Steinmetz High School Alumni

Chicago, Illinois (IL)

Alumni Stories

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Charles Towsley

Charles Towsley

Class of 1967

Mr. Towsley is President of Maritime Directions, a consulting company providing services to the marine industry. Founded in 2006, his projects have included directing a strategic business planning process on behalf of the 14 deepwater seaports in Florida. In addition, he has undertaken competitive market and project feasibility analysis for clients. Mr. Towsley has also acted as a litigation consultant for a national law firm.

Prior to founding Maritime Directions, Charles A. Towsley held the position as the Port Director of the Dante B. Fascell Port of Miami-Dade from January 1998 through June 2006. In his position, he was responsible for directing the management and administration of all the day-to-day port operations, strategic planning, and development at the port. The annual port revenues in 2005 were $85 million. The port’s capital improvement plan currently underway includes approximately $350 million in cruise and cargo projects. The seaport home ported over 18 mega class vessels for the world’s leading cruise operators. In 2003 the Port of Miami was the first port in Florida to exceed the one million TEU mark and continued to exceed this number annually during his tenure. The seaport’s performance under the leadership of Mr. Towsley demonstrated a commitment to good government combined with sound financial business practices. He is knowledgeable and experienced with the federal system and has regularly traveled to Washington to meet with congressmen, senators and federal administrators on maritime issues. Towsley has also testified before federal committees on these matters.

Prior to Towsley’s appointment to the Port of Miami-Dade, he was the Managing Director for the Tampa Port Authority, Fl. from 1996-1998. Prior to that position, he held several titles at the Port of Tampa from 1991 to 1996 including Deputy Port Director and Senior Deputy Port Director. During his tenure at the Tampa Port Authority, Towsley’s duties included the port administration, management, policy, strategic planning, bond financing, negotiating port usage agreements, and maritime capital infrastructure development. A prime project under the direction of Mr. Towsley was the Garrison Seaport Development Plan.

From 1982 to 1991, Towsley served as Manager of Development for the Hamilton Harbour Commissioners at the Port of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where he was responsible for economic development, marketing of real estate, lease proposals and negotiations including planning and development of a new 135 acre marine industrial park.

Prior to entering public port administration full-time, Towsley was a partner and Senior Vice President of Planning for Planistics Group, (1975-1982) a private development planning and engineering consulting firm specializing in commercial, industrial and marine port projects. In his position he was responsible for project development, client relations, corporate administration, management and marketing.

Mr. Towsley’s first position upon graduation from university was as a Drainage Basin Hydrologist for the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Toronto, Ontario (1974-1975) In this position he prepared drainage basin research reports and policy recommendations.


- Former Chairman, Florida Seaport Transportation Economic Development Council (five years)
- Former Chairman, Port of Miami Crane Management Inc. (not for profit corporation) Founding Chairman
- Former Chairman, Cruise Committee, American Association of Port Authorities
- Former Director of the Board, American Association of Port Authorities
- Former Member, Florida Domestic Security Oversight Council (political appointment)
- Former Member, Florida Strategic Intermodal Technical Advisory Council (political appointment)
- Past Trustee, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce
- Past Member, Board of Directors, Miami Visitors and Convention Bureau


Charles is a Certified Professional Port Manager (PPM) by the American Association of Port Authorities. He was one of the first port administrators in the country (1996) to be awarded this certification. He has also practiced as a certified professional urban planner having held full membership in the Canadian Institute of Planners.


Charles is a dual citizen American/Canadian. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago and a Master of Science degree in Water Quality from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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