Holly Blauser began her PA career as a Management Trainee in 1964. In World Trade she joined some of the first travelling teams to introduce the Trade Center. An assignment in Planning and Development gave her the broad strokes of hiring and budget issues. She returned to World Trade as an administrator and, before computers, had the assignment to locate space for every client. She later was a Lease Negotiator just as the Trade Center was opening. She retained the two clients who suffered from the first Trade Center fire.
She then went to Personnel where she worked on the Trainee Program and then the Influx and Affirmative Action Programs for the agency. She wrote the first initiative for Handicapped Affirmative Action. Ms. Blauser received two Unit Citations. one for her work on World Trade Recovery and later for Handicapped Affirmative Action. Her final assignment was in Public Affairs. She supported the Port Authority’s trans-Hudson ferry initiative and managed the agency’s Speakers Bureau, which won first place in the nationwide Speakers Outreach for the World Trade Center Recovery of ’93. She was the first management employee to participate in the program for part-time employees. and retired after 30 years of service.
Steve Borrelli joined the Port Authority in 1975 as a temporary Buildings and Grounds Attendant (paper picker) at JFK Airport. In a span of over 33 years, he held positions in Planning & Development, Comptrollers, Audit, Treasury, Tunnels and Bridges, Management & Budget, and Port Commerce departments. During his tenure with the Port Authority, he was part of numerous projects including the revitalization of the Bus Terminal, Net Lease of the WTC, Pan Am Bankruptcy, JetBlue Terminal 5, Purchase of Stewart Airport, New PATH Rail Car Program and the restructuring of the Port Newark Container Terminal Lease that included $500 million in private investment. He retired in 2012 as an Assistant Director, Port Business Development. Steve is part of a long line of Port Authority employees (father and brother) that amassed over 110 years of service.
Elizabeth De Laura began her Port Authority career in 1959. She held positions in the Tunnels & Bridges Department, Management Services Department, Purchasing, Office of the Chief Financial Officer and in 1990 became a Financial Analyst in the Treasury Department, a position she held until her retirement in August of 1995.
Liz has held the position of Treasurer for Women’s Equity and Holy Trinity Church in Hillsdale, NJ. Following her retirement, she worked as a Deputy Tax Collector for the Borough of Montvale, NJ. She is a co-host for the quarterly luncheon of the South/Central Port Authority retirees’ group, which meets at the Captain’s Inn in Forked River, NJ.
Known to his friends and colleagues as “Frank,” joined the Port Authority in July 1976 as a Facility Operations Agent (later renamed “Tunnels & Bridge Agent”). Frank followed his father’s footsteps and joined the Port Authority Police in 1979, and years later pursued the many opportunities that the Port Authority afforded for advancement to other career paths in Tunnels & Bridges, Aviation, Public Safety, and Real Estate. Frank retired in 2011 as the agency’s Director of Real Estate Services. Frank comes from a family of Port Authority employees and his father, Frank Sr., retired as a Port Authority Police Sergeant. Frank resides in Allendale New Jersey with his beautiful wife and three adult children and many grandchildren. He continues to work as a consultant with the JFK airlines as Executive Director for the Terminal Four Airlines Consortium, and he serves on the Boards of the JFK Airport Chamber of Commerce, the JFK Airport Catholic Guild, the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, and, of course, PARA.
Rita Du Brow began her 32-year Port Authority career in the World Trade Institute, part of the World Trade Department, in September 1973. She later worked in the Operating Personnel Department for ten years, handling all clerical and some union recruitment, before moving into the Human Resources Benefits Division as an Insurance Plans Administrator. In that post, she handled all active and retiree benefits, including health, dental, and life insurance issues, for ten years. During that time, Rita worked with PARA to help solve retiree issues. Rita continued in the Benefits Division for the next eight years as a Retirement Specialist handling all aspects of the retirement process for all Port Authority employees. Rita completed her career in the Economic Development Department at the Teleport in Staten Island as a Senior Administrator and retired in 2005. Currently as the longest serving PARA Board Member, since 2006, Rita is the chair of the PARA Benefits Committee and is the liaison between PARA members and the Benefits Division of the Port Authority to help resolve retirees’ issues.
Karen Eastman joined The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in June 1978 and retired in June 2018. Karen, a career service employee, worked for a year in Engineering and then went on to work in various positions in the Office of the Secretary for 39 years, rising from a clerical position to management positions including Executive Assistant, Freedom of Information Officer, Executive Adviser to the Executive Director, and Assistant Secretary. Karen was made Acting Corporate Secretary in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks, and was appointed Secretary of the Port Authority in April 2002, a position she held for more than 16 years, fulfilling her duties with the utmost honesty and commitment to the highest ethical standards.
