The Virginia Port Authority's Board of Commissioners unanimously elected Vice Chairman Jeffrey Wassmer to succeed William Fralin Jr. as chairman.
Wassmer was appointed by Gov. Bob McDonnell to the VPA board in July 2011, along with the rest of the current board, and was reappointed a year later for a five-year term that ends in June 2017. He is the founder and chief executive officer of Spectrum Comm., a company based in Virginia Beach that provides network security and program management services for the Department of Defense.
Fralin, a former member of the House of Delegates, will remain on the board. His term expires in June 2016. He was appointed chairman in November 2012 to fill the unexpired term of Michael Quillen. Fralin heads a nursing center company in Roanoke, on the western side of the state. Wassmer's proximity to Norfolk will make it easier for him to represent the board at activities outside normal board meetings every two months, spokesman Joe Harris said.
Commissioner Scott Bergeron was named vice chairman. He is the CEO of the Liberian International Ship Registry.
Thursday's board meeting was the first for Martin Briley, president and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP). Port reform legislation passed by the General Assembly this spring installed the head of the VEDP on the VPA board to better coordinate state-wide marketing efforts.
Fralin presided over momentous changes at the Port of Virginia, including a sweeping restructuring of operational and oversight activities and the March decision to reject bids from the private sector to run the entire port for up to 50 years.
“The impact of William’s chairmanship on the port will be felt for years,” Wassmer said in a statement. - Eric Kulisch