Ex-longshoreman to head port agency

May 21, 1994|By Suzanne Wooton | Suzanne Wooton,Sun Staff Writer

Michael P. Angelos, a 42-year-old Baltimorean who began his career as a truck driver on the docks, was named executive director of the Maryland Port Administration yesterday, becoming the first former longshoreman to head the agency that oversees Maryland's five public terminals.

Mr. Angelos had been deputy director of the port administration since 1991 and had served as acting director since Adrian G. Teel left in April to become a senior vice president at Ferris, Baker Watts Inc. investment banking company.

In contrast to Mr. Teel, who had a strong financial and managerial background but no port experience, Mr. Angelos has worked extensively in maritime and transportation industries.

The son of a Greek trucking company owner and cousin of Baltimore Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos, he began his port career in the mid-1970s at Dundalk Marine Terminal, where he drove the huge container trucks.

He rose through the maritime industry ranks to become a vice president of operations for ITO Corp., the port's largest stevedoring company. There, he negotiated contracts with many major steamship lines throughout the world.

In recent years, Mr. Angelos has been instrumental in healing the rift between labor and management, which had tarnished the port of Baltimore's reputation for years.

His appointment to the $105,000-a-year job, announced yesterday by Gov. William Donald Schaefer, has been backed enthusiastically by both steamship companies and the longshoremen.

"He's sat on both sides and can see the issues from both points of view," said Maurice Byan, director of the Steamship Trade Association, which represents major employers at the port. "This is absolutely great for the port."

Richard P. Hughes Jr., general vice president of the Atlantic Coast District of the International Longshoremen's Association, said Mr. Angelos has "always included those people who labor on the docks."

"He was always known as a regular guy, a very decent guy," he said.

Mr. Angelos takes control of the port administration as the port is experiencing a resurgence, luring new shipping services and regaining cargo that it had lost during the 1980s. In addition, the port has operated profitably for the past two years, after losing money for nearly a decade.

"The most important goal is to maintain the momentum we have going right now," Mr. Angelos said yesterday.

Last year, general cargo moving through the port grew by more than 5 percent, to 5.4 million tons. During the first quarter this year, it leapt 21 percent, thanks largely to a surge in steel imports here.

Mr. Angelos, who lives in Towson, was hired by the Maryland Port Administration in April 1990 as president of the Maryland International Terminals, the nonprofit subsidiary of the administration charged with operating the port's public facilities.

As head of the subsidiary, he oversaw the opening of the modern Seagirt Marine Terminal and negotiated a difficult operating agreement with the Longshoremen's Association for the computerized terminal there. A year later, he also became the port administration's deputy executive director in charge of operations, marketing administration and finance.

A native of Baltimore, he grew up in East Baltimore's Eastpoint neighborhood and graduated from Kenwood High School in Essex. A few months later, he dropped out of college and went to work as a driver at Dundalk just as automation was beginning at the port.

After working at Dundalk for a year, he attended Palm Beach (Fla.) College and played semi-professional basketball for the Palm Beach Blazers.

In 1977, he returned to Baltimore as managing director of his father's company, Panda Transport. Three years later, he joined ITO as superintendent and became a vice president in 1988.

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