The Area Port of Memphis is now under new leadership, but the mission hasn’t missed a beat.
Michael Neipert was officially installed Aug. 5 as U.S Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Director for the Area Port of Memphis, which covers seven ports of entry in Tennessee and Arkansas. The port also has a number of strategic partnerships with the Memphis and Nashville International Airports and various courier hubs in its two-state area, aiding in drug and weapon seizures, Intellectual Property Right enforcement, and agriculture enforcement.
“In addition to fulfilling CBP’s primary mission of protecting the United States, it is my goal to raise awareness of what CBP does in the Memphis area of responsibility,” Neipert said. “The border is closer than many people realize.”
Neipert has worked for CBP for 12 years, most recently as the port director for Presidio, Texas, where he directed operations and enforcement activities at the Presidio Port of Entry and the Boquillas International Crossing, located at the Big Bend National Park. Additionally, he worked closely with stakeholders to lay the groundwork for expanding operations, something he plans to do in Memphis, as well.
“I am proud of growing and strengthening our partnerships in Memphis,” said Neipert, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Maryville University of St. Louis. “I hope to continue this as we increase our outreach efforts in the community. CBP Memphis has an amazing team of officers and specialists who work hard day and night to keep us safe. It is an honor to be a part of that team.”
Neipert joins Alrick Brooks, Assistant Area Port Director, who has been in Memphis for nearly one year.
“Here in the area port of Memphis, we have a saying: Memphis Makes It Happen,” Brooks said. “We look forward to Mr. Neipert’s leadership as we strive to make all good things happen here in Memphis.”
The Area Port of Memphis falls under the CBP New Orleans Office of Operations, which also covers Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. Over the last few months under Neipert and Brooks’ leadership, the area port has increased its efforts in protecting Intellectual Property Rights and facilitating legal entry into the United States.
Steven Stavinoha, Director of Field Operations in New Orleans, said he has confidence that Neipert will be beneficial to Memphis’ growing influence in CBP.
“Mr. Neipert has proven himself as a valuable asset in dealing with challenging and difficult situations. He negotiates effectively and thinks strategically,” Stavinoha said.