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About gmcquade

George McQuade, V.P., MAYO Communications, is a national award-winning entertainment and corporate communications multimedia, social Media expert and is often quoted internationally on media trends, campaigns and breaking stories. McQuade has been behind and in front of the camera/microphone as a working member of national press for more than 10 in the #2 Los Angeles Market. He's was also a NBC, CBS and ABC Entertainment news correspondent based in LA. His recognizable voice was heard on KNX, KFI, KZLA, KGIL, UPI and Associated Press Radio Networks. As the West Coast Bureau Chief, Mc Quade writes a monthly column for Jack O’Dwyer Publications, NY, the No. 1 website for "media and public relations news" according to Google. Additionally, he is Gen. Mgr. of MAYO Communications and MAYO PR, a Los Angeles entertainment publicity and public relations firm. For more visit: company website: and company blogs:, and

We added two new Board Members!

“City National Bank and Valero Energy Corporation are leading employers and generous supporters within the communities we serve,” said ITEP CEO Amy Grat

Cheryl Gage image

Cheryl Gage, City National Bank

Los Angeles— International Trade Education Programs (ITEP), which introduces high school students to careers in international trade, transportation, and logistics, will increase its impact with the addition of two new board members.

Cheryl Gage, Senior Vice President for City National Bank and Stephen Faichney, Director of Public and Government Relations at Valero Energy Corporation, Wilmington will join ITEP on July 1st.

“We’re very excited to have them join the ITEP Board of Directors, said ITEP CEO Amy Grat. “Cheryl and Stephen are active and respected civic leaders within the Harbor and South Bay. Valero and City National Bank are also leading employers and generous supporters within the communities we serve.”

Cheryl Gage joined City National Bank in 1990 and currently serves as senior V.P. in the Bank’sLong Beachcommercial banking office. She assists privately held business owners in all aspects of business banking, and has been in market lending since 1984. Gage services a wide variety of clients in the transportation, trade, manufacturing and distribution, international financing, and construction sectors.

image headshot of Stephen Faichney

Stephen Faichney, Valero Energy Corporation

Stephen Faichney has worked in the petrochemical field for 37 years with comprehensive experience in refinery process operations, environmental compliance, government and public affairs, and risk management. In 29 years with Valero, Faichney has designed and managed refinery hazardous waste and air compliance programs and is a California registered Environmental Assessor (REA) with experience in process safety management and environmental compliance auditing throughout the country.

Valero has had a long history of support of ITEP and the Wilmington community.  In addition to sponsoring ITEP’s Annual Scholarship Dinner, the company has also underwritten the ITEP MATCH (Maritime Agriculture, Tourism, Cuisine & Hospitality) Academy’s 10th grade trip to the   4-H Youth Leadership Conference at UC Davis and has provided funds for to support the GESA (Global Environmental Science Academy) trip to the Catalina Environmental Leadership Program.  Valero employees have volunteered as mentors, classroom speakers and mock interviewers, as well as represent the company on several of ITEP’s academy advisory boards.

City National Bank has provided numerous scholarships to GSS (Global Safety and Security Academy) students to attend the California Maritime Academy and has been a sponsor of ITEP’s Annual Scholarship Dinner.
“Cheryl Gage and Stephen Faichney are great supporters of ITEP and our mission. I’m personally delighted to be working with them to help take our organization to new heights,” said CEO Grat.



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ITEP students use global brands to promote literacy and trade

“Industry is coming into the classroom to help students understand the relevance of what they are learning,” said Amy Grat, CEO, ITEP.


Last fall, ITEP scored goals with Gardena students by bringing the famous soccer brand Chivas into the classroom as part of its Passport Program: “Literacy and Soccer.”  (see article HERE on ITEP’s website) ITEP’s Passport Program uses global brands to teach students about international trade.

Recently the Passport Program shifted into high-gear thanks to support from another global brand that is also headquartered locally: Toyota Motor Sales.  On February 25th, over 100 students from Gardena High School’s Global Leadership Academy learned how trade, transportation, and logistics affect their everyday lives, and how their schoolwork directly relates to “real” work in these industries as part of ITEP’s newest program, “Literacy and Automobiles.”

Thanks to the collaboration and goodwill of GGLA Advisory Board Chair, Steve Pasienski, Director of International Customs at Toyota Motor Sales, students were able to get a taste of the automobile industry, highlighting the correlation between trade, logistics, English, math, and business. Presentations were also made by GGLA Advisory Board Members Daniel Benoit of OWI Specialized, Anthony Cangelosi of Chivas USA, and Ed La Rocque of Toyota.

Students calculated shipping costs, created a marketing plan, and designed an ad for the Toyota Prius that they had to then translate into Spanish for the Latin American market. ITEP’s goal was to get students excited about learning by showing them how subjects taught in high school relate to real-life concepts they enjoy.

