POLA Executive Director Seroka Receives Industry Award

Gene Seroka
Gene Seroka
Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. Photo via Port of LA.

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka received the Containerization & Intermodal Institute’s (CII) top honor — the Connie Award — during a December ceremony in Elizabeth, N.J.

The award honors outstanding leadership and achievements, as well as advancing the industry and its priorities.

“Gene is a world-renowned supply-chain expert and a seasoned industry leader,” Los Angeles Harbor Commission President Jaime Lee said as she introduced Seroka at a CII conference that drew leaders from across the maritime and logistics industry.

“Everyone at the Port of Los Angeles is so grateful to work with you,” Lee told Seroka. “The global shipping industry is lucky to have you among its most esteemed leaders and this Connie Award from CII is very just in honoring you today.”

After a standing ovation, Seroka thanked and acknowledged his industry colleagues, City of Los Angeles leaders and the nearly 900 employees at the Los Angeles Harbor Department.

“It is on their behalf that this award is humbly accepted,” Seroka said. “Today is more than just about one individual. Today is about how our industry supports the United States of America and beyond. How we serve this country has never been more apparent in this consequential moment in time … countless American families rely on the global trade that we facilitate.”

In Seroka’s name, CII awarded a $1,500 student scholarship to EXP, a nonprofit organization that works closely with the Port of LA on maritime-related educational and employment opportunities. Seroka also announced a personal $1,500 donation to Juneteenth 400, a San Pedro-based nonprofit that commemorates the Juneteenth holiday marking the end of slavery with an annual event. This year, it was held at the Port of Los Angeles for the first time.

North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, the Port of Los Angeles has remained open with all terminals operational throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

CII, founded in 1960, is a non-profit that promotes and supports the business of international trade and the intermodal container transportation community.

Also recognized during the annual gathering was Journal of Commerce senior editor Bill Mongelluzzo, who received CII’s lifetime achievement award. Mongelluzzo, who’s based in Long Beach, has been with the JOC since 1980.