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Virgin Islands Port Authority
Board of Governors

The Virgin Islands Port Authority is a semi-autonomous agency governed by a nine-member board which sets policy. The executive director is responsible for implementing these policies and overseeing the day-to-day operation of the agency.  Board meetings are usually held on the third Wednesday of each month and are open to the public under the Sunshine Law of the Territory.  A schedule of VIPA's board meetings is provided here.

Four members of the governor's cabinet sit on the board. These members serve at the will of the governor.  They are:

  1. the commissioner of the Department of Tourism,

  2. the attorney general,

  3. the commissioner of the Department of Public Works, and

  4. the chairperson of the Economic Development Authority's board.

The five other board positions are reserved for private citizens who are appointed by the governor and are subject to the approval of the Legislature of the Virgin Islands. Two of these members must come from St. Croix, two from St. Thomas and one from St. John. They are appointed to a three-year term of office and each is eligible for re-appointment. 

Virgin Islands Port Authority
Authorized by Title 29 V.I.C. §541
Title 29 V.I.C. §541 Creation of Virgin Islands Port Authority

(a) The body corporate and politic constituting a public corporation and autonomous governmental instrumentality for the Government of the United States Virgin Islands by the name of the Virgin Islands Port Authority which existed prior to the date of enactment of this subsection is continued without interruption under a revised Board of Governors consisting of the Commissioner of Tourism, the Attorney General, the Commissioner of Public Works, and the Chairman of the Economic Development Authority and five other persons appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Legislature.

(b) The term of office of each appointed member shall be three years and each shall be eligible for reappointment. Any person appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which a predecessor was appointed shall be appointed only for the remainder of such term. Appointed members may be removed for cause by the Governor.

(c) Of the five appointed persons, two shall be residents of the Island of St. Thomas, two shall be residents of the Island of St. Croix, and one shall be a resident of the Island of St. John.


The Governor and Lieutenant Governor
of the U.S. Virgin Islands

The Honorable
Kenneth E. Mapp
Governor
of the U.S. Virgin Islands
The Honorable
Osbert E. Potter
Lieutenant Governor
of the U.S. Virgin Islands

 

Members of VIPA's Board of Governors

 

Laurel Hewitt-Sewer Laurel Hewitt-Sewer
Private Citizen, St. John
Chairperson
Term: Sept. 23, 2015 - Sept. 23, 2018

Mrs. Laurel Hewitt-Sewer sits on the VIPA board as a private citizen representing the island of St. John. She is a part-time professor of Inclusive Early Childhood Education in the School of Education at the University of the Virgin Islands and a retired Family and Consumer Sciences teacher. Hewitt-Sewer holds a Master of Science Degree in Child and Youth Care Administration from Nova South Eastern University, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Home Economics, Child Development from Georgia Southern University and an Associate in Arts Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of the Virgin Islands

 

 
Image Dr. Yvonne Thraen Dr. Yvonne E. L. Thraen
Private Citizen, St. Thomas
Vice Chairperson

Term: Dec. 20, 2016 – Dec. 20, 2019

Dr. Yvonne Thraen is a program liaison for VI projects funded by the U.S. Department of Interior and U.S. Department of Agriculture's graduate school - the International Institute. She has over 30 years of experience in government planning, policy making and administration. Thraen was an assistant to Gov. Alexander Farrelly in March 1987, and to Gov. Roy Schneider until her retirement in January 1997. Thraen serves on the University of the Virgin Islands Board of Trustees and on the board of Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands. Her civil service also includes directorship of the VI Youth Services Administration. She has a doctorate in social welfare from Brandeis University.

 

 
Attorney Claude Walker Claude E. Walker, Esq.
Attorney General
Secretary of the Board

Term: Ex-officio

Attorney Claude Earl Walker sits on VIPA’s board as the Attorney General of the US Virgin Islands and is the head of the VI Department of Justice. Attorney Walker, an Albany Law School graduate, served as a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development litigator; senior legal counselor at Scotia Bank; policy adviser at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence; and a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency attorney and advisor.

