Muskogee Port Director Scott Robinson on Tuesday lauded the accomplishments of his new deputy director as a person whose “value to the port cannot be overstated.”
Robinson credited Deputy Director Kimbra Scott, who has managed communications and public affairs at the Port of Muskogee for six years, for landing federal grants for the port worth $20 million. He has praised Scott’s determination during the past few months while she wrangled with Federal Emergency Management Agency representatives to secure disaster aid.
“Day in and day out, I am amazed at her performance,” Robinson said, choking back his emotions while touting Scott’s accomplishments. “Her role in the aftermath of the 2019 flood, I don’t think anyone can appreciate.”
Scott worked on several applications for the highly competitive TIGER grants sought by the port authority for a railroad modernization and expansion project. Robinson described her as the “driving force behind that BUILD (grant) application,” which produced a $5.8 million federal transportation grant that will fund the rail project.
“Probably as important or more, Kimbra has developed valuable relationships with all of our port stakeholders — not just in Oklahoma, but in Arkansas,” Robinson said, citing among other things Scott’s role as the manager of the Arkansas Oklahoma Port Operators Association. “She has strong connections and personal relationships with important people ..., people we count on and deal with.”
Scott, who worked in an administrative setting in higher education before she joined the team at the port, said the near historic flooding of 2019 along the Arkansas River and the aftermath, while challenging, provided an opportunity for her “to grow and showcase my talent.” At the same time, she acknowledged the importance of being part of a team.
“It’s not about one person, it’s about … everybody — if you didn’t have everybody in these key positions we would all be in a world of hurt,” Scott said. “If we didn’t have a team, with all that’s going on it would make it a lot harder to do what needs to be done in this environment we are in today.”
Scott said as the team navigates that environment, the focus will remain on building “the necessary infrastructure that will help drive commerce and create more jobs for our region.” She said the port’s economic impact will continue to expand “by building stronger trade and civic and community partnerships so all stakeholders value the port’s contributions to the state.”
In addition to serving as manager of Arkansas Oklahoma Port Operators Association, Scott also is an Inland Rivers Ports and Terminals board member. She is a graduate of Leadership Oklahoma and Northeast Oklahoma’s Leadership Program’s inaugural class.
Scott earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and she has continued her education with a short-term course in strategic policy from the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She has more than 20 years of experience in operations management in higher education.