Below please find speaker highlights for the 2017 California Maritime Leadership Symposium.
Director of the Northern California Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, UC Berkeley
Board Member, California Air Resources Board
John Balmes, M.D., is a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and Chief of the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at San Francisco General Hospital. Previously, Dr. Balmes served as an assistant professor of Medicine for the University of Southern California from 1982 to 1986.
Dr. Balmes’ research is principally in the area of occupational and environmental respiratory disease. His studies include the acute effects of inhalation exposures to ambient air pollutants and the chronic effects of such exposures in epidemiological studies with collaborators at both UCSF and University of California, Berkeley (UCB). He leads a group of UCB and UCLA investigators to assist in the development of a national program to link environmental hazards with health outcome data to improve the tracking of diseases that are potentially related to environmental exposures.
Principal Assistant to Executive Director, Port of Oakland
Jean Banker has worked in public service and transportation policy for the past 25 years and joined the Port in 2007. In her current role as Principal Assistant to the Executive Director, she performs Port-wide policy and program development, coordinates and assists with planning and implementation of strategic plans and special projects. At the Port, she has also been a Manager of Finance and Administration for the Maritime Division, Deputy Executive Director, and Acting Maritime Director. Prior to joining the Port, Ms. Banker worked as Deputy Director of Capital Programs for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Ms. Banker holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vassar College and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Chair, Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing
At both state and local government levels, Senator Jim Beall has amassed over 30 years of expertise and knowledge in transportation. Senator Beall, whose district includes Silicon Valley, serves as chairman for the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee. He has long championed mass transit projects to reduce traffic congestion and pollution. In December, he introduced Senate Bill 1, a proposal to fund repairs of California’s aging transportation infrastructure and improve trade corridors that link sea ports to markets and distribution points. The bill, pending in the Legislature, would increase annual funding by $6 billion for infrastructure repairs and improvements.
Board Chair, San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA)
Vice Admiral Jody Breckenridge currently serves as Chairman, Board of Directors for San Francisco Water Emergency Transportation Authority, a regional ferry transportation service and emergency response organization.
Vice Admiral Breckenridge served 34 years in the US Coast Guard, retiring in 2010 from her assignment as Commander, Pacific Area and Defense Forces West with responsibility for all operations across 73 million square miles of the Pacific, Arctic, and Antarctic Oceans. Her flag assignments included Director of Strategic Transformation guiding the largest business practice and organizational change in the modern history of the Service; Assistant Commandant for Human Resources; Commander, Eleventh Coast Guard District (covering California, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, along with the West Coast of Central and South America); and Commander, Maintenance and Logistics Command Pacific (all logistic and support services.)
Director of Environmental Management, Port of Los Angeles
Christopher Cannon is the Director of Environmental Management for the Port of Los Angeles, a position he has held since October 2010. In 2015, he was named Chief Sustainability Officer of the Port.
In this role, Mr. Cannon is responsible for balancing commerce and growth with ecological sustainability and social responsibility at the nation’s busiest container port. The Environmental Management Division provides full environmental services related to water, soils and sediments, air and biological resources, and is responsible for preparation of environmental impact assessments mandated by state and federal law; special studies involving dredging, noise abatement, water quality and air quality; site restoration, remediation and contamination characterizations; wildlife management; and establishment of policies regarding environmental quality issues.
Mr. Cannon has 21 years of experience in the environmental services industry, working on a range of projects while employed by ENVIRON International Corporation and TRC Environmental Solutions.
Senior Executive Lead, Supply Chain Optimization, Port of Long Beach
Michael Christensen, Senior Executive Lead, Supply Chain Optimization for the Port of Long Beach, reports directly to the CEO and is responsible for working with industry stakeholders to optimize cargo flow through the Port. He was most recently Deputy Executive Director at the neighboring Port of Los Angeles. His 40-year career has also included senior management positions at several major transportation consulting firms plus 16 years of service to the Southern Pacific Railroad. Mr. Christensen received an engineering degree from Arizona State University and an Executive Education certification from Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is a registered professional engineer in 10 states.
