Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Steinke to Retire from Port of Long Beach

Richard D. Steinke, executive director of the Port of Long Beach for the past 14 years, today announced his plans to retire from the Port, effective September 30, 2011.

“I have accomplished most of what I set out to do at the Port,” said Steinke. ”I’m pleased that I can move on knowing that I leave the Port a better place than when I came on board.”

Under Steinke’s leadership, the Port redeveloped the massive, former Long Beach Naval Complex, creating one of the nation’s largest container cargo terminals. He transitioned the Port, making it both a builder of modern cargo terminals and a leading environmental steward. Steinke implemented a pioneering Green Port Policy that included the successful Clean Trucks Program developed with the rival Port of Los Angeles.

Partnerships and collaboration are hallmarks of Steinke’s leadership style, enabling him to steer the Port through the complex process of winning approval for the $1 billion Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project, which will create one of the most efficient and greenest terminals in the world, and the $950 million Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project, which will assure safe access in and out of the nation’s leading port complex. Steinke’s retirement comes as the Port is kicking off $4 billion in major improvements over the next decade to cement its position among the world’s leading ports.

“Dick has been instrumental in developing the Port of Long Beach into one of the top seaports in the world,” said Nick Sramek, president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, which governs the Port of Long Beach. “He led the Port out of the recent recession, keeping it strong financially, while guiding our major modernization and environmental projects. “

Sramek said the Board of Harbor Commissioners would begin the search for Steinke’s successor shortly, and Steinke has agreed to assist the Board in both the selection process and the smooth transition to a new executive director.

“Dick has helped us develop a great staff, a great team here at the Port, and we’re confident that we can maintain Long Beach’s world-class status,” Sramek added.

Steinke’s leadership extended throughout the U.S. port industry. He has been the chief spokesman for the U.S. West Coast Collaboration, a partnership of West Coast ports and the major western railroads. He has been chairman of the American Association of Port Authorities and the California Association of Port Authorities. Steinke serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority, the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility Joint Powers Authority, the Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce, Intermodal Transportation Institute and St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach, and he is a member of the Red Cross CEO Advisory Committee.

The Port of Long Beach is the second-busiest container cargo port in the United States, and part of the sixth-busiest port complex in the world. In 2010, more than $140 billion in trade moved through the Port of Long Beach, supporting 300,000 jobs throughout Southern California and 1.4 million across the country.