After performing arts center and airport stints, Bill Johnson steers just re-branded Port Miami to expand infrastructure
Hailing from the Midwest, Bill Johnson came to Miami as a young man and, today, the fingerprints of his work are present throughout the entire county. After a nearly 32-year career in Miami-Dade County government, Mr. Johnson could write a book about local politics and its players. Not that he'd have much time to do it.
In recent years, Mr. Johnson has worked as manager of the county's two top economic engines — Miami International Airport and the Port of Miami, now known as Port Miami.
Mr. Johnson has been involved in key county projects that helped make Miami what it is today, including the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and the AmericanAirlines Arena.
"I got involved around 2004 in a very troubled project now known as the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts," he said. "[It was] a public-private initiative, and I was askedů to try and help assess the problems that really were plaguing the development of what is today a spectacular facility.
"I became the project executive overseeing the completion of the Adrienne Arsht Center, and I'm very proud of that public-private partnership. It turned out to be a phenomenal success and something which this community for generations to come can enjoy."
Today, as he approaches the last chapters of his career, Mr. Johnson shows few signs of slowing down. As director of the seaport since 2006, he speaks passionately about major infrastructure projects that are aimed at catapulting Port Miami to an even higher level of cruise, cargo and related commerce.
He envisions a bold future for Greater Miami, in which the seaport acts as a crucible of business, job creation and economic growth.
"I've had the opportunity to serve this community for nearly 32 years," Mr. Johnson said. "I've had the opportunity to not only grow professionally but to really learn firsthand what Miami-Dade County is about and how beautiful of a community it is."
He added, "I feel fortunate for the opportunity to have lived for the best part of my life, the better part of my life, in such an incredible place."
Mr. Johnson reflected on his career, discussed his plans for the seaport's future and provided an update on status of the many projects currently underway at Port Miami with Miami Today staff writer Scott Blake at his seaport office.
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