Oakland Board of Port Commissioners Elects New Officers

Press Releases

For Immediate Release
July 18, 2013

Oakland Board of Port Commissioners Elects New Officers

New Officers bring business, legal, and financial expertise, continued commitment to rebuilding public trust and business confidence

President Butner 1st VP Alan S. Yee 2nd VP Earl S. Hamlin
Cestra “Ces” Butner
1st Vice-President
Alan S. Yee
2nd Vice-President
Earl S. Hamlin


Oakland, CA — July 18, 2013 – Today the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners approved a resolution officially ratifying the election of new Board Officers, which took place at their last Regular Meeting on July 11, 2013. The Port Board selected Commissioner Cestra “Ces” Butner to serve as President, Commissioner Alan S. Yee as First Vice-President, and Commissioner Earl S. Hamlin as Second Vice-President. The Board elects new officers at the beginning of every fiscal year; the Port’s Fiscal Year 2013-2014 began on July 1, 2013.

After being elected Board President, Butner stated, “I am both honored and humbled that my fellow Commissioners would select me to fulfill this responsibility. I plan to continue our unwavering commitment to accountability and transparency to rebuild public trust and the confidence of our business, labor, and community partners that are essential to our success. We will move forward in collaboration with all of our many diverse stakeholders, and with a sense of urgency to deliver on the promise of the Oakland Army Base to grow our job-generating maritime business; and we will continue to position the Oakland International Airport as the most convenient way to the San Francisco Bay with improvements such as the BART-Oakland Airport Connector. I look forward to working with my fellow Board Officers and Commissioners as well as our incoming Executive Director to achieve these results and many more.”

By City Charter, the Oakland Board of Port Commissioners consists of seven members who are nominated by the Oakland Mayor and appointed by the Oakland City Council to staggered four-year terms. All three new officers were nominated by Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and appointed by the Oakland City Council in 2011 or 2012. With the departure of immediate past Board President Gilda Gonzales, the Board now consists of all Commissioners nominated by current Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. President Butner’s current term expires on July 10, 2015; First Vice President Yee’s current term expires on July 10, 2014; and Second Vice President Hamlin’s current term expired on July 10, 2013 (he remains on indefinite holdover status until he is reappointed or replaced). There are no limits to the number of terms to which a Commissioner can be appointed to serve.

The Oakland Board of Port Commissioners was created in 1927 as an independent Board with exclusive governing authority over the state tidelands entrusted to the City of Oakland. Members must live in Oakland during their term and at least 30 days prior to their appointment. Members of the Board serve without salary or compensation. All current members are Oakland residents, and donate hundreds of hours a year in service to the Port, especially when serving as a Board Officer.

President Butner – Commissioner Cestra “Ces” Butner is the President, CEO and owner of Horizon Beverage Company, an Oakland-based beverage distributorship that supplies retailers in Northern Alameda County and Western Contra Costa County. Upon graduating from the University of Missouri in 1975 and working in Minneapolis and Chicago for Fortune 500 companies, Mr. Butner settled in Oakland in 1981, working for a local beverage distributorship. By age 33, he became the youngest owner of an Anheuser-Busch wholesale operation in the country. Through acquisitions and expansions over the last 25 years, Mr. Butner has more than tripled the size of Horizon Beverage Company revenues placing it among Black Enterprise’s top 100 Black Owned Business nationally. His community service work includes serving on the boards of the East Bay YMCA, Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, and as president of Sequoyah Country Club. Mr. Butner lives in Oakland with his wife Teresa and two daughters Raquel and Andrea.

First VP Yee – Alan S. Yee has more than 30 years of legal experience. Commissioner Yee serves as partner in the law firm of Siegel & Yee. Mr. Yee has litigated commercial cases involving trade and international commerce, representing businesses in trade with companies in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1974 from Princeton University and his juris doctorate in 1978 from the University of California’s Boalt Hall School of Law in Berkeley. Commissioner Yee also has an extensive history of community involvement and public service. Mr. Yee was elected as a trustee of the Peralta Community Colleges and served as its president in 1994. He was appointed to the City of Oakland’s Police Review Commission and served as its chair 1997-2000. Mr. Yee has also served on the boards of the Chinatown/Central District Community Development Council for the City of Oakland, the Oakland Intergovernmental Council and the East Bay Conversion and Reinvestment Commission.

Commissioner Yee has received numerous commendations and awards for his service, including: State Bar of California President’s Pro Bono Service Award, 2004; Asian Health Services 35th Anniversary Honoree Award, 2009; East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation Gerald Leo Award, 2008; Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce Award for Promoting Community Development, 2003; City of Oakland City Council Proclamation for Exemplary Services to the Community, 2004; and City of Oakland District 4 Local Hero Award, 2007.

Second VP Hamlin – Commissioner Earl S. Hamlin has degrees from Oberlin College (AB) and the University of California, Berkeley (JD & MBA). His actual job title of General Whatnot at investment bank Hambrecht & Quist not only described his varied activities there (financial analysis, corporate finance and venture capital) and a diverse range of company clients (anything outside of technology), but is an apt metaphor for his work and vocational experiences – warehouseman, real estate sales, community organizer, political operative (small time), Alameda County Planning Commissioner (State County Planning Commissioner of the Year-2001), and Treasurer, Chabot Space & Science Center. He holds a Chartered Financial Analyst designation, was a founding member of the San Francisco Valuation Roundtable, and has been a Director of several companies.

Commissioner Hamlin’s community activities include Alameda County Economic Development Advisory Board, Oakland Blue Ribbon Housing Commission, Alameda County Transportation Commission CAWG, and Elder, Montclair Presbyterian Church. Mr. Hamlin enjoys gardening, is the family genealogist and learned from his grandfather the art of storytelling. He and his wife, Bonnie Hamlin, have been Oakland residents for 41-years.

About the Port of Oakland:
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport and Oakland International Airport. The Port’s jurisdiction includes 20 miles of waterfront from the Bay Bridge through Oakland International Airport. The Oakland seaport is the fifth busiest container port in the U.S.; Oakland International Airport is the second largest San Francisco Bay Area airport offering over 300 daily passenger and cargo flights; and the Port’s real estate includes commercial developments such as Jack London Square and hundreds of acres of public parks and conservation areas. Together, through Port operations and those of its tenants and users, the Port supports more than 73,000 jobs in the region and nearly 827,000 jobs across the United States. The Port of Oakland was established in 1927 and is an independent department of the City of Oakland. Connect with the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport through Facebook, or with the Port on Twitter, YouTube, and at www.portofoakland.com.

Media Contacts:

Isaac Kos-Read
Director of External Affairs
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1565
[email protected]


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