As the chief executive officer of international trade and development for the Port of Hueneme in southern and central California, Kristin Decas is responsible for overseeing daily business operations at the port, including establishing strategies and direction, budgeting, modeling and settling the company’s culture. She is also responsible for allocating capital within the company and building and leading the senior executive team.
Ms. Decas received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Vermont in 1991 and a master’s degree in environmental policy and law from the University of Denver in 1997. Attributing her success to her hard work and the opportunities she’s taken advantage of, she was on the governor’s seaport council for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for more than five years, and prior to holding her current position, she served as CEO and port director for the Port of New Bedford in Massachusetts. During her time there, she was able to complete a fiscal turnaround and generate a healthy profit for the port. It also grew significantly in cruise and recreational boating activities.
Since Ms. Decas moved to the Port of Hueneme in February 2012, the port has experienced several moments of continued success. For example, tonnage totals have grown from 1.3 million tons to more than 1.575 million metric tons, which makes 2015 the port’s strongest sustained trade year since it opened in 1937. She also planned the first annual Port Banana Festival, which brought more than 10,000 visitors. Some of Port Hueneme’s more recent successes include securing a $12.3 million “transportation investment generating economic recovery” grant, as well as a $1.5 million “economic development administration” grant, through which the port will be participating in harbor deepening projects with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Looking to the future, Ms. Decas hopes to continue adding to the sustainable growth of Port Hueneme.
In addition to her work with the port, Ms. Decas was the former chairwoman of the board for AAPA, and is an appointee for the U.S. Department of Transportations’ National Freight Advisory Committee for the U.S. Marine Transportation System National Advisory Council.
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