Manatee County Port Authority Elects Whisenant Trace as Chairwoman
Manatee County Commissioner Priscilla Whisenant Trace has been elected to a one-year term as chairwoman of the Manatee County Port Authority.
Whisenant Trace has served on the county’s commission and the port’s board since 2016. She succeeds Vanessa Baugh, who held the chair role the past three years.
Also elected to serve one-year officer terms in 2020 are Reggie Bellamy, first vice chairman; Misty Servia, second vice chairwoman; and Stephen R. Jonsson, third vice chairman.
Port Manatee’s seven-member governing board is completed by Baugh, Betsy Benac and Carol Whitmore.
Whisenant Trace was the port board’s first vice chairwoman in 2017 and again in 2019.
“Serving as chairwoman during Port Manatee’s 50-year anniversary celebration is indeed a privilege,” said Whisenant Trace. “I join my fellow port board members in commitment to advancing further dynamic diverse growth at Port Manatee.”
A fifth-generation Manatee County resident, Whisenant Trace carries on a family tradition of agricultural prominence, having in the 1980s founded Ellenton Nursery Growers with her husband, Craig. In 2015, she was chosen as Manatee County Agriculturist of the Year by the Manatee County Farm City Week Committee – an honor previously bestowed upon her grandfather, Robert Billingsley Whisenant, and her father, Robert Blake Whisenant. She is a member of several local boards, including the Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority, Tampa Bay Estuary Program Policy Board and Manatee County Value Adjustment Board.
Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal, with 10 40-foot-draft berths serving container, bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo customers.