For Immediate Release
April 20, 2004
Oakland, Calif. (April 20, 2004) - The Port of Oakland Board of Port Commissioners has appointed Judith Blackwell as its new Chief Financial Officer replacing Fred Rickert, who will be moving to accept a position in Hawaii. The Commission announced the appointment of Ms. Blackwell at its regular meeting today and she will assume her new role effective Monday, April 26, 2004.
"Judith Blackwell has financial experience in both the private and public sectors that will be invaluable to this organization. " said Port Board President John Protopappas.
Ms. Blackwell was most recently the City Purchaser and Director of Contract Administration for the City and County of San Francisco and was responsible for the purchase of all commodities and services required by various San Francisco City departments and offices. She also managed the bidding, award, and administration of all City contracts.
Chair of the Port of Oakland Audit, Budget Finance Committee Commissioner Patricia Scates said, "While we're sorry to see Fred Rickert leave, we wish him every success in his new position. We're confident that Judith Blackwell brings with her the type of diverse background in the financial arena that will be a good fit with the many challenges of handling the overall fiduciary responsibility for the Port of Oakland's three lines of business - our airport, seaport and commercial real estate. In addition to her diverse private and public sector experience she has introduced a number of innovative ideas that are very exciting."
Prior to her relocation to the West Coast, Ms. Blackwell was the Chief Financial Officer for the City of Atlanta and was instrumental in eliminating the City’s then $40 million deficit. During her tenure as CFO, the City was able to establish and nurture a $35 million surplus. She was responsible for managing the City of Atlanta’s budget, debt issuance, and investment and collection of City funds.
Ms. Blackwell has had extensive municipal finance experience having acted as bond counsel in numerous transactions with Sales, Goodloe & Golden in Atlanta, Georgia; as Vice-President of Public Finance with US Securities in Boston, Massachusetts; and as Manager of the Municipal Finance Department with Fitch, Wiley, Richlin and Tourse in Boston. She also has more than 10 years experience with several firms and agencies including the State of New York mortgage agency in corporate and residential real estate closings.
As Chief Financial Officer for the Port of Oakland, Ms. Blackwell will direct and administer the financial administration and accounting activities for the Port of Oakland. She will assume overall responsibility for the financial functions of the Port’s three unique lines of business - maritime, aviation, and commercial real estate. With total assets of $2.5 billion, the Port’s budgeted revenue for FY 03-04 is $233 million with total annual operating expenses at $208 million. A significant capital improvement program of several major expansion and improvement projects is now underway at both its international seaport and Oakland International Airport currently budgeted at $1.1 billion.
Ms. Blackwell will direct the investment of Port funds by trustee banks; review, recommend and implement financing mechanisms for the issuance of short and long term debt; and direct the Port of Oakland purchasing function and Enterprise Risk Management department.
Judith Blackwell graduated from the Columbia University School of Law in 1983 and has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Chicago. Ms. Blackwell is an executive board member of the Black American Law Student Association and a member of the Human Rights Law Review.
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport and 19 miles of waterfront. The Oakland seaport is the 4th busiest containerport in the U.S.; Oakland International Airport is one of the fastest growing airports in the nation with more than 13 million passengers a year; and Jack London Square is Oakland's premier entertainment spot along the waterfront. The Port of Oakland was established in 1927 and is an autonomous department of the City of Oakland.
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