Jeramey Jannene

New Port Director Shatters Glass Ceiling, Breaks Color Barrier

Jackie Q. Carter is new director of Port Milwaukee.

By - Feb 23rd, 2023 05:16 pm
Jackie Q. Carter takes her oath of office from City Clerk Jim Owczarski alongside her husband Eddie Carter. Photo from Port Milwaukee.

Jackie Q. Carter takes her oath of office from City Clerk Jim Owczarski alongside her husband Eddie Carter. Photo from Port Milwaukee.

Jackie Q. Carter took her oath of office Thursday to become the new head of Port Milwaukee and is now both the first woman and first person of color to hold the role.

The 467-acre, city-owned port oversees everything from docking ocean-going freighters to managing Summerfest-parent Milwaukee World Festival, Inc‘s lease of the Henry Maier Festival Park. The department has a 20-person team, led by the mayoral-appointed municipal port director.

A number of major port projects are underway. They include the final months of construction on an agricultural export facility that is the largest one-time port investment since the 1950s, a new cruise ship terminal planned for a 2023 groundbreaking and a multi-jurisdictional, multi-year effort to perform a several-hundred-million dollar environmental remediation on Milwaukee waterways to remove the federal “area of concern” designation.

Carter succeeds Adam Tindall-Schlicht, who was appointed by President Joe Biden to serve as administrator of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (GLS). Since 2017, she’s served as the port’s finance and administration officer and frequently drew public praise from Tindall-Schlicht.

“After listening to applicants with expertise from around the world, Jackie is simply the best choice to carry out the Port’s mission of promoting commerce and supporting the local economy. I am confident Jackie will accelerate the excellent work underway at Port Milwaukee,” said Mayor Cavalier Johnson in announcing her appointment in January.

Carter drew praise during her Jan. 25 Common Council confirmation hearing.

“Everyone that has worked with you speaks so highly of you,” said Ald. Jonathan Brostoff.

“It’s good to see good people receiving their deserved appointments,” said Alderman Khalif Rainey. Several years ago, Carter’s husband, Eddie, was Rainey’s manager at Warehouse Shoes

Alderman Russell W. Stamper, II asked what growth opportunities the port has. “Mainly monetary wise,” said the alderman.

“We are always looking for new ways to grow our revenue,” said Carter. She said the port is working with the Canada-U.S.-partnership that runs the Saint Lawrence Seaway on identifying commodities well-suited to be shipped through the port. The U.S. side of the partnership is now overseen by Tindall-Schlicht. The seaway connects the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean via a system of locks, canals and rivers along the border of the U.S. and Canada. Ocean-going ships calling on Milwaukee, known as “salties,” use the 370-mile system to access the Great Lakes.

Carter said the port is also working with local businesses to identify growth opportunities. The city’s growing cruise business remains a growth area, even after a record-breaking 2022 year.

“I think she’s an outstanding leader and she’ll do well at the port. I look forward to more growth opportunities and income-generating opportunities as the Sister Cities chair,” said Stamper.

The council unanimously confirmed her appointment.

Carter holds a bachelor’s degree in business and professional management from Alverno College and a master of business administration degree from Concordia University. She’s worked in various finance roles for the city since 2007.

She now leads a city department that has a $6.4 million budget and 35 authorized positions in 2023. The position, according to the 2023 budget, pays $109,096.

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Related Legislation: File 221480

Categories: Transportation

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