By supporting the teachers in creating an exciting and enriching program, ITEP was able to meet the goal of enhancing Academy learning. Not only did Global Leadership Academy students learn to apply the skills learned in the classroom, they also walked away with a better understanding and appreciation for the global brands that surround them daily.

Ed La Rocque, National Small Car Marketing Manager for Toyota’s Vehicle Operations Group, remarked “what a great experience to give something back to the local community.”

In addition to providing hands-on support, Toyota Motor Sales has also generously donated $12,000 to ITEP to ensure that Passport Programs such as “Literacy and Automobiles” will continue to be available to our students. 

Thank you Toyota!

image of Toyota Logo

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GESA Advisory Board Chair Gary Gregory receives California Maritime Lifetime Achievement Award

image of Gary Gregory, ITEP GESA Advisory Chair

Gary Gregory, ITEP GESA Advisory Chair

ITEP is delighted to share that our Board Member and Advisory Board Chair Gary Gregory has been  selected to  receive a top award in  Sacramento this week.  Gary  will be handed the  first California Maritime  Lifetime Achievement  Award at the 2011  Maritime Leadership  Symposium being held May 11th – 12th at the Sacramento Convention Center.

According to the Symposium website, “It is fitting that he (Gregory) be the first honoree so named and as such, the award will bear his name in perpetuity.” Gary has been involved in the California maritime community for more than 30 years, dedicating himself to collaborative leadership in all arenas of discussion including the importance of community development and support.  Through his prior role as Division Chief for the Marine Facilities Division of the California State Lands Commission, as well as his industry leadership as President of the Propeller Club of Los Angeles/Long Beach, Gary epitomizes the very best of the maritime industry.

ITEP is particularly grateful that Gary has also chosen to share his time, energy and passions with our organization as a member of our Board of Directors and Chair of the Global Environmental Sciences Academy (GESA) at Banning High School.   On behalf of the board, the ITEP staff, and the students, teachers and advisory board members of GESA, we congratulate Gary on this notable achievement.

The 2011 Maritime Leadership Symposium brings together a powerful coalition that includes the California Association of Port Authorities (CAPA), California Marine Affairs and Navigation Conference (CMANC), California Marine & Intermodal Transportation System Advisory Council (CALMITSAC), the Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce, the Propeller Club of Los Angeles/Long Beach and The California Maritime Academy.

The award will be presented during a reception at the State Capitol rotunda on Wednesday, May 11.  ITEP’s CEO Amy Grat and COO Bonnie Bair will be in attendance to join the celebration.  For more information about the Symposium

 To find out more about the California Maritime Leadership Symposium click here

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Thanks to AmeriCorps Voluneers Andrew and Richie!

Literacy AmeriCorps members Andrew Chung and Richie DeMaria gave their second lesson of an ongoing series entitled “Literacy in the Workplace” at San Pedro High School as part of their April 13th Earth Day celebration. This lesson encouraged students to apply skills learned in English classes in a creative and unique way.

The first lesson at San Pedro was for SPEA students to create an ad and job description for their own business. This second lesson was to research and write a mock report of a fictional natural disaster in Los Angeles. Students located pertinent information on their chosen disaster by visiting various literature stations, gathering information and styles from encyclopedia articles, news articles, books about Los Angeles, fiction books, and photographs.

The lesson was designed to  encourage students to use research  and writing skills in a creative way,  and to get them to think differently  about ways English skills might be  used. Feeling  satisfied with the  outcome, Andrew  expressed that  “San Pedro students really enjoyed the creative aspect of the lesson, and they left class knowing more about relevant natural disasters.”

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ITEP students land real jobs through academy experiences

Los Angeles, CA – This year scores of International Trade Education  Program (ITEP) students attending  academies were exposed to the real world  when comes to jobs of the future. As you will  hear in this video below, Watson Land Company’s Pilar M. Hoyos, V.P. Public Affairs co-chairs the Carson Global Business Academy. At the Annual Awards Dinner she also introduces us to an ITEP student intern who landed a job at NYK Logistics. Watch the video here!

ITEP Students are also treated to other maritime industry and environmentally friend opportunities. During Earth Day activities this month dozens of students were exposed to hands on green education campaigns, and it was covered by the Daily Breeze.

By Melissa Pamer Staff Writer
Posted: 04/07/2011 07:49:53 PM PDT
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ITEP students ARE the “Green Generation”

The ITEP Earth Day celebration/fundraiser  teaches students to reduce, reuse, recycle old  appliances, computers, plastic bottles,  aluminum cans and explore opportunities for  green jobs of the future San Pedro, CA — The students and staff from the Global Environmental House/ITEP Earth Alert SLC at San Pedro High School plan to celebrate “Out with the Old” on the 41st anniversary of Earth Day , Saturday, April 9th and Wednesday, April 13th.

