Freight News, People, Sea

Stuyvesant, Castellanos Resign at Port of San Diego

[ February 8, 2024   //   ]

The Port of San Diego said President and CEO Joe Stuyvesant and board Commissioner Rafael Castellanos resigned from their respective positions on Jan. 29.
Stuyvesant, who had served in his role since February 2021, was placed on administrative leave by the seven-member San Diego Board of Port Commissioners in July 2023 pending an internal investigation. The public agency’s board haven’t discussed action, and an attorney for Stuyvesant threatened litigation, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
The board’s action coincided with the departure of the port’s long-time CEO Robert DeAngelis.
Stuyvesant and the board reached a negotiated separation agreement. The port board has not announced a process for finding Stuyvesant’s permanent replacement. Randa Coniglio was rehired as active CEO.
Castellanos, who recently served as board chairman, is a commercial real estate attorney. He joined the board in 2013; his term was to expire at the end of 2024. He said he stepped down to return to his law practice, and told the Union-Tribune that he faced “faced serious family health issues” with his mother, who died last year, and his father, who struggled with Alzheimer’s.
Castellanos had expressed interest in the CEO position last year, and sought guidance from the California Fair Political Practices Commission, on any potential conflicts of interest. The commission said he may be eligible if he were to resign and not participate in the board’s hiring process, The Union-Tribune reported. It’s not known whether he will pursue the vacant CEO position with Stuyvesant’s departure.
Stuyvesant served for decades with the U.S. Navy in top military and civilian ports, including overseeing administrative operations of Navy bases in California and Nevada. He served as CEO since February 2021. His contributions to the port included reaching an agreement with the Navy to exit a port property; a settlement with San Diego Gas & Electric that resulted in a written commitment to port electrification requirements, replacing diesel power to reduce emissions and improve air quality.
He also played a leadership role in developing a program to monetize and leverage low-carbon fuel credits for Navy ships, bringing revenue to the port. He also helped to negotiate a settlement with the Navy that returns waterfront property on Harbor Drive to the port.
“We thank Joe Stuyvesant for his service to the Port of San Diego. We wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Frank Urtasun, port chairman, in a statement.
Castellanos was credited with navigating port real estate projects, including the US$1.3 billion Gaylord Pacific resort hotel and convention center on the Chula Vista Bayfront, and San Diego Symphony’s Rady Shell at Jacobs Park.
He also led port modernization and electrification efforts, including more than US$60 million of cargo handling and cruise vessel electrification improvements and the first fully electric harbor crane system in North America.

Joe Stuyvesant

Rafael Castellanos