April 16 - Dr Elizabeth "Liz" Blanchard, pictured below, has been elected chair of the Port of Stockton Board of Commissioners.

Blanchard, who holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of the Pacific, is the first woman to serve in this capacity.

She became a commissioner in 2008 and most recently served as vice chair. During her tenure on the board, the Port has successful received major funding grants and achieved federal dredging activities, which have substantially led to increased port maritime business.

"I am pleased to accept this appointment," Blanchard said. "I have an extensive working knowledge and understanding of the Port's vital role in the economics of our region and will work diligently to serve the diverse stakeholders, community and business."

Commissioner Stephen Griffen, a longshoreman and local business owner, was elected vice-chairman.

The Port of Stockton Commission is composed of seven members, with four appointed by the Stockton City Council and three by the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors. It oversees the operations and development of the port which offers multiple facilities for import and export cargoes heavy lift and project shipments.