The events are intended to prepare young people to tackle today’s environmental problems and to generate interest and awareness for the “Green Generation.” Our youth are getting more involved in taking steps in their schools, homes and neighborhoods to protect the environment by recycling E-Waste, plastic bottles and aluminum cans, volunteering for coastal clean-ups, and exploring the possibility of entering into green jobs and careers of the future. The kick-off for this Earth Day celebration will be an E-Waste Collection event fundraiser on Saturday, April 9th, open to the San Pedro Community from 8:00am-4:00pm at San Pedro high school.

ITEP business partners, Environmental Conversion Recycling (ECR) and SA Recycling, are working with the Earth Alert Student Council to coordinate the safe collection of computer and electronic items, as well as appliances which require a special type of handling and disposal. People will be able to drive up to the school employee parking lot at the corner of 17th and Leland and drop off their old laptops, printers, monitors, cables, cell phones, fax machines, digital cameras, TVs, etc., safely and legally. Proceeds from this collection will go towards helping the students of the Global Environmental/Earth Alert SLC.

“We are very proud of our environmentally sensitive students at San Pedro,” said CEO Amy Grat, ITEP. “ITEP encourages students to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Some students have already started  recycling businesses while still in high school. These are students who are preparing for careers of the future.” On Wednesday, April 13th, an on-campus event for students will include the exhibition of the Los Angeles Mobile TransPORTer, a 53-foot fully-contained, mobile exhibit featuring exciting, hands-on activities for students. Telling the story of the Port of Los Angeles, the TransPORTer exhibit features interactive displays focusing on the history, jobs, cargo, equipment, environmental programs and future of the nation’s number one container port.

Guest speakers for Wednesday’s event include: Mike Schaadt, Chairman of ITEP’s  Earth Alert SLC Advisory Board, who is also the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium Administrator. He will present “Careers in Marine Biology and Oceanography,” and will  allow students to interact with  live grunion. He will be joined by Dr. Kiersten Darrow (CMA Curator of Research) and Dr. Julianne Passarelli (Curator of Exhibits and Collections). The U.S. Coast Guard efforts to clean up the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year will be relived and presented by MST3 Alex Warwood, who will highlight  the efforts of these determined men and women who really care about the environment. Students will also be able to get information from the Bird Rescue Center, the second of two new California oiled wildlife centers. Wildlife center Representative Dave Weeshoff will speak illustrate the center in San Pedro, which is operated by the International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) and overseen by the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN). IBRRC has cared for more than 140 species of wild birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. SA Recycling’s Nancy Felix will also speak to students about “Careers in Environmental Management,” and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).”Now we’re ready to seize every opportunity presented to us to help make a positive change,” said Cassandra, an 11th grader and president of the Student Council from ITEP’s Earth Alert SLC. “Whether it’s at San Pedro High School, or somewhere else in the world, all that matters is that we’re helping make the world a better place. Thanks to our gifted teachers and administrators, who have opened our hearts and our minds to the environment. We are thankful for what we have learned, and are excited for whatever it may be that San Pedro has for us next,” she explained. The day-long event allows students to have the opportunity to write pledges for “A Billion Acts of Green,” Earth Day’s way of mobilizing the power of people to create change by taking small steps. Each student will be encouraged to write down at least one thing they will do to help protect the environment in the next year.

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LA County Supervisor Don Knabe supports ITEP

Amy Grat, CEO

11TH Annual ITEP Scholarship Dinner

The 11th Annual ITEP Scholarship Dinner, “Visualizing Tomorrow,” extravaganza will also honor Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe and ITEP supporters

Los Angeles, CA — “ITEP introduces students to different career pathways – starting in 10th grade and continuing through high school,” explained CEO Amy Grat, ITEP, as the nonprofit organization that brings the trade, transportation, and logistics industries to high schools prepares to announce the ITEP winners of this year’s 11th Annual ITEP Scholarship Dinner and fundraising event, Wednesday, March 23rd. (Cruise Center, Berth 93, Port of Los Angeles, San Pedro, CA on March 23rd. (5:30 p.m.– 8:30 p.m.).

Scholarships are the main highlight of the evening.  American President Lines (APL), part of The NOL Group, has donated $40,000 in scholarships to be allocated among each of the ITEP Academies.

Scholarships from Southern California Gas Company and the LA Custom Brokers and Freight Forwarders/Foreign Trade Associations, along with ITEP monies, will be awarded to deserving students throughout the evening including the announcement of the “180 Degree Award,” the “Rising Star Award” and “Teacher of the Year.”

Samira Aguilera

“Setting my mind to success is, in part, what encouraged me to enroll into MATCH Academy,” said Samira Aguilera, one of eight scholarship recipients and Banning High School student, MATCH Academy.

