Alumni Spotlight: Jim Newsome
James I. (Jim) Newsome IIIbecame president and CEO of the South Carolina State Ports Authority in Charleston, South Carolina, on September 1, 2009. He is only the fifth leader in the history of the organization.
Newsome previously was the president of Hapag-Lloyd (America), Inc., based in Piscataway, New Jersey, which is part of the world’s fifth-largest ocean shipping company. He was the first American in this role, in which he was responsible for all activities in North and Latin America. Before becoming president, he was senior vice president of “Area Southeast,” based in Atlanta, Georgia, for 12 years.
Prior to joining Hapag-Lloyd in 1997, Newsome was with Nedlloyd Lines for 10 years. He was executive vice president of the Americas for Nedlloyd Lines and president of Nedlloyd Lines (USA) Corporation, based in Atlanta. In this capacity, he was the first non-Dutch member of the executive committee of Nedlloyd Lines, and he was responsible for North and Latin America and the transatlantic trade in addition to other senior management positions within the company.
His shipping career began with Strachan Shipping Company. He was president of its Hoegh Lines Agencies subsidiary in Jersey City, New Jersey, and held other positions with Strachan in Houston, Texas, and New York City.
After skipping the third grade, Newsome graduated from high school at the age of 16 and from graduate school when he was 21 years old. He worked summers on the waterfront for a private shipping company in Savannah. He received a bachelor of science in transportation and logistics in 1976 and an MBA in transportation and logistics in 1977 from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and hasn’t gone a day without a job since. He received multiple honors during his time at the University of Tennessee and as an alumnus, including Outstanding Junior and Senior in Transportation and Logistics (1975-1976), Top Graduate in the College of Business Administration-Winter Quarter (1976), and Outstanding Alumnus-Transportation and Logistics (1992). Newsome has proven to be an example of the saying, “learn, earn, and return,” by establishing a scholarship for today’s logistics students.
“We feel very strongly about our gift program to UT, which is the funding of a scholarship in the name of my parents for out-of-state students majoring in logistics,” said Newsome. “As a student, I was fortunate to receive both scholarships and a fellowship to support my education. My family could afford the cost of my education, so it has been an important priority to return this benefit to the logistics program and assist out-of-state students who bear a larger financial burden in attending UT. It has been a special experience to meet some of the scholarship recipients, see how highly qualified they are, and know that our small bit of assistance has helped them along the way.”
A native of Savannah, Georgia, Newsome and his wife, Kathy, have two children Rachel and Matthew (Rachel is a graduate of the University of Georgia and Matthew is a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). His father, James I. Newsome Jr, was an executive with the Georgia Ports Authority in Savannah for 25 years during the time when containerization was first introduced in that port. Newsome’s father also was involved in maritime labor relations on behalf of the shipping industry and allied service providers. Newsome’s mother worked for 45 years for a steel finishing company, retiring at the age of 82.
Newsome currently serves on the Board of Governors of the College of Charleston School of Business, and he is a member of the Champions Committee for the 2012 PGA Tournament to be held in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. He also is a member of the UT College of Business Administration’s 1914 Society, which recognizes those who have made leadership gifts through their estate plans.