McKenna Announces Retirement from Marine Exchange

Captain Dick McKenna, Executive Director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California, has announced his retirement, effective March 31, 2013. McKenna, 70, has served as executive director since 2008. He joined the Marine Exchange as deputy executive director in 1993.

In addition to providing critical maritime information to more than 200 customers per month, McKenna was instrumental in establishing the Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) at the Marine Exchange, which monitors and facilitates the safe navigation of all commercial ship traffic within a 25 mile arc around the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. He also oversaw the installation of a 100% renewable energy installation, consisting of an 80 kilowatt solar power project complemented by a wind turbine system generating 7.2 kilowatts.

He leads a staff of 20 civilians, and a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) contingent of 10, with an annual budget of $2.4 million. The Marine Exchange of Southern California is unique among the nation’s VTS in having a public/private partnership with the USCG.

Captain McKenna was recently honored by the Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce with its Lifetime Achievement Award, and by California State Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) as District Veteran of the Year. Before joining the Marine Exchange, Captain McKenna served 28 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring with the rank of Captain. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and his service included ten sea tours, three of those in command.

Captain Jim Morgan, President of the Marine Exchange Board of Directors, said “Dick has always been the consummate professional. His contributions to the Southern California maritime industry are noteworthy and appreciated by all whom had the privilege of working with him. He will be greatly missed, but we wish him a long and well deserved retirement. We thank him for his leadership, passion for maritime commerce and above all, his friendship.” Morgan added that an open recruitment is underway for the Executive Director position. Complete information on the recruitment is posted at the Marine Exchange homepage,

The Marine Exchange of Southern California is a non-profit organization first established in 1923. It has evolved into one of the world’s foremost organizations, and utilizes state-of-the-art electronic and computer technology in serving the Southern California region.


By Professional Mariner Staff