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Released: 1/15/2014 

DRPA CFO John T. Hanson Named Acting CEO

Hanson to Replace Outgoing CEO John J. Matheussen for 30 Days

CAMDEN, N.J. – The Board of Commissioners today appointed Chief Financial Officer John T. Hanson to serve as acting chief executive officer of the Delaware River Port Authority.

Hanson, 53, of Cherry Hill is authorized to lead the bi-state transportation authority for 30 days, starting on Friday evening.  During Hanson’s tenure as acting CEO, Finance Director James White will serve as acting chief financial officer.

Board of Commissioners Vice Chairman Jeffrey L. Nash said Hanson will make an able acting CEO.

“John Hanson has done an outstanding job administering the authority’s finances,” Nash said. “His efforts at debt restructuring have earned the respect of Wall Street, and his leadership in improving management efficiencies through the use of Lean Six Sigma has earned the respect of DRPA employees. The authority is in capable hands.”

Board Chairman David F. Simon said the DRPA will keep working to improve its fiscal and operational stability through any leadership changes.

“During this transition, we remain committed to improving the authority’s financial stability, operational efficiency and customer service,” Simon said.

According to PATCO corporate governance documents, General Manager John Rink will serve as acting PATCO president until the board appoints a permanent DRPA CEO/PATCO president.

Matheussen, 60, a resident of Washington Township, is leaving on Friday at 5 p.m. to accept a judgeship on New Jersey Superior Court.  The New Jersey Senate confirmed Matheussen’s nomination to the bench on Monday evening. 

“While I’m looking forward to an exciting new chapter in my career, this is a bittersweet departure after nearly 11 years,” Matheussen said. “Leading the authority hasn’t always been easy, but it has never been boring.  And I am privileged to have worked with so many dedicated, talented people.” 

Matheussen is the authority’s 11th and second-longest serving chief administrator.  Only Joseph K. Costello, who led the organization from its inception in 1921 until 1959, held the top spot longer.

A native of Jersey City, Matheussen was appointed CEO on April 1, 2003.  Before his appointment, he represented the Fourth Legislative District in the New Jersey Senate between 1992 and 2003.  A graduate of Seton Hall University and University of Dayton Law School, Matheussen is a former partner in the law firm of Dilworth Paxon LLP in Philadelphia.

Hanson was appointed chief financial officer of the authority in 2004.  During the prior two years, he served on the DRPA Board of Commissioners as chairman of the finance committee. 

A former chairman of Camden County Republican Committee, Hanson served as deputy mayor of the Borough of Audubon, N.J. from 1997 until 2001.  He worked as chief financial officer for a health care firm in Cherry Hill until 1998, when he joined the administration of then-Gov. Christine Todd Whitman as senior vice president of strategic initiatives for the N.J. Department of Commerce.

In addition, Hanson represented the secretary of commerce on the boards of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, Urban Enterprise Zone Authority, New Jersey State Aquarium, Brownfield Redevelopment Task Force, New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, Urban Coordinating Council and South Jersey Port Corporation.

From 2000 until 2002, Hanson served on the New Jersey Sales and Use Tax Commission. He returned to private industry in 2002 as the general manager of a large, New Jersey-based recycling and manufacturing firm.

A Lean Six Sigma black belt and certified public accountant licensed in New Jersey, Hanson serves as chairman of the Camden County College Board of Trustees. He graduated with high honors from Drexel University and holds a master’s degree in business administration from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

As chief financial officer, Hanson receives an annual salary of $180,000.  His salary will remain the same during his tenure as acting CEO.  Matheussen’s annual salary as CEO is $220,000.

The Delaware River Port Authority is a regional transportation agency that connects millions of people and businesses in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  The DRPA owns and operates the PATCO commuter rail line and the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross toll bridges. The DRPA also owns the RiverLink Ferry.

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