As Secretary, Karen served as a trusted liaison between staff and the Board, playing a key role in advancing the Port Authority’s mission. Her efforts were crucial in developing and implementing numerous governance reforms to promote the highest levels of honesty, integrity, and transparency. Over the course of her career, Karen was an invaluable source of knowledge, guidance, support, and wisdom to a succession of agency administrations, including nine Chairmen and one Chairwoman, eight Vice Chairmen, 91 Commissioners, and twelve Executive Directors.
Karen received numerous citations for her efforts in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks at the World Trade Center and played an integral role in supporting the rebuilding of the site. Upon her retirement, Karen was honored by the Board of Commissioners with the award of the Howard S. Cullman Distinguished Service Medal, the highest honor the Board can bestow on a Port Authority civilian employee, in recognition of her four decades of exemplary service to the agency and the region. Karen served as President of the PARA Board from 2021 to 2023.
Dave joined the PA in 1963 as a Management Trainee. After completing his military obligation, he held several administrative positions before moving to Human Resources where he served in the Director's office, Management, Operating, and Training Divisions over an eight-year period. Dave then moved to the Engineering Department in 1975, where he managed the division responsible for all the business, finance, and administrative activities of the department. In 1985, he was selected for the Executive Development Program and was promoted to Assistant Director of the Tunnels, Bridges and Terminals Department, where he was responsible for all non-field activities including properties, customer relations, engineering and planning, finance and budget, and departmental operations planning.
Dave also served as project leader for the final planning and initial implementation of the PA’s E-ZPass program in cooperation with the region’s Interagency Group (IAG) of toll authorities. He retired from the PA in 1996 after 33 years of service. He later worked for several years in the North America marketing and sales office of a large European bus manufacturer, where he was the Director, North American Operations. He served on the board of a non-profit organization (2002-2009) that provides housing and support services for several hundred mentally ill and developmentally disabled individuals in nine counties in New Jersey. Dave joined the PARA Board in 2008 and served as the Board’s liaison with Joe SanSevero, PARA’s webmaster. In June 2011, Dave was elected President of the PARA Board. In June 2021, Dave was made President Emeritus of the Board.
Al joined the Port Authority in 1968 directly from a three-year tour with the US Army and spent most of the following 40 years with the Aviation Department at JFK, LGA and HQ. He continued his association with the US Army Reserves for the next thirty years, retiring in 1994 as a Colonel and from the Port Authority in Feb 2008 after special assignment on the Stewart and Delay Reduction task forces. Al also served for eight years as an adjunct professor at Vaughn College, teaching both Airport Operations and Planning courses.
Cynthia is a graduate of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She began her 27-year career as a Port Authority Police officer in 1980. Her first assignment was the PATH System. She later was assigned to patrol at the George Washington Bridge, the World Trade Center, and the Passenger Ship Terminal. Cynthia was appointed a Police Detective in 1987 and conducted several investigations at all Port Authority facilities until her retirement from the Port Newark Marine Terminal in July of 2007. A highlight in her career was assisting the FBI Joint Terrorist Task Force in the investigations of the 1993 and 2001 bombings of the World Trade Center. Since retirement, Cynthia spends her time giving back to her community by volunteering in several organizations. She is active in the Rotary Club and the local NAACP. Cynthia coordinates a tutoring program in her township’s school district and serves as the treasurer for the Port Authority Retired Detectives’ Association.
Rae Ann Hoffmann joined the Port Authority in 1973 as a Management Trainee. She was the General Manager, Marketing Communications, Public Affairs Dept., where she established the PA’s first centralized marketing communications service for the entire agency. Prior to this she held positions in several departments including World Trade; Real Estate; Government, Community & Public Affairs; and the Executive Director's Office. She joined the PARA Board in 2008 while still employed, retiring from the agency in November 2010. She won many awards in advertising and marketing, received four awards for service contributions from the Board (Medal Awards), and co-founded the Lower Manhattan Marketing Association. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Georgetown University as one of the first fifty women admitted to its College of Arts and Sciences. She assumed the position of Co-President of the PARA Board of Directors in 2023, and is leading the research and development to establish a new website for PARA with online dues payments and an interactive member directory. She lives with her family in Brooklyn.
Bob joined the Port Authority in September 1969, and during his thirty-year career had increasingly more responsible positions in the Finance Department and the Economic Development Department, culminating with the position of Assistant Comptroller for Tunnels, Bridges and Terminals. He was the lead financial person on the team that implemented E-ZPass at the Port Authority and several other New Jersey agencies.
