COLUMBIA -- Gov. Nikki Haley's appointees to the State Ports Authority board are pro-business with an eye toward economic development, the governor's spokesman said Monday.

Haley named former Attorney General Henry McMaster, Kiawah Island Real Estate principal Pat McKinney and Columbia telecommunications executive Pamela Lackey to the board, pending state Senate approval. The nominees, who would all serve in an at-large position, served on her transition team.

"These appointees are strong business people, they love South Carolina, they are committed to seeing our state move forward, and the governor couldn't be more excited for them to get to work on the ports authority because they understand that our port system is a huge part of our state's economic development efforts," said Haley press secretary Rob Godfrey.

McMaster would replace Harry J. Butler Jr. of Georgetown. McMaster served as South Carolina's chief prosecutor from 2003 to January, after losing the GOP nomination for governor to Haley.

McKinney would replace Douglas Robertson of Bluffton. McKinney has spent his career in the development of upscale coastal communities.

Lackey, who is president of AT&T South Carolina, would replace Richard Hagins of Simpsonville, the board treasurer. In 2009, she served on a task force set up to find a replacement for former ports chief Bernard Groseclose, who resigned that year.

Rep. Chip Limehouse, R-Charleston, said the new board members, if approved by the Senate, will need to get started on job No. 1: deepening the state's primary commercial waterway.

"The Port of Charleston has never been at a more critical juncture in time and place then it is right now," Limehouse said.

Lackey's and McKinney's terms would run until February 2015. McMaster would serve until June 2013.

Also, Haley's Transportation Secretary Robert St. Onge Jr. named Mike Sisk as his designee. Sisk is executive vice president of the Ridgeway-based Ben Arnold Beverage Co.

The ports board was restructured in 2009, following a troublesome year that included a nearly 10 percent container volume decline and the threat of losing the authority's top customer. The General Assembly stripped the governor of power to remove board members at will and established new qualifications for board members, among other measures.

Reach Yvonne Wenger at 803-926-7855, follow her at twitter.com/yvonnewenger and read her Political Briefings blog at postandcourier.com/blogs.