Al Fawcett, Facilities Superintendent

Al Fawcett, a dedicated professional with 27 years of unwavering commitment to the Port of Palm Beach, serves as the Facilities Superintendent. His journey began in the maintenance and facilities department, where his dedication and expertise soon earned him the role of foreman. Fawcett was subsequently promoted to Facilities Superintendent, where he now oversees the efficient management of both the facilities and rail departments.

Prior to his employment at the Port, Fawcett earned a certification in heating and air conditioning from New England Institute of Technology. He later completed a four-year apprenticeship program with the state of Connecticut. Building upon this invaluable experience, Fawcett spent six years with a commercial mechanical contractor. 

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Fawcett is a devoted family man. He has been married 46 years and is a proud father to a local firefighter son and a daughter who tirelessly serves as an intensive care unit nurse. His passions include boating adventures, relishing classic car shows, and creating cherished memories with his beloved grandchildren.

Yaremi Farinas, Public Information Officer/ Communications Specialist

Yaremi Farinas, Public Information Officer and Communications Specialist

Yaremi Farinas was named the port’s Public Information Officer in June 2019. She is a seasoned professional with a passion for effective communication and community engagement. 

She came to the Port of Palm Beach with more than seven years of experience in television news. The former broadcast reporter covered news stories all over the sunshine state and in Oklahoma. Her most recent reporting gig was at the local CBS affiliate in West Palm Beach. In November 2018, Yaremi earned an Suncoast Chapter Emmy Award for her reports in Puerto Rico just four months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

Farinas understands the importance of maintaining an open communication with the port’s stakeholders, the public and the media. 

Farinas is a 2010 graduate of Florida International University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications. She currently serves as a Board of Director for a local non-profit called the Children's Healing Institute. 

Raquel Rivera, Human Resources and Risk Management Manager

Raquel Rivera, Human Resources and Risk Management Manager

Raquel Rivera joined the Port of Palm Beach in May 2023 as a Human Resources and Risk Management Manager.

She has an extensive HR background, including more than 14 years of experience in recruiting, onboarding, benefits, performance management and employee relations. Although Rivera received a bachelor’s degree in Paralegal Studies from Everest University, she soon realized her real passion was human resources. 

In her new role, she looks forward to implementing additional employee benefit programs and plans to attend community events to attract more local talent.  She is commissioned as a notary public in the state of Florida.  Rivera, who was born and raised in New York, speaks both English and Spanish. She moved to the sunshine state in 2006, where she lives with her two children.

Keith Leggett, Assistant Director of Operations

Keith Leggett, Assistant Director of Operations

Keith Leggett was named Assistant Director of Operations in March 2023. His extensive background makes him an asset in his current role.

The Palm Beach County native began his career at the Port of Palm Beach in 2011 as a Locomotive Engineer, DSLE (Designated Supervisor of Locomotive Engineers). During that time, Leggett became hazmat certified, trained in OSHA compliance, learned how to operate heavy equipment, became well versed in the county and state building codes and gained knowledge of the port’s infrastructure. He was later given an opportunity to serve as the Port’s first Infrastructure Project Manager. 

Prior to his Port tenure, Leggett owned his own business Keith W. Leggett Contracting Inc. specializing in commercial/ residential remodeling. 

He is a proud father of two sons, Kade and Brody. Leggett firmly believes hard work, dedication, and strong work ethics are key to achieving success in life, and he instills those qualities in his sons. 

A Jupiter High School graduate, Leggett enjoys all things ocean and outdoors. He spends most of his free time on the water and volunteers with a local non-profit called Surfers For Autism.