POLA Board Elects New President, Vice Pres.
Lucille Roybal-Allard (center) and her colleagues on the LA Harbor Board.
The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners on July 20 elected former U.S. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard as its new president. The five-member commission also voted in Diane Middleton as its new vice president. Both began their new roles immediately after their unanimous election.
Roybal-Allard was appointed to the five-member board by Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass in May. Roybal-Allard previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives for three decades and was the first Mexican-American woman elected to the U.S. Congress.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee and chairwoman of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, Roybal-Allard led the effort to secure $57 million to dredge the Port of Los Angeles Main Channel and advocated for numerous other port-related security grants.
Middleton, who began serving on the Harbor Commission in 2019, is an attorney and expert in labor and maritime law, long active in harbor area labor and civil rights issues. She began her law career representing injured auto, steel and hospital workers, and was the first in the 1970s to file a class action asbestos lawsuit on behalf of shipyard workers. In 1979, Middleton established her own law practice, representing injured longshoremen and shipyard workers until her retirement in 2010.
The other three Los Angeles Harbor Commissioners include Ed Renwick, a board member since 2013; Michael Muñoz and I. Lee Williams, both appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Bass in May.
Port of Seattle Hires New Deputy Executive Director
Kitsap County Administrator Karen Goon has been hired as the Port of Seattle’s new deputy executive director.
Goon, who starts her new position in mid-July, is taking over for retiring deputy Dave Soike, and will report to Executive Director Steve Metruck.
“After conducting a thorough search amongst dozens of candidates throughout the country, Karen’s qualifications stood out in terms of the breadth and depth of her experience in the Puget Sound region,” Metruck said. “She brings decades of public service knowledge and experience that will help us deliver for the people of King County and the Port of Seattle’s customers across the state.”
Before coming to the port, Goon has served in various administrative positions in Pierce County government since 1996, including stints in Transportation and Public Works and Utilities. She became Kitsap County Administrator in 2014.
According to the port, Goon holds a Juris Doctorate from Seattle University School of Law and a master’s in public administration and a bachelor’s in political science, both also from Seattle University.
After more than 14 years at the helm of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, CEO Robin Silvester announced in June that he’s stepping down from the position.
Silvester said he plans to stay involved to help during the transition of leadership as the board of directors prepares for a global search for its next president and CEO. Other details are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, according to the port authority.
“It is time for a new challenge for me, and to make space for a new leader at the port authority after the recent federal environmental assessment approval of the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project, the most significant strategic priority of the last decade,” Silvester said. “With support from our partners, we have delivered over $1 billion of infrastructure over the last decade and a half.”
Under Silvester’s tenure, investments in the British Columbia gateway have helped to bolster international trade growth through the Port of Vancouver by around 40%. Silvester led the port authority’s sustainability efforts.
“I want to thank Robin Silvester for his leadership over the last 14 years,” said Judy Rogers, chair of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s board. “Robin helped guide the port authority through a period of incredible growth and accomplishment.”
Roberts Bank Terminal 2 is a future marine container terminal at the Port of Vancouver. The project involves the construction of a new three-berth marine container terminal in Delta, British Columbia.
Oakland Port Board President Elected to Second Term
Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce CEO Barbara Leslie has secured a second term as president of the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners, the body that governs the Port of Oakland, it was announced July 11.
Leslie, who has served on the board since 2018, is to serve alongside Yui Hay Lee, the former President and CEO of Oakland-based YHLA Architects, who starts his second term as the board’s first vice president.
Joining them is Alameda County Building and Trades Association Secretary-Treasurer Andreas Cluver, who takes over as the board’s second vice president, the role previously held by outgoing commissioner Cestra “Ces” Butner.
Leslie said she is honored to be selected by her fellow commissioners for a second term in the leadership role.
“I am looking forward to continuing our work, in partnership with our stakeholders, on numerous green initiatives that will help the port achieve zero emissions from operations,” she said. “Our board passionately supports responsible growth and appreciates port staff’s commitment to finding and implementing innovative solutions to accomplish this goal.”
POLB Appoints New Tenant Services & Operations Director
Rafael Delgado is the new director of tenant services and operations at the Port of Long Beach.
The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners this spring approved the appointment of Delgado, who since September 2019 had served as manager of the tenant services division, which is tasked with providing support and customer service for supply chain stakeholders, including cargo owners, ocean carriers and terminal operators “so that they may operate their facilities and conduct their operations optimally and in compliance with leases and tariffs,” according to the port.
Delgado has been with the port since 2006, when he started as a temporary employee. Over the years, he took on various roles, including division secretary for the former trade development division, administrative analyst and Chief Wharfinger from 2013 to 2019.
Prior to the port, Delgado worked as a logistics manager for Lakeshore Learning Materials in Carson, Calif. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from California State University, Long Beach.
Oregon-Based Greenbrier Elects New Board Member
Veteran rail executive Patrick J. Ottensmeyer is the newest member of The Greenbrier Companies, Inc.’s board of directors, the Oregon-based freight railcar and equipment supplier announced June 28.
Ottensmeyer’s election bolsters the board from 10 to 11 members.
The industry executive was with Kansas City Southern from 2006-2023, serving in various roles, as executive vice president and chief financial officer and executive vice president of sales and marketing.
From 2015 to 2023, he held the top post, as KCS president and CEO, until the April merger that created the Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) rail line.
Ottensmeyer chairs the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-Mexico Economic Council, where he leads the twice-yearly U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue. He also serves as co-chair of the Brookings Institute’s USMCA (United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement) Initiative, which aims to strengthen supply chains.
His experience in operating international businesses with strong regulatory oversight will be invaluable to Greenbrier, said Greenbrier Board Chair Thomas Fargo.
“In addition to his unique experience leading a company that connects the entire North American economy, he is committed to continuous improvement and collaboration,” Fargo said. “Pat’s leadership role in the CPKC merger demonstrates his vision for economic growth and supply chain integration.”
Olvera Elected Long Beach Harbor Commission President
Long Beach Harbor Commission Vice President Bobby Olvera Jr. on July 23 was elected president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, the five-member panel that oversees the Port of Long Beach.
The board also selected Bonnie Lowenthal as Vice President and Frank Colonna as Secretary. Each July, Commissioners select a president and two board officers for one-year terms. The Commission’s new officers began their terms at the next regularly scheduled meeting, on Monday, Aug. 14, when outgoing President Sharon L. Weissman handed the gavel over to Olvera.
Olvera is a fifth-generation longshoreman and serves as International Vice President (Mainland) of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. He began his 30-year history with the ILWU in 1989 and has held numerous leadership roles, including three terms as president of Local 13.
Olvera was appointed to the Harbor Commission in 2020 and elected the board’s vice president in July 2022.