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Jim Newsome awarded the Order of the Palmetto

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Jim Newsome, last year inducted into the International Maritime Hall of Fame, receives the Order of the Palmetto from Gov. Henry McMaster. (Photo/Provided)Gov. Henry McMaster honored S.C. Ports President and CEO Jim Newsome with the Order of the Palmetto.

The Order of the Palmetto is the highest civilian honor in South Carolina, recognizing the recipient’s lifetime achievements and significant contributions made to the state.

“With Jim Newsome at the helm of South Carolina Ports since 2009, our world-class port has grown significantly, attracting new business and jobs to South Carolina,” McMaster said in a news release. “The Order of the Palmetto not only recognizes Jim for his impressive achievements and the success of South Carolina Ports, but also honors Jim for everything he has done in service of the people of our great state.”

Under Newsome’s leadership, the Ports Authority has invested more than $2 billion into infrastructure projects to accommodate the bigger ships and record cargo volumes seen today, the release said. These investments — such as creating two rail-served inland ports, in Greer and Dillon, and opening the country’s newest container terminal, the Leatherman Terminal — help ensure the supply chain fluidity and global competitiveness for South Carolina, the release said.

S.C. ports generate a $63.4 billion statewide economic impact each year and create 1 in 10 jobs in South Carolina, according to the Ports Authority.

The Order of the Palmetto honors these contributions to the state, as well Newsome’s commitment to service by serving many nonprofits and mentoring supply chain students, the news release said.

Following 13 years as CEO of the ports, Newsome will step down June 30. S.C. Ports COO Barbara Melvin will assume the role of president and CEO on July 1. Melvin will be the sixth leader in the history of the port and the first woman to lead a top 10 U.S. operating container port. The  Ports Authority said earlier that Newsome would continue to serve as an executive adviser.

“Jim Newsome has truly made a significant and lasting impact on South Carolina’s economy and supply chain,” S.C. Ports Chairman Bill Stern said in the release. “Under his great leadership, we have seen significant growth at the port and at port-dependent businesses around the state. As Barbara Melvin takes the helm, S.C. Ports will undoubtedly continue to build on the great success and growth at the port for the benefit of all South Carolinians.”

S.C. Ports Authority owns and operates public seaport and intermodal facilities in Charleston, Dillon, Georgetown and Greer.

Reach Ross Norton at 864-720-1222.

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