Captain McKenna, a 1963 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, served the United States Navy for twenty-eight years prior to retiring with that rank. His service included ten sea tours, three of those in command. He is a Vietnam veteran, and served as Escort Commander of American Flagged tankers in the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq war. He was the Commissioning Executive Officer of the Battleship New Jersey for the ship’s fourth commissioning. He also served as Fleet Operations Officer for the U.S Pacific Fleet, and as Chief of Staff for the Naval Surface Group here in Long Beach prior to retirement.
Captain McKenna is a graduate of the U.S. Naval War College and holds a Master’s Degree in Personnel Management from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. He became Deputy Executive Director of the Marine Exchange of Southern California in September 1993, and has been a principal in the development of the Marine Exchange’s Joint Partnership Vessel Traffic Service (VTS), a national model for future Vessel Traffic Services. The Marine Exchange effectively serves as the Operations Center for vessel movements in and around the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. He assumed the role of Executive Director in 2008 where he served until his retirement in April 2013. In addition, he has served as Executive Secretary of the LA-Long Beach Harbor Safety Committee, Member of the Executive Council of the Southern California Area Maritime Security Committee and the business Representative of the NOAA sponsored Channel Islands Sanctuary Advisory Council.
Captain McKenna is President/CEO of the International Seafarers Center, the hospitality service for visiting sailors bringing cargo to the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. Captain McKenna is also President of the Board for the Los Angeles Maritime Institute, a non profit organization providing sail training as a character building vehicle for at risk, underprivileged youth. He serves as a Trustee on the Advisory Board of U.S. Vets Long Beach, serving over 500 Veterans. He is a previous Chairman of the Board of the International Trade and Education Program (ITEP), a Port Community program to encourage the interest of high school students in the Maritime Industry.