South Carolina Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin received the Outstanding Women in Supply Chain Award from supply chain management students at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
“In choosing a recipient, we seek a sensational female leader who not only is at the forefront of innovation in her industry but who also empowers and encourages women through her work,” said Halie Fairchild, a supply chain management senior and NeXxus president. “We unanimously selected Barbara Melvin for this award.”
Melvin is the president and CEO of South Carolina Ports, the 8th largest U.S. container port. She assumed the helm of the 1,000-person maritime agency in July 2022, becoming the first woman to lead a top 10 U.S.-operating container port.
“It is hard to be what you cannot see. Seeing women excel in the maritime and logistics industry enables future generations to envision themselves excelling in those careers as well,” Melvin said. “We can lift each other up by encouraging other women to be bold in their careers and bring their ideas to the table.”
Melvin’s career spans 25 years at South Carolina Ports. She previously led government relations, community engagement, public relations, and port operations. She served as the port’s first chief operating officer before being named CEO.
Melvin spearheaded critical port infrastructure projects, including the Charleston Harbor Deepening Project, which yielded the deepest harbor on the East Coast at 52 feet.
As CEO, she approaches operations holistically, working with the SC Ports team and the broader maritime community to provide efficient operations, and she works to grow the port’s cargo base to support job growth throughout South Carolina.
Melvin’s leadership extends into the community and with students, including with the supply chain management program at the University of Tennessee.
Melvin graduated with an Executive Master’s in Business Administration in Global Supply Chain from the University of Tennessee Haslam College of Business.
“She’s gone above and beyond in her dedication to supporting students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, through investing time in our programs and in mentoring female students,” Fairchild said. “She’s a true leader and an inspiration to all of us to be the best we can possibly be as we begin our careers.”