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Home » Money » Jim Newsome and team at SC Ports earn major cash bonuses

Jim Newsome and team at SC Ports earn major cash bonuses

PortandTerminal.com, September 20, 2019

SC ports agency CEO awarded $330K performance bonus after record shipping year

Record cargo volume at the Port of Charleston has earned the team at the State Ports Authority major cash performance bonuses with Jim Newsome, President and CEO of the Port Authority, leading the way.

The port handled a record 1.36 million cargo containers in fiscal 2019, which ended June 30, and the authority recorded $95 million in operating cash flow for the 12-month period. That beat the goals set by the authority’s board of directors, resulting in agency-wide bonuses totalling nearly $3.2 million.

A ship capable of carrying up to 14,000 cargo containers passes underneath the Ravenel Bridge in 2017. The Port of Charleston is investing about $1.6 billion to accommodate longer, heavier vessels, which are now commonplace. File/Provided/State Ports Authority

“We had a fabulous year,” said David Posek, vice chairman of the board, which approved the bonuses and salaries Thursday.

Jim Newsome, the authority’s president and CEO, led the way with a $331,250 bonus combined with a new annual salary of $550,000 — a 3.8 percent raise.

Barbara Melvin, chief operating officer, took home a bonus totalling $134,063 and a salary increase of 4.6 percent to $340,000 annually.

Five other executives split $322,813 in bonus money. 

The 720 SPA employees who are not a part of the executive team will share in a bonus pool of $2.4 million.

The board also approved a long-term incentive plan that would pay authority employees, including executives, double their bonus in fiscal 2022 if the agency attains operating cash flow of $115 million for that year.

The authority’s financial projections show cash flow of $106 million in fiscal 2022, and Posek called beating that by nearly 8.5 percent an “aggressive” goal.

“I think it’s in keeping with the focus of running this like a business with strong incentives to a really motivated team.”

Newsome said the incentive plan is “pretty common in business today” and the higher cash flow figure would help “at a critical time” to start paying off debt that’s funding infrastructure improvements at the port.

“And I think it’s appropriate also because you really are emphasizing the long-term nature of what we do here,” he said. “I think it’s in keeping with the focus of running this like a business with strong incentives to a really motivated team.”

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