Port San Antonio
The Port San Antonio board of directors approves President and CEO Roland Mower's resignation Friday. Credit: JJ Velasquez / San Antonio Report

Port San Antonio will move to hire an interim president and CEO as soon as Wednesday after its board of directors decided Friday to accept the resignation of Roland Mower.

Mower, who announced his resignation Tuesday, will serve as an advisor through the end of the calendar year. He was paid $330,000 a year as Port San Antonio’s top executive, and his compensation will remain the same in his advisory role, Port attorney Frank Garza said.

Mower was first hired in 2014 to lead the public entity that oversees the 1,900-acre former Air Force base. The board renewed his contract last October and extended it to Sept. 30, 2020, Garza said.

“This afternoon the Board also had a robust and positive discussion about the Port’s near- and long-term future,” said board chair Victoria Garcia in a prepared statement after the unanimous decision to accept Mower’s resignation.

“We are in full agreement that our immediate need is naming an interim president and CEO. That person will be a proven and results-oriented leader with extensive talent and experience in economic development and job creation.”

Board member and local attorney Marc Whyte, who said the Port needs new leadership to maximize its potential, told the Rivard Report after the meeting that the board will choose from an internal list of candidates for the interim position.

Asked for what drove the board to seek a change in leadership, Whyte said the Port is aiming to find someone who can execute a “big, bold vision.”

Home to about 12,000 workers and more than 70 employers in the areas of cybersecurity, aerospace, manufacturing, and logistics — among other industries — the Port had a more than $5 billion impact on the economy in 2016, according to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

“It was all about leadership,” Whyte said. “Going forward, it’s just about getting someone that is going to lead — somebody that’s going to execute the vision that we have for the Port.

“Things are going well at the Port, but things could be better.”

Whyte is District 10 Council Member Clayton Perry’s appointee to the 11-member board.

Garcia said the Port is completing $60 million in development projects that in the spring will bring more than 300,000 square feet of new commercial and industrial development. About 300 new residential units are also in the works at the Port.

JJ Velasquez

JJ Velasquez

JJ Velasquez is a columnist at the San Antonio Report. A former reporter and editor at the SA Report, he currently works as a project manager for New York City-based Advance Local.