Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission Mario Cordero will be honored with the 2015 Connie Award, presented by the Containerization & Intermodal Institute (CII) at the Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach on Tuesday, September 29. CII will present its Lifetime Achievement Award to Tay Yoshitani, recently retired CEO of the Port of Seattle.
Founded in 1960, CII has been presenting the Connie Award since 1972. It has grown to become “the most coveted honor in the field of containerization and its ancillary industries,” according to the announcement.
Connie recipients have significantly influenced world trade in containerization and transportation and are honored for their innovative spirit expressed throughout their careers.
"It is CII's honor to present this year's awards in Long Beach to two people who have devoted their careers to meeting the ongoing needs of our industry that will maintain a positive impact moving forward," said Michael DiVirgilio, CII President, in a statement.
Cordero was appointed Chairman of the FMC by President Barack Obama on April 1, 2013. Previously, he served as an FMC Commissioner. Included in his over 30 years of private legal practice and public service, he spent eight years on the Board of Harbor Commissioners for the Port of Long Beach (POLB).
"My initial feelings when I heard the news was, I looked back and reflected in regard to my passion in the industry and where that started, and it started at the Port of Long Beach," Cordero said. "So for me it's not only an acknowledgement of some of the work I've done, but furthermore it's an acknowledgement of the Port of Long Beach."
While serving as part of the port's managing body as vice president and president, Cordero expanded community outreach initiatives to educate the public about the importance of a robust port. As a commissioner, he spearheaded the port's Green Port Policy. His support was part of an effort to conciliate the economic giant's growth with its environment, to achieve long-term sustainable port development.
Cordero also served on the Executive Board for American Association of Port Authorities for the multi-national trade association's Latin American delegation. He led efforts to develop cohesive policies for greater cooperation and increased trade and joint-growth across the combined North American and Latin American footprint, according to the announcement.
"For it inspires me to continue in further developing my leadership skills, and leadership is all about the ability to move people forward with a common vision, and that's what inspires me and I was able to do that in Long Beach and there's always room for improvement and I'm doing that now," said Cordero. "So when you get these kinds of awards it certainly is an inspiration to continue with that quest."
Cordero mentioned Simon Sinek, a revered writer and inspiration speaker on the topic of leadership, whose words struck a chord with the current FMC Chairman. Cordero said that receiving this award will not only inspire him to reflect on the great responsibility of his present position, but to move forward with an attitude of gratitude to all that have assisted him in making it here.
"I think the greatest quote that I will remember and learn from is 'The ability to win hearts before minds is not easy,'" He said.
The FMC Chairman earned his Bachelor of Science in Political Science degree from California State University, Long Beach, and he subsequently earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Santa Clara.
Tay Yoshitani, a U.S. Army veteran who earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point and earned his MBA at Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, has had a fortuitous career in the American port industry serving in leadership positions in some of the country's major harbors.
Prior to his role at the Port of Seattle since 2007, he served at the Port of Oakland, Port of Baltimore and the Port of Los Angeles. From 2004 to 2007, he served as Senior Advisor to the National Association of Waterfront Employers and as Executive Director of the Port of Oakland from 2001 to 2004, led a significant expansion of both the seaport and airport, overseeing environmental permitting and planning that enabled the airport expansion to use "green building" technology.
He was also Oakland's Deputy Executive Director from 1998 to 2001. He is credited with creating the first master plan at the Maryland Port Administration, where he served as Executive Director from 1995 to 1998.
As Deputy Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles, 1989 to 1995, he oversaw the creation of the West Coast's largest dry bulk export terminal.
At the event, CII will also carry out its industry education mission by presenting scholarships to students studying logistics. Any company can sponsor a named scholarship through CII, which has had nearly $600,000 given for higher education under its auspices since 1992, according to the release.