New chief at Samoa Ports Authority

So’oalo Kuresa So’oalo has been appointed the new Chief Executive Officer of Samoa Ports Authority (S.P.A.). 

A certified Chartered Accountant, So’oalo will begin his new role next week Monday.  

He leaves behind Samoa Shipping Corporation where he was Assistant Chief Executive Officer of Finance for 15 years. 

“I am honored and privileged to be given the opportunity to continue to serve Samoa through the Samoa Ports Authority and humbled by the trust and confidence afforded by the Minister of Transport and Cabinet, the Chairman and the Board of S.P.A. to lead the organization," So’oalo told the Samoa Observer. 

Prior to moving over to the S.S.C., So’oalo worked for the ANZ bank for 14 years. 

So’oalo said it’s not easy leaving the Shipping Corporation, however, opportunities do not come often. 

So’oalo is the current Vice President of the Samoa Institute of Accountants and is the Chairman for Samoa Quality Broadcasting Limited, TV1. 

As the Chief Financial Officer for the Corporation, So’oalo was in charge of controlling and managing their financial resources.  

“In this job I was tasked to advice the Government and the Board on development projects after employing several analysis tools like cost-benefit analysis, trends analysis, feasibility studies, financial and economic analysis and others in order to obtain a critical success factor for any future projects. 

“It’s not an easy job but when you have educated and committed people in your team who believes in the mission of the Corporation, nothing can go wrong." 

“Aside from out other mandates, I was happy to be part of ensuring our services continued and that we provided assistance for Savaii residents, where I am from,” he said. 

“There was the delivery of essential supplies for our Savai’i residents, in relation to education, and also the delivery of exports to and from Apia, moving equipment and machineries for development projects in Savai’i and of course fuel supply."  

 “The Corporation played a critical role in the drive by the Government to further develop Savai’i.” 

The outgoing A.C.E.O. said the Corporation also had strong ties with the American Samoa Government. 

“This plays a vital role in maintaining cultural ties between the two Samoa’s and offering access to the U.S markets for Samoa’s exports.” 

The highlight of So’oalo’s career since he started with the Corporation in 2002 was his contribution to the generated revenue. 

“The success of revenue collection was a team effort and I am ecstatic that I was part of that team,” he told the Samoa Observer. 

“Revenue rose from $10.5 million in 2002 to $29.2 million in 2016; Net Profit before taxes jumped from $310,000 to $7 million; total assets increased from $11.4 million in 2002 to $100.9 million in 2016, cash positon improved from $1.2 million to $14 million in 2016.” 

Son of So’oalo Taua Sepulona and Menime Ete So’oalo, So’oalo is from Paia Samauga, Lalomalava, Fusi Safotulafai, Tuanaimato and Lepea. 

A devoted member of the Catholic Church, he’s married to Fonomua Makerita So’oalo and they have a son. 

So’oalo started his education in Samauaga Primary School before moving to Leififi Intermediate School and then to Samoa College where he graduated in 1986. 

He was also a student at the National University of Samoa where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Commerce Accounting. 

So’oalo holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of the South Pacific.

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