DONNA – At an official ceremony, Port Director Walter Weaver was passed on the change of command from former Port Director Carlos Rodriguez.
Rodriguez, who now is the Port Director for Hidalgo Port of Entry, passed Weaver the flag that represents the Progresso Port of Entry, four words were exchanged and the new port director officially took his post.
“It's a great honor bestowed upon me,” Weaver said after the ceremony at the Donna North High School Auditorium. “It is something I've been hoping for and it finally came about and I'm very happy to say the least about my new job.”
Weaver was appointed to the leadership position September 2018, as the port director he oversees and manages a diverse work-force of 131 employees. He has administrative management and operational oversight at two international bridges and two international airports.
The Morgan City, Louisiana-native manages and has oversight responsibilities for processing 1.2 million inbound passenger vehicles, 3.7 million travelers, over 400 inbound and outbound international flights, 50,000 inbound commercial vehicles and commercial movements with annual import/export value of over $300 million.
His tenure with U.S. Customs Service began in 1991 as an inspector in Progreso. Excelling through the ranks, Weaver was promoted to chief CBP officer and then selected as Assistant Port Director overseeing passenger and mission support for the Port of Progreso.
A strong point in Weaver's career has been to build coalitions and collaborate with internal and external partners to modernize port facilities and operations at both land border sites. Current projects include working with the City of Donna and key CBP Headquarters stakeholders to secure approval and public-private funding through the Donations Acceptance Program (DAP) to build the $37 million Cargo Model Port concept at the Donna International Crossing.
Weaver is also in collaboration with the Progreso bridge stakeholders and CBP Headquarters facilities stakeholders to modernize the current cargo operations by working with the Bridge Company to fund the design and construction to upgrade the cargo and pedestrian facilities.
The cost of the project will be roughly $9 million.
“The project in Donna will bring a significant change in the way we process our cargo,” Weaver said. “All these projects will make traffic flow in and out of the United States more efficient and more effective.”
In the upcoming year Weaver acknowledges there will be challenges but looks forward to working all stakeholders and the local community so the impact of the projects can work but ceremonies like this help the ties that bind become closed and the projects can move forward to completion.
Weaver's port falls under The Laredo Field Office, which encompasses eight international ports of entry and the Machinery Center of Excellence, processed nearly 58.5 million people, more than 24 million vehicles, more than 2.1 million commercial trucks and an excess of $177 billion in international trade in fiscal year 2017.