Hancock County Port announces new strategic plan

Written by Heather Ervin
Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission

Credit: Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission

Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission (HCPHC) in Kiln, Miss., announced August 8 that it had engaged with Capt. Jeff Monroe of the International Association of Maritime and Port Executives (IAMPE) to develop a strategic action plan for the organization.

Beginning in March 2023, Monroe initially engaged with the HCPHC Board of Commissioners and staff to conduct interviews and vision meetings to gather feedback on the organization. Monroe shared his findings and recommendations to the Board of Commissioners in June 2023 and adopted the strategic plan at the July 10, 2023, meeting.

Monroe and IAMPE specifically worked as the owner representative for the new master plan for Port of Gulfport and Port of Morgan City, as well as many other port authorities. In addition, Monroe’s professional experience includes management of an organization like HCPHC, which is responsible for an airport, port, railroad, industrial parks and other economic development activities.  

“I am thankful for the guidance and recommendations provided to HCPHC from Capt. Jeff Monroe and the International Association of Maritime and Port Executives. The strategic action plan will serve as a guide for our Commissioners and staff while being monitored and modified on an annual basis over the next few years,” said Blaine LaFontaine, CEO of HCPHC. 

A strategic action plan is a plan composed of measurable steps tied to a concrete timeline. The development of a strategic action plan is an investment plan for ports and facilities. IAMPE performed the following as part of a strategic action plan for the Commission:

  1. Undertake a physical inspection of sites and conduct a photo survey of all HCPHC Transportation Assets.
  2. Review existing plans and study documents.
  3. Meet with staff, stakeholders and Commission members to discuss the organization of the Hancock County Port Commission and potential opportunities.
  4. Undertake a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis
  5. Show findings and make basic recommendations based on those findings.  
  6. Provide a Strategic Action Plan for Commissioner approval

IAMPE developed a five point strategic action plan with action items under each of the following categories: business development, external partnerships, site development, Port of Bienville, and Stennis International Airport.

The points of the strategic plan have specific objectives to be completed in a 6, 12, 18, 24 or 36 month timeline. HCPHC will use the action plan to guide budget, capital improvements program, grant applications,  business development and staff priorities. The strategic plan gathered tenant input, regional trends, Commissioner, and staff input to create specific and attainable objectives to guide leadership’s efforts and focus over the next few years.

The full strategic action plan can viewed on the HPHC website:  https://portairspace.com/newsroom/media

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