Chief Executive Officer and Port Director, Port of Hueneme
President, California Association of Port Authorities
Kristin Decas has served as Chief Executive Officer and Port Director of the Port of Hueneme since 2012. During her tenure there, the Port has realized several successes. Tonnage totals have grown annually from 1.3 million tons in FY 2012 to over 1.575 million metric tons in 2015, marking the Port’s strongest sustained trade years since its inception. Port related businesses generate $1.5 billion in annual economic impact and create more than 13,633 direct, indirect, induced and influenced jobs.
Prior to serving for the Port of Hueneme, Ms. Decas served as CEO and Port Director for the Port of New Bedford, MA, the nation’s number one value fishing port. She was the first woman to run the Port of New Bedford in its 50 year history and the Port of Hueneme in its 78 year history. She was only the 4th woman to chair the AAPA in its 103 years.
Regional AVP Government Affairs, BNSF Railway Company
LaDonna DiCamillo is the Regional Assistant Vice President for BNSF Railway Company in Los Angeles. Ms. DiCamillo works with California communities to address rail-related issues at both local and legislative levels in an effort to facilitate trade growth and improve freight mobility while sustaining livability in the communities through which BNSF operates.
Ms. DiCamillo began her railroad career in 1989 in the Research and Development Department of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway (a predecessor to BNSF) where she conducted laboratory testing related to environmental and failure analysis projects. In 1991, she was promoted and moved to California where she worked for BNSF’s Environmental Department for ten years. As Manager Environmental Operations, Ms. DiCamillo implemented and managed numerous environmental compliance programs at BNSF facilities. In 1999, she joined BNSF’s Government Affairs Group.
Chair, Assembly Committee on Transportation
Assemblymember Jim Fraizer is the chairman of the Assembly Transportation Committee and a leading voice in Sacramento on developing a long-term, sustainable plan to protect and enhance California’s critical transportation infrastructure.
Assemblymember Frazier became involved in public service after a family tragedy. On December 16, 2000, his two daughters were in a head-on auto collision caused by black ice on their way to Lake Tahoe. The accident was fatal for his oldest daughter, and left his younger daughter in critical condition. This unfortunate tragedy sparked Assemblymember Frazier’s interest in highway safety and transportation infrastructure improvements, which led to his further involvement in public service.
Assemblymember Frazier worked as a general contractor before being elected to the Oakley City Council in 2008 and serving as mayor from 2011 to 2012. During this time in office, he also served as a Contra Costa County transportation commissioner. He was elected to the Assembly in 2012.
Senior Director, Logistics Sustainability, Walmart
Elizabeth Fretheim is the Senior Director of Sustainability for Walmart’s Logistics division where she develops and manages the sustainability strategy both transportation and distribution centers. In 2016, she was one of Fleet Owner magazine’s Dozen Outstanding Women in Trucking and one of three finalists for the 2nd Annual Distinguished Women in Logistics award. Before joining Walmart, Ms. Fretheim lived in Calgary, Canada, where she worked in business development for technology, facility management, and power generation companies. Ms. Fretheim has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary and gained an interest and appreciation for sustainability through her work in the remote Northern regions of Canada with the Aboriginal people.
President and CEO, Northern California World Trade Center
Andrew Grant leads the Northern California World Trade Center’s efforts to grow international trade across the region as President and CEO, a position he has held since April 2016. His experience working with research centers, multinational companies and government officials from around the globe uniquely position him to serve successfully in this role.
A native Californian, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mr. Grant attended the U.S. Naval Academy and commissioned as a Marine and Intelligence Officer in 1995. He served with distinction in multiple military campaigns and followed his military service with positions at the U.S. State Department where he supported diplomacy and national security efforts.
Senior Vice President, Majestic Realty Co.
Fran Inman directs government relations and community affairs activities for Majestic Realty Co., one of the nation’s largest privately held real estate development companies. With a real estate portfolio totaling approximately 80 million square feet of commercial properties, Majestic Realty Co. has offices in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Bethlehem, Dallas, Fort Worth, Denver and Las Vegas.
Ms. Inman is past chair of the board of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership. She also serves as the vice chair for the California Business Properties Association (CBPA) and the California Business Roundtable (CBRT). Ms. Inman is also a founding board member of FuturePorts and a member of Inland Action and is on the Advisory Board of Mobility 21. She is also a long-time member of the Coalition of America’s Gateway Trade Corridors and Southern California Council of Governments (SCAG).