Bob has served on the Monroe Township Public Library Board since 1988 and was the board president for 14 of those years. He was also president of the library foundation, and still serves as a foundation member. Bob served as Treasurer of the PARA Board of Directors for 13 years until 2023, when he assumed the position of Assistant Treasurer.
Arnold Karvasarsky enjoyed a thirty-year career at the Port Authority prior to his retirement at the end of 1999 as Assistant Director of Finance in the Office of the CFO. He culminated his career as the head of the Office of World Trade Center Options, charged with privatization of the WTC. Formerly, he led the Office of Financial and Real Estate Policy and Analysis, and served as Manager of Financial Analysis and Supervising Financial Analyst in the Finance Department.
Arnold began his Port Authority career in 1969 as Staff Economic Analyst in the Tunnels and Bridges Department and was later promoted to Supervising Economic Analyst. From 1963 to 2003, Arnold taught graduate and undergraduate courses at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University.
In retirement, he has served in several volunteer positions: Trustee for the East Brunswick Community Housing Corporation, assuring affordable housing in the township; as a Counselor for SCORE, counseling small businesses; and as an income-tax preparer for AARP.
Kirby King is the former Director of The Technology Services Department (TSD), where he was responsible for formulation of the agency’s strategic technology vision and implementation of that strategy through effective utilization and organization of the agency’s existing technology infrastructure and resources, as well as capabilities enhancement through capital investment, the provision of which were critical to the accomplishment of the agency’s mission. Prior to assuming the Director position in the TSD, Kirby was the Deputy Director of PATH where he was responsible, under the Director, for the direction and guidance of the heavy rail rapid transit system's planning, operations, security, safety, maintenance and business processes.
Kirby also previously served as Assistant Program Director of the New York Airport Access Program, for the design and construction of the $1.9 billion, 8.4-mile light rail JFK AirTrain system. He also served as one of four engineering project managers responsible for supporting the restoration and recovery efforts of major systems in the World Trade Center subsequent to the terrorist bombing in February 1993. His previous professional experience included working in the role of fluid/thermal computer analyst with Martin Marietta Aerospace in Denver, Colorado, supporting various projects of the American space program. Kirby has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of New York (now, NYU Tandon) and a master’s degree in public administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He retired from the PA in 2013.
Dick was appointed to the PARA Board on March 20, 2009. He started his Port Authority service in July 1966 in the Accounting Division and spent most of his PA career in supervisory and management positions in the various divisions within the Comptroller’s Department. He also worked for a number of years in the Aviation Department and on special assignment with the World Trade Department in 1992.
Upon retiring in 1996, Dick went on to become Controller of The New Jersey Credit Union League and then moved on to work with a number of other PA retirees on transportation issues with the National Transit Institute at Rutgers University.
Dennis joined the Port Authority in 1984 as a Port Sales Representative in the Port Department and worked his way through various operational and business positions over 30 years. Aside from two fun years at Newark Airport in the Aviation Department, Dennis spent his whole career in Port. He held positions in operations, leasing, redevelopment, business planning and development, and retired as Deputy Director of Port Commerce.
Dennis was a key team member for the renegotiation of the Maersk Sealand lease, reconfiguration of the Elizabeth Port Authority Marine Terminal, and for getting an extra $48 million in lease transfer fees in 2007. Since retiring Dennis worked for a 3PL, did some consulting, and is currently running the Institute of International Container Lessors, an industry association.
Francis J. Lombardi is the former Chief Engineer of The Port Authority of NY & NJ, the position he held from 1995 until his retirement in 2010. During his tenure as Chief Engineer, Frank oversaw the planning, development, and completion of complex, critical construction projects in the region. Immediately following the attacks on the WTC on September 11, 2001, Frank Lombardi played a prominent role as part of the crisis management team of Port Authority executives that was assembled to ensure the well-being of staff and to tackle the difficult challenges facing the agency. Throughout his 39-year Port Authority career, Frank provided sound guidance and advice to staff at every level. He has spent countless hours mentoring dozens of students by sharing his enthusiasm for choosing engineering as a career. Frank is an Adjunct Professor at Manhattan College, where he teaches a course on Leadership in Civil Engineering. He joined PARA in 2010 and is a member of the Website Committee.
