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Port Milwaukee Promotes Eric Polzin to Harbor Master With Retirement of Wayne Johnson

Harbor Master Leads Vessel Safety and Operations in and Around Port Milwaukee

For Release Thursday, April 8, 2021
Port Milwaukee Contact:  Jeff Fleming, 414-286-8580

Image of Eric PolzinThe Milwaukee Board of Harbor Commissioners today approved the appointment of Eric Polzin to the position of Harbor Master. In his new role, Polzin will oversee operations at Port facilities and exercise regulatory and police powers over marine activity in the Milwaukee Harbor.  His appointment is effective on June 14, 2021.

Polzin has worked at Port Milwaukee for thirteen years.  During that time he has overseen projects, led staff, and planned major security and safety initiatives.

“Eric brings a great combination of knowledge, experience, and temperament to his new position.  He will be responsible for managing transportation operations, facilities, and safety for tenants and users of Port Milwaukee,” Port Director Adam Tindall-Schlicht said.  “He has earned this promotion through hard work and solid accomplishments during his time with the Port.”

Retiring Harbor Master Wayne Johnson has served in that role for more than a decade, and his tenure with the city has spanned more than four decades. 

“Wayne has always been a leader we could count on.  He managed both the routine and the unexpected with confidence and composure,” Board of Harbor Commissioners Chair Tim Hoelter said. “The entire Board shares its best wishes with Wayne as he enters a well-deserved retirement.”

In its regularly scheduled meeting today, the Board voted to honor Johnson by naming the Port’s largest crawler crane as “Big Wayne.”  This crane, a Manitowoc 2250 Series, has a 150 ft. main boom.  There is a tradition of naming cranes and Port vessels to honor former Mayors and revered Port retirees.

Port Milwaukee is an economic entity of City government governed by the seven-member Board of Harbor Commissioners, a panel appointed by Mayor Barrett and confirmed by the Common Council.  It administers operations on the more than 400 acres that make up the Port.  It promotes shipping and commerce throughout the region by providing access to domestic and international ships, rail, and over-the-road transportation.