July 27, 2006 at 14:34 PM EDT
Port of Los Angeles Announces Three New Hires to Extend Community and Legislative Outreach Throughout the City and Southern California Region

The Public Relations & Legislative Affairs division at the Port of Los Angeles has hired three new team members to help extend Port-related community interaction and legislative activity in support of a roster of current and upcoming Port initiatives.

Coming to the Port from the Los Angeles City Commission on the Status of Women, Veronica Hendrix has been hired as the Port's new community-focused Public Information Director. Jenny Chavez, former Legislative Director for 15th District Councilwoman Janice Hahn, assumes the Port's Los Angeles-focus Legislative Representative post. Wilmington resident and community representative Cecilia Moreno also has joined the Port in the newly created position of Community Affairs Advocate.

"Veronica, Jenny and Cecilia come to the Port with strong credentials as visible and civically active professionals who know how to connect with City leaders and community members alike," said Arley Baker, the Port's director of public relations and legislative affairs. "As representatives of the Port, they will enhance our public agency's interaction with constituents in each City district and residents throughout the Southern California region."

As a program and media relations manager at the Los Angeles City Commission on the Status of Women for the past 12 years, Veronica Hendrix held primary responsibility for media relations, community outreach, legislative advocacy and programs aimed at improving the quality of life for women and girls, such as the highly acclaimed Young Women From Adversity to Resiliency (YWAR) program. In her new role, Ms. Hendrix will manage a variety of programs and initiatives that support the Port's local community endeavors and elevate public awareness of the Port on a City-wide and regional basis. Ms. Hendrix holds an undergraduate degree in Journalism from California State University, Northridge.

As the Port's primary Legislative Representative at City Hall, Jenny Chavez will be responsible for monitoring Port related matters that go before City Council. She also will play an integral role in implementing new programs that expose Angelenos in all 15 City Council districts to the activities and legislative-related issues surrounding the nation's largest and most critical container port. Prior to serving as Legislative Director for Councilwoman Janice Hahn, Ms. Chavez was a District Representative for State Senator Debra Bowen (Redondo Beach). Ms. Chavez has a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University School of Law and a bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Southern California.

Like Ms. Hendrix and Ms. Chavez, Cecilia Moreno is also a native Angeleno. As the Port's Community Affairs Advocate, Ms. Moreno will interface extensively with community members about Port related issues and community concerns, especially with regard to environmental impacts related to Port operations and specific projects. On a regional basis, Ms. Moreno also will play an active role in promoting the Port's various "green" initiatives.

Ms. Moreno attended California State University, Dominguez Hills, earning an undergraduate degree in Personnel Management and an MPA in Public Administration with an emphasis in Public Personnel Management. Ms. Moreno held positions as an outreach program director and counselor/case manager before joining Shell Los Angeles Refinery in 1998 as a Manager of Community Affairs. A longstanding community leader and former Honorary Mayor of Wilmington, Ms. Moreno has served on the Port Community Advisory Committee (PCAC), Wilmington Neighborhood Council, Wilmington Chamber of Commerce and a number of other civic and community organizations.

Over the next 18 months, the Public Relations and Legislative Affairs group at the Port of Los Angeles will support a number of milestone initiatives, including public outreach to promote and help educate the public about the recently released San Pedro Bay Clean Air Action Plan. The San Pedro Bay ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, with the participation and cooperation of the staff of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board and South Coast Air Quality Management District, developed the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan as an aggressive, unprecedented strategy to significantly reduce the health risks posed by air pollution from port-related sources.

PR initiatives are also underway in preparation for the Port of Los Angeles' 2007 Centennial Celebration, a yearlong roster of events and outreach programs to promote L.A.'s rich maritime heritage and the Port's position as a major regional and national economic asset. The Port's special events, Speakers Bureau, boat tours and education related programs facilitated interaction with more than 50,000 City residents and visitors during 2005.

The Port of Los Angeles is America's premier port and a recipient of two Environmental Protection Agency awards in 2006. As the leading container port in the nation and a critical hub in the international supply chain, the Port generates 259,000 regional jobs and $8.4 billion in annual wages and tax revenues. A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars. High priority is placed on responsible growth initiatives combined with high security, environmental stewardship and community outreach. The Port of Los Angeles - A cleaner port. A brighter future.

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