Director of Communications and Community Relations
Port of Long Beach, California
Kerry Gerot heads the Port of Long Beach Communications Division as Director of Communications and Community Relations for the nation’s second-busiest seaport. She was appointed to the post in August 2017 by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, governing body for the Port, and reports to the Executive Director.
As Division Director, Ms. Gerot supervises a 20-person communications and community relations team and directs a budget of more than $8.5 million annually. She oversees media relations, crisis communications, community engagement, branding, digital media and educational outreach and works with all divisions of the Harbor Department to disseminate information to the public, media and industry stakeholders about the Port’s role in facilitating domestic and international trade. She also directs the production of community and industry newsletters and other publications, produces video programming, develops international and local advertising and creates strategies to promote the advancement of the Port by informing, educating and engaging the Port’s diverse stakeholders.
Before coming to the Port, Ms. Gerot was Public Affairs Officer for the Long Beach City Manager’s Office for nearly three years. Prior to that, she served in a similar capacity at the Long Beach Airport.
Earlier in her varied career she oversaw the FBO Division of JFI Jets; headed KGP, her own media and marketing consulting firm; and was a Vice President at Soundelux Entertainment Group. Her early experience also included roles as editor, managing editor, art director and graphic designer. She was also a partner in a successful restaurant in San Francisco.
In the community, she is a former Chair of the Human Relations Commission for the City of Long Beach, a Long Beach Community Emergency Response Team member, and former Board President of the Long Beach Downtown Residential Council, the North Pine Neighborhood Association and her home owners’ association.
A resident of Long Beach’s Belmont Shore neighborhood, she has lived in Spain, Prague and on the U.S. East Coast. Her love of travel and adventure has resulted in journeys to 42 of the United States and 45 countries.
Ms. Gerot holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and a master’s degree in Professional Writing, both from the University of Southern California. She also holds a private pilot certificate with the FAA and is a licensed scuba diver.
Frequently recognized by the industry for innovative and effective programs, the Port of Long Beach Communications Division is the recipient of the 2017 Overall Award of Communications Excellence presented by the American Association of Port Authorities, and in 2011, 2012 and 2014, the Port received the prestigious AAPA Dan Maynard Communications Award for Overall Excellence.
The Port of Long Beach is the premier U.S. gateway for trans-Pacific trade and a trailblazer in innovative goods movement, safety, environmental stewardship and sustainability. As the second-busiest container seaport in the United States, the Port handles trade valued at more than $194 billion annually and supports 1.4 million trade-related jobs cross the nation, including more than 300,000 in Southern California. Again named Best Green Seaport worldwide in 2018, the Port is committed to environmentally sustainable practices and policies that also improve operational efficiency. This includes an unprecedented $46.5 million Community Grants Program to lessen Port impacts on air quality, traffic, noise and water quality. Founded in 1911, the Port today encompasses 3,200 acres with 35 miles of waterfront, 10 piers, 80 berths and 66 gantry cranes. In 2017, the Port handled more than 7.5 million container units, the best year in its history.