Maria Malone-Hodges began her 32-year career as an Environmental Analyst in Risk Management in 1979. She then moved to assignments in Aviation, Port Commerce, and the Tunnels Bridges and Terminals departments. Spending 25 years in Tunnels, Bridges and Terminals, she held various positions in both field and staff business areas including Transcom Communications Manager, Assistant Manager of Staten Island Bridges, Manager of TB&T’s Customer Services Division, Operations Manager of the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and retiring as the Deputy General Manager of the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station in November 2010.
Maria is a docent and artifact interpreter at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. She assumed the position of Co-President of the PARA Board of Directors in 2023.
Mike Morrow joined the Port Authority in 1967 as a Marine/Cargo Representative in Port Newark. Prior to that, he sailed in the Merchant Marines with American Export Lines out of the PA’s Hoboken Piers and after coming ashore, worked for Cargocaire, a marine equipment manufacturing company. After 13 months at Port Newark, a call from the Personnel Department led to an assignment at 30 Church Street working for Ray Monti and later uptown for Mal Levy on the original construction of the WTC. Mike later rejoined Marine Terminals as a Pier Rentals Representative. Following completion of an Executive Development Program, Mike completed a six-month assignment with Maersk Line. Upon his return he became part of the consultant group that worked on the development of the Southeast Asian project. Later assignments included an eight-month stay in London and handling the real estate sales effort in Port Newark/Elizabeth. One week after his retirement in August 1995, Mike joined Port Elizabeth Terminals and Warehouse, as Vice President of Sales, where he continues to attract cargo to the Port of NY, as he did while at the PA.
George Murtagh started as a Building and Grounds Attendant in 1981. He was promoted through several positions: Toll Collector, Facility Operations/Tunnel & Bridge Agent (TBA), and in 1986, as a Senior TBA, he began what was a majority of his 37-year career at the TB&T Training Academy.
While there, George became a State Certified Instructor in New Jersey. He was later promoted to Chief Instructor in 2001. He executed TB&T’s goal of ensuring mission readiness by improving training methodology and equipment for TBA first responders, establishing training and mentoring programs for new Supervisors, and supporting facility emergency planning and coordinating capabilities with participation in multi-jurisdictional training and drills. He was also a Critical Incident Stress Debriefings volunteer covering NJ’s Ocean & Monmouth County on the Genesis Team from 1999-2006.
Following the Academy’s response on September 11, 2001, he represented TB&T with interagency liaison staffing the PA OEM. In 2013, he was assigned to TB&T headquarters to develop specific Incident Action Plans for Significant Weather Events, Massive Power Failure and Flood Mitigation by incorporating the National Incident Command Systems standards.
George held elected positions as Vice President and President of the PA Field Supervisors Association (PAFSA) from 2003-2018, negotiating and administering the Memorandum of Agreement and representing his membership at all hearings. Simultaneously, he was also President/Chairman of the PA Employees Labor Council (2007-2103); he chaired meetings and acted on behalf of eleven union presidents in strategic communications with senior and executive agency leaders.
Ken Philmus joined the Port Authority in 1971, retiring after 34 years of service in 2005. Ken’s last six years with the PA were as Director of the Tunnels, Bridges, and Terminals Department, where he had full responsibility for all management, operational, capital, and financial activities related to the George Washington Bridge, Lincoln Tunnel, Holland Tunnel, Staten Island Bridges, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal and other transportation-related facilities. Prior to being Director of TB&T, Ken was Deputy General Manager of JFK, Manager of the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and Manager of the GWB, in addition to other increasingly responsible management positions.
After leaving the Port Authority, Ken worked in the private sector as National Director of Tolls for AECOM (a large engineering firm) and as Senior Vice President of Conduent, where he managed more than half of all electronic tolling in the United States.
At the present time, Ken is now happily retired, spending half of the year with his wife Irma in Boynton Beach, FL, and the other half back in Matawan, New Jersey. Ken & Irma have two children and are the proud grandparents of six!
Jerri’s career spanned 40 years of PA service, beginning with the Engineering Department and the Office of the Secretary. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Peter’s College, she moved on to various positions in the Aviation Department in transportation planning, administration, and supervisory capacities before joining the EWR Leasing Division, in which she negotiated leases and operating agreements with ground transportation providers, cargo operators, rental car operators and master airline lessees.
In 2000, Jerri became the Leasing Manager for the Port Commerce Department, negotiating and managing leases for Ports Newark and Elizabeth, the Auto Marine Terminal, the Brooklyn Port Authority Marine Terminal, and the Howland Hook Marine Terminal. Jerri retired from the PA in 2007 and joined the PARA Board in 2010. She has been PARA’s Board Secretary since 2012.
