CSULB's Marianne Venieris, executive director for the Center for International Trade and Transportation (CITT), recently received the Diversity Leadership Award issued by Women in Transportation Seminar. The honor was given at a luncheon at the Millennium Biltmore in Los Angeles, where Venieris was presented the award by Gloria Dixon, vice president of Dallas Area Rapid Transit and a nationally known diversity advocate.
“I was surprised and absolutely delighted,” said Venieris on receiving the award. “It never occurred to me that I was in discussion for this. It focused very much on things I have done while at CSULB. It’s a fantastic organization established a long time ago because there were not many women involved in transportation, and from their perspective it’s very much focused on engineering, road construction, etc. It’s a very strong and well-run group.”
Venieris was nominated by a committee of three, which included USC professor Jim Moore, the recipient of the initial award in 2005.
“Being nominated is what amazes me,” she added. “The fact people take the time to submit all the material it takes, to gather letters of recommendation and to put the package together. That’s what I am thrilled about; that somebody takes all this time to nominate me is really very humbling.”
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 the U.S. Department of Transportation and Caltrans, METRANS is dedicated to solving metropolitan transportation problems through research, education and outreach.
Venieris is responsible for the establishment of the CITT, the multidisciplinary center for multimodal transportation studies and research, education, training and policy analysis, run through CSULB’s University College and Extension Services. In addition, she has developed strong partnerships with the international trade and logistics community; oversees the development, administration and marketing of graduate level and professional development training programs, certificates, professional designations; and manages technology transfer and outreach activities.
Recognized numerous times throughout her career, Venieris received her most notable honor in 2005 when she received the Stanley T. Olafson Award at the recent Foreign Trade Association annual World Trade Week luncheon and trade fair held in Los Angeles. The Olafson award is considered the highest honor an individual can receive in the local international trade community and Venieris is in good company. Past recipients 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).
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 Bob Foster’s and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Supply Chain Advisory Task Force. Also, she serves on the Transportation Research Board of Education and Training Committee, ABG20.
Venieris is a graduate of Leadership Long Beach (1997) and was profiled by the Journal of Commerce in 2004 as one of 22 women in trade and transportation in the United States with 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 a management/organizational development emphasis, both from CSULB.