North Carolina Department of Transportation announced last week that
Harold B. Thomas, currently acting as assistant director of operations,
as the new director for the Ferry Division. He begins his new duties
Harold Thomas is
named new director of Ferry Division
“Harold brings more than 17 years of
leadership, management and maritime experience to this position,” said
NCDOT Deputy Secretary for Transit Paul Morris. “He worked his way up
through the ranks, and I am sure he will serve the state’s coastal
residents and our visitors with integrity and determination.”
has been assistant director of operations since March 20, 2010. He
first started working with the Ferry Division as a ferry crew member I
in 1994 at the Cherry Branch-Minnesott Beach route and worked his way
up to oiler and then to chief engineer.
demonstrated exceptional leadership during the recovery efforts
following Hurricane Irene,” said Morris. “Leading during an emergency,
ensuring that the people are served, these are the traits we need in a
new ferry director.”
In 2001, Thomas received a letter of
accommodation from the Texas Department of Transportation for helping
ferry citizens between South Padre Island to Port Isabel following a
bridge collapse. Thomas was one of the crew members NCDOT sent to help,
and he remained in Texas for more than a month.
Thomas lives in Newport with his wife, Karen, and the couple has a
daughter, Amanda, and a son, Joshua.
A nationwide search to fill Thomas’s vacated position will begin.
NCDOT Ferry Division, the second largest ferry system in the nation and
employs nearly 500 people. It serves seven routes along the coast and
operates 21 vessels in its fleet, along with support vessels, such as
tugs, dredges, and barges.
Each year, the ferries
transport approximately one million vehicles and more than 2.1 million
passengers. Ferries, a vital part of Eastern North Carolina’s economy,
operate 365 days a year, weather permitting. They are the only mode of
transportation to Ocracoke Island and served a vital role in the recent
aftermath of Hurricane Irene by providing an emergency lifeline to
Hatteras Island when Highway 12 was breached.