Regional Report Eastern February 2012
The state hopes together is better
In January, state Transportation Secretary Gene Conti appointed one of his predecessors interim statewide logistics coordinator, a new position that will oversee the state ports and Global TransPark. Tom Bradshaw, who led DOT from 1977 to 1981 and is on the TransPark board, replaces both Tom Eagar, who left as the Ports Authority’s CEO earlier last month, and TransPark Executive Director Darlene Waddell.
“Our state’s transportation assets are critical to the success of business and industry,” Bradshaw says. “By taking a strategic approach to logistics, North Carolina is once again setting the standard for the nation.” DOT has launched a nationwide search to fill the job permanently.
The General Assembly folded the ports and TransPark into DOT last year. The Ports Authority, which had been under the Department of Commerce, lost $3.5 million its latest fiscal year, and the TransPark, which was under Transportation but acted independently, long has been a drain on state coffers. DOT will look for efficiencies, a spokesman says, as it did when it absorbed the N.C. Turnpike Authority in 2009 and consolidated financial and highway-planning operations.
WILMINGTON— SEPI Engineering & Construction has opened a branch here. The Raleigh-based company didn’t specify how many local employees it will have.
WILMINGTON— VPS Convenience Store Group acquired seven Colonial Pantry stores in Illinois. It now has 425 in eight states in the Southeast, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic and employs more than 3,200.
WILMINGTON— Drug developer AAIPharma Services acquired Celsis Analytical Services, a division of Chicago-based Celsis International that tests pharmaceutical, biotechnology and manufacturing materials. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. In an unrelated matter, AAIPharma named Eric Evans chief financial officer. He was most recently theCFO and vice president of Durham-based Patheon.
CASTLE HAYNE— Cincinnati-based GE Aviation will produce engines for Boeing aircraft bought by Dallas-based Southwest Airlines in a deal worth $4.7 billion. GE will add workers to the 620 it has but didn’t specify how many.