Los Angeles Business Journal

Long Beach Port Director to Leave

By Sam Bennett Tuesday, April 5, 2011

After leading the Port of Long Beach for 14 years, Richard Steinke announced Tuesday he will step down Sept. 30.

Steinke made his mark as executive director by planning major expansions and by initiating the Green Port Policy that includes the Clean Trucks Program.

Steinke said he accomplished all that he set out to do. “I’m pleased that I can move on, knowing that I leave the port a better place than when I came on board,” he said in a press release.

During Steinke’s tenure, the port developed the former Long Beach Naval Complex, which became one of the country’s largest container cargo terminals.

He also guided the port through the complex process of winning approval for the $1 billion Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project. Art Wong, spokesman for the port, said the approval process was complicated due to the need for federal and state regulatory approval for the projects. The first of the Middle Harbor projects in coming weeks.

Steinke also negotiated early funding and planning for the $950 million Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement project. The port will begin the bid solicitation process for a design/build team for the bridge replacement next year.

“Dick has been instrumental in developing the Port of Long Beach into one of the top seaports in the world,” Nick Sramek, president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, which governs the Port of Long Beach, said in a statement.

Sramek said the Board of Harbor Commissioners would begin the search for Steinke’s successor shortly, and Steinke has agreed to assist the board in both the selection process and the smooth transition to a new executive director.

John McLaurin, president of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, called Steinke a “knowledgeable leader.”

“Dick’s even keel, common sense personality and management style served the port and City of Long Beach extremely well,” said McLaurin said in a statement.