The Port of Long Beach hosted “A Centennial Celebration of Women in the International Trade and Goods Movement Industry” recently in Long Beach to recognize industry pioneers and promote mentorship among aspiring industry professionals.
“I was so inspired by some of the women attending today, I wanted others just starting out to have a chance to meet these remarkable women, too, and learn from them,” said Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Susan E. Anderson Wise, who led the event-organizing committee.
More than 110 people attended the October 25 event, including 32 local female high school students. The event was held at the Long Beach offices of the Keesal, Young & Logan law firm. It was one of the final programs of the Port's yearlong Centennial celebration, and so successful that it may become an annual educational outreach event.
Pioneering women in the industry, including Louise M. DuVall and Doris Topsy-Elvord (the first and third women appointed to serve on the Harbor Commission) and Wilma Powell (the first woman to serve as Chief Wharfinger and Director of Trade and Maritime Services at the Port of Long Beach) were seated alongside promising high school students learning about industry career options. Students and teachers from Cabrillo, Jordan, Lakewood and Long Beach Poly high schools participated in this unique mentoring opportunity. Discussion leaders, themselves industry professionals, directed the lively and informative multigenerational exchange at each table.
In a panel discussion, women who currently work in the industry talked about their inspiration, education, career paths and described their job responsibilities and typical workdays. Participants included 40-year industry veteran Becky Mannino, vice president of Southern California Container Operations for SSA Marine; Jill Morgan, a former engineering officer aboard oil tankers and owner of a new logistics firm, Marisolve LLC; Lt. Cmdr. Frances Fazio, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Chief of the Waterways Management Division for the Los Angeles/Long Beach Command; and Sokchanda (Sokie) Im, a former Port of Long Beach intern who recently accepted her first industry job as a pricing analyst with Vanguard Logistics Services.
Marking 100 years of service to the community in 2011, the Port of Long Beach enters its second century as one of the world's premier seaports, a primary gateway for trans-Pacific trade and a trailblazer in innovative goods movement, safety and environmental stewardship. A major economic engine for the region, the Port handles trade valued at more than $140 billion each year and supports hundreds of thousands of Southern California jobs. The Port is moving forward with nearly $4 billion in planned capital improvements this decade to support trade growth and strengthen its ability to serve the goods-movement industry, Port clients and the community.