The Florida Ports Council today announced Manuel Almira, the Executive Director of the Port of Palm Beach, is the council’s new chairman. Almira replaces PortMiami CEO Juan Kuryla, who completed his two-year term.
Additionally, Jonathan Daniels, Port Everglades Director, was elected as vice chair, and David Wirth, Port Manager of Port St. Pete, was elected as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Ports Council. Each of the council positions are one year terms.
The Florida Ports Council is the professional association of Florida’s 14 public seaports, providing advocacy, leadership and research on seaport-related issues at the state and federal level. Florida’s ports support nearly 900,000 jobs in the state and contribute $117.6 billion to the state’s economy each year.
“Manuel Almira has been a strong advocate of Florida’s seaports since he joined the team at the Port of Palm Beach more than a decade ago,” said Doug Wheeler, president and CEO of the Florida Ports Council. “We know his leadership will strengthen the Florida Ports Council so we can ensure Florida’s ports are the global leaders of tomorrow.”
Almira has more than 35 years of experience in the maritime industry, with expertise in international imports and exports.
“Florida’s seaports serve as the gateway to the rest of the world and are one of the largest economic drivers in the state, supporting nearly 900,000 Florida jobs and providing critical access to commerce for all of our residents and businesses,” Almira said. “I am excited to help lead our ports forward, especially given the current challenging economic environment and the opportunities we have to diversify, grow, and provide world-class service all around the globe.”
Following the Florida Ports Council’s announcement, Almira received several congratulatory emails.
"Congratulations on FPC President. Well placed confidence at a challenging time," said former Port of Palm Beach Director Lori Baer.
"Well-deserved and great recognition, " said Rick Murrell, Chairman of Tropical Shipping.
"Way to go Manny! And go Jets! Good luck as Chairman," said Stuart Kroll with Stonerock Shipping Corp.
"Congratulations, Manny. Well deserved," said Kevin Sheehan Jr., President of Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line.
"Congratulations on your appointment as Chairman of the Florida Ports Council. This is a great testimonial to your success in the maritime world. Fantastic news," said Anthony Myers with Calcean Minerals and Materials LLC.
"Congratulations. All the best," said Michael Zepatis with Calcean Minerals and Materials LLC.
"Well done my friend! Congratulations," said Charles Ferrer with American Sugar Refining Inc.
Sen. Rick Scott also contacted Almira and left him a voice message congratulating Almira on his new role.