June 22, 2020 — The Port’s longest serving Commissioner Jess Herrera was named recipient of the 2020 Latino Leadership Award by the Pacific Coast Business Times along with CEO & Port Director Kristin Decas named as a Top Woman in Business.
“It is an honor to receive this recognition. I want to thank Henry Dubroff and the Pacific Coast Business Times. I am grateful for the support and encouragement I have received from my community,” said Commissioner Jess Herrera. “As a lifelong advocate and representative for working families, I understand the urgent need for jobs with family-sustaining wages and benefits. That is why I am so passionate for the life changing opportunities that the Port of Hueneme provides for our local community.”
Commissioner Herrera has a long and dedicated record of service during the past 54 years at the Port of Hueneme as a longshoreman. He was first elected as Port commissioner in 1994 and has been elected board president 7 times. He served 10 terms as executive officer of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).
Herrera has been a leading advocate for dock workers and working conditions and enhancing working relationships among labor, port users and the administration. He has served 8 terms as Chairman of the ILWU’s Southern California regional Jurisdiction committee which, in addition to the Port of Hueneme, also included the Ports of LA, Long Beach and San Diego. He is also a longshoreman who works as a marine clerk at the Port of Hueneme, helping coordinate the flow of ships and cargo into and out of the commercial port.
During his tenure, Commissioner Herrera has played a vital role in expanding the Port’s infrastructure resulting in the creation of thousands of jobs benefitting the local economy, including a historic joint use agreement partnership with NBVC to increase Port capacity and revenue for both the Port and the U.S. Navy. In 2018, his leadership also steered the Port’s recent adoption of a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) guaranteeing that Port construction projects will be built with local labor and trades.
CEO & Port Director Kristin Decas was named to the Pacific Coast Business Times’ Top 50 Women in Business for the 6th year in a row.
“I am honored to receive this accolade from the Pacific Coast Business Times and join a list of incredible women leading our region,” said Kristin Decas. “Our Port has been able to grow and succeed because of the many partnerships and support from our community. Together, we have been able to grow jobs, increase exports from our local industries by 66%, and become the Greenest Port in the United States.”
Kristin is recognized by Trade Administration officials for her impressive work in leveraging economic development through international trade promotion, and for her service on several federal shipping and port committees. Mrs. Decas just completed her 3 year term as the President of the California Association of Port Authorities (CAPA) representing California’s 11 deep water ports, providing educational leadership and advocacy on issues related to transportation, trade, the environment, land use, energy and other subjects affecting port operations. Kristin was awarded high-profile appointments by the U.S. Department of Transportation to both the National Freight Advisory Committee (NFAC) and the U.S. Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council (MTSNAC).
Kristin was the first woman to lead both the Port of New Bedford in its more than 50-year history and the Port of Hueneme in its 83-year history. Under Kristin’s leadership, the Port has achieved record-breaking cargo growth of 23%, handling over 1.6 million metric tons of cargo.
Kristin also supports her local community by serving on the Dignity Health Ventura County Community Board, and on the Habit for Humanity Ventura County Advisory Board.