Edwards named port chief
By Dwayne Bremer
Oct 8, 2013, 21:10
The Hancock County Board of Supervisors on Monday unanimously approved Thomas "Ashley" Edwards to become the next executive director of the Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission.
Edwards had previously been recommended by the commission's eight-person board of trustees.
The Port and Harbor Commission oversees the Stennis International Airport and Port Bienville Industrial Park.
The commission has about three dozen employees.
The commission's board of trustees is made up of appointments from Hancock County and the cities of Bay St. Louis, Waveland, and Diamondhead.
The board acts as a governing body and oversees the operations at the port and airport, but all final decisions must be approved by the board of supervisors.
Commission President Robert Kane said Monday that the commission went through an "exhaustive and impartial" search for a new director when former director Jack Zink stepped down last year.
Kane said more than 50 people applied for the position.
Edwards, 33, is a native of Petal. He attended college at USM and Tulane and began his professional career at the Hattiesburg Police Department.
Later, Edwards worked in the newspaper field before becoming an aid to then Gov. Haley Barbour in 2006.
During his time under Barbour, Edwards was instrumental in the implementation of the Ground Zero Action Plan, a $200 million grant to help rebuild Hancock County.
Edwards will begin his duties as port and harbor executive director in a week or so.
He will be paid $150,000 a year.
Kane said Edwards will be required to move to Hancock County within six months.
Edwards said Monday that he is "excited and ready to get to work."