Port Freeport CEO Phyllis Saathoff Honored with Russell H. Perry Award

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TxDOT Executive Director, Marc Williams; TxDOT Chief Engineer, Lance Simmons; TxDOT Deputy Executive Director for Program Delivery, Brian Barth; TxDOT Deputy Executive Director for Planning and Administration, Brandye Hendrickson; Executive Director/CEO Port Freeport, Phyllis Saathoff; Texas Transportation Commission, Commissioner W. Allen New; Texas Transportation Commission, Commissioner Alejandro “Alex” G. Meade, III; Texas A&M Transportation Institute Director Agency CEO, Gregory D. Winfree, J.D. Photo courtesy of Port Freeport.

Port Freeport Executive Director and CEO Phyllis Saathoff was presented with the prestigious Russell H. Perry Award during the Opening Session of the Texas Department of Transportation’s (“TxDOT”) 97th Annual Transportation Short Course on Oct. 10. The award, sponsored jointly by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute, a member of the Texas A&M University System, the Texas Department of Transportation, and the Texas Good Roads/Transportation Association, acknowledged Saathoff's outstanding leadership in the maritime industry and transportation.

Annually at the TxDOT Transportation Short Course, awards are presented to TxDOT's "Big Five" award winners, with four going to TxDOT employees recognized for their enduring leadership and dedication to the department. The fifth award, the Russell H. Perry Award, honors an individual citizen. Established in 1989, this award recognizes citizens for their leadership in increasing public awareness of the need for and benefits of adequate highway and transportation facilities in the State of Texas.

"Under Phyllis Saathoff’s leadership, Port Freeport has experienced substantial growth, stimulating economic investment and job creation in our community and across the state," commented Chairman Ravi Singhania. Saathoff played a pivotal role in securing approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deepen the Freeport Harbor Channel to 56 feet and successfully obtained the funding required to complete the project. "We take pride in her recognition for the numerous accomplishments throughout her maritime career."

Saathoff, serving as the executive director and CEO of Port Freeport since 2016, has over three decades of experience in maritime and global trade. Her leadership has propelled Port Freeport to prominence within Texas and the nation. Additionally, she serves as a member and past chair of TxDOT's Port Authority Advisory Committee and presently sits on the executive committee for the National Waterways Conference.

"I am honored to receive this award, but it represents the collective efforts of many," Saathoff expressed. "This is an award for all of us and what we do together for Port Freeport, our community, and the state of Texas. I look forward to continued collaboration to ensure we have the transportation system and global connection necessary to support our businesses and industries here in Brazoria County and across Texas."

Award recipients are carefully selected from nominees submitted by transportation agencies in the State of Texas, with the executive head of each State transportation agency submitting one nominee annually.