Lorain Port Authority Executive Director Novak Announces Retirement

Thomas Brown selected to succeed Richard Novak in March 2017

LORAIN, OH—December 20, 2016—Richard Novak, executive director of the Lorain Port Authority announced his retirement to occur on March 1, 2017 after 30 years of service. The announcement was made during the proceedings of a special meeting at 7 p.m. at the Ferry Terminal Building, located at 319 Black River Lane.

Board Chairman Carl Nielsen recognized Mr. Novak for his commitment to the Lorain Port Authority and his many accomplishments including:

  • Development of a 600-slip marina on the lakefront
  • Conversion of a 25-acre former rail storage yard to a $6.95 million multi-modal transportation center and festival grounds site, Black River Landing
  • Renovation of the mile-long pier on Lorain’s lakefront
  • Negotiation of expansion of the Jet Express operations into Lorain
  • Establishment of the nature and lighthouse tour programs
  • Implementation of various economic development incentive programs such as the Brownfield Redevelopment
  • Implementation of strategic plans for growth and sustainability
  • Instrumental in bringing the Rockin’ on the River summer concert series to Lorain.
  • Played a pivotal role in bringing Roverfest to the community.

The board met in executive session and voted for long-time Lorain resident Thomas Brown to succeed Mr. Novak. The transfer of the executive directorship will occur on March 1. Mr. Novak will be working with Mr. Brown and the board for a smooth transition during January and February.

Mr. Brown is currently the fire chief with 28 years of service with the Lorain Fire Department. His background also includes six years with the Ohio Army National Guard where he attained the rank of sergeant.

In addition to his leadership roles on the executive board for the Local #267 Lorain Professional Firefighters, Mr. Brown has 15 years of service with the Lorain Port Authority board of directors. His previous positions encompass vice chairman, chairman and numerous committee responsibilities. Mr. Brown assisted in the successful projects with the Black River Landing, mile-long pier renovation, the Jet Express, Lorain’s Tour Boats and the Rockin’ on the River Concert Series.

Mr. Brown has served on the Lorain Zoning Commission and was the chair on the Lorain Demolition Board of Appeals.

According to Chairman Nielsen, “I can think of no one more qualified or committed to the city of Lorain and the Lorain Port Authority than Tom Brown. He has managed 85 firefighters who have the upmost respect for him while handling budgets exceeding $8.5 million during challenging budget seasons. I have seen him work tirelessly on helping our community with multiple city of Lorain levy campaigns including the Lorain Port levy and most recently the Lorain Fire levy.”

“Tom’s appointment means a seamless transition with his experience and understanding of current projects:  the Camaco and Clover initiatives and the redevelopment of the Broadway Building. We are delighted that we will not lose time with Tom being able to add value on day one with his insights on these objectives and others.”

About The Lorain Port Authority

The mission of the Lorain Port Authority is to promote waterborne commerce, to provide economic development opportunities within the city of Lorain, and to enhance public access to our waterways. Since 2010, the Lorain Port Authority has financed $19 million in projects and assisted companies like Republic Steel and Ohio Edison through economic programs. The Lorain Port Authority also encourages water exploration and appreciation as it manages river tours, sunset cruises, lighthouse tours and Jet Express specialty cruises. The Lorain Port Authority provides vital services that improve the local economy and quality of life in Lorain, Ohio.

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