Talk about your achievements and your goals by running the second largest US port

As soon as Mario Cordero gets up, he cannot wait to go to work as executive director of the Port of Long Beach, the second largest port in the United States.

“I have fulfilled my father's wishes, to work hard and choose a job that I love,” says Mario who is serving two years in office.

The Mexican American made history by becoming the first Latino to be the director of the port of Long Beach. He is also the only Latino to be a director of a large port in the country.

Son of Mexican immigrants, Mario and Alicia Cordero, was born in southern central Los Angeles, but grew up in the city of Gardena in Los Angeles County; and later he went to live at the port of Long Beach.

"I decided to be a lawyer because at 17 I met one who impressed me so much, that when I got home I told my mom, I know what I want to be."

Mario Cordero never imagined becoming director of the Port of Long Beach. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

Mario says that the lawyer he met in a youth retreat in Malibu told them about the need for more Mexican-American lawyers and their impact on justice.

“When I graduated from the law school of the University of Santa Clara, it was a very special day for me,” he acknowledges.

The second date that has most excited him in his life is when after exercising law in Long Beach, in 2011 he received an invitation from the White House to work in the Federal Maritime Commission in the administration of President Obama. He was in that position until January 2017 when President Trump assumed the reins of the country.

Months later, the Board of Commissioners of the Port of Long Beach, of which he was a member for eight years before going to Washington, appointed him director of the Port of Long Beach. That was the third most exciting moment in the professional life of this maritime leader.

"It is a pride that there is finally a Latino as director of a major port. My appointment is a benefit for the community and for a state where the Hispanic population is significant", considers.

Mario Cordero exposes the achievements made as director of the Port of Long Beach. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

The achievements

Mario says he is very satisfied with the work done. "Last year we mobilized a historical load of 8.1 million," he says.

On the trade war between China and the United States, he is very confident that an arrangement will be made.

“Neither country will win in this war and keep raising rates because international trade is affected. As a consequence, cargo mobilization has been reduced between 26 and 27% in the last year since 69% of the business that enters Long Beach comes directly from China, ”he says.

He explains that the average public does not know that the burden has diminished because of this war, and that now the country with which the United States has the largest trade in volume, is Mexico.

“For Mexico, the United States is the destination number of exports. We buy more from them. I am here to promote that trade, because future opportunities are immense, ”he says.

Mario Cordero, director of the port of Long Beach and Latin pride. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

Plans for 2020

The director of the Port of Long Beach points out that the priority for the year 2020 will be to improve operational excellence to offer maximum efficiency in container mobilization.

No doubt they can do it thanks to the commitment of their team's work. That led to their cargo mobilization numbers being excellent in 2018.

“We have between 10,000 and 15,000 workers in the terminals. We are responsible for one in five jobs at Long Beach, ”he says.

Mario is very proud because next year, the 8,800-foot-long bridge will open in April with three lanes on each side that will link the Port of Long Beach with the Island Terminal to replace the old 1967 bridge.

And they are about to finish a new fully automated terminal. "This terminal alone would be the number six port in the United States," he says.

As director of the port of Long Beach he wants to promote the importance of trade with Mexico. (Aurelia Ventura / The Opinion)

Example to follow

This leader recommends that young Latinos yearn to become leaders, study and work hard and with dedication.

But he also advises them to learn to work as a team, to collaborate, make relationships and develop a very high ethic.

Remember that his mother repeated the phrase a lot, "Tell me who you are with and I will tell you who you are." With this I wanted to tell him that he should relate to intelligent people.

Mario never forgets his father's advice: tWork hard and do things right.

“I was about ten years old when my father told me,‘ you are going to help me paint the edge of the door. ’ I did it wrong and he noticed. I did not give it importance. He told me, you have to get used to doing things correctly. ”

And he reveals that he has been a lucky man for having grown up with his two parents in the house. “And you don't want to instill Catholicism in anyone. Not at all. But from that Christian faith, I learned values ​​that have helped me a lot in my life, ”he says.

He ends by saying that the false representation that the Trump administration makes of immigrants hurts a lot. "I don't agree, because my parents didn't come here to steal or to collect public assistance (welfare), but for the opportunity to work and support your family“, He underlines.


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