Host, Terminal Manager, Perdue Grain Elevator
Ned Barham started working for Host on March 10, 1980, shortly after the third generation of Hosts, Tom and David, joined the company.
When he graduated college, the head of the Virginia Port Authority (and Ned’s family friend), encouraged him to apply for an open boarding agent position. “I just knew I wanted to be on the water,” he says. “I didn’t even know what a ship agent did, but I knew it sounded exciting!”
Ned learned as he went, and he has held many roles during his 36 years with Host. Beginning as a boarding agent for Host Agency, he worked his way up to operations manager, then vice president of operations, and then senior vice president of operations. He moved to the Host Terminals side of the company three years ago, when he stepped into his current role as terminal manager of stevedoring at the Perdue Grain Elevator.
Ned’s job is to manage the loading of each ship from start to finish. “There’s no typical day,” he explains. “Every ship is different, every crew is different.” He makes sure the ship is ready, gets the operation running, and helps with the loading process, including everything from fumigation to surveyors. “You really have to be a jack of all trades for this kind of work,” he says. “Things can get really hectic, so you need to have patience and understanding, but you also have to be good with numbers and planning. That goes for both agency and terminal work.”
One thing that never changes is his favorite part of the job. “Watching a fully loaded ship sail away, knowing I played a part in it…that’s always the most exciting part.”
T. Parker Host has grown to nearly 20 times the size it was when Ned first joined. “I feel fortunate to have grown with the Hosts,” he says. “And you know…the company is still just as dedicated to the employees and their families as they were when there were only a handful of us. They make you feel like part of the family. I know that’s why the employees are so dedicated to Host. I know that’s why I’ve been here for all this time.”
Ned can’t narrow down his 36 years to one favorite memory, but he says that watching people he hired and trained grow with the company has been very rewarding. “It makes me think back to those early days as a boarding agent,” he says. “It wasn’t always easy. It was a lot of hard work. But it all paid off.”
Ned was born and raised in Portsmouth, VA and has been happily married to his wife Penny for 33 years. They live on the water and enjoy spending as much time as possible on their boats. Ned especially enjoys fishing with this three sons, who all still live in the area.