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Port of Oakland Announces Three Strategic Hires

January 21st, 2011

Press Releases

For Immediate Release
January 21, 2011

Port of Oakland Announces Three Strategic Hires

New hires to help propel Port’s strategic priorities

Oakland, CA – January 21, 2011 – The Port of Oakland makes three strategic hires to help propel its five-year strategic plan. Isaac Kos-Read joins the Port as Director of External Affairs and Denyce Holsey is named Director of Administration. Marsha Peterson, who has been with the Port Attorney’s office, has been promoted to Port Labor Advisor. All are beginning their new roles at the Port of Oakland in January/February 2011.

Oakland Board of Port Commissioners President James Head stated, “We are in the first year of a five-year strategic plan that calls out priority areas including: Port Workforce and Operations; and Communications and Information. The hiring of Ms. Holsey, Ms. Peterson and Mr. Kos-Read in these leadership positions will deliver quality and innovative management in support of our strategic plan.”

Last year the Port Board of Commissioners in a series of strategic planning sessions with staff and stakeholders determined priority areas to help ensure its business and strategic goals. These strategic hires will help the Port pro-actively communicate with its multiple stakeholders and deliver a high-performing workplace with partnership and accountability.

According to Port of Oakland Executive Director Omar R. Benjamin, “We are very fortunate to have these experienced professionals join our senior management team.” Benjamin explained the value they bring to the Port, “They will be essential in helping achieve our goals of aligning the Port’s workforce, organizational structure and personnel management practices; and promoting a proactive and responsive communications model.”

Director of External Affairs: Isaac Kos-Read joins the Port of Oakland after serving for two years as the Senior Director of Government Affairs for the Port of Los Angeles. There he helped the Port secure significant federal stimulus funding and launched a marine research center project, in line with L.A.’s “green growth” strategy. Prior to his work in Southern California, Mr. Kos-Read was an advocate and Senior Director for Northern California with Townsend Public Affairs, Inc. (TPA). With TPA from 2001-2008, Mr. Kos-Read worked with public and private sector leaders to secure over $300 million in local, state and federal funding for roads, parks, museums, schools and water infrastructure for clients around the state. This included $38.5 million for the widening of Highway 4 in Contra Costa County and $10 million for the Oakland School for the Arts Fox Theater Project in downtown Oakland.

Mr. Kos-Read graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University with a BA in economics and Latin American studies. After Stanford, he participated in the United States Fulbright Garcia-Robles Binational Business Grant program in Mexico. He now lives with his wife in their home near Lake Merritt in Oakland.

Director of Administration: Denyce Holsey has more than twenty years of experience in the field of human resources and comes to the Port of Oakland from the City of Pleasanton where she has served as the Human Resources Manager since 2006. Prior to joining the City of Pleasanton, Ms. Holsey held positions as the Interim Human Resources Director for the City of Tracy, Employee Relations Manager for the County of Alameda, and Principal Labor Relations Representative for Santa Clara County.

Ms. Holsey has also served as a board member and as the first African American female president for both the National Public Employer Labor Relations Association and the California Public Employers Labor Relations Association; she received an award of excellence from the latter in 2007. Ms. Holsey also serves on the board of the Northern California Chapter of the International Personnel Management Association – Human Resources and as a committee member for the League of California Cities. She is also a sought-after trainer in all areas of human resources and staff development. Ms. Holsey holds a BA in journalism from the University of Southern California and a MS in counseling from California State University, Fullerton.

Port Labor Advisor: Marsha Carpenter Peterson, prior to her appointment as Port Labor advisor, served the Port of Oakland for 11 years as Deputy Port Attorney with a focus on labor and employment. Ms. Peterson began her career as a litigation attorney in the honors program at the Department of Justice, Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch, where she garnered 40 successful federal reported decisions in employment and government contract law. She continued her career with the Oakland Army Base as its first Labor Counselor and was promoted to be the first female and first African-American Deputy Staff Judge Advocate. Thereafter, she was the General Counsel for the Fleet Industrial Supply Center, Naval Supply, Oakland, until its closure under the Base Realignment and Closure Act process.

Ms. Peterson is the former President of the Oakland Bay Area Chapter of Links Incorporated, where, as former Vice-President for Programs, she designed the award-winning “Linking Enrichment to Success – Project LETS,” at the Lafayette Elementary School; she has served as an Adjunct Professor for Alternative Dispute Resolution at John F. Kennedy University School of Law; and has served on the Board of Directors for The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Area. Ms. Peterson holds a BA in English from the University of California, Berkeley, where she also completed a year long course of study in African Literature and political thought at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa. She is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C. Ms. Peterson is a native of Oakland, California where she currently resides.

About the Port of Oakland
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport and 20 miles of waterfront. The Oakland seaport is the fifth busiest container port in the U.S.; Oakland International Airport offers 130 daily flights; and the Port’s real estate includes commercial developments such as Jack London Square and hundreds of acres of public parks and conservation areas. The Port of Oakland was established in 1927 and is an independent department of the City of Oakland. Please visit: www.portofoakland.com.

Media Contacts:

Marilyn Sandifur
Port of Oakland Spokesperson
(510) 627-1193


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