Rich Cooper

Ports of Indiana > About Us > Staff > Rich Cooper
Ports of Indiana

Chief Executive Officer

Role: Chief executive responsible for providing strategic leadership and management of all operations in accordance with the mission, policies and financial objectives established by the Board of Commissioners.

Joined: December 2001

Background: Previously served as global director of manufacturing and engineering for Purina’s Agribrands International, overseeing 60 plants in 16 countries on four continents, and also worked for Continental Grain Co., managing U.S. and China operations. Rich is an instrument-rated private pilot and holds a master’s degree in management from Indiana Wesleyan University.

Bio:  Rich Cooper was appointed chief executive officer for the Ports of Indiana in 2005, after four years as the organization’s chief operating officer. As CEO, Rich oversees all port operations and works with the board of directors to establish the organization’s strategic vision and direction. Through his leadership, the Ports of Indiana has realized consistent growth and achieved many significant milestones.  That consistent growth has spanned from 2007-2016 and in the last two years, Indiana’s ports recorded their highest volumes in history that included increases in cargo tonnage and new business development for the ports’ major lines of business. Rich has helped the Ports of Indiana thrive as a self-funded, business-driven enterprise that contributes to growing Indiana’s economy. He has helped shape a new vision for the Ports of Indiana to be a premier inland port system in North America by creating a port environment that provides its customers and the state of Indiana a sustainable competitive advantage.

Prior to joining the Ports of Indiana, Rich was the global director of manufacturing and engineering for Purina’s International agri-business known as Agribrands International, a $1.2 billion international producer of commercial animal feeds. He oversaw 60 Purina plant operations in 16 countries on four continents. Previously, Rich worked for Continental Grain Co., a $4 billion international agri-business, where he oversaw operations in the United States and China and opened the company’s first commercial feed mill in China. Rich is also an instrument-rated private pilot and holds a master’s degree in management from Indiana Wesleyan University.

About the Ports of Indiana: The Ports of Indiana is a statewide port authority that operates a system of three ports on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan. The mission of the Ports of Indiana is to develop and maintain a world-class port system that operates as an agile, strategically-driven, self-funded enterprise dedicated to growing Indiana’s economy.

The Ports of Indiana manages approximately 2,800 acres of property along the Ohio River and Lake Michigan – and has 1,000 acres available for future development. Business activities at Indiana’s three ports contribute $7.8 billion per year to the state economy and support 60,000 jobs.

Download High Resolution Photo