Peter joined the Port Authority as an Engineering Trainee in 1973. During his 38-year PA career, he served as the Engineering Department's manager providing services to TB&T and PATH, where he was responsible for implementing over a billion dollars in capital improvement projects. In September 2001, Peter was assigned to the on-site WTC emergency response team and spent nine intensive months supporting the recovery and cleanup efforts. He later served as the General Manager of the WTC site and was part of the PA's downtown rebuilding program. At the time of his retirement in 2010, Peter held the position of Assistant Director in the Engineering department. During retirement, he has been spending time with his seven grandchildren, enjoying international travel, and stocking his wine cellar.
Michael Shannon began his Port Authority career in 1985. He enjoyed 37 years holding many financial management positions within the Comptrollers, Treasury and Management & Budget Departments. He also held financial manager positions for PATH and Aviation line departments. In 2017 through his retirement in 2023, Michael joined the Aviation Department as the Manager, Aviation Financial Service for New Jersey Airports supporting both Newark and Teterboro Airports.
As a recent Port Authority retiree, Michael looks forward to many opportunities ahead. This includes: staying in contact with the many Port Authority colleagues and friends he has worked with over the years; joining other organizations; and staying active through golf, pickleball and cycling. Mike was elected to the PARA Board of Directors and became Treasurer in August 2023.
Herb Somerwitz joined the Port Authority in September, 1970 as an attorney in the Contracts Division of the Law Department and served as Chief of the Division from 1992 until his retirement in 2008. He initially practiced in the area of construction law and subsequently concentrated in the areas of procurement, intellectual property, and technology law. Principal projects included the bus terminal expansion, procurement and installation of electronic tolls, and the present PATH fare collection system. Herb holds a BA degree from New York University and LL.B and LL.M degrees from NYU Law School. Before his career with the Port Authority, Herb served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Lima, Peru and served as an associate attorney with a private sector law firm.
Donna Tucker joined the Port Authority in January 1966 and retired in December 1998. She started as a Secretary in the Organization and Procedures Department (which became the Management Services Department) and rose through the ranks until its sunset in 1987. In 1988 she joined the staff of the Office of Business Diversity and Civil Rights (OBDCR). She was an assistant manager in charge of the office’s S/M/W/DBE certification unit, where she reviewed relevant legislation impacting Minority/Women-Owned/Disadvantaged Business Enterprises and reviewed applicant firms’ eligibility to participate in the PA’s programs.
She started her “second” career in 1999 as the Chief of Staff for the Regional Alliance for Small Contractors, Inc. The organization is well known for its training and outreach program to enable small businesses to competitively bid and participate on various projects. In 2022 she started her second retirement.
Lou joined the PANYNJ’s Government and Community Affairs Department in September 1984. He moved to the Planning and Regional Development Department in 1996, where he managed varied transportation planning initiatives. After 9/11, he worked with colleagues on trans-Hudson service restoration and Lower Manhattan redevelopment planning.
Lou participated in planning teams for the Goethals Bridge Replacement Project, trans-Hudson transit initiatives, improved airport access and regional freight services, among other assignments. He also represented the agency on interagency planning bodies in New York and New Jersey. Lou retired February 1, 2019. A Perth Amboy native, he lives with his family in Sunnyside, Queens. He is a member of the Living New Deal New York City Chapter as well as NYC and Hudson Valley groups working to improve the region’s food system. Lou is a parishioner at the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and Shrine at the World Trade Center.
Keith began his career with The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as a Toll Collector at the Holland Tunnel. Thereafter he became a Facility Operations Agent, currently known as a TBA, and was also assigned to the Holland Tunnel. Subsequently, Keith became a Port Authority Police Officer where he served for 32 years. During that time, he was in the central police pool, where he was assigned to any Port Authority facility on a daily basis. Next, he was assigned to the PATH railroad system. There he had details such as Desk Officer, Captain’s Clerk, and in the Emergency Services Unit. As a member of the Emergency Services Unit, Keith responded to the Rescue, Recovery and Restoration mission during the first World Trade Center terrorist attack in 1993. In 1998 he was promoted to Police Sergeant and assigned to the Bus Terminal. As a member of the PATH command, he responded to the 2001 World Trade Center attack and participated in the Rescue, Recovery and Restoration operations in 2002. Keith was promoted to Police Lieutenant and assigned to the Bus Terminal. Thereafter he was promoted to Police Captain and assigned to Newark Liberty International Airport. Moving forward, he became Police Inspector at Newark Liberty International Airport and the PATH Police Command. At the time of his retirement, Keith was a Deputy Chief assigned to Police Headquarters. Currently in retirement, Keith serves as a Committee Person for the City of Jersey City.