Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Long Beach Port's Outgoing Steinke Garners Further Accolades

Port of Long Beach Executive Director Richard Steinke continues to rack up prominent industry awards as he heads toward his recently announced retirement from the port after nearly 14 years at the helm of the second busiest container port in the nation.

On Thursday, Steinke was presented with the Marjorie M. Shostak Distinguished Service Award from the Foreign Trade Association of Southern California (FTASC) at the trade group's annual World Trade Week Luncheon in downtown Los Angeles.

The FTASC cited Steinke for "his leadership in the international trade industry and his accomplishments as chief of one of the largest seaports in the world.
Named after Marjorie M. Shostak – a prominent trade attorney, federal government advisor on trade issues and the first woman to serve (from 1956-1962) as an officer and director of the FTASC – the award is the penultimate accolade offered by the FTASC.

Two weeks ago, Steinke was also named as this year's recipient of the prestigious Connie Award by the non-profit Containerization & Intermodal Institute.

The Connie Award, to be presented to Steinke at a Sept. 21 ceremony in Long Beach, recognizes those who have had a significant influence on containerization in world trade and transportation.

"Richard Steinke established himself as an indispensable leader of the Port of Long Beach and the international transportation community," CII president Allen Clifford said. "His diligence, attention to detail and vision keep the port among the busiest in the world and among the most advanced for our imports and exports."

Earlier this month Steinke, the executive director of the Port of Long Beach for more than 13 years, announced that he would be retiring as of September 30 – ending a tenure that included guiding the port through one of the most successful periods of growth and development in its 100-year history.

Known as one of the most knowledgeable and respected port directors in the world, Steinke has been a prominent voice for the Long Beach port on both the national and international scene.

His announced departure came as a surprise to many, including elected officials, members of the industry, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners and the port staff – many of whom have never known another boss.

In Sacramento, State Senator Alan Lowenthal, who has faced off with the port many times on environmental issues, said he was very surprised to hear the news, but wished Steinke well.

"He led the Port of Long Beach through the transformation from a port that just cared about the bottom line to one that still wanted to support economic development but changed its vision to include the impacts upon the community and the reduction of those impacts" Lowenthal said of Steinke.

"I applaud him. I hope who ever follows him takes on this dual vision of both economic development and also environmental protection as the mantra for the future."