Port Manatee has promoted Denise Stufflebeam to senior director of business administration and finance and Virginia Zimmermann to senior communications manager.
Stufflebeam, who has served since 2013 as Port Manatee's director of business administration and finance, joined the port in 1991 as information services assistant and subsequently received promotions to data processing manager and business manager. She holds bachelor's degrees in management information systems and accounting from the University of South Florida, as well as a certified port executive designation from the International Association of Maritime and Port Executives. Stufflebeam has previously served as treasurer of the Port of Port Manatee Propeller Club, chartered by the Propeller Club of the United States. She becomes the first woman to hold a senior director position at Port Manatee.
Zimmermann joined Port Manatee in 2013 as public relations and marketing manager. She previously worked on the public relations team for Munich-based Loyalty Partner GmbH, operator of one of the world's largest multichannel marketing platforms. She holds a bachelor's honors degree in business administration from the University of Applied Sciences in Munich. Since joining the Port Manatee team, Zimmermann has earned designation as a certified port executive from the International Association of Maritime and Port Executives and led numerous award-winning endeavors, most recently with the port's 2016 official directory being recognized with a communications award of excellence from the American Association of Port Authorities. She is a graduate of the 2015-16 Leadership Manatee program, Manatee County's premier leadership training program designed to expose current and future leaders to all aspects of Manatee County.
Both Stufflebeam and Zimmermann now report directly to Carlos Buqueras, executive director of Port Manatee, who commented, "It is a pleasure to reward both these outstanding members of the Port Manatee team with positions of greater responsibility, in which they will have further opportunities to apply their significant talents to the benefit of the port and its users."
Located "Where Tampa Bay Meets the Gulf of Mexico," Port Manatee is the closest U.S. deepwater seaport to the expanded Panama Canal and Cuba's Port of Mariel, with 10 40-foot-draft berths serving container, bulk, breakbulk, heavylift, project and general cargo customers. The port generates more than $2.3 billion in annual economic impact for the local community, while supporting more than 24,000 jobs, without levying ad-valorem taxes.