Michael Meekins, the Port of Palm Beach’s current Director of Operations and Business Development, took the helm on Monday, March 20th as the new Executive Director of the Port of Palm Beach.
The Port of Palm Beach District Board of Commissioners finalized Meekins three-year employment agreement during it’s March 16th Regular Board of Commissioners Meeting. The announcement comes just one month after the Board unanimously selected Meekins as the top candidate to fill the executive director position.
“Mr. Meekins professional experiences at Port Canaveral as the Dr. Director of Cruise and Port Operations and similarly as Director of Operations and Business Development here at the Port of Palm Beach makes him ideally suited for the position of Executive Director of the Port. He brings demonstrated knowledge, creativity and proven leadership skills and abilities needed to lead Florida’s fourth busiest container Port,” said Board Chairwoman Dr. Jean L. Enright.
Meekins began his career at Port of Palm Beach in April 2020. He hit the ground running, despite starting at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meekins played a pivotal role in numerous port-related projects such as the successful launch and rebranding of the cruise line now known as Margaritaville at Sea and the development of a one-of-a- kind cement storage facility operated by a construction materials company. In 2021, Meekins was entrusted with managing the Port’s operations department.
“What I have enjoyed most during my time at the Port are the relationships I’ve built with port staff, our Port Commissioners, the tenants and our community partners,” said Meekins. “Serving as the Executive Director will allow me to continue to grow those connections.”
His top three goals are to work with the Board to boost the port’s revenue, strengthen community relations and ensure Port staff has the tools they need to succeed.
Prior to joining the Port of Palm Beach, Meekins served as the Senior Director of Cruise and Port Operations at Port Canaveral, FL. He was responsible for coordinating all operations for 644 cruise ships per year and over 3.6 million passengers, which generated over $80 million in direct revenue for the Canaveral Port Authority and $648 million in indirect revenue for the Port.
Meekins, a Navy veteran, also has experience in the aviation industry. He spent 10 years as a Senior Vice President of Operations, where he oversaw aviation operations in 52 cities across the country. During this time-period, he was responsible for new route startup operations and ongoing oversight of ground operations.