International Trade Education Programs to Honor Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz with 2010 Keeper of the Flame Award

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“ITEP has become successful thanks to the hard work and dedication of Geraldine Knatz and the Port of Los Angeles staff who have supported us,” said ITEP CEO & Founder Carol Rowen.

International Trade Education Programs (ITEP), will honor Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D., with the 2010 Keeper of the Flame Award, Thursday, April 22nd at its 10th Annual Scholarship Awards and Fundraiser Dinner in San Pedro.

Knatz, who is the first female executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, oversees the daily operations and management of the nation’s number one container port. Under her leadership, the Port has reduced air emissions and health risks while expanding capital development programs to accommodate the port’s future growth as a premiere Pacific Gateway and national economic engine.

“ITEP has become successful thanks to the hard work and dedication of Geraldine Knatz and the Port of Los Angeles staff who have supported us for the last decade,” said ITEP CEO & Founder Carol Rowen. “The Port offers internships that better prepare the students for the marketplace.”

Under Knatz’s leadership, the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan was created and implemented in November 2006. The Plan has paved the way for the Los Angeles Harbor Commission to approve two major container terminal expansion projects and a new deep-draft marine oil terminal. While her impressive tenure at the Port of Long Beach spanned two decades, Knatz began her maritime career as an environmental scientist at the Port of Los Angeles in 1977.

Before returning to the Port of Los Angeles in 2006, Knatz previously served as managing director of the neighboring Port of Long Beach. As the number two executive at the Port of Long Beach, she oversaw a $2.3 billion capital improvement program and spearheaded a number of environmental initiatives, including development of the Green Port Policy.

“The Port of Los Angeles has been a huge leader in keeping the torch lit at ITEP,” said ITEP Board Chairman Tom Good of Matson Navigation. “We would not be here today without the support from the ports and contributions from corporations and the international trade industry. They’re changing lives of high school students with career opportunities offering life changing work experiences.”

An alumna of the University of Southern California, where Knatz currently teaches in the Civil Engineering School, Knatz earned two degrees from USC: a doctorate in biological science and a master of science in environmental engineering. She also holds an undergraduate degree in zoology from Rutgers University. Born and raised in New Jersey, Knatz resides in Long Beach with her husband and two sons.

ITEP programs assess the needs of high schools and the surrounding transportation, logistics and industry needs. ITEP works with schools that need to boost graduation rates, decrease the number of dropouts, and enhance standardized test scores. Students who graduate from the struggling schools rarely had opportunities or motivation to pursue further education or employment. That’s where ITEP comes to the rescue by designing programs to fulfill those needs, guiding and mentoring students on a career path of current jobs of the future. “They discover a whole new world of career choices they would have never imagined,” said Rowen.

ITEP academy students graduate high school job ready and college prepared. By working together with local industry leaders, school administrators, and other community based organizations, ITEP has built learning academies in:

1. Logistics
2. International Trade
3. Environmental Sciences and Issues
4. Global Safety and Security
5. Business
6. Maritime Agriculture, Transportation, Cuisine and Hospitality
7. Trade, Transportation, and Logistics.

Public Works, Los Angeles Unified School District's leading evaluator of school programs, has analyzed the results of ITEP's 4 established academies at Phineas Banning High School (Banning). These ITEP academies are largely credited for helping Banning become the only California high school to leave "Program-Improvement-5" status, the most severe federal watch list for underperforming schools.

Results from Public Works' program analysis can be found on the “Accomplishments” page on website. These results focus on the main indicators of academic success: grade point average (GPA), attendance (leading to graduation rates), and improved state test scores.

For more about ITEP academies and to sponsor the 10th Annual ITEP Scholarship Dinner and fundraising program visit: To learn how you can participate and support the national model program visit:


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