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Posted on: August 24, 2023

Port Director Rees Honored as a Most Admired CEO by Houston Business Journal

GALVESTON, Texas, Aug. 24, 2023 – Galveston Wharves Port Director and CEO Rodger Rees has been recognized as a 2023 Most Admired CEO by the Houston Business Journal (HBJ). Rees was among the honorees celebrated at a luncheon of hundreds of corporate and community leaders hosted by the HBJ on Aug. 24 in Houston.

A panel of judges reviewed nominations and selected honorees based on their contributions to their organization’s financial success, work culture and contributions to the community. The honorees represent several of the Houston region's prominent industries, with CEOs from energy and technology companies, nonprofits, homebuilders, real estate firms and more.  

Rees said, “I’m truly honored and humbled to be nominated and included among these outstanding regional leaders. This honor is a tribute to our Galveston Wharves Board of Trustees and all of our dedicated employees. Working together, we’ve made this port a growing, dynamic, forward-facing business.

“With their vision and dedication, the port has significantly expanded its business, increased revenues, and developed and implemented a 20-year Strategic Master Plan. Major accomplishments include a public-private partnership with Royal Caribbean International to build a third cruise terminal, a $52 million-dollar joint project with Carnival Cruise Line to improve Cruise Terminal 25, construction of an interior roadway, and plans for major cargo improvements.”

Praise for Rees

In the nomination, Galveston Mayor and port board member Craig Brown wrote: “The port and this community have benefited tremendously from Rodger’s solid financial background as a businessman and certified public accountant and his laser focus on advancing the port’s long-range master plan.”

Board Chairman Harry Maxwell wrote in his nomination letter: “One key to Rodger’s success has been his ability to assemble a professional staff and build strong partnerships with port partners, including tenants, labor unions and community and industry leaders.”

Deputy Executive Port Director Brett Milutin commented on Rees’ leadership when the pandemic forced the suspension of the global cruise industry. “Under Rodger’s management, the port’s annual operating revenues have increased year over year. During the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, Rodger helped maintain a positive cashflow which ensured that none of his workforce at the Port of Galveston lost employment.”

About Rodger Rees

Rees is responsible for the successful management of a 100-person staff and the 840-acre port, including operations, capital projects, engineering and facilities, port security and police, all administrative functions, business development and growth, strategic marketing, finance and administrative functions.

He has more than 25 years in executive management, including entrepreneurial founder and CEO of two successful financial services companies.  Before joining the Galveston Wharves in 2018, he served as deputy executive director and chief financial officer for Port Canaveral, the world’s second busiest cruise port.  

In 2023 the Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce honored Rees as Galvestonian of the Year for positively contributing to the betterment of the region’s business community.  

About Galveston Wharves at the Port of Galveston

Located at the entrance to Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel, Galveston Wharves has been a thriving maritime commercial center since 1825. Just 45 minutes from open seas, the 840-acre port has infrastructure and assets to serve growing cruise, cargo and commercial businesses. 

Galveston is the fourth most popular cruise home port in the U.S., hosting Carnival, Disney, Norwegian, Princess and Royal Caribbean cruise lines. Also a cargo port, it is located on a top-50 U.S. cargo waterway and handles 4 million tons of cargo a year.

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