The Duluth Seaway Port Authority’s board of commissioners today appointed Vanta E. Coda II as its new executive director, effective Oct. 1.
Coda will succeed Adolph Ojard, who is retiring on Sept. 30 after leading the agency since 2003.
“Mr. Coda is exactly the type of person we were looking for in this nationwide search,” said Steve Raukar, board president, in a written statement. “He possesses strong business acumen, understands transportation pricing and utilization, and has excellent communication and negotiation skills plus a strategic, hands-on approach to management.”
Coda has two decades of experience in multimodal transportation and logistics, beginning in the rail industry in 1993 with Illinois Central Railroad, where he remained through its merger with Canadian National Railway. Most recently, he served as director of fuel transportation for Dynegy in Houston, Texas. His career has involved working with customers across many commodity lines, including coal, aggregate, chemicals, petroleum, steel, wind generation and heavy-lift products. He has had responsibility for moving product via inland waterways (brown water) and across oceans (blue water) alike, the port authority said, as well as by rail and truck across North America.
“This is such a wonderful opportunity. What has preceded me here has been done extremely well,” Coda said. “The port authority has been so well managed … the board and current director have been able to accomplish a great deal during what has been a difficult economic environment. Now, particularly with the $10 million TIGER grant, we have an opportunity to solidify that real estate for economic development, to funnel in opportunities to grow the port even further.”
Coda is a graduate of the University of Kentucky.