Tuesday, January 29, 2013

SoCal Marine Exchange Names New Executive Director

Capt. James Kipling “Kip” Louttit has been named as the new Executive Director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California.

Capt. Jim Morgan, President of the Marine Exchange Board of Directors, announced the selection in late January after a recruitment process that attracted candidates from across the United States.

“We were fortunate to have several highly qualified candidates apply, which made it difficult to make our selection,” Morgan said. “We’re pleased with our choice, and Capt. Louttit tells me he’s eager to get started.”

Louttit, who retired from the US Coast Guard after 30 years of service, replaces Capt. Dick McKenna, who announced his retirement in the fall 2012.

Louttit’s experience includes 10 years at sea, including six years in command of three different Coast Guard cutters, and two years as commanding officer of USCG Integrated Support Command in San Pedro, California. When the Department of Homeland Security was established, he served as the first Acting Director of Budget for the new agency.

After retirement from the Coast Guard, Louttit provided consultancy services to the Coast Guard and Department of Defense. He’ll relocate to the San Pedro area from his present home in Chevy Chase, MD. At the Marine Exchange, he’ll lead a staff of 20 civilians and a US Coast Guard contingent of nine, with an annual budget of $2.4 million. The Marine Exchange of Southern California, a non-profit organization first established in 1923, is unique among the nation’s vessel traffic services in having a public/private partnership with the USCG.

Capt. McKenna’s retirement is effective March 31. McKenna, who is in his seventies, joined the Marine Exchange as deputy executive director in 1993 and has been executive director since 2008.

In addition to providing critical maritime information to more than 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 Los Angeles-Long Beach port complex.