Stan Payne

J. STANLEY “STAN” PAYNE is a dynamic business executive with skill in executive management.  Areas of expertise include shipping and transportation, executive-level retail and distribution, and law. Mr. Payne’s consulting work includes port authority management, business coaching, business management, leadership training, and business law.

From leading teams responsible for massive cruise ships and port management to navigating the legal system for one of the country’s largest furniture manufacturers, Stan Payne has done it.

A brief list of his experiences are:

  • Executive – CEO, COO
  • Shipping and Transportation
  • Attorney – Legal, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
  • Manufacturing and Retail Distribution Executive
  • Management Consulting, Executive Coaching

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Washington, DC

After a full final year of law school delicately balancing a full course load with third-year law practice at Legal Aid, serving as a Notes and Comments Editor on the Law Review and teaching legal writing and research to first-year students as a paid instructor, Payne practiced law with a small firm with a Washington, DC practice. His brief tenure there was highlighted by representing several regional airlines, two of which were among the country’s largest, working directly with their Presidents as the firm’s primary contact in a time of great transition for the airline industry.

Norfolk, VA

Payne then became a very young General Counsel of the Virginia Port Authority, part of a youthful senior staff that would transform the Port Of Hampton Roads into major player among the nation’s container ports. Within two years, he had won a major case at the Federal Maritime Commission, under the Shipping Act of 1916, in a decision that provided the impetus for the port’s operations finally to be unified under a common operator, a subsidiary of the port authority established for that purpose, seen as a competitive advantage and unique to the industry subsidiary of the port. In a trend that would mark his career, substantial management duties were added to his legal responsibilities. Before the age of 30, he took command of the Port’s 120-strong police department, one of the state’s largest, which had not progressed as had the Port itself. Under his leadership, it was restructured, processes streamlined, and minorities, included women, were given new opportunities for advancement-two of those promoted eventually rose to the level of Captain. 1986 was a particularly a busy year for Payne. On behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Payne negotiated with Corps of Engineers senior staff in Washington to deepen the port’s shipping channel to 50 feet, not a particularly easy task, as the governing federal law had changed dramatically that year, with hefty cost-sharing of the project now thrust upon the ports. After a difficult, groundbreaking negotiation, the project became the nation’s first ever completed under this radically new framework, which is still in place today.

Bassett, VA

After a stint with a private terminal operating company, learning the hands-on side of the port industry at the Port of Richmond, Virginia, then an industry model for small-port success, and in a fairly radical career move, Payne joined my former Chairman of the Virginia Port Authority, Robert Spilman (who, in his everyday life was the CEO of Bassett Furniture and an industry icon), to become Chief Legal Officer of one of the world’s largest furniture manufacturers. The experience was the equivalent of an MBA coupled with an ongoing course in uniformly difficult negotiations, and again incorporated management responsibilities, from compliance, with environmental and employee safety issues in an industry with decades old factories and technology to managing hundreds of product liability claims, from property damage to serious injury and even death. A highlight, and part of the great learning experience, was serving as corporate secretary to a Board of Directors that included former Treasury Secretary John Snow and the former presidents of Sara Lee and Lance Crackers, among other industry leaders.

High Point, NC

Payne continued in the industry with the world’s largest company, LifeStyle Furnishings International, made up of several well-known manufacturers, as well as fabric and accessory companies, with showrooms, and a contract division selling to high-end hotels and resorts around the world. His responsibilities focused on the day-to-day operations of all eleven divisions that included operations in worldwide. Also included in my responsibilities was litigation management for the $2 billion company. Each division (and each division president and senior staff) had different personalities, making the work always interesting, rewarding, and demanding. Under Payne’s guidance, several divisions developed and implemented legally-sensitive, cutting-edge pricing and distribution programs, including minimum prices, selective distribution, and retail initiatives that survive today.

Lexington, NC

As LifeStyle dissolved, Payne accepted a greatly-expanded position with one of its largest divisions, Lexington Home Brands, again with management responsibilities, now not simply including law and licensing but also customer service( the largest department outside of manufacturing operations), and importantly for his next career step, transportation and logistics, critical as the industry moved almost exclusively to offshore production.

Port Canaveral, FL

It was this involvement in moving thousands of containers from Asia that re-ignited his interest in transportation and spurred him to apply for the COO position at Port Canaveral. After a national search, and despite having been out of the port industry for over a decade, he was selected over two long-time port industry veterans specifically because of my experience in private industry and the Board’s desire to bring business discipline to the port’s administration and operation. With that focus (he was named CEO six months later), Port Canaveral grew in revenues from $42M to nearly $70M, with net income reaching nearly $20M on a cash flow of $36M. It became the world’s second largest and fastest growing major cruise port. A $150M petroleum tank farm, built entirely with private funding, became operational in 2010 and promptly doubled the port’s previous record volume, necessitating new cargo docks which are in the final stage of construction now. A new port cultural center-the Exploration Tower- opened this year, with an amphitheater planned for next.

The next milestone will be Port Canaveral’s channel widening and deepening project, accelerated by up to ten years by the port’s decision to utilize the Corps of Engineers Section 203 mechanism for approval and Governor Scott’s agreement to supplement the port’s revenues with $24.4M in state funds to expedite construction. All three of Port Canaveral’s business segments-Cruise, Cargo, and Tourism/Entertainment- have new infrastructure in place and more planned to facilitate future growth, and, most importantly, have one of the strongest balance sheets in the port industry (as evidenced by a Fitch upgrade in 2013), to support that growth. In early 2013, in a rare “double”, the Canaveral Port Authority was feted with the highest awards by both the area’s largest chamber of commerce and the United Way of Brevard, for its contribution to the well-being of a region hit hard by end of the Space Shuttle program, adding to Payne’s several individual awards for 2011 to 2013 that included being named Regional “Business Leader of the Year”.

In July, 2013, Payne left Port Canaveral after over 9 years at the helm to pursue other interests, which have included writing numerous national articles on the port industry and, in late 2013, forming Summit Strategic Partners as a vehicle for responding to increasing requests to provide consulting and strategic advice.

More Details

 

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Mr. Payne previously served as CEO of the Canaveral Port Authority and Deputy Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority during periods of transformation and great growth of Port Canaveral and the Port of Hampton Roads, respectively.
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General Counsel

Legal career has spanned both the private and public sectors.

  • General Counsel of the public Virginia Port Authority
  • General Counsel of Bassett Furniture Company
  • Vice President, Law and Administration; Director of Legal Affairs, LifeStyle Furnishings International Ltd. / Lexington Home Brands
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Stan Payne Business Consulting - Summit Strategic PartnersManagement Consultant

Mr. Payne provides professional management consulting services to industry and business through Summit Strategic Partners.

  • Shipping & Transportation Consulting
  • Port Management Consulting
  • Executive Coaching
  • Litigation Support
  • Contract Negotiation
  • Crisis Management
  • Relationship Development
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