On May 10, the Port of Long Beach announced that its former deputy executive director, Richard D. Cameron had passed away. Rick, as most people knew him, worked at the POLB for more than 24 years before resigning in March.
He first joined the port in 1996 as an environmental specialist and steadily worked his way up the career ladder before being promoted to managing director of the port’s environmental planning division in January 2014, a position where he oversaw the Planning and Environmental Affairs Bureau, including environmental and transportation planning.
Then, in August 2018, he was named to the position of Deputy Executive Director of Planning and Development, the title he held until his departure.
I first met Rick back in 2002 when I was starting out as a local newspaper reporter in Long Beach. Once when I was working on a story, I had the opportunity to interview him one-on-one in his office for over an hour, and it was both an informative and entertaining conversation. Ever since then, I’ve always had a lot of respect for Rick and would make sure to say hello to him whenever I’d seen him at port-related events, because he was always so down-to-earth, jovial, gracious and pleasant to be around.
His death came as a shock to me, as I’m sure it did to many of his friends and former colleagues.
In a message posted on the port’s website, POLB Executive Director Mario Cordero said that he and port staffers were saddened to hear of Rick’s death.
“Along with Rick’s many friends, contacts and colleagues throughout the logistics industry and environmental community, we here at the port will miss Rick’s warmth, intellect and sense of dedication,” Cordero said. “He was a leader and respected for his expertise in environmentally sustainable development.”
“His legacy carries on in the port’s achievements … and also in the many port teammates and leaders whom he trained and mentored over his more than 24 years at the port,” the statement continued. “Our thoughts are with Rick’s family at this difficult time.”
Although I didn’t know Rick nearly as well as his port colleagues, friends and family, I too, will miss his wit, humor, knowledge and conversational skills. For me personally, he was always a pleasure to be around. I’ll miss seeing his warm smile.
Rest in peace, Rick.
Managing Editor Mark Nero can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org