Tag Archives: Amy Grat

ITEP Shares Maritime Education Best Practices With JAXPORT

On May 14 and 15, ITEP and the Port of Los Angeles hosted a group of educators, port officials and business partners from Jacksonville, Florida to share best practices in promoting maritime career pathways.  JAXPORT’s Community Outreach Manager, Joanne Kazmierski, along with eleven members of the NE Florida Education – Business Partner Consortium, a group made up of school district and state college leaders were given insight into how ITEP and the Port effectively partner to introduce local youth to careers in trade, transportation and logistics.

During the visit, ITEP’s CEO Amy Grat briefed the group on the ITEP 10-Point program model for effectively engaging industry.  Port of Los Angeles HR Director, Martin Chavez and Internship Coordinator, Gabriela Perez shared best practices from the highly successful ITEP/POLA Summer Internship Program.  The group also visited Phineas Banning High School and was given a student-led presentation on the four maritime-focused academies supported by ITEP.

The grand finale of the visit was a luncheon meeting at APM Terminals where ITEP Board Members Gerry Fisher of Freeman Freeman & Smiley, Caroline Brown of Comerica Bank and John Ochs of APMT shared insights on the personal and professional motivation for business leaders to become involved with programs such as ITEP.

ITEP looks forward to continuing the discussion with JAXPORT and the NE Florida Education-Business Partner Consortium.   In addition to helping raise organizational visibility, such nationwide collaboration between ports and educators plays an important role in ensuring the continued growth and success of the goods movement industry.

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Filed under Banning High School, Barstow High School, Carson High School, Gardena High School, San Pedro High School

GESA sophomores welcomed with a big top and an even bigger check!

There was a special surprise at this year’s Global Environmental Sciences Academy (GESA) Welcome Banquet. Under a big top with carnival games and decorations, GESA greeted the new sophomore class and received a generous donation from Valero of $20,000.

For the first time this year, ITEP was among the 13 Harbor-area organizations to receive funds raised from the 2011 Valero Texas Open and Benefit for Children Golf Classic. With their donation of $20,000, Valero has committed to sponsoring GESA’s Signature Trip, the Catalina Environmental Leadership Program (CELP). Steve Faichney, Risk Management and Government Affairs Manager, was on hand to present GESA with the check.  “ITEP’s focus in preparing the next generation of a job-ready and college-prepared workforce is critical to all industries in and outside the harbor area. Valero is proud to serve in an effort to grow the ITEP Academies… we’re committed to do that” said Faichney.

Valero has been a longstanding and dedicated community partner in Wilmington and a supporter of ITEP since 2008. In addition to sponsoring ITEP’s Annual Scholarship Dinner, Valero employees have volunteered as mentors, classroom speakers, mock interviewers, and represent the company on several of ITEP’s academy advisory boards including ITEP Board member Mary Gutierrez, Lab Supervisor, who serves on the GESA Advisory Board and Steve Faichney, who serves on the Board of Directors.

After the check presentation, GESA students and faculty had the opportunity to meet and greet GESA Advisory Board members including Gabriela Perez, Internship Coordinator for the Port of Los Angeles, Nancy Richardson, TopSail Youth Program, Martin Chavez, Human Resources Division Officer for the Port of Los Angeles, Yair Crane, Managing Director of Next Global Stage LLC ,  and GESA Advisory Board Chair, Bob Stearns Client Services Director for Calscience Environmental Laboratories, Inc.

The GESA welcome banquet was a spectacular start to the new school year. Thanks to the generous support of Valero, GESA will be able to continue the opportunities and events unique to GESA. Thank you, Valero, for your outstanding support too ITEP and GESA.  You are helping us graduate our GESA students job-ready and college-prepared in an even bigger way.

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Filed under Banning High School, GESA

ITA students build towers tall and soar spirits high


On Friday, October 7, over 140  juniors and seniors, along with teachers and ITEP business partners from the International Trade Academy (ITA) at Phineas Banning High School welcomed incoming sophomores with the challenge of building the tallest tower and the call to take responsibility for their own academic and career success at the very first ITA “Earning The Right” Conference.

