PMA Announces New President-CEO as McKenna Retires After 20 Years

Stephen Hennessey (left) and Jim McKenna.

The Pacific Maritime Association, the organization representing West Coast ports’ shipping lines and terminal operators, has a new president and CEO.

The PMA announced Feb. 13 that its longtime Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Stephen Hennessey has been chosen for the top job via a unanimous vote by PMA’s 11-member Board of Directors.

Hennessey takes the reins from Jim McKenna, who is retiring after serving as president and CEO for 20 years.

“PMA is in great hands with Steve Hennessey and the rest of our incredible leadership team and staff,” McKenna said. “I am proud to have led this great organization for two decades, and have tremendous confidence that the PMA team will ensure that the West Coast remains the top North American gateway for maritime trade.”

Also, Chief Financial Officer Michael Wechsler and General Counsel Craig Epperson are expected to remain in their roles on the PMA’s executive leadership team.

“Steve Hennessey is uniquely prepared to build on Jim’s legacy and usher PMA into the next era,” the PMA Board of Directors said in a statement. “We have tremendous confidence in Steve to carry forward PMA’s mission, keep the West Coast ports competitive, and maintain their leadership role in the global economy.”

After gaining experience in management roles within the shipping and trucking industries, Hennessey started with PMA in 2004 as vice president of labor relations in Southern California. As COO, he provided “leadership and direction on labor relations, strategic plan implementation, contract administration and arbitration, management of industry training and safety programs and oversight of jointly operated dispatch halls,” according to the announcement.

In a statement, Hennessey said he is honored to lead PMA.

“Our work supports a significant percentage of the nation’s GDP, as well as millions of quality jobs nationwide across a wide range of industries,” he said.

By Karen Robes Meeks