Ports of Indiana hires general counsel, promotes director, welcomes returning Mt. Vernon port official

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INDIANAPOLIS (March 4, 2024) – Ports of Indiana has made three key personnel moves to support strategic expansion. The changes included hiring Doug Kowalski as General Counsel, promoting Julie Petree as Director of Project Delivery and welcoming back Kasia Kaffenberger to the Mount Vernon port as Billing and Office Coordinator.

“These three individuals will play critical roles as we strive to position Ports of Indiana for future growth,” said Ports of Indiana CEO Jody Peacock. “Doug brings extensive experience serving as a general counsel in both public and private sectors, which is critical for a quasi-governmental enterprise like ours.

“Julie has established herself as a valuable leader in our project delivery group within a matter of months and is a force behind our capital investment plans. Kasia returns to our team with eight years of experience at the Mount Vernon port and will provide significant institutional knowledge as we take this port to the next level.”

Kowalski fills the General Counsel role vacated by James Hall who is taking on a new position to focus on expanding Ports of Indiana’s Foreign-Trade Zone business. Kowalski most recently served as an attorney with the Indianapolis law firm of Kroger Gardis & Regas, acting as general counsel for local governments and providing special counsel on litigation, economic development, real estate transactions, public infrastructure financing, and bonding issues.

Prior to that, he served as Chief of Staff and Director of Legal Services for the Indiana State Board of Accounts, Risk Manager for Indianapolis Public Schools, and Corporation Counsel for the City of Indianapolis. Kowalski received his law degree from Indiana University and bachelor’s degree from Wabash College.

Petree joined Ports of Indiana as Associate Director of Project Delivery in June 2022 and played a critical role advancing the largest capital projects in Ports of Indiana’s history, including the FASTLANE, Marine Highway and TIGER grant projects. Prior to that, she served as construction manager for 23 years with DLZ Indiana, managing millions of dollars in construction projects for both the public and private sector. She has a bachelor’s degree in construction technology from IUPUI and an associate degree in architectural engineering from ITT.

Kaffenberger worked at the Mount Vernon port for more than eight years coordinating billing and office administration duties. Most recently, she served as a Property Deputy in the Posey County Auditor’s Office and previously worked at Infinity Molding and Assembly, the Mount Vernon Democrat newspaper and as medical office assistant. She has an associate of applied science degree in medical assisting from Ivy Tech.

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About Ports of Indiana: Ports of Indiana is a statewide port authority operating three ports on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan. Established in 1961, Ports of Indiana is a self-funded enterprise dedicated to growing Indiana’s economy by developing and maintaining a world-class port system, and by serving as a statewide resource for maritime issues, international trade, and multimodal logistics.