The Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority has appointed PHA Managing Director Wade Battles acting executive director of the port authority. Battles replaces PHA Executive Director H. Thomas Kornegay, who retired on Feb. 1 after 37 years of service. A longtime maritime professional, Battles has served as managing director for PHA since June 1999. Prior to joining PHA, Battles was assistant port director at the Port of Miami, which he joined in 1983 as director of marketing and public affairs. Battles is president of the Texas Ports Association and is an active member of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), serving on both the security and cruise committees. Two retirements have resulted in two other positions. Thomas J. Heidt, former terminal planning manager, is acting director of administration, and Ricky W. Kunz, former trade development general manager, is acting director of trade development. The Small Business Development Division, under the direction of Gilda Ramirez, has been expanded with the addition of the purchasing and training and development departments. Edmonds also announced that the commission would move forward with a national search for a permanent executive director.