The Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves has appointed Captain Michael J Mierzwa to the position of Port Director effective February 16, 2012.
"The Port is fortunate to have someone with Mike's expertise take the helm.," stated Roland Bassett, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves. "He has demonstrated excellent leadership skills and proven himself well-qualified in managing port operations. Unanimously the board agreed that he is the ideal choice for the position."
Prior to the appointment, Mr Mierzwa served the Port of Galveston as Deputy Port Director, handling the management of port operations. He has over 30 years executive-level marine transportation management, operations and logistics experience in both the public and private sectors. He is a 29-year veteran of the United States Coast Guard retiring with the rank of Captain in 1998. His last assignment in the Coast Guard was as the Chief of Staff for the Fourteenth Coast Guard District in Honolulu, Hawaii. Mr. Mierzwa was also the Chief of Operations for the Coast Guard in Alaska and Commanding Officer of two Coast Guard cutters.
In July 2000, Mr. Mierzwa was hired by the Port of Galveston to be the Manager of the Texas Cruise Ship Terminal on Galveston Island. In this position, he was responsible for the day to day management of the cruise facility, interacting with the cruise lines and the various Federal agencies with oversight of the cruise industry. In December 2002, Mr. Mierzwa was promoted to the position as the Port's Director of Facilities and Operations. He was responsible for cruise operations including cruise terminal development as well as Port-wide maintenance, construction and port security projects.
In the fall of 2005, Mr. Mierzwa assumed the responsibility of Deputy Port Director. In this role, in addition to his responsibilities as the Director of Facilities and Operations, he focused on strategic planning including long term port development issues as the Port continued to rebuild itself and diversify its customer base.
Mr. Mierzwa is a 1969 graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT. He has a Master of Science in Mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY and a Master of Arts in International Relations from Salve Regina College in Newport, RI. Mr. Mierzwa is also a graduate of the Naval War College in Newport, RI.
He is married to the former Rosalee Williams of Galveston, Texas.
The Port of Galveston is Texas' gateway for cruise sailings and international trade. The Port serves as the primary point of embarkation for cruises to the western Caribbean and handles over 860,000 cruise passengers annually with an estimated 1million in 2012. Four cruise lines, Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean, sail from Texas' only cruise port. The Port is a self supporting enterprise fund with operating revenues of approximately $21 million. It does not rely on tax dollars for operations.