Thursday, October 12, 2017 from 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM EDT
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Savannah International Trade and Convention Center 
1 International Dr.
Savannah, GA 31402

Driving Directions 

Registration Contact

Patricia Richardson 
Georgia Ports Authority 

Event Contact

Emily Goldman 
Georgia Ports Authority 


Savannah State of the Port: October 12, 2017 

The 2017 State of the Port Address, hosted by the Georgia Ports Authority and the Propeller Club of the United States - Port of Savannah, will be held at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center. GPA's Executive Director Griff Lynch will present the latest developments at the GPA during a networking-lunch reception.

About the Georgia Ports Authority

Georgia's deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 369,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $20.4 billion in income, $84.1 billion in revenue and $2.3 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia's economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.2 percent of the U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10.3 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in CY2015.

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About the Savannah Propeller Club

The Propeller Club United States - Port of Savannah includes more than 260 people from more than 120 organizations in the Savannah maritime community.  The membership represents a cross section of the marine, maritime, and associated industries throughout the United States and in many cities overseas. "Propeller" in the name refers to the propulsion of ships, and is symbolic of the driving force of the nation's heavily-maritime-reliant economy.

Untitled Document

10:30 a.m

Networking Reception

11:15 a.m.

Doors Open

11:30 a.m.

Ringing of Propeller Club Bell – be seated

11:45 a.m.

Program Begins


Charles Heimes, Propeller Club President
Welcome | Call Propeller Club Meeting to order

Dr Phil Poole, USCG Auxiliary, Clergy Support member
Invocation | Pledge of Allegiance | Lunch

12:20 p.m.

Charles Heimes
Recognition of Guests | Introduction of GPA Chairman 

12:30 p.m.

12:35 p.m.

James Allgood, GPA Chairman
Remarks | Introduction of Gov. Deal

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal

12:40 p.m.

James Allgood, GPA Chairman
Introduction of GPA Executive Director

12:45 p.m.

Griff Lynch, Executive Director, Georgia Ports Authority
State of the Port Address

1:25 p.m.

Charles Heimes
Announcements | Wrap-up

Gov Nathan Deal
Governor Nathan Deal

State of Georgia

Since taking office in 2011, Gov. Nathan Deal has led Georgia to become the No. 1 state in the nation for business for four years in a row - a first in Georgia history - and helped create more than 570,000 private sector jobs. During his tenure, Georgia’s job growth has outpaced the national average, while its population has jumped from 10th to 8th nationally.

Through tax reform, workforce development and investment in education and infrastructure, the state continues to grow local small businesses and attract top companies from around the world. Georgia has become a global destination for companies in a wide range of industries. Under Deal’s leadership, Georgia has produced six balanced budgets, saved millions of taxpayer dollars by maintaining Georgia’s AAA bond rating and grown the Rainy Day Reserve Fund to more than $2 billion.

In order to keep up with infrastructure demand, Deal implemented a number of investments in Georgia’s transportation system. Deal worked with the General Assembly on the Transportation Funding Act of 2015, which included a number of significant infrastructure projects and will generate $10 billion in new transportation funding over 10 years. Transportation projects under Deal have alleviated traffic and improved safety, including the completion of the Jimmy DeLoach Parkway extension near the Port of Savannah. To track the progress of infrastructure projects, the GA Roads website was launched to provide unprecedented clarity and transparency in these investments. Georgia’s infrastructure projects and transparency measures are currently being used as a model for other states across the nation.

Deal believes a strong education system leads to a strong economy. He has made investments in education a top priority to strengthen the workforce pipeline that runs from the classroom to the job market.

A Sandersville native, Deal served in the U.S. Army at Fort Gordon in Augusta after graduating with college and law degrees with honors from Mercer University. He then began a private law practice in Gainesville, the hometown of his wife, Sandra Deal. While his wife taught in Hall County public schools, Deal began a career in public service, working as a prosecutor, judge, state senator and U.S. Congressman for Georgia’s 9th District. The Deals have four adult children and six grandchildren.

James L. "Jimmy" Allgood
Chairman : Georgia Ports Authority

Allgood is in his second term as chairman of the Georgia Ports Authority board. He is also the chairman of the Board of Allgood Pest Solutions, a company he started in 1974. He was chairman of the Structural Pest Control Commission for 20 years and is past president of the Georgia Pest Control Association. He has served as chairman of the Dublin-Laurens County Development Authority, the Dublin Rotary Club, and the First United Methodist Church board. Allgood earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia, was a member of the Leadership Georgia Class of 1993, and was president of Leadership Georgia in 1996. He and his wife, Kathy, have three children and three grandchildren. They reside in Dublin.

Griffith V. Lynch
Executive Director : Georgia Ports Authority

Griffith V. Lynch is the Executive Director of the Georgia Ports Authority, an 1,100- person strong state port authority that owns and operates strategic gateways serving the U.S. Southeast. 

As Executive Director, Lynch oversees all port activity involving the deepwater ports of Savannah and Brunswick, as well as inland terminal operations in Bainbridge and Columbus.  Directing one of Georgia’s largest economic engines, he administers a $280 million annual budget.

Before becoming executive director, Lynch served as GPA chief operating officer for five years. As COO of the single largest container terminal in North America and second busiest U.S. auto port, he was responsible for sustaining the profitable growth and development of all operations, and maintaining world-class operating standards. His duties included overseeing ambitious capital improvement and development programs for five deep water ports and two inland terminals while maintaining strong relationships with numerous customers, labor officials and supply chain partners.

A proven leader in the maritime industry, Lynch brings more than 27 years of experience in the design and implementation of major port expansions, the effective execution of sustainable profit and productivity models and identifying winning sales and marketing strategies.

Lynch graduated from the State University of New York at Maritime College in 1988 and immediately began his training as a vessel planner. Over the course of his career, Lynch held executive positions in both sales and operations at terminals in New York and Virginia before joining the GPA in 2011.


Charles Heimes
President : Propeller Club - Port of Savannah

Charles Heimes is President of Port City Industrial & Marine Supply, a provider of rigging materials for the shipping industries in Savannah GA. Chuck has worked in the industrial supply company for almost 20 years providing materials for the GPA, stevedore companies, line handlers, and many other industries that service the port.

He received a degree in Political Science from Armstrong State University and is a graduate of Benedictine Military School. He currently serves as President of the Propeller Club - Port of Savannah. He also serves on the Parish council of his church, Blessed Sacrament. He and his wife Leigh, have two children, Stella and Charlie.