Hennessey Promoted; McKenna Notes Experience, Innovation

For Immediate Release
April 27, 2004
Contact: Steve Sugerman


San Francisco – Pacific Maritime Association President Jim McKenna has promoted Steve Hennessey to the rank of chief operating officer. In his new role, Hennessey will assume labor relations responsibility for the entire West Coast. His promotion reflects an ongoing effort within the organization to aggressively manage its operations as it seeks to meet the needs of the industry at a crucial time of growth.

Prior to his promotion, Hennessey was PMA’s vice president for labor relations in Southern California. In this role, he oversaw Southern California operations, managing PMA's relationship with Longshore Local 13, Clerks’ Local 63 and Foremen’s Local 94.

“Steve arrived at PMA last year during a time of great challenge,” McKenna said, referring to the cargo surge and labor shortage during the summer and fall of 2004. “He was instrumental in finding fast solutions and charting a steady course. In his new role, Steve will be able to help us achieve our goals on a coast-wide basis.”

Among the steps taken by the PMA since last summer are the introduction of advanced statistical tools, or “metrics,” to chart labor demand, volume growth and other workforce and cargo trends on a daily and weekly basis. These metrics have enabled the PMA to manage operations in real-time, and to make decisions based on hard data. In addition, the PMA and ILWU have overseen the hiring of more than 6,000 new casual workers in Southern California alone, along with the promotion of 2,000 others, to ensure sufficient labor for this year’s peak shipping season and beyond.

Hennessey has nearly two decades of industry experience, having joined the PMA in June 2004 after working for Sea-Land and Horizon Lines since 1996, most recently as general manager, North American operations. Previously, he worked for Roadway Express, a trucking company, for nearly 10 years. McKenna noted this varied experience as an important asset. “Steve understands how all of the pieces of the transportation chain fit together. He has real-world experience that will help us meet the challenge of moving cargo throughout the West Coast.”

Hennessey pointed to the challenges and opportunities faced by the industry at this crucial time. “More goods than ever before are moving through our ports,” he said. “We must do everything we can to continue to prove that the West Coast ports are reliable, efficient gateways to the United States.”

Hennessey holds a bachelor’s degree from Southwest Texas State University and an MBA from the University of Tennessee.

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