Port of Galveston Bids a Bon Voyage to Port Director Michael Mierzwa After Sixteen And A Half Years Of Service
The Board of Trustees of the Galveston Wharves recognized Port Director Michael Mierzwa for his sixteen and a half years of service to the Port at today’s Board meeting (Dec. 19).
Chairman Benjamin Holland presented Port Director Mierzwa with an appreciation award recognizing his leadership of the Port.
“We have been honored to have Mike as part of the Port of Galveston team. His vast experience in management, operations, and logistics has been invaluable. He will be truly missed, both professionally and personally,” Chairman Benjamin Holland said.
Mr. Mierzwa first joined the port on June 28, 2000 after serving in the U.S. Coast Guard for 30 years. During his time with the port he has served as Cruise Terminal Manager; Director of Port Facilities and Operations; and Deputy Port Director. He was named Port Director in 2012.
He began his career at the Port of Galveston as Manager of the Texas Cruise Terminal where he was directly responsible for all aspects of operations including the management of customer relations, operations, maintenance, logistics, and safety and security programs.
Mr. Mierzwa played a significant role in building the Port of Galveston’s cruise business. He was instrumental in the $10.6 million project that renovated and refurbished the Mallory Building at Pier 25. This plan for improvements represented the largest capital project in the Port’s history, exceeding by 50% the largest amount previously invested in port facilities in a single year.
That same year, Carnival Cruise Lines, announced their decision to offer cruises from the Port of Galveston.
In addition, he was responsible for the design and construction of the port’s second cruise ship complex located at Pier 27. That terminal was recently expanded from 90,000 square feet to 150,000 square feet in order to accommodate larger ships like Royal Caribbean’s 1,111 ft. Liberty of the Seas, the largest cruise ship to call in the State of Texas.
When Mr. Mierzwa first started working at the port it ranked 26th for cruise passenger embarkations among US ports. As a result of his efforts, it now it ranks 4th in the nation. In 2015, 1,658,070 passengers moved through Galveston’s cruise terminals.
Mr. Mierzwa also led a $10 million project to help Del Monte expand and enable the adjacent wharf to handle a container crane. Thanks to this renovation, the company can now import fruit in containers instead of on pallets. Del Monte contributed $12 million to the project. As a result, the amount of cargo has doubled and Del Monte has increased the number of full-time jobs at the facility.
Last year, Mr. Mierzwa negotiated a public-private partnership with Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Vehicle Services Americas to develop a multimillion-dollar vehicle distribution center for BMW Group. The facility formally opened in April 2016 and imports nearly $1.3 billion worth of vehicles a year through the Port of Galveston.
“During his 16 year tenure, Mike has helped our cruise business to flourish, diversified our cargo base, and developed the port’s infrastructure. In addition, he has helped to create well-paying jobs for the region. I am grateful for his many contributions to the Port. I wish him well in his retirement,” said Vice Chairman, Albert Shannon.