LEADING GROWTH OF ECONOMIC ENGINE AT PORT SAN ANTONIO - South Texas Alliance for Regional Trade

May 14, 2014


Port President & CEO is recipient of leadership award from Association of Defense Communities

 

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San Antonio, Texas – Bruce E. Miller has been awarded the 2014 Community Leadership Award presented by the Washington, D.C.-based Association of Defense Communities–an organization that for over 35 years has supported more than 200 military communities around the country, including those impacted by base closures.

The award recognizes Miller’s accomplishments over his extensive career.

Since 2002 he has served as President and CEO of Port San Antonio, which under his watch has emerged as one of South Texas’ leading economic engines. The organization is redeveloping the 1,900-acre site of the former Kelly Air Force Base to its best and highest use, and today is home to more than 80 private- and government-sector customers.

The employment base of entities based at the Port, centered in aerospace, government/military and logistics/manufacturing, has reached over 12,000 workers and generates more than $4 billion in regional economic activity each year. The Port is also the largest commercial property under single ownership in San Antonio.

As he has worked to attract new businesses to the region, Miller’s priorities include the normalization of Port property–transforming the former base into a seamless part of the city. The process, which includes converting millions of square feet of former military facilities to commercial use and working with local, state and federal entities to upgrade and build new infrastructure that conforms to or exceeds city standards, is an integral part of growing the property and attracting new investments.

During Miller’s tenure, new construction, upgrades of existing facilities and infrastructure improvements have totaled nearly half a billion dollars, funded through the Port’s own resources, private investment and public sources for road and drainage infrastructure projects.

The Port is self-sustaining and does not depend on public funding for operations. It earns income from leases and other real estate activities it undertakes, and reinvests profits into further redevelopment of the property.

Also among Miller’s key accomplishments is growing the Port’s role as a strategic partner to the Air Force. Following the Department of Defense’s 2005 announcements of additional base closures and realignments, several military missions began consolidating to the San Antonio region. The Port has been an instrumental partner by providing the military with facilities that meet Anti-Terrorism Force Protection (ATFP) standards for both civilian and uniformed personnel.

Features of ATFP-compliant facilities include fenced perimeters, access through security gates, redundant power and telecommunications, and reinforced construction. Starting in 2008, the Port managed over $60 million in upgrades to an existing five-building complex totaling over 700,000 square feet of office space on the eastern part of the property.

The new secured complex is known as Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Annex. It houses numerous Air Force operations, including headquarters for the 24th Air Force (Cyber Command), Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC), Air Force Medical Services Agency (AFMSA), Air Force Public Affairs Agency (AFPAA), Air Force Medical Operations Agency (AFMOA), among others. Today, about half of the 12,000 people who work at the Port are Air Force personnel within Lackland Annex.

Prior to arriving at Port San Antonio, Miller served as CEO of the Rickenbacker Port Authority in Columbus, Ohio—also a former Air Force facility he helped to redevelop for commercial uses.
“Very few people can say they’ve successfully led the redevelopment of a large former military base. Bruce Miller has done it twice,” said Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Bob Murdock, President of ADC’s Board of Directors and Director of the City of San Antonio’s Office of Military Affairs. “He is uniquely qualified with a strong understanding of real estate development, business and public service. At Port San Antonio he has created a dynamic platform that has long served as a national model for large scale redevelopment.”

“We are proud to present this award to Bruce Miller in recognition of an exemplary career and its significant milestones,” said Tim Ford, ADC’s Chief Executive Officer. “Bruce’s selection reflects his longstanding commitment to innovation and collaboration as the keys to creating real and lasting results.”

“It’s a special honor receive this recognition from a group who has a deep understanding of what it means to redevelop a former base,” said Miller. “I am also proud to accept this award on behalf of the many people who have provided support over the years. It takes a great team to see the types of successes that now exist at Port San Antonio. Our greatest achievement is having established a sustainable model that will create good opportunities for generations ahead.”
Other recognitions Port San Antonio has received under Miller’s tenure include ADC’s 2010 Base Redevelopment of the Year award. That same year the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) presented the Port with its Real Estate Redevelopment & Reuse Award for cities with populations greater than 500,000.

Earlier this year, Miller announced that he will retire effective October 1, 2014.