Traditionally, this event has been an informal party; however, this year, ITA Lead Teacher Leticia Finley and ITA Advisory Board Member Akary Busto of Lloyds TSB International traded the cake and karaoke for an afternoon of team-building activities, motivational presentations, and networking with alumni and board members.  The overall theme of the Conference was that students cannot sit back and expect things to be given to them, but must work actively to “earn the right” to partake in the many opportunities available through ITA.

The highlight of the Conference was Business Keynote Speaker, Rob Vickery, who shared his own career journey from an economically challenged upbringing in Cornwall, England to his current role as U.S. Director at Lloyds TSB International.  Vickery described both his successes and his failures along the way and challenged the students to embrace adversity and never take no for an answer. “No mission is mission impossible.”

Among the most powerful experiences available to ITA students is the opportunity for seniors to participate in the National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF) in Washington, D.C.   For 11 years, Pasha Stevedoring & Terminals (PST) has generously sponsored this program, enabling hundreds of ITA students to experience a world far beyond Wilmington.  Nancy Perez, alumna from the Class of 2011, presented David VanWaardenburg and Peggy Barteske of Pasha with the Above and Beyond Award in recognition of their generous and continued support.

After enjoying a delicious lunch prepared by the MATCH Academy and served by ITA alumni, students and ITEP Advisory Board members participated in a team-building exercise.  Each team was given a bag of supplies with the goal of making the tallest tower out of cups and paper. But, there was a twist:  each group received a slightly different set of building supplies.  ITA teacher Marlene Mendez facilitated the discussion afterwards. “…the point was to challenge them to work with what they had.  Life isn’t fair… it’s about working with the tools you are given… it’s not about a competition, it’s about working together” said Mendez.

Attending the event as honored guests were ITEP business partners from the Port of Los Angeles, Conoco Phillips, U.S. Department of Transportation, Fast Lane Transportation, Los Angeles Harbor College, and Lloyds TSB International.  Students also had the opportunity to visit booths and speak with representatives from the United States Coast Guard, Los Angeles Harbor College, Cal State Dominguez Hills and USC.

ITEP would like to thank Rob Vickery, not only for his inspirational remarks, but also for Lloyds’ generous sponsorship, which made possible the delicious food and delightful décor.  Many thanks as well to Leticia Finley, Akary Busto, and the ITA student leaders who put together a phenomenal event that will set the tone for the rest of the Academy experience.

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Filed under Banning High School, ITA

ITEP Wins Organization of the Year Award!

This year, ITEP was selected by the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce (WCC)  as their 2011 Organization of the Year joining the ranks of previous award recipients the Port of Los Angeles, and St. Mary’s Foundation.

ITEP CEO Amy Grat attended the celebration and graciously accepted the award on behalf of ITEP from Cecilia Moreno, Community Affairs Advocate for the Port of Los Angeles and previous ITEP Keeper of the Flame Award winner, and Pat Wilson, Wilmington Chamber of Commerce President and ITA Advisory Board member from Fast lane Transportation. “It was a tremendous honor to stand up on stage with Cecilia and Pat and look out into a crowd made up of so many people and organizations who have shared so much of their time, energy, and resources with ITEP” said Grat.

ITEP would like to express a heartfelt thank you to the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce for recognizing all the wonderful things ITEP has done and will continue to do. Amy Grat remarked that “to be recognized in Wilmington by the business leaders in trade transportation and logistics was the utmost validation of ITEP’s work these past 12 years in the Harbor area.”

Established in 1904, the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce works to promote, support and enhance a positive business environment and improve the quality of life in the community. The WCC has a powerful list of Chamber Officers from companies including The Port of Los Angeles, Tesoro, BNSF and recent member of the month, Metro Ports who has been a member since 1955 and long standing supporter of ITEP. Under the leadership of Pat Wilson, the WCC is sure to achieve, and continue to achieve their mission.

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