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TRANSPORTATION


CHRISTOPHER J. CONNOR PRESIDENT AND CEO, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PORT AUTHORITIES, ALEXANDRIA


In May 2020, Connor testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, urging Congress to include $1.5 billion in economic relief for the nation’s public


ports in any COVID-19 response. Helping port workers maintain readiness would be critical for the future, he said. Connor, who took over as chief of the American Association of Port Authorities in 2019, renewed that call for investment as shipping volume began to increase in 2021. AAPA outlined the need in a letter to the Biden administration as Congress mulls a massive infrastructure bill. Investment is crucial to remain compet-


itive, Connor says. “Spending one dollar on maritime infrastructure returns two to three dollars to the national economy in terms of jobs, growth and productivity.” AAPA advocates for 130 public port authorities across the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America. In addition to his job, Connor is a member


of the National Association of Corporate Directors and sits on the board of The Pasha Group and the business advisory board for Xylyx Bio. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Connor also received a cyberse- curity oversight certification from Carnegie Mellon University.


JAY CROFTON CO-OWNER AND PRESIDENT, CROFTON INDUSTRIES INC., PORTSMOUTH


In August 2018, torrential rains flooded Lynchburg’s College Lake, and officials evacuated 150 nearby homes, fearing a dam break. Croſton Industries responded and spent 10 days performing an underwater assessment and debris removal, stabilizing the dam.


That’s just one of many projects the company has com- pleted since its founding in 1949 by Navy veteran Juan Croſton


as a commercial diving company. More recently, Croſton Industries won its bid to help replace a 614-foot portion of the Portsmouth seawall, and it has been involved with replacing the Bonner Bridge on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Jay Croſton, one of Juan Croſton’s four children, serves as president of the company, which provides professional diving services, cranes, marine construction and engineering for the indus- try. His siblings also are part of the operation. Although the company has grown over the past 72 years, its original work boat, The Cromo, is still part of the business and is used as a cleaning ship.


JOHN CUOMO CEO AND PRESIDENT, VSE CORP., ALEXANDRIA


Cuomo was named the head of VSE Corp. in April 2019, aſter nearly 20 years in the aerospace industry, including stints at B/E Aerospace Inc. and Boeing Distribution Services. VSE provides aſtermarket distribution and maintenance, repair and


overhaul services for land, sea and air transportation. Its clients include the U.S. military and the Postal Service, as well as commercial airlines. Revenues were down slightly for the first three months of 2021, with VSE reporting $165 million


as of March 31, compared with $177.4 million for the same period of 2020. But as travel began to rebound, VSE’s aviation section declared its third quarter of consecutive growth. In April, the company reported $37.5 million in new contracts with the Air Force, as well as a


foreign ally. A month earlier, VSE had announced a 15-year engine accessories distribution agree- ment worth up to $1 billion with a global aircraſt engine manufacturer. A Florida Atlantic University alumnus, Cuomo received a law degree from the University of Miami and an MBA from the University of Florida. He also completed an advanced management program at Harvard Business School earlier this year, and he is a member of The Economic Club of Washington, D.C.


JEROME L. DAVIS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER, METROPOLITAN WASHINGTON AIRPORTS AUTHORITY, ARLINGTON


Davis started off as a sales rep selling food products for Procter & Gamble, and he later rose to executive roles there, at Frito-Lay and at Maytag Corp. By the time he was tapped to lead the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority in 2014, he thought he was ready to retire, he told the Washington Business Journal. With air travel taking significant hits during the pandemic, concessions and parking at


Ronald Reagan Washington National and Washington Dulles International airports, which MWAA governs, also declined sharply. In the first eight months of 2020, concessions were down more than 63% from the same period in 2019, and parking was down by 84%, the Washington Business Journal reported.


As the pandemic eased, air travel was rebounding at both airports. Dulles added additional interna- tional routes, and a $650 million renovation of Reagan’s north concourse continued. Davis serves on the board of Destination D.C. and is a graduate of Florida State University. He also served on the board of directors for GameStop Corp. until retiring from that board in June, although he was still part of the governing body during the Reddit-driven stock boom, in which shares went up by 850% since January.


188 VIRGINIA 500


ROBEY W. ‘ROB’ ESTES JR. CEO, ESTES EXPRESS LINES, RICHMOND


Though shipments dropped about 20% when the pan- demic first hit in 2020, that changed fast, Webb Estes, an Estes Express Lines vice president and the son of CEO Rob Estes, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch


earlier this year. By last fall, the company’s annual growth was up 15% year over year. Estes is the grandson of founder W.W. Estes, who started the company with one truck in 1931. In 2020, the company generated $3.5 billion in reve- nue and ranked No. 140 on Forbes’ list of America’s largest private companies. Today, Estes Express Lines, which employs more than 18,000 people, is looking to add more than 2,500 employees nation- wide, and it has opened several new terminals, with others under construction. Estes took over as president in 1990 and became CEO in 2001, suceeding his father, Robey Estes Sr., who died in 2006. In December, the Estes family donated $1.85 million to support construction of the 16-story Wonder Tower at the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. The company added $150,000 to the giſt in January. An alumnus of William & Mary, Estes is a gen- erous donor and served for 16 years on the Mason School of Business Foundation board until 2020.


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