The Lucas County Port Authority Is More Than Just a Port

Rev. Willie Perryman, David Fleetwood, Theresa M. Gabriel, Micheal Alexander

By Dawn Scotland
The Truth Reporter

In their biannual report “Impact on the Community” Wednesday, Oct 11 at the Glass City Center, the Port Authority highlighted its successes over the past two years as well as its commitment to supporting the economic growth of the region.

The Port provided updates in the areas Maritime, Facilities & Construction, General Cargo Dock, Aviation, and Finance & Development. The Port has experienced success in a regional increase in tonnage, the largest amount of cargo since 2007 and an increase of over 800 new jobs.

While most know of its maintenance of our sea and airports, many would be surprised to learn about its major investments in local community projects.

Since its last report in 2021, the Port Authority has given out $3.8 million in bonds to local initiatives.

Thomas Winston

Thomas J. Winston has been the president and CEO of the Lucas County Port Authority since 2019, previously serving as the organizations vice president, Administration and Chief Financial Officer. He ensures that the Port is sticking to its mission of driving “economic prosperity to all.”

The Port achieves this goal through its unique financing programs available to the community.

“Our ability to provide resources for a broad range of entities, public and private, small and large, has provided stability and a foundation for long term growth.,” stated Winston, “The impact these businesses have on our community is insurmountable. We hope to continue this success and work with many other new and existing businesses in the coming years to help them succeed in their endeavors.”

The financing programs available through the Port provide access to capital that many small businesses and startups are in need of to develop or expand their business.

In 2022, Quality Time Childcare Care, the black own childcare center on Dorr St. was the first business to utilize the new loan funding program. Launched in March 2022, The Northwest Ohio Revolving Loan Fun is a gap financing tool for nonprofit and for-profit businesses in Lucas, Ottawa and Wood Counties. Since its inception it has approved three separate loans totaling $520,000 dollars. The staff of Quality Time Childcare secured a $180,000 loan to assist with the construction of their new facility.

The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority has developed a national reputation for innovative business financing, assisting over 600 economic development projects representing a total investment of more than $2 billion while helping to create and retain nearly 20,000 jobs. (source:


The Port Authority, according to last week’s report, has various financial offerings to support local business in the area. Financing options include:

The Port Authority also offers a numbers of community programs:

The Community Economic Development Initiative grant and loan program is funded with proceeds from the property tax levy for the purpose of providing grants and loans to economic development projects undertaken by eligible, neighborhood-based organizations.

The Diversified Contractors Accelerator Program offers access to bid, performance, and payment bonds to contractors who are unable to obtain bonding through traditional sources and offers access to capital for the purchase of materials and payment of labor costs.

The Microenterprise Development Initiative is designed to provide access to capital and technical assistance to start-up and existing ventures finding it difficult to obtain traditional financing. (source:

To learn more about opportunities for your small business or project or to apply visit or call 419.243.8251


The 2023 Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Board of Directors: David Fleetwood (Chair),  Robin Whitney, (Vice Chair), Wayne Blanchard, William Carroll,  Christine Castellano, Suzette Cowell , Kim Cutcher, Amy Hall, Joshua Hughes, Jonathan Lyons, Nadeem Salem, Sharon Speyer and John Szuch

Participants in the update to the community: Fred Deichert, Michael DiPerna, David Fleetwood, Todd Hauptli, Frank Kass, Lydia Mihalik,  Adam Tindall-Schlicht, John Szuch, Robin Whitney, Craig Wing, Adventus Climbing, Beach House, Creadio,  Grand Aire, JAM Best-One Fleet Service, Midwest Terminals of Toledo, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Quality Time Child Care, Inc., Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Staff Members and Toledo School for the Arts