Campus: CSU Long Beach -- July 8, 2005

Cal State Long Beach Administrator Receives 2005 Stanley T. Olafson Award

Marianne Venieris, executive director for the Center for International Trade and Transportation (CITT) at California State University, Long Beach, received the 2005 Stanley T. Olafson Award at the recent Foreign Trade Association annual World Trade Week luncheon and trade fair held in Los Angeles.

CITT, a multidisciplinary center for multimodal transportation studies and research, education, training and policy analysis, is run through CSULB's University College and Extension Services (UCES).

The Olafson award is the highest honor an individual can receive in the local international trade community, and Venieris is in pretty good company. Past recipients during the 70-year history of the award include Walt Disney of Disney Productions (1947), Jack Warner of Warner Bros. Studios (1955), and former Los Angeles mayors Fletcher Bowron (1945), Sam Yorty (1973), and Tom Bradley (1984).

"It was certainly a highlight of my career and a great honor," said Venieris, whose entrepreneurial spirit brought together representatives of the multi-faceted trade and logistics industry to jointly address training and education issues. "It's just one of those things that I would never believe would happen to me. I am particularly pleased as it reflects on the quality of work being done for the industry at CSULB.

"It also speaks well to the partnerships we have established with the industry over the past several years," she added. "We definitely have become an active contributor in this exciting industry. Our role goes beyond training and education, but also providing a neutral forum where all parties of the industry and its community stakeholders can come together."

The award is named after Olafson, a former World Trade manager of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, who was a champion for international trade in the region. It was Olafson who, in 1926, organized the first World Trade Week to create community awareness of the important role played by its harbor in the local community. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared World Trade Week a national observance of the international trade industry.

"When you look at past recipients of this award, you realize the high-caliber individuals who have been honored and Marianne is certainly in that category," said Cal State Long Beach President Robert C. Maxson. "Her dedication and deep involvement in the transportation and trade community is well documented and she is most deserving of this prestigious honor."

Venieris is also the director of transportation programs at the CSULB Foundation and serves as deputy director of METRANS Transportation Center, a partnership of CSULB and the University of Southern California. Sponsored by U.S. Department of Transportation and Caltrans, METRANS is dedicated to solving metropolitan transportation problems through research, education and outreach.

Responsible for the establishment of the CITT, Venieris has developed strong partnerships with the international trade and logistics community. She oversees the development, administration and marketing of graduate level and professional development training programs, certificates, professional designations, manages technology transfer and outreach activities.

In addition, Venieris is on the board of directors at Gateway Cities Partnership, Inc., a regional economic development organization for 27 cities in southeast Los Angeles County, and chair of the Gateway Cities' Trade and Transportation Cluster. She is vice chair of the California Marine and Intermodal Transportation Advisory Council and on Long Beach Mayor Beverly O'Neill's and Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn's Supply Chain Advisory Task Force.

Venieris is a graduate of Leadership Long Beach (1997), and she was profiled by the Journal of Commerce in 2004 as one of 22 women in Trade and Transportation in the United States with important and influential positions.

A native of Germany, she worked there in the construction industry, specializing in reinforced concrete. Venieris earned a bachelor's degree in marketing and an MBA with an emphasis in management/organizational development, both from CSULB.

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