The Match Academy is an award-winning program that prepares students for exciting careers in agricultural logistics, tourism, culinary arts, hospitality, and restaurant management. “

MATCH empowered me to get my life together. Through MATCH, I was allowed to go on field trips like the Disney Hotel and the Catalina Island TopSail trip, which was a wonderful experience because I had a chance to explore a part of California I didn’t know existed.”

Josephine Bartolome photo

Another scholarship winner is Josephine Bartolome at the Carson High School. She is currently a senior in the Global Business Academy at Carson High School. “From my experience with the Global Business Academy and the ITEP Program, it has completely changed my perspective on what the word “responsibility” really means to me…the GBA Academy taught me how to broaden my vision on how we are all responsible for giving back to our community.” Bartolome volunteers as a Sunday school teacher at her church and as a supervisor for the Fred Jordan Mission Food Drive. This while attending high school. Her awards include the Leadership Honor Roll Achievement Award and CST Scores Improvement Award.  She wants to get a BS Degree in Kensiology or Radiation therapy and has been accepted to California State University at Dominguez Hills.

Edy Delgado

“I credit the success I have had in my life to my academy, ITA, and the ITEP program,” said Edy Delgado, Banning High School, International Trade (ITA) Academy, who will share the APL/NOL scholarship with Juan Salazar. When the school cut all music classes Edy started the first ever music club at Banning High School.

He serves as the vice president, teaching music lessons to his peers, organizing concerts, and providing advice and direction to his fellow musicians. Delgado is also the head volunteer at the local Veterans of Foreign War Post 2967, holding the record for most hours volunteered and he completed his summer internship at Moffat & Nichol.

Delgado said the highlight of his Academy experience was his first time on an airplane and first time visiting the White House in Washington DC on ITA’s NYLF Trip sponsored by Pasha Stevedoring and Terminals. He plans to attend Tulane University in the fall and wants to become either a surgeon or a civil engineer.

Juan Salazar

Juan Salazar, a senior at Banning High School, says the ITA Academy was the best decision of his life in looking back at his experience and netting a scholarship at the upcoming dinner.

“I am glad that I joined PORT at my school and especially ITA. If it weren’t for ITA I might not have had an interest in international relations or foreign policy, because of an after-school class that I enrolled in. I can truly say that choosing ITA has been the best choice in my life because of all its great benefits.”

GESA Crystal Diaz

Other scholarship and award winners include: Crystal Diaz, Banning High School, GESA Academy, who plans to either become a Zoologist or Veterinarian or major in Environmental Science; Sandra Franco, Banning High School, GSS Academy, who serves as GSS president, and interned for the CEO of  MetroPorts. She plans to  the  California Maritime Academy in the fall to study international business.

Other scholarship winners are: Ashton Godwin, Barstow High School, Mojave XP Logistics Academy; who is enrolled at Barstow Community College, and has plans to transfer to Cal State University at Monterrey Bay; Stephanie Mancia, San Pedro High School, SPEA Academy, who has been accepted Cal State University in San Francisco’s East Bay Area, and is still waiting to hear from UC Berkeley and Dartmouth.

Ashton Godwin

ITEP will also present the Southern California Gas Co. “Energizing Our Future” Scholarship to Miguel Camacho, from Banning’s GSS Academy. “ITEP has made me a strong person and influenced me to want to help the community and lead by example for its children that shape the future, he said.

The ITEP 180 Award Winner goes to Luis Hernandez, Banning High School, GSS Academy. “My experience with the Los Angeles Port Police opened my eyes and changed my outlook on the Law enforcement career,” he said.

“I feel that my experiences combined with my education will make me a contributing member of society and most importantly my community.”

Stephanie Mancia SPEA winner

LA Custom Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association/Foreign Trade Association  Rising Star! Award will be handed to Erick Cortes,  Gardena High School, Global Leadership Academy (GGLA).

The Faculty Member of the Year Award will be handed to Margarita Aguilar Diaz, Banning High School, GESA Academy. “Teaching math and running an academy is definitely challenging, but I am proud to be ‘Mama GESA’,” she said.

Sandra Franco scholarship winner

“Last year, I was elected by my fellow colleagues as the lead teacher for the Global Environmental Science Academy (GESA) and I am honored that they have named me teacher of the year.”

“We are thrilled to honor Supervisor Knabe and recognize his long-standing support of ITEP as an organization,” said CEO Amy Grat, of ITEP in announcing Supervisor Knabe’s selection for the Keeper of the

LA County Sup. Don Knabe

Flame” Award.

“He is passionate about job creation and education for the region and is a terrific role model for our students.”

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Filed under Banning High School, Barstow High School, Carson High School, GBAC, GESA, GSS, ITA, MATCH, Mojave XP, San Pedro High School, SPEA