AltaSea: The Beacon – August 8, 2022

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AltaSea Continues to Strengthen Its Board as Lundquist Joins and Knatz Takes Over as Chair

Dr. Melanie Lundquist, LHD, Known as One of California’s Most Active Philanthropists, Plans to Help AltaSea Expand Its Reach to Inspire the Next Generation

AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles is proud to announce that Dr. Melanie Lundquist, LHD, one of California’s most generous and fearless philanthropists, has joined the AltaSea Board of Trustees; and Dr. Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D., former executive director of the Port of Los Angeles and AltaSea board member since 2018, will lead the organization as board chair.

“AltaSea has attracted some of the most incredible, forward-thinking, and innovative leaders to our board, so to add someone of Melanie’s significant stature reinforces once again that our work is meaningful and continues to resonate with those who see the benefit in ocean-related solutions to climate change in the fields of business, science, and education,” said AltaSea President and CEO Terry Tamminen. “In addition, Geraldine has played a critical role in helping AltaSea create focal points of collaboration and expand its mission. Her background as a respected leader in the global goods movement and her leadership as chair will be vital as we continue making important progress.”

Lundquist was named “Philanthropist of the Year” in 2019 by the Los Angeles Business Journal. She and her husband Richard are the second-largest donors to AltaSea behind the Annenberg Foundation. Lundquist is a member of the University of Southern California (USC) President’s Leadership Council and Vice Chair of the Board at the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. The Lundquists are signatories of the Giving Pledge and have appeared four times on The Philanthropy 50, the annual list of America’s 50 most generous philanthropists.

“What impresses me is how AltaSea connects research to action in the fight against climate change,” Lundquist said. “I am proud to be joining the board and look forward to helping AltaSea become an even greater engine of innovation and inspiration, especially for our young people. AltaSea is quickly becoming a place where students can gain interactive, hands-on experience directly with entrepreneurs, focused on the blue economy.”

Melanie Lundquist speaking at the March 2022 AltaSea Ribbon Cutting for the USC Nuzhdin Research Lab and The Holdfast Aquaculture Lab. Photo by Taso Papadakis

Knatz, an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering, took over as chair of the board in January 2022. Knatz was the first donor to AltaSea’s Doors to the Future Campaign, purchasing Door No. 1. Knatz has also chronicled the fascinating history of the City Dock No. 1, the pier that is home to AltaSea in her latest book about the Port of Los Angeles. She is currently a Professor of the Practice of Policy and Engineering at USC.

“AltaSea’s 35-acre campus devoted to marine and maritime research, education and business entrepreneurialism has an important role to play as Los Angeles helps lead the way in promoting the blue economy,” said Knatz, who as the first Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles from January 2006 through January 2014, helped create and implement the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan.

“Southern California has already proven that it can be a leader in this area,” said Knatz. “Every day, we look out over the ocean and know that the answer to a lot of the earth’s challenges is out there somewhere. Our goal now is to encourage fresh thinking, new ideas and a real commitment from business and science to uncover those answers and put them to work improving our lives and the health of our planet.”

During the past twelve months, AltaSea has secured $24 million in local, state, and federal funding commitments and is a finalist for a $32 million U.S. Economic Development Administration federal grant. It recently opened USC’s Nuzhdin Aquaculture Lab and Holdfast Aquaculture Lab. AltaSea has also been a hub for the national discussion about effective and sustainable use of ocean resources, hosting U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, Congresswoman Nanette Barragán, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, State Senator Steve Bradford, Assemblyman Richard Bloom, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and many others interested in this unique and innovative public-private ocean institute.

In addition, AltaSea has been a leader in encouraging both business pioneers and students, launching the first ever Watts-based blue economy collaborative for minority entrepreneurs earlier this year and engaging 34 LAUSD Schools in LA STEM Collective educational programming focused on the ocean.

“It is an exciting time at AltaSea, and I know our new board leadership will continue to foster the innovation and collaboration AltaSea has become known for,” said Tamminen.

About Dr. Lundquist

Dr. Melanie Lundquist, LHD, is an activist philanthropist whose voice is as fearless as her charity work. Melanie and her husband Richard are agents of change and two of California’s most significant philanthropists. The Lundquists are signatories of the Giving Pledge and have appeared four times on The Philanthropy 50, the annual list of America’s 50 most generous philanthropists. Their gifts have created the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a sustainable, national transformation model for underserved non-charter K-12 public schools and they have made the largest single donor contribution to a non-teaching/training hospital in the United States to establish cardiovascular, neuroscience and orthopedic institutes and the expansion of the emergency department at Torrance Memorial Medical Center. The Lundquists have also spurred biomedical innovation and research through their significant gifts to The Lundquist Institute and have supported McPherson College with the largest-ever gift to a private liberal arts college in Kansas. They also support innovative solutions to climate change through AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles and the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California.

More About Dr. Knatz

Geraldine Knatz is Professor of the Practice of Policy and Engineering, a joint appointment between the University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy and the Viterbi School of Engineering. She previously served as the executive director of the Port of Los Angeles from 2006 to January 2014. She was the first woman to serve in this role and made a significant impact through the creation and implementation of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan, an aggressive plan that reduced air emissions by combined port operations of over 70% within five years. Prior to that, she was managing director of the Port of Long Beach. She is past president of the American Association of Port Authorities and past president of the International Association of Ports and Harbors. She served for 10 years (2007-2017) on California’s Ocean Protection Council from 2007 to 2017, first appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and reappointed by Governor Brown. In 2014, she was named a member of the National Academy of Engineering in recognition of her international leadership in the engineering and development of environmentally clean urban seaports. Knatz has authored numerous publications as well as two award-winning books on the Port of Los Angeles.


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