Port’s John LaRue New Corpus Christi Chamber President
John LaRue has moved from the port to the chamber. Recently retired as executive director of the Port of Corpus Christi, LaRue will take over as president and CEO of the United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce as of June 24. He succeeds Cleofas Rodriguez Jr., who resigned in May after two years in the position.
“Mr. LaRue has clearly demonstrated an ability to successfully run a large organization with many community stakeholders both large and small,” said Philip Ramirez, chairman of the United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce. “His tenure at the port has been defined by integrity and a willingness to build long-lasting relationships within the business community. He is well-prepared to take on this new role, and we are confident in his ability to lead the chamber to even greater heights.”
LaRue served 25 years as head of the Port of Corpus Christi, planning, organizing, and administering the day-to-day operations of one of the largest ports in the United States. The port also is the largest economic generator in the Coastal Bend. Once in charge of 280 employees, he will now manage nine. His focus will be on developing small businesses in the community as well as large industries.
A member of the Port Industries of Corpus Christi, LaRue has been involved in a variety of community activities and organizations. He served as a board member and past chairman of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation; a past chair and member of the United Way of the Coastal Bend Board of Directors; on the American Heart Association Board and Executive Leadership Team; interim president and CEO of the Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation; a past board member of Incarnate Word Academy; and a past chair of St. Philip’s Parish Council.
While under LaRue’s more than two decades of leadership, the Port of Corpus Christi became the nation’s leading energy exporter and is the fourth-largest port in terms of tonnage.
He has a national reputation for excellence in port management. He came to Corpus Christi from the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, which he ran from 1990 to 1994. He was chosen to establish the Philadelphia port from its inception as a state-funded institution.
Before that, he worked for Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell. He is a native of Reading, Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in political science from Villanova University. Now 72 years old, he and his wife, Diane, are firmly settled in Corpus Christi. They have four grown sons and four grandchildren.
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