Richert Self will take over as executive director for the Port of Lake Charles, starting June 1, 2020, following action by the port board during a special Tuesday meeting.
Self, the port's current deputy executive director, will replace Bill Rase, who has served as executive director since May 2010. Once Self's term begins, he will serve a 3-year term as executive director.
Self has worked for the port since 2003, formerly as director of administration and finance. After the meeting — which included a two-hour executive session — he thanked the board and Rase for their support.
Rase said the board's decision "fulfills what I want as far as my contractual agreement with the port."
"The port is very important to this community," he said. "We need to have a transition that not only works for ourselves and the board, but for the community also. I think (Self) is going to do a tremendous job."
Bringing in a new port director "wasn't a brand new idea," according to Rase.
"We've actually been looking at how to do this for several meetings," he said.
David Darbonne, port board president, said Self is "very knowledgeable" and "knows the dynamics of the port."
"He has a vision of where he wants to take the port," Darbonne said. "Every member of the board is impressed with him."
Darbonne also thanked Rase for his service as port director.
Rase and Self mentioned several projects the port is looking to work with that are awaiting final investment decisions. They include Lake Charles Methanol, Lake Charles LNG, Driftwood LNG, Magnolia LNG.
"I think the port's got a lot of potential growth into the future, and it's going to be good for the community," Self said.
Port board members in September agreed to a six-month extension of its real estate lease option agreement with Lake Charles Methanol. It is a $4.4 billion clean energy facility that will produce methanol using petroleum coke.
"I think it's still the most important project for the port," Rase said.