 

 
Beverly Nicholson-Doty
Tourism Commissioner

Term: Ex-officio

Beverly Nicholson-Doty is the Commissioner of the USVI Department of Tourism. Nicholson-Doty formerly served as the director of the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel & Tourism Association. In addition to an extensive background in marketing, Nicholson was also selected as Executive Director of the Year in 2000 by the Caribbean Hotel Association. She was elected to three consecutive terms as vice president of the Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives.

 

 


 
Nelson Petty
Acting Public Works Commissioner
Term: Ex-officio

 

 

 
Jose A. Penn José A. Penn
Chairman, Economic
Development Authority Board

Term: Ex-officio

José Penn is the chair of the Enterprise & Commercial Zone Commission. He is chief financial officer of his family's group of businesses. Mr. Penn obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from the University of the Virgin Islands and serves on other boards, including: Virgin Islands Board of Land Use Appeals; Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park Advisory Board; the St. Thomas/St. John Horse Racing Commission; Junior Achievement of the Virgin Islands and the Julius E. Sprauve School Charitable Trust. He is also a member of the St. Thomas - St. John Chamber of Commerce, Inc. and is a charter and honorary member of the Rotary Club of St. John, Inc.

 

 
Marvin Forbes Marvin Forbes
Private Citizen, St. Croix
Term: Dec. 20, 2016 – Dec. 20, 2019

As a local businessman with a strong background in information technology, Marvin Forbes has ran his own telecommunications business on St. Croix for over 20 years. Forbes is also the President of VI Action Group - an organization focused on ensuring fair elections in the territory.

 

 

 

There are currently two vacancies on the VIPA board:

Private Citizen, St. Thomas
Private Citizen, St. Croix


 

VIPA Board Committees

Finance Committee

Claude Walker, Esq. - chairperson

Laurel Hewitt-Sewer

Beverly Nicholson-Doty

José A. Penn

 

Property Committee

José A. Penn - chairperson

Laurel Hewitt-Sewer

 

Beverly Nicholson-Doty

 

Dr. Yvonne E. L. Thraen

 

Projects & Operations Committee

 

Marvin Forbes  - chairperson

 

Dr. Yvonne E. L. Thraen

 

Claude Walker, Esq.

 

Personnel Committee

 

Laurel Hewitt-Sewer - chairperson

 

Marvin Forbes

 

Dr. Yvonne E. L. Thraen

 

Claude Walker, Esq.

 

Contact VIPA Board Members:
Virgin Islands Port Authority Board of Governors
P. O. Box 301707
St. Thomas, VI  00803-1707
Tel: (340) 774-1629 ext. 6601
Fax: (340) 774-0025


VIPA Board Staff

Tonya Pickering, Internal Auditor
Tonya Pickering

Internal Auditor


Tonya Pickering is the agency's internal auditor and reports to the Governing Board. As the internal auditor, Ms. Pickering performs independent auditing geared to improve the effectiveness of risk management, financial controls, and governance processes by analyzing internal company data, business processes and policies.

 


Board Actions

2017 Board Meeting Actions 2016 Board Meeting Actions 2015 Board Meeting Actions 2014 Board Meeting Actions
January 18, 2017 January 27, 2016 January 21, 2015 January 19, 2014
February 22, 2017 February 17, 2016 February 28, 2015 February 19, 2014
March 22, 2017 March 30, 2016 March 25, 2015 March 19, 2014
April 19, 2017 April 20, 2016 April 22, 2015 April 16, 2014
May 17, 2017 May 18, 2016 May 27, 2015

May 09, 2014 (special meeting)

May 21, 2014

June 21, 2017 June 22, 2016 June 17, 2015 June 18, 2014
July 26, 2017 July 20, 2016 July 2015 - No meeting held July 16, 2014
August 21, 2017 August 17, 2016 August 19, 2015 August 20, 2014
  September 22, 2016 September 16, 2015 September 17, 2014
  October 21, 2016 October 21, 2015 October 3 and 21, 2014
  November 16, 2016 November 18, 2015 November 19, 2014
  December 21, 2016 December 16, 2015 December 15, 2014

 


Virgin Islands Port Authority
8074 Lindbergh Bay
P.O. Box 301707
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands  00803-1707
Tel: (340) 774-1629  Fax: (340) 774-0025
Developed by the VIPA Public Relations Department

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