After nearly two decades with the Marine Exchange of Southern California, Executive Director Capt. Dick McKenna has announced his retirement, effective March 31, 2013. Capt. McKenna, 70, joined the Marine Exchange as deputy executive director in 1993 and has been the executive director since 2008.
Before joining the Marine Exchange, Capt. McKenna served 28 years in the US Navy, retiring with the rank of Captain. He was recently honored by the Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
“His contributions to the Southern California maritime industry are noteworthy and appreciated by all whom had the privilege of working with him,” Capt. Jim Morgan, President of the Marine Exchange Board of Directors, said of McKenna. “We wish him a long and well deserved retirement. We thank him for his leadership, passion for maritime commerce and above all, his friendship.”
In addition to providing critical maritime information to over 200 customers per month, McKenna was instrumental in establishing the Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) at the Marine Exchange, which monitors and facilitates the safe navigation of all commercial ship traffic within a 25-mile arc around the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.
He also oversaw the installation of a 100 percent renewable energy installation, consisting of an 80-kW solar power project complemented by a wind turbine system generating 7.2 kW.
Currently, he leads a staff of 20 civilians, and a 10-person US Coast Guard contingent, with an annual budget of $2.4 million. The non-profit Marine Exchange is unique among the nation’s VTS in having a public/private partnership with the USCG.
An open recruitment is now underway for the Executive Director position. Information on the recruitment is posted at the Marine Exchange homepage, www.mxsocal.org.