Vice President & General Counsel, Pacific Merchant Shipping Association
Mike Jacob, Vice President & General Counsel of Pacific Merchant Shipping Association since 2005 represents ocean carriers, marine terminal operators, and maritime interests on the West Coast, and regularly appears before governmental bodies in various administrative, legal, and legislative capacities.
Previously, Mr. Jacob worked for BART and the Port of Oakland, and from 1996-2001, for the California State Legislature in several capacities, including as Chief Consultant to the Assembly Information Technology Committee. Mr. Jacob was on the Alameda County Planning Commission from 2003-2015, and has been on the Board of Satellite Affordable Housing Associates, a non-profit affordable housing developer, since 2007.
Executive Director, Transportation California
Former Executive Director, California Transportation Commission
Transportation innovator and manager, Will Kempton, has 40+ years of experience in transportation, public service and government affairs. Mr. Kempton is currently serving as Executive Director of Transportation California, an industry-based transportation advocacy group dedicated to the advancement of California’s transportation program. Transportation California is currently working to increase funding for the State’s ailing transportation infrastructure.
Mr. Kempton most recently served as Executive Director of the California Transportation Commission (CTC), responsible for advising and assisting the California Legislature and the Administration in the development of transportation policies and plans for California, initiating and developing State and Federal legislation to secure funding for California’s transportation needs, and facilitating the programming and allocation of funds for highway, passenger rail, and transit improvements throughout California.
Stella Li, President, BYD Motors. Inc.
Stella Li is the President of BYD Motors, a global green technology company based in Los Angeles, California that produces cutting edge battery-electric vehicles, battery-energy storage solutions, solar farms, and energy efficient LED lighting systems. As President, Ms. Li is responsible for overseeing the company's day-to-day operations and long-term strategic vision. She is also the architect of BYD’s thriving expansions in the Americas—including its North America headquarters in Los Angeles, California in 2011 and its electric bus, truck, and energy module factories in Lancaster, California in 2013. Prior to becoming President, Ms. Li served as BYD’s Senior Vice President and was responsible for successfully expanding the company’s operations around the world.
Chair, California Air Resources Board
Mary D. Nichols, J.D., was reappointed Chair of the California Air Resources Board by Governor Jerry Brown in January 2011, a post she previously held under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger from 2007 to 2010 and under Governor Brown (during his first tenure) from 1979 to 1983. At ARB, she is responsible for implementing California's landmark greenhouse gas emissions legislation as well as setting air pollution standards for motor vehicles, fuels and consumer products. Chair Nichols also served as the head of the Office of Air and Radiation at U.S. EPA during the Clinton Administration, and as California's Secretary for Natural Resources from 1999 to 2003.
Chair, Assembly Select Committee on Ports
Assemblymember Patrick O'Donnell was first elected to the State Assembly in November 2014 to represent the 70th District, which includes the cities of Long Beach, San Pedro, Signal Hill as well as Catalina Island. Assemblymember O’Donnell is also a former Long Beach City Councilmember and a teacher with over 20 years’ experience in the classroom.
As Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, Assemblymember O'Donnell helped established the California College Promise and secured $15 million in the state budget to take the success of the Long Beach College Promise statewide. During his first term in office, he authored legislation signed by the governor to foster safer learning environments for LGBTQ students, improve arts education standards and reduce student absenteeism. In addition, he serves as a member of the Assembly Budget Committee, where he successfully advocated for allocating billions of new dollars for California’s K-12, UC, CSU and community colleges.
President, International Longshore Warehouse Union – Local 13
Robert (Bobby) Olvera, Jr. is the current President of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 13 and represents over 20,000 full-time and part-time longshore workers who discharge cargo at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Local 13 is the largest local on the West Coast and works the fourth largest and busiest Port in North America.
Mr. Olvera, a third-generation longshoreman, became registered in the industry in 1989. In 1991 he enlisted in the Marines, later serving in the Reserves. In his 28-year history with the ILWU, he has served on the Executive Board, the Political Action Committee, and as a Caucus Delegate on the local level. His career as an officer included terms as a Chief Dispatcher, Business Agent, three years as Vice-President, ultimately leading to his election as President in 2013